Physicists propose explanation for metals behaving badly

( —One of the defining properties of metals is that, the hotter the metal, the worse it conducts electricity. But while most metals obey this inverse relationship between temperature and conductivity in a straightforward way as predicted by theory, other metals do not. At high temperatures, the electrons in these so-called “bad metals” ought to violate Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle so that the metals no longer conduct electricity. However, experiments have shown that these metals do continue to conduct electricity at high temperatures. The failure of current models to explain this behavior is a central problem in condensed matter physics, a field that deals with understanding the physical properties of materials.

from Physics News

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