So-called “strange metals” do not behave in ways typical to other metals when they are heated or cooled, deviating from the usual rules of physics.Scientists have discovered a new “strange metal” with a behaviour they do not seem to understand. The moment occurred when looking into bosonic systems, where such behaviour had not been spotted before.The new research was published in Nature on Wednesday, titled “Signatures of a strange metal in a bosonic system”. The scientists discovered a never-before-seen type of metal behaviour in the system, where an electrical charge is not carried by electrons, as usual, but by so-called Cooper pairs.Cooper pairs are bosons — particular kinds of subatomic particles. Electrons are fermions, another kind of such particles.
“We have these two fundamentally different types of particles whose behaviours converge around a mystery”, Jim Valles, a professor of physics at Brown and an author of the new study, said, as cited by The Independent. “What this says is that any theory to explain strange metal behaviour can’t be specific to either type of particle. It needs to be more fundamental than that”.The new research could open the door to solving a mystery that has been troubling scientists for almost three decades, since cuprates — a class of materials that tend to behave in ways different to other metals — were discovered.These “strange materials” do not appear to display the same characteristics as other other metals when they are heated. Normally, their resistance goes up until the point when it becomes constant. Cuprates, however, do not follow these rules, and scientists are still struggling to figure out why.