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Anomalous metals-failed superconductors

Boris Spivak, University of Washington
Thursday, May 10, 2018 - 12:30pm to 1:30pm
PAT C-520

The
observation of metallic ground states in a variety of two-dimensional
electronic systems poses a fundamental challenge for the theory of electron
fluids. I will analyze evidence for the existence of a regime, which we call
the “anomalous metal regime," in diverse 2D superconducting systems driven
through a quantum superconductor to metal transition by tuning physical
parameters. The principal phenomenological observation is that in the anomalous
metal, as a function of decreasing temperature, the resistivity first drops as
if the system were approaching a superconducting ground state, but then
saturates at low temperatures to a value that can be orders of magnitude
smaller than the Drude value. The anomalous metal also shows a giant positive
magneto-resistance. I will argue theoretically that as a matter of
principle such anomalous metallic behavior can occur in the neighborhood of a
quantum superconductor-metal transition. However, I will also argue that the
robustness and ubiquitous nature of the observed phenomena are difficult to
reconcile with any existing theoretical treatment, and speculate about the
character of a more fundamental theoretical framework.

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