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A muon, center, spins like a top within the atomic lattice of a thin film of superconducting nickelate. These elementary particles can sense the magnetic field created by the spins of electrons up to a billionth of a meter away. By embedding muons in four nickelate compounds at the Paul Scherrer Institute in Switzerland, researchers at SLAC and Stanford discovered that the nickelates they tested host magnetic excitations whether they’re in their superconducting states or not – another clue in the long quest to understand how unconventional superconductors can conduct electric current with no loss.
Jennifer Fowlie/SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory
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