Tuesday, September 13, 2011

How long will it take us to solve high-Tc superconductivity?

How long after the experimental discovery of a quantum many-body phenomena does it take to develop a theory that will be eventually accepted as the correct one?

Superconductivity was first observed in 1911 and BCS theory arrived in 1957.

At the conference in the castle today, Sasha Lichtenstein pointed out that the Kondo effect was first observed in 1933, Kondo described some of the relevant physics in 1964, but it wasnt until the 1980s that the problem was really solved. Thats 50 years. He pointed out that it is 25 years since the discovery of high-Tc superconductivity in the cuprates and suggested maybe we have 25 more years to get the theory right!

On the other hand, Laughlin found the correct theory of the fractional quantum Hall effect within a year of its experimental discovery!

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