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Superinsulators are becoming science playgrounds for scientists

A 3D super-insulator, in which the turning condensate (green lines) compresses the electric field lines that connect the charge-to-boot pairs (red and blue balls) to the electric strings (orange strips). These strings tightly tie these charge-to-pawl pairs, completely blocking them, so no electrical current can be produced. Credit: Argonne National Laboratory

Scientists widely admit that there are quarks, which are the main particles that make protons and neutrons. However, information about them is still elusive, because their interaction is so strong that their direct discovery is impossible, and the indirect study of their properties often requires very expensive particle collectors and collaboration between thousands of researchers. So, the quarks remain conceptually strange and strange, like the Cheshire cat in the "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland", whose smile is revealed but not its body.

An international group of scientists, including material scientist Valerii Vinokur from the US Department of Energy (DOE) Argonne National Laboratory, has developed a new method for exploring these fundamental particles using the analogy between quark behavior in high energy physics and electron condensed material physics. This discovery will help scientists to formulate and conduct experiments that can provide convincing evidence of quarrels, asymptotic freedom, and other phenomena, such as whether superinsulators can exist in two or three dimensions.

Vinocur, working with Maria Cristina Diamantini from Perudia University in Italy and Carlo Trugenberger from SwissSciences Technologies in Switzerland, developed a theory of a new state called super-inhaler, where electrons have some of the same properties as quarks.

They determined that electrons had two important properties that regulate the interaction of dough: imprisonment and asymptotic freedom. Prison is a mechanism that binds quarks together in particles of composite materials. Unlike electrically charged particles, quarks cannot be separated from each other. As the distance between them increases, pulling them becomes stronger.

"It's not our daily experience," said Vinokurs. "When you separate the magnets, it becomes easier because they are separated, but the opposite is true."

Quark's interaction is also characterized by asymptotic freedom, when the quarks in the short distance do not work at all. After they travel at a certain distance from each other, nuclear power pulls them back.

In the late 1980s, the Nobel laureate Gerard's father first explained these two new theoretical properties by analogy. He imagined that the situation was the opposite of the superconductor, because it treated infinitely the charge flow rather than infinitely doing it. In the SuperSulator, Hooft calls this state, the electron pair with different spins – the Cooper pair – bind together in a way that is mathematically identical to quark detention in elementary particles.

"The dehydrated electric field in the supercharger creates a series that connects the Cooper pairs, and the more you stretch them, the more the couple resist the separation," said Vinokurs. "This is a mechanism that links quarks with protons and neutrons."

In 1996, without knowing about Hooft's analogy, Diamantini and Trugenberger together with their colleague Pascuale Sodano predicted the existence of superinsulators. However, superinsulators remained theoretically until 2008, when international co-operation led by the Argonne investigators revealed them in titanium nitride films.

Using their experimental results, they created a theory describing the behavior of the superinsulant, which ultimately led to their recent discovery, which created the Cooper pair of analogues for both imprisonment and asymptotic quark freedom, as Hooft imagined, Vinocur.

The Super Insulin theory expands the spiritual model that high energy physicists can use to think of quarks, and it offers a powerful laboratory to explore the physics of imprisonment using readily available materials.

"Our work suggests that systems that are smaller than the typical string lengths associated with Cooper pairs work in an interesting way," said Vinokurs. "They move almost freely on this scale because there is not enough room for strong forces to develop. This movement is similar to quark free movement on a small scale."

Vinocur and co-researchers Diamantini, Trugenberger and Luca Gammaiton at the University of Perugia are looking for ways to make a distinctive distinction between 2-D and 3-D superinverters. So far, they have found one, and it has a broad role in challenging the usual notions of glass types.

To find out how to synthesize a 2-D or 3-D superinsulin, researchers need a "complete understanding of what makes one material three-dimensional and two-dimensional," said Vinokurs.

Their new work shows that when switching to super-positioning, the 3-D superinverters have a critical behavior known as Vogel-Fulcher-Tammann (VFT). 2-D superinsulators, however, show different behavior: Berezinskii-Kosterlitz-Thouless transition.

The discovery that VFT is a mechanism behind the 3-D superinverters revealed something amazing: VFT transitions, first described almost a century ago, are responsible for the formation of glass from liquid. Glass is not crystalline, such as ice – it is the result of an amorphous, random atomic arrangement that freezes quickly on the solid.

The cause of VFT has been a mystery since its discovery, but scientists have long believed that it started with some kind of external disorder. The 3-D superinsulators described in the Vinocur document challenge this common concept, and instead show that interference can develop from the system's internal defect. A new discovery is the idea that glasses can be topological – they can change their characteristics while retaining the same.

"This fundamental achievement is an important step in understanding the origin of irreversibility in nature," said Vinokurs. The next step will be to observe this theoretical behavior in 3-D superinverters.

The research brought together researchers from very different disciplines. Vinocur is a condensed physicist, but Gammaitoni focuses on quantum thermodynamics. Diamantini and Trugenberger are in quantum field theory.

"The most important thing was that we came from very different areas of physics," said Vinokurs. "Combining our additional knowledge has enabled us to achieve these achievements."

The results of the Cooper pairs study are presented in "Composition and Asymptotic Freedom with Cooper Pairs", published November 7, 2018 Communication Physics. Working with the 3-D superinsulator mechanisms is described in the "Vogel-Fulcher-Tamman Criticism 3-D Super-Inverters" published Scientific reports October 24, 2018

Scientists observe tension physics from the superconductor-isolator transition

More information:
M. Diamantini and others, Confinement and Asymptotic Freedom with Cooper Pairs, t Communication Physics (2018). DOI: 10.1038 / s42005-018-0073-9

Magazine Reference:
Scientific reports

Argonne National Laboratory

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