无法解释的超导体分形暗示了更高的宇宙法则

2019年10月23日08:39:10新闻无法解释的超导体分形暗示了更高的宇宙法则已关闭评论5578字数 6138阅读20分27秒阅读模式
摘要

一种神秘金属的结构似乎存在缺陷,这可能让物理学家窥见了迄今为止尚未发现的宇宙定律。

无法解释的超导体分形暗示了更高的宇宙法则

What seemed to be flaws in the structure of a mystery metal may have given physicists a glimpse into as-yet-undiscovered laws of the universe.

一种神秘金属的结构似乎存在缺陷,这可能让物理学家窥见了迄今为止尚未发现的宇宙定律。

The qualities of a high-temperature superconductor–a compound in which electrons obey the spooky laws of quantum physics,and flow in perfect synchrony,without friction–appear linked to the fractal arrangements of seemingly random oxygen atoms.

高温超导体是一种化合物,其中电子遵守量子物理学幽灵般的定律,并以完全同步的方式流动,没有摩擦。这种超导体的性质似乎与看似随机的氧原子的分形排列有关。

Those atoms weren't thought to matter,especially not in relation to the behavior of individual electrons,which exist at a scale thousands of times smaller.The findings,published Aug.12 in Nature,are a physics equivalent of discovering a link between two utterly separate dimensions.

这些原子被认为是无关紧要的,特别是与单个电子的行为无关,因为电子的存在规模要小上千倍。这些发现发表在812日的《自然》杂志上,相当于物理学上发现了两个完全不同的维度之间的联系。

"We don't know the theory for this,"said physicist Antonio Bianconi of Rome's Sapienza University."We just make the experimental observation that the two worlds seem to interfere."

"我们不知道这个理论,"罗马萨皮恩扎大学的物理学家安东尼奥·比安科尼说。"我们只是做了实验性的观察,认为这两个世界似乎相互干涉。"

Unlike semiconductors,the metals on which modern electronics rely,superconductors allow electrons to pass through without resistance.Rather than bouncing haphazardly,the electrons'movements are perfectly synchronized.They flow like a fluid,but without viscosity.

与现代电子产品所依赖的金属半导体不同,超导体允许电子通过而没有电阻。电子的运动是完全同步的,而不是偶然地弹跳。它们像流体一样流动,但没有粘性。

For most of the 20th century,this was possible only in certain extremely pure metals at temperatures approaching absolute zero,cold enough to quench all motion but that of quantum particles,which interact with each other in ways that defy the classic laws of space and time.

20世纪的大部分时间里,只有在某些极其纯净的金属的温度接近绝对零度时才有可能实现这一点,这种温度足以熄灭除量子粒子以外的所有运动,量子粒子之间的相互作用违背了经典的时空定律。

Then,in the mid-1980s,physicists Karl Muller and Johannes Bednorz discovered a class of ceramic compounds in which superconductivity was possible at much higher temperatures.The temperatures were still hundreds of degrees Fahrenheit below zero,but it wasn't even thought possible.

然后,在20世纪80年代中期,物理学家 Karl Muller 和约翰内斯·贝德诺尔茨发现了一类陶瓷化合物,在这类化合物中,超导现象在更高的温度下是可能存在的。当时的气温仍然是零下几百华氏度,但人们甚至认为这是不可能的。

Muller and Bednorz soon won a Nobel Prize,but subsequent decades and thousands of researchers have not yielded a theory of high-temperature superconductivity."High temperatures should destroy the quantum phenomenon,"said Bianconi,who decided to investigate another odd property of these materials:They're not quite regular.Oxygen atoms roam inside,and assume random positions as they freeze.

Bednorz 很快就获得了诺贝尔奖,但是随后的几十年和成千上万的研究人员都没有提出高温超导理论。"高温应该会破坏量子现象,"Bianconi 说,他决定研究这些材料的另一个奇怪特性:它们不是很规则。氧原子在其内部游荡,并在结冰时呈现随机位置。

"Everyone was looking at these materials as ordered and homogeneous,"said Bianconi.That is not the case–but neither,he found,was the position of oxygen atoms truly random.Instead,they assumed complex geometries,possessing a fractal form:A small part of the pattern resembles a larger part,which in turn resembles a larger part,and so on.

Bianconi :"每个人都认为这些材料是有序的、同质的。"。事实并非如此——但他发现,氧原子的位置也并非完全随机。相反,他们采用了复杂的几何形状,具有分形的形式:图案的一小部分类似于一个更大的部分,而这个部分又类似于一个更大的部分,等等。

"Such fractals are ubiquitous elsewhere in nature,"wrote Leiden University theoretical physicist Jan Zaanen in an accompanying commentary,but"it comes as a complete surprise that crystal defects can accomplish this feat."

莱顿大学的理论物理学家 Jan Zaanen 在随后的评论中写道:"这样的分形在自然界的其他地方无处不在,但是,晶体缺陷能够完成这样的壮举实在令人惊讶。"

If what Zaanen described as"surprisingly beautiful"patterns were all Bianconi found,the results would have been striking enough.But they appear to have a function.

如果所有 Bianconi 发现的都是 Zaanen 所描述的"惊人美丽"的图案,那么结果就足够惊人了。但它们似乎有一种功能。

In Bianconi's samples,larger fractals correlated with higher superconductivity temperatures.When the fractal disappeared at a distance of 180 micrometers,superconductivity appeared at 32 degrees Kelvin.When it vanished at 400 micrometers,conductivity went quantum at 42 degrees Kelvin.

Bianconi 的样本中,较大的分形与较高的超导现象温度相关。当分形在180微米处消失时,超导现象出现在32开尔文。当它在400微米处消失时,电导率在42开氏度变成了量子。

At-384 degrees Fahrenheit,that's still plenty cold,but it's heading towards the truly high-temperature superconductivity that Bianconi describes as"the dream"of his field,making possible miniature supercomputers that run at everyday temperatures.

在零下384华氏度,仍然很冷,但是它正朝着 Bianconi 描述为他研究领域的"梦想"的真正的高温超导前进,使在日常温度下运行的微型超级计算机成为可能。

However,while the arrangement of oxygen atoms appears to influence the quantum behaviors of electrons,neither Bianconi nor Zaanen have any idea how that could be.That fractal arrangements are seen in so many other systems–from leaf patterns to stock market fluctuations to the frequency of earthquakes–suggests some sort of common underlying laws,but these remain speculative.

然而,尽管氧原子的排列似乎影响了电子的量子行为,Bianconi Zaanen 都不知道这是怎么回事。从树叶图案到股市波动再到地震频率,在许多其他系统中都可以看到分形排列,这表明存在某种共同的潜在规律,但这些规律仍然是推测性的。

According to Zaanen,the closest mathematical description of superconductive behavior comes from something called"Anti de Sitter space/Conformal Field Theory correspondence,"a subset of string theory that attempts to describe the physics of black holes.

根据 Zaanen 的说法,对超导行为最接近的数学描述来自于一种叫做"de Sitter空间/共形场论对应"的东西,它是弦理论的一个子集,试图描述黑洞的物理学。

That's a dramatic connection.But as Zaanen wrote,"This fractal defect structure is astonishing,and there is nothing in the textbooks even hinting at an explanation."

这是一个戏剧性的联系。但正如 Zaanen 所写,"这种分形缺陷结构令人震惊,教科书中甚至没有任何解释暗示。"

Image:At left,the organization of oxygen atoms(blue dots)within the superconducting metal;at right,measurements of superconductivity temperature according to the distance(x-and y-axes)at which fractal organization was still evident./Nature.

图片:左边是超导金属中氧原子的组织结构(蓝点);右边是根据距离(x 轴和 y )测量的超导现象温度,在这个距离上分形结构仍然很明显。/自然。

See Also:

参见:

Citations:"Scale-free structural organization of oxygeninterstitials in La2CuO41+y."By Michela Fratini,Nicola Poccia,Alessandro Ricci,Gaetano Campi,Manfred Burghammer,Gabriel Aeppli&Antonio Bianconi.Nature,Vol.466 No.7308,August 12,2010.

引文:"La2CuO41+y 中氧气间隙的无标度结构组织"米凯拉·弗拉蒂尼,尼古拉·波奇亚,亚历桑德罗·里奇,加埃塔诺·卡姆皮,曼弗雷德·伯格哈默,加布里埃尔·艾普利和安东尼奥·比安科尼。自然,第一卷。466 no.7308August 12,2010.

"The benefit of fractal dirt."By Jan Zaanen.Nature,Vol.466 No.7308,August 12,2010.

"分形泥土的好处。"作者:Jan Zaanen。自然,第一卷。466 no.7308August 12,2010.

Brandon Keim's Twitter stream and reportorial outtakes;Wired Science on Twitter.Brandon is currently working on a book about ecological tipping points.

布兰登·凯姆的 Twitter 信息流和报道内容;连线科学在 Twitter 上。布兰登目前正在写一本关于生态临界点的书。

来源:https://www.wired.com/2010/08/superconductor-fractals/?fbclid=IwAR1338BBhoMgeaCL1rqY04JCpyURUlc0_chM1OZgh5i2w_EeBeTo5-tjZWk

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