Volume 3 Issue 3, March 2007

Volume 3 Issue 3

At the 1987 March Meeting of the American Physical Society, thousands attended a special session — the 'Woodstock of physics' — to hear about the new copper-oxide-based superconductors. But the vital question has remained unanswered: what causes the electrons to form pairs? Lattice vibrations or magnetic excitations? In this issue, Baptiste Vignolle et al. use neutrons to map spin excitations in unprecedented detail, arguing for magnetically mediated superconductivity; Dennis Newns and Chang Tsuei, however, present a theory based on a two-phonon mechanism. Eschewing both phonons and magnons, Krzysztof Byczuk and co-workers offer an explanation for the origin of the 'kink' in photoemission data, taken as evidence by both sides — they say the kink may have nothing to do with superconductivity.

Letter p163 | Letter p168 | Article p184 | News & Views p148



  • Commentary |

    Despite 15 years of turbulent change, 'brain drain' and a shortage of research funds, Russian science has survived, although in a much diminished state. International investment and collaboration over the next ten years could bring it back from the brink.

    • Mikhail Feigel'man


Research Highlights

News and Views

  • News & Views |

    Solid objects generally produce a splash upon entering water. Surprisingly, a small change in the surface chemistry of an object can turn a big splash into an inconspicuous disappearance and vice versa.

    • Jens Eggers
  • News & Views |

    A semiconductor device that integrates electron spin injection, transport, modulation and detection in a single structure provides an important step in versatility for both fundamental research and practical spintronic applications.

    • Bart van Wees
  • News & Views |

    It's more than twenty years since our journey towards a theory of high-temperature superconductivity began, but we've yet to reach our destination. The road ahead is winding, but there are new data and ideas to guide us.

    • May Chiao
  • News & Views |

    The ability to build electronic structures from graphene sheets has progressed significantly. Two theoretical studies suggest that graphene nanostructures could be used for quantum information processing.

    • Vladimir Fal'ko