The study of superconductivity has continuously fascinated physicists, with totally unpredicted discoveries which have repeatedly shattered the world of physics. One of the most remarkable of these discoveries was "high temperature superconductivity" in Copper Oxydes- or cuprate superconductors, which is so unusual since it occurs close to an insulating and magnetic phases, two states of matter that superconductivity is supposed to strongly "dislike". Although the explanation for superconductivity in these compound remains a mystery after more than thirty years of research, the very intense experimental and theoretical effort in this domain has led to new theoretical concepts and huge progresses in experimental techniques, that have been fecund for other fields. We can cite, for example, the use of NMR for medical purposes with the development of the IRM scanning technique.
Another application of superconductivity is for the most sought for quantum computer, where superconductivity, and especially topological superconductivity is one of the best candidate platforms for coherent Q Bits. A more recent event was the discovery of anomalous superconductivity in iron pnictides, which has focused the attention of the community on the role of bad metallicity, electron correlations and proximity to magnetic and nematic orders in promoting superconductivity.
The last two years has witnessed unexpected and truly amazing discoveries, which have taken the field by storm. First, superconductivity was found in bi layer- graphene, in which strong correlations are produced through twisting the graphene layers by magic angles. Second, 2D superconductivity was found in single layers of metal transition dichalcogenides in presence of strong Ising spin-orbit coupling. Then there were a variety of compounds under pressure, which showed unheard-of critical temperatures, up to 300 degrees Kelvin for Hydrogen under pressure. Only weeks ago, a new setting of superconductivity has been reported, this time in Nickelates which could reveal new families and overhanging the cuprates. The Holy Grail, which is the quest for a room temperature superconductor, has not been reached yet, but… it has never seemed so close. Superconductivity, one of the most fascinating quantum phenomenon, has not stopped surprising us!
The proposed summer school is part of a series of prior schools, organized in the framework of the Institute of Complex Adaptive Matter (ICAM), including those that took place at IESC. All have been extremely successful and important for young researchers in the field and several of them have concerned the study of superconductivity. At the same time, the proposed school is distinguished from the earlier schools by the emphasis on the unifying themes that cut across the disparate materials classes, and by showcasing the brand new materials mentioned above.
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