Superconductors go fractal

Superconductors go fractal

Oxygen atoms arrange themselves in a self-similar pattern

By Laura Sanders, 12:40 PM August 11, 2010

A new experiment using powerful X-ray beams has found a surprising pattern lurking in a superconductor, a material that conducts electricity without energy-sapping resistance. In a particular kind of superconductor, oxygen atoms are physically arranged as a fractal, showing the same pattern at small and large scales. 

Fractals have been spotted in places as diverse as broccoli, England’s coastline and financial markets. Here, the fractal pattern boosts the efficiency of the superconductor,...

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