High-temperature Superconductor Spills Secret: A New Phase of Matter
An unprecedented three-pronged study has found that one type of high-temperature superconductor may exhibit a new phase of matter. As in all superconductors, electrons pair off (bottom) to conduct electricity with no resistance when the material is cooled below a certain temperature. But in this copper-based superconductor, many of the electrons in the material don’t pair off; instead they form a distinct, elusive order (shown as orange peaks and blue troughs) that interacts with the electron pairs. (Image: SLAC Information Management and Portal Services.)
Scientists have found the strongest evidence yet that a puzzling gap in the electronic structures of some high-temperature superconductors could indicate a new phase of matter. Understanding this
"pseudogap" has been a 20-year quest for researchers who are trying to control and improve these breakthrough materials, with the ultimate goal of finding superconductors that operate at room temperature.
"Our findings point to management and control of this other phase as the correct path toward optimizing these novel superconductors for energy applications, as well as searching for new superconductors," said Zhi-Xun Shen of the Stanford Institute for Materials and Energy Science, a joint institute of the Department of Energy’s SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory and Stanford University. Shen led the team of researchers that made the discovery; their findings appear in the March 25 issue of
SLAC Community Supports
Japan Relief Efforts
Bento sale today
SLAC volunteers have put together two events to contribute to aid for the victims of the earthquake and tsunami in Japan. Last Monday's bake sale was a
big success, according Ziba Mahdavi, who organized the event.
"Thanks to the generosity of our SLAC community, we were able to collect $2106 in donations," Mahdavi said, "which I will deliver to the American Red Cross office today."
In addition, today volunteers are hosting a bento box lunch sale from 11
a.m. to 1 p.m. outside the Kavli Building. The availability of box lunches
for pre-order was announced last week, and the response has been
overwhelming, according to event organizer Naomi Nagahashi.
"Pre-order is closed," Nagahashi said, "but some additional bentos and snacks
will be available for sale at Kavli patio today."
Like last week's bake sale, this
event will benefit the American Red Cross Japan Quake Relief Fund. See the
event Web page for details.
SLACers Shine among
Bay Area Blood Donors
(Photo by Lauren Barbieri.)
SLAC did great in the 2010
blood drive contest among
Bay Area tech organizations! On March 4, SLAC was awarded not one but
two Donor Cup trophies for our success in Best Blood Drive Projection Accuracy, and second place in Overall Points. A breakfast ceremony was held at the Stanford Blood Center with participants from Applied Materials, LifeScan, NASA, SLAC, NVIDIA, Cisco, Brocade, Google, Lockheed Martin, VMware and many others from the 27 tech companies competing for the Donor Cup in 2010.
The super trophy (first place in overall points) went to NASA. SLAC had a little extra trouble keeping up in overall donations due to the January 20, 2010, power outage, which regretfully prevented one of our blood drives from taking place. At the event, the winning representatives jokingly thanked us for having the power outage! Points in the contest were awarded for percent of staff participating, accuracy of advance projections of donations, percent of new donors, percent of repeat donors, and most overall units of blood donated.