Nickelate superconductors are intrinsically magnetic: Waves of magnetic excitation sweep through this exciting new material whether it’s in superconducting mode or not — another possible clue to how unconventional superconductors carry electric current with no loss

Scientists embedded elementary particles called muons into a many-layered nickel oxide superconductor to learn more about its magnetic properties. They discovered that waves of flip-flopping electron spins create magnetic excitations that sweep through the nickel layer of the compound whether it’s superconducting or not. This is in sharp contrast to what happens in the best-known family of unconventional superconductors, the cuprates, and offers another valuable clue to how these materials can carry electric current with no loss.

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