Scientific discoveries continually improve and shape the foundations of our daily lives. This has again proven true with the discovery of a new metal that allows electrons to flow like liquid filtered through a pipe. Atoms typically move in metal by loose electrons also known as free electrons that group together to form negative charges near the positive charges. In a new study, done by experimental physicists at Boston College, the goal was to find out how electrons can move like liquid inside of a new superconductor called Ditetrelide (NbGe2). It was found that interactions with phonons, small “particles” of heat or vibrational energy, can cause drastic shifts. The new metal is a combination of Germanium and Niobium. It was also noted that with this liquid metal combination, the laws of hydrodynamics could still be obeyed. By interacting with these phonons, the electron-phonon liquid can be created.
Three different methods were used to study the metal to give it a more scientific breakdown. Electrical resistance testing was able to display high mass electrons. Raman scattering showed different levels of vibration in the Ditetrelide (NbGe2) due to the differential flow in the electrons. The final method was x-ray diffraction showing in detail the structure of the metal. With further experimentation, the electron mass was found to be three times larger than initially predicted. Sometime soon, it is hoped that Ditetrelide (NbGe2) can be used in new medical devices, including portable patches.
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