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KTH/Nordita/SU seminar in Theoretical Physics

The stripes of the high Tc superconductors

by Jan Zaanen (Leiden University)

FB41 ()


'Stripes' code for a peculiar electronic ordering phenomenon generic in doped Mott-insulator. After a long history of controversy these are now generally recognized as the main competitor of superconductivity in the cuprate superconductors. I will tell the story from a historical and subjective viewpoint: how it all started by an accidental discovery by a young theorist on a friday afernoon in 1987; how the idea inspired a brilliant experimentalist to start to dig in a place where nobody dared to go; how the stripes turned magically into guinea pigs for completely novel modes of experimentation to probe strongly interacting quantum matter, culminating in Abbamonte's synchrotron experiments and the Mott-maps of Davis et al.; why the idea of stripe quantum liquids is very much alive but still controversial; why one has to grasp some strange duality transformations in order to understand what has to be done in order to nail down these quantum stripes experimentally.