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Scicomm Science

65 years of the BCS theory

Thanks to an arithmetic mistake, I thought 2022 was the 75th anniversary of the invention (or discovery?) of the BCS theory of superconductivity. It’s really the 65th anniversary, but since I’d worked myself up to write about it, I’m going to. 🤷🏽‍♂️ It also helps that the theory is a remarkable fact of nature that make […]

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Scicomm

Physicists observe long-expected helium superfluid phase

Physicists have reported that they have finally observed helium 3 existing in a long-predicted type of superfluid, called the ß phase. This is an important discovery, if it’s borne out, for reasons that partly have to do with its isotope, helium 4. Helium 4 is a fascinating substance because the helium 4 atom is a boson – […]

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Scicomm

The imperfection of strontium titanate

When you squeeze some crystals, you distort their lattice of atoms just enough to separate a pair of charged particles and that in turn gives rise to a voltage. Such materials are called piezoelectric crystals. Not all crystals are piezoelectric because the property depends on what the arrangement of atoms in the lattice is. For […]

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Life notes Science

The science in Netflix’s ‘Spectral’

It’s fun to think about the implications of a film’s antagonists being modelled after a phenomenon I’ve often read/written about but never thought about that way.