Saturday, July 13, 2019

Brief items

I just returned from some travel, and I have quite a bit of writing I need to do, but here are a few items of interest:

  • No matter how many times I see them (here I discussed a result from ten years ago), I'm still impressed by images taken of molecular orbitals, as in the work by IBM Zurich that has now appeared in Science.  Here is the relevant video.
  • Speaking of good videos, here is a talk by Tadashi Tokieda, presently at Stanford, titled "Science from a Sheet of Paper".  Really nicely done, and it shows a great example of how surprising general behavior can emerge from simple building blocks.
  • It's a couple of years old now, but this is a nice overview of the experimental state of the problem of high temperature superconductivity, particularly in the cuprates.
  • Along those lines, here is a really nice article from SciAm by Greg Boebinger about achieving the promise of those materials.  
  • Arguments back and forth continue about the metallization of hydrogen.
  • And Sean Carroll shows how remunerative it can be to be a science adviser for a Hollywood production.


Mike S said...

Great links, thank you!

Anonymous said...

I understand why Greg is so excited about this new material, but, with all due respect, I thought his SciAm article was relatively devoid of useful technical content. After all, the new record set by the NHMFL is 45.5T, up 0.5T from the previous record, set 20 years ago.

The Physics World article is much more informative and actually explains the innovations brought about by REBCO:

In summary, the new magnet weighs only 400g and is much more compact, vs. 35T for the old one. I hope it will also be more comfortable to work with.

Other than that, Doug, I think those two links in your post contradict one another. The first one reminds us that, after all these years, we still haven't figured out what causes HTC superconductivity; the second one: "The Woodstock of Physics is Finally Living Up to Its Promise". I beg to disagree.

Douglas Natelson said...

Anon, there’s not necessarily a contradiction there, in the sense that it’s possible to have engineering advances even in the absence of a fundamental understanding, but I get your point.