A Superconductor-Surrogate Earns Its Stripes

Understanding superconductivity – whereby certain materials can conduct electricity without any loss of energy – has proved to be one of the most persistent problems in modern physics. Scientists have struggled for decades to develop a cohesive theory of superconductivity, largely spurred by the game-changing prospect of creating a superconductor that works at room temperature, but it has proved to be a tremendous tangle of complex physics. Now scientists at Berkeley Lab have teased out another important tangle from this giant ball of string, bringing us a significant step closer to understanding how high- temperature superconductors work their magic.