Monday, August 9, 2010
Physicists use offshoot of string theory to describe puzzling behavior of superconductors: "Using gauge/gravity duality — the connection between quantum and gravitational mechanics — the MIT team identified a system that has the same unusual properties as strange metals, but could be explained by gravitational mechanics. In this case, the model they used was a gravitational system with a black hole. "It's a mathematical abstraction which we hope may shed light on the physics of the real system," says Liu. In their model, they can study behavior at high and low energy (determined by how the excitation energy of a single electron compares to the average energy of an electron in the system), and it turns out that at low energy, the black-hole model exhibits many of the same unusual traits seen in non-Fermi liquids such as cuprates."