A New Phase of Matter? One type of high-temperature superconductor may exhibit a new phase of matter. SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory While studying the weird behavior of high-temperature superconductors, scientists may have found a new phase of matter, separate from solid, liquid, gas and plasma. Electrons in a pre-superconducting state apparently form a strange, distinct order, lining up in a way that has never been seen before. Superconductors are 100-percent-efficient materials that waste no energy. In them, electrons break off into pairs, conducting electricity with no resistance. This usually requires operating at extremely cold temperatures, however, so superconductors are not quite practical for a wide range of uses. Scientists have been trying to make warm superconductors that can operate at room temperature, but warm superconductors experience a "pseudogap" while the electrons change their energy levels, preparing to team up and enter their superconducting states. During this "pseudogap," the electrons are doing...
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