Einstein's theory applied to superconducting circuits

Jun 10, 2011

In recent years, UC Santa Barbara scientists showed that they could reproduce a basic superconductor using Einstein's general theory of relativity. Now, using the same theory, they have demonstrated that the Josephson junction could be reproduced. The results are explained in a recent issue of the journal Physical Review Letters.

The Josephson junction, a device that was first discovered by Brian David Josephson in the early 1960s, is a main ingredient in applications of superconductivity.

Gary Horowitz, professor of at UC Santa Barbara, said that Einstein's — which was developed as a theory of gravity and is extremely successful in explaining a wide variety of gravitational phenomena — now is being used to explain several aspects of non-gravitational physics.

"The basic phenomenon with Josephson junctions is that you can take two superconductors, separate them by a little gap, and still find current going across it, in a specific way," said Horowitz. "And that has found many applications. So the Josephson junction is something we've reproduced using general ."

Horowitz said that he and his co-authors used tools from string theory to develop the gravity model of a superconductor. He explained that it was surprising to be able to link Einstein's general to a totally different area of physics. He said he hoped that the new tools would one day be able to shed light on new types of superconductors.

"Most materials, if you cool them down sufficiently, will actually conduct electricity without any resistance," said Horowitz. "These are superconductors. There is a standard theory of superconductivity, discovered about 50 years ago, that has worked well for most of the so-called conventional superconductors."

A new class of materials was discovered 25 years ago. These are superconductors that have zero resistance at somewhat higher temperatures. Physicists are still working on understanding the mechanism.

This new class of materials involves copper-oxygen planes. Another new class of , based on iron instead of copper, was discovered a couple of years ago. These materials, called iron nictides, also have the property of superconducting at a higher temperature.

"There is a lot of activity and interest in understanding these materials," said Horowitz. "Ultimately, the goal is to have a room-temperature superconductor, which, you can imagine, would have lots of interesting applications."

Horowitz and his research team found what could be called a gravitational model, or a gravitational dual — a dual description of a superconductor using gravity, black holes, and all of the traditional ingredients of general relativity. "This came as quite a surprise because this is a totally different area of physics, which is now being connected to this condensed matter area," said Horowitz.

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Provided by UC Santa Barbara

4.4 /5 (9 votes)

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User comments : 16

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bugmenot23
5 / 5 (2) Jun 10, 2011
So... what is the GRT explanation of superconductivity?
jscroft
3.4 / 5 (5) Jun 10, 2011
A connection between General Relativity and the atomic scale? This may merit more attention than it is getting.
Aranea_hirsuta
5 / 5 (2) Jun 10, 2011
"A connection between General Relativity and the atomic scale? This may merit more attention than it is getting."

Agreed. I am interested in seeing if their are time harmonic, localized eigenmetrics of the Einstein field equation. Sort of analogous to the solitons of nonlinear optics.
Yogaman
5 / 5 (5) Jun 10, 2011
@bugmenot23: The original press release:
http://www.ia.ucs...key=2509

has a graph that provides a little more information, but this paper:
http://arxiv.org/...22v2.pdf

probably has more of an answer to your inquiry.

d_robison
not rated yet Jun 10, 2011
"A connection between General Relativity and the atomic scale? This may merit more attention than it is getting."

Agreed. I am interested in seeing if their are time harmonic, localized eigenmetrics of the Einstein field equation. Sort of analogous to the solitons of nonlinear optics.


Wish there was a "like" or "agree" button, 5/5 will do though.
Shootist
1 / 5 (1) Jun 10, 2011
A connection between General Relativity and the atomic scale? This may merit more attention than it is getting.


I cannot claim to be able to do the math, but, I'm told, Heim Theory is an extension of GR, not of QM. It predicts the rest mass of all known particles (and some unknown...). No other theory does that (I'm told).

If that isn't a GR connection to the atomic scale . . . ?
dirk_bruere
1 / 5 (1) Jun 10, 2011
Podkletnov, Ning Li...?
hush1
1.8 / 5 (5) Jun 10, 2011
"...we fixed the gravitational background which implicitly
breaks translation invariance."

Pesky invariance. Let's break it. Otherwise symmetry breaking can't be held responsible for super conduction.

Of course, Gary is not interested. And no one else either.
Interested in what? Making sense.
thingumbobesquire
1 / 5 (1) Jun 11, 2011
'Tis too bad that really excellent research goes unnoticed here...But I will bring you attention to it myself dear ad hoc quibblers: http://arxiv.org/...70v1.pdf
TomSullivan
1 / 5 (1) Jun 11, 2011
Einstein's theories will be found to have relevance in all facets of Physics. If mass is looked at as a two-dimensional entity, Newton's equation for gravity becomes Einstein's equation for energy. In the advent that these two equations can be represented in three or more dimensions by a facet of string theory, that single equation may apply to all that there is!
© Copyright 2011 Thomas A. Sullivan
Aranea_hirsuta
not rated yet Jun 11, 2011
"'Tis too bad that really excellent research goes unnoticed here...But I will bring you attention to it myself dear ad hoc quibblers: http://arxiv.org/...70v1.pdf"

Thanks for the link. The paper's observations do make sense on some level though. Just as electron orbits can be perturbed by externally-applied potentials, one would expect that the particles (fundamental ones as well as isotopes) would be affected to some degree by the surrounding mass and energy flux distribution. If the decay rates can be affected, would the observable mass also vary as well?
hush1
1 / 5 (1) Jun 11, 2011
Einstein's theories will be found to have relevance in all facets of Physics. - TS


The demand, "No prior geometry" was not fulfilled by Einstein.
String Theory relies on symmetry. Symmetry relies on geometry.

A for effort.
orgon
1 / 5 (3) Jun 13, 2011
what is the GRT explanation of superconductivity?
At first, you can read an intro to holographic model of superconductors here. http://arxiv.org/abs/1002.1722

If you still didn't understand, how the holographic model works, well, there's an analogy of it from aether physics. In my theory the superconductivity arises, when many electrons gets compressed, so that their repulsive forces overlap and compensate mutually. You can arrange a simulation of massive particles (like the electrons), which are repulsing mutually. What will happen, if we add a sufficient number of particles into it?

Well, the particles will get crushed with their gravity into dense artifact, which is analogous the black hole. The energy between particles is spreading there along their density fluctuations in transverse waves, i.e. in similar way, like the light is spreading through vacuum. From this analogy follows the insight, Universe is formed with interior of black hole.
orgon
1 / 5 (3) Jun 13, 2011
From perspective of solid state physics it means, the charge of electrons is not propagating with their mutual collisions, but in fast waves, which don't interact with their environment - i.e. like the superconductor.

In brief, general relativity cannot explain, why superconductivity arises (because the forces between electrons in superconductor aren't gravitational but Coulombic ones) - but it can still bring the insight into geometry of energy spreading inside of dense clouds of compressed electrons around hole stripes within superconductor. IMO this analogy is ad-hoced and it still holds water without particle model on mind - but it's another story: mainstream physics avoids the notion of aether model, whenever possible.
Ethelred
not rated yet Jun 15, 2011
orgon is YET ANOTHER incarnation of ZephyAWITBS

While he has not upranked himself as rawa1 with his orgon sockpuppet he HAS upranked himself as orgon with the rawa1 sockpuppet.

Which means he still has ALL the bad habits that has made him an infamous pest on the site.

Ethelred
hush1
1 / 5 (1) Jun 18, 2011
@Ethelred
Find something that explains humans.

What they are and what they do.

For example:
Input--->Association---->Output
What is God?
Input--->Association---->Output
What is Aether Theory?
Input--->Association---->Output
What is Life? What is Death?
Input--->Association---->Output
What is TOE? What is GUT?
Input--->Association---->Output
What is consciousness?
Input--->Association---->Output
What is infinite? What is math?
Input--->Association---->Output
What is Everything? What is Nothing?
Input--->Association---->Output

And so on. Ad infinitum.
If this is ego centric, simply expand both sides:
...=Output<=>Input<=>Association<=>Output<=>...

If this is circular, use something to stop loops.

I believe there is no shortage of input.
Or associations. No one considers being human as being short of imagination or reality(associations)

Ranking commentators?. I avoid this as much as possible.