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Magnetism piece fits no-resistance puzzle

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12:55pm, March 12, 2002

Physicists hotly debate why certain copper oxide crystals can conduct electricity without resistance, or superconduct, at temperatures far higher than conventional superconductors can.

Now, a German-French-Russian team led by Bernhard Keimer of the Max Planck Institute for Solid State Research in Stuttgart, Germany, reports crucial evidence that a magnetic feature of the copper oxide plays a role.

Many atoms have a magnetic property called spin, which makes them behave as tiny bar magnets.

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