Scientists found a special "demon particle" with no mass in a material called strontium ruthenate. This discovery might help us understand superconductors better and improve technology, but we still need to study it more.
Scientists Have Discovered The Elusive 'Demon Particle' Decades After It Was First Predicted
A massless "demon particle" has been found by scientists, and it might be the final piece needed to make a significant advancement in knowledge.
Yep, that’s right, demons have been summoned. Well...kind of.
Nearly 70 years after it was initially predicted, scientists at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign have discovered a massless particle in the metal strontium ruthenate, which may develop at any temperature.
The 'devil' neutral plasmon, which would have no mass, no electric charge, wouldn't interact with light and would resolve the puzzle of how superconductors function, was initially proposed by physicist David Pine in 1956.
As a result, it is nicknamed demon.
To catch you up to speed, a superconductor is a specific metal or alloy used for trains and extremely accurate magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) devices that transport electrical currents without any resistance.
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Heike Kamerlingh Onnes and his team, according to CERN, made the discovery of them more than a century ago when they noticed that when mercury is cooled to the same temperature as liquid helium, which is minus 452 degrees Fahrenheit, its electrical resistance is zero.
A temperature below 100 degrees Fahrenheit (37 degrees Celsius) is necessary for superconductors to operate.
But with the development of a transparent, massless superconductor that could conduct electricity at room temperature, technology could undergo a revolution, giving rise to considerably more advanced computer systems.
It was a complete surprise, according to Peter Abbamonte, a professor of physics at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and the study's lead author.
“We weren’t even looking for it,” said Abbamonte in a press release. “But it turned out we were doing exactly the right thing, and we found it.”
He added: "The vast majority of experiments are done with light and measure optical properties, but being electrically neutral means that demons don't interact with light.”
"A completely different kind of experiment was needed."
Co-author of the study and former graduate student Ali Husain said: “At first, we had no idea what it was. Demons are not in the mainstream. The possibility came up early on, and we basically laughed it off. But, as we started ruling things out, we started to suspect that we had really found the demon."
According to the study's findings, which were published in Nature, additional research needs to be done on this neutral composite particle to understand how it actually functions.
It's like they found a mysterious new tool and now they want to understand how to use it properly.
The discovery of the demon particle is like finding a hidden treasure in the world of science. It's a tiny thing that might have a huge impact on our lives, from making better electronics to uncovering more secrets of the universe.