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Previous Michelson Postdoctoral Prize Lectureships

Nov 7, 2013 , 4:15 PM in Rock 301

Wei-Cheng Lee, University of Illinois

To Superconduct or Not to Superconduct; That is the Question?

Superconductor, a material losing resistivity below a critical temperature Tc, remains one of the grand challenges in physics. This field began in 1911 with the discovery of superconductivity in mercury at 4.2 K. After the birth of a complete microscopic theory of superconductivity proposed by Bardeen, Cooper, and Schrieffer in 1957, known as BCS theory, it was believed that no materials could have Tc higher than 30 K. The discovery of new classes of superconductors, cuprates in 1986 (which shatter the 30 K barrier) and iron pnictides in 2008, launched an international wave of research to find new materials with higher Tc. In this colloquium, I will summarize several new physical concepts we have learned from cuprates and iron-based superconductors, and the possible new routes to superconductors with higher Tc will be discussed.
Host: Harsh Mathur