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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.