Sunday, November 16, 2008

Workshop on new iron arsenide superconductors

This weekend is a big workshop at the University of Maryland on the new iron arsenide high temperature superconductors. Since it's not really my area, I didn't go. Anyone want to give a little update? Any cool news?

1 comment:

NONE said...

I didn't go, even though I have followed the field and have even done some experiments on new iron pnictides. I know some people that did go, I may ask them for their impressions.

My questions/comments - are pnictides the new cuprates and will be studied 20 years later, or are they more like MgB2 and in 2010 we will be talking about something else?

A few comments -
1. It is very difficult to break into the field without the infrastructure of pre-existing sample synthesis and characterization. All of the older high-Tc people already have it and can jump on the bandwagon quickly. The field is already very, very competitive. It's like graphene, everyone I know is doing it.

2. As a result of (1), the field is very difficult to follow. It's a full time job just to look through arxiv papers and summarize the results.

3. There are really two questions - just like with cuprates, the practical question was - can we push Tc higher - maybe roomT? which eventually got replaced by the question of: what is the mechanism for unconventional superconductivity?

I wonder how long will it take to move from first question to the second one as the main justification for this field. It is entirely possible that within a year or so we will quickly reach the same situation as we have now with cuprates - a lot of data and a lot of experiments, a lot of similarities with cuprates, but not much in terms of better understanding of mechanisms of high-Tc.