Good explanation of bad

Bad metals have trouble carrying an electrical current but can nevertheless become "high-temperature" superconductors under the right conditions. Michael Lawler and colleagues at Binghamton University have now come up with an explanation based on the analysis of previously accrued data on cuprate superconductors. They explain, in the current issue of the journal Science, how liquid crystal phenomena appear active in these materials. Their theory explains the "pseudogap phenomenon", the vanishing of the low-energy electronic excitations in high-temperature superconductors. "In a problem that has gone unsolved for more than 20 years, it is remarkable to find a connection between theory and experiment at this level," Lawler said.