Emergent Quantum Phenomena


1911 H. Kamerlingh Onnes discovered the first Superconductor

1957 John Bardeen, Leon N. Cooper, and J. Robert Schrieffer published their milestone work on the theory of superconductivity

1986 J. Georg Bednorz and K. Alexander Muller discovered the first cuprate high-Tc superconductor (LaBa)2CuO4

   The superconducting phenomenon was discovered by Dutch physicist Onnes in 1911. He cooled the mercury below 4K, where he found that the resistance of the mercury suddenly disappeared. The superconducting phenomenon was observed for the first time. Seventy-five years later, the first high-temperature superconductor was discovered by Swiss scientist Muller and German scientist Bednorz during the study of the oxide conductive ceramic material lanthanum-strontium-copper-oxygen. They won the 1987 Nobel Prize in Physics for this important discovery. Subsequently, Chinese and American scientists discovered iridium-barium-copper-oxygen superconductors above the liquid nitrogen temperature (77.3K), which further promoted the research boom of high-temperature superconductivity. Scientists have now prepared a series of nearly one hundred kinds of high-temperature superconductors. The transition temperature of superconductors has reached over 160K, and applications in some areas have begun to emerge.


    The BCS theory based on the interaction between electrons and lattices has predicted that the superconducting phase transition temperature will not exceed 40K, so the high temperature superconducting phenomenon cannot be explained in the existing theoretical framework. The mechanism of generating high-temperature superconducting oxides is one of the most challenging topics in condensed matter physics at present. The famous physicist and Nobel Prize winner Anderson once compared the research of high-temperature superconductivity to “the unfinished Babel Tower of science”, implying the problems in this field and their roles in science. The breakthrough in this regard depends on the understanding of quantum correlation phenomena and universal laws. This breakthrough not only has significance for the research of superconductivity, but also has important significance for the development of condensed matter physics. It is expected that the key factors determining the critical transition temperature of superconductivity will be discovered through this research, the phase transition temperature will be increased, and the room temperature superconductor will be found.

Tao Xiang' s Group


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