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High-Temperature Superconductors: From Broken Symmetries to the Power Grid

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Superconductivity, first discovered in 1911, is the loss of all electrical resistance by certain materials when cooled to very low temperature. In 1986, and more recently in 2008, two new classes of superconductors we call “high-temperature superconductors” were discovered which superconduct at much more easily obtainable temperatures. Each of these discoveries motivated an unprecedented world-wide flurry of research: Not only to the high-temperature superconductors represent fascinating new classes of solid state of matter which break certain fundamental symmetries of Nature, but applications, such as impacting the power grid by significantly reducing power loss, are extremely promising.

This talk is part of the Cavendish Physical Society series.

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