Superconductor material could be cool for quantum cats

@ 2019/10/11
B-Bi2Pd needs no magnetic fields

Researchers from the Johns Hopkins University describe a superconducting material, B-Bi2Pd, that naturally exists in a quantum state without the additional influence of magnetic fields usually needed for such an effect.

The authors write that the low-maintenance, stability of this material makes it a perfect candidate for designing quantum systems.

The research will be published today in the journal Science by physicists from Johns Hopkins University.

The paper's first author, Yufan Li, said in a press release: "We've found that a certain superconducting material contains special properties that could be the building blocks for technology of the future. A ring of B-Bi2Pd already exists in the ideal state and doesn't require any additional modifications to work. This could be a game changer."

What makes this superconducting material special is the unique state it occupies as its ground state, or when no other forces are being exerted on it. While other superconducting materials can be forced to maintain a quantum state using external magnetic fields or energy-sustaining "quantum spin liquid."

The researchers found that this material naturally exists in a quantum superposition, in which current can simultaneously flow clockwise and counter-clockwise in a ring of the material. This discovery is the realisation of a prediction made by physicists in the 80s.

The authors write that this property makes it an ideal candidate for quantum systems. However, that does not mean the technology will get picked up, or that if it does we will remember this story.

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