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High temperature Superconductors: Cuprates

  1. Dec 23, 2016 #1
    Hi everyone, I am about to finish my PhD and need to start thinking about trying to move somewhere else. One line of research that caughts my attention is that of the cuprates, and the study of their phase diagram. I would like to know if someone can suggest a very recent book or review article where all aspects of the theory of these compounds till date are collected, thanks!
     
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  3. Dec 27, 2016 #2

    Bystander

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  4. Dec 28, 2016 #3
    Search through "Modern Review of Physics". You aren't going to find one paper that captures all the areas of the cuprates. The subject is just to broad.
     
  5. Jan 3, 2017 #4
    Phil anderson recently posted to arxiv an interesting writeup on high Tcs. I thought it was a pretty curious and an interesting read, for an outsider at least:
    "Last words on the cuprates"
    https://arxiv.org/ftp/arxiv/papers/1612/1612.03919.pdf

    I assume you are looking for postdocs then, if you are finishing your PhD? As hinted by the above post, the high TC field is immense and deep. I have heard from many colleagues that it can be difficult to get into if you didn't do your PhD in it. I guess where it can make sense is if your PhD is in a characterization technique that is applicable to high TCs: STM, ARPES, high field transport, etc. Then you will be using the same techniques but applying to a new problem which hopefully a new adviser will direct you towards.
     
  6. Jan 4, 2017 #5

    ZapperZ

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    I was hoping that the OP would have come back and responded with a bit more on this. The original question, as posted, is a bit vague. For example, what exactly did the OP graduated in? What area of physics, and was it experimental or theoretical?

    I did my PhD and postdoc studying these cuprates superconductors. They were hot, as in lots of funding, in the 90's. But as with many things, the "fad" has moved on. While there are still research work being done in this area, they are not as many and as intense as I remembered it.

    Because of this, one needs to spread one's net a bit wider. Rather than focus on the material, in this case, high-Tc superconductor, see whether there is a more general physics problem that encompasses a larger family of material, including these superconductors. If one is an experimentalist, see whether there is an experimental technique or a family of techniques that are being used to study certain characteristics of materials that can be adapted to the high-Tc superconductors. I studied tunneling and ARPES, and these two are useful to study a lot of materials, including these superconductors. The technique is independent of the material, and to some extent, rather immune to what is hot and fashionable at a given time. I may have used ARPES to study the band structure of high-Tc superconductors, but now I'm using my expertise in photoemission to study the physics of photocathodes for particle accelerators. To some degree, one should not be attached to a particular material too much, because that can change very quickly. Rather, the more general "principal" or technique is more important and more adaptable to changing situations.

    Zz.
     
  7. Jan 9, 2017 #6

    radium

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    I would take definitely Anderson's paper with a grain of salt. I hear he is a very opinionated person and seems to be pretty dismissive of a lot of work done by very really reputable people in the field.
     
  8. Jan 10, 2017 #7
    Hi, thank you all for the replies, Im sorry I didnt find time to reply sooner. As someone has pointed out above, it would have been useful to say my background and explain a bit more my situation. I am towards the end of my PhD and yes, I am starting to look for postdocs. My field of research is theoretical condensed matter physics, in particular strongly correlated electrons. However, I have reached a point where I have the feeling that my supervisor is not that motivated with the project anymore, and few new things are coming out from it. The situation is quite delicate, since finding a postdoc is not an easy task I would say, moreover when after 2 years of PhD I still have no publications (I have written a draft we plan to publish,but it has been months since then). The post was just to know what is the current research activity of this part of the field, but that doesnt mean that necessarily it is the only option I manage. I believe the knowledge after doing a PhD is very limited, so switching to another branch of the field (or even to another field) is something you cant just ignore.

    Thanks for the replies, and if you have any tips for my situation, how could I improve my chances to get a position, please let me know, I would really appreciate it
     
  9. Jan 11, 2017 #8

    ZapperZ

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    You might be going about this the wrong way. You shouldn't pick a specific area of study to go into. Rather, you look at what you can do, and then canvas ALL available openings and see which one you might qualify. This is not a time to be finicky about going into such-and-such a field. You already have a slight disadvantage because you are doing theoretical physics, even in condensed matter, and with no publication yet (?!!). The last thing you want to do is handicap yourself even more by picking on a subject area that already have moved on and past its prime. I'm not saying that it is still not important (I'm still working on it in my periphery), or no work being done on it, but the golden days of High-Tc superconductivity funding ended in the late 1990's.

    Your immediate concern right now, if I were you, is the fact that you don't have a publication just yet. Have you presented at any conferences on your work? How will you compete with other postdoc candidates that may have one, or more, publications than you? You have a lot more pressing matters to deal with right now than figuring out the possible topics of interest in High-Tc superconductivity.

    Zz.
     
  10. Jan 11, 2017 #9
    Thanks for the advice, firstly I have to say that the lack of publications can depend on too many factors, being the most relevant your supervisor. Publishing too many papers doesnt necessariy mean that your research is of better quality of someone that, lets say, has published only one. I know it is important to get a position as postdoc to have something published, moreover in a very competitive field like condensed matter theory.

    Secondly, the post was just asking about an specific interest because I've always been interested on it, that doesnt mean I am only applying or looking for posts specifically on that: broadly, I would say anything in many-body quantum physics has interest to me. But I just wanted to see if I could get a taste about the current situation of this speciality of the field.

    About switching fields, is not that I am considering switching, mostly everything related to theoretical physics or mathematical modelling is of interest to me (that doesnt mean I know about everything, understand what I say). I easily get motivated with a project that requires some intellectual effort and analytic habilities within a mathematical base, in my opinion that is what science should be about: if your research is good enough, results will come out by themselves, and we shouldnt forget about luck, playing also an important role (i.e if you are about to publish something and someone else's suddenly publishes a very similar paper, that has happened to me during my PhD).

    Anyway, thank you for the reply, any more advices are welcome!
     
  11. Jan 11, 2017 #10

    ZapperZ

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    I'm not telling you to be a paper factory. However, not having even one by the time you graduate is a major problem. Unless you have a Nobel Prize laureate as an advisor, your name is not known, and you will be competing against those who have published, and may have a more prestigious "pedegree". These are obstacles that are hard to overcome. Again, I don't know if you've been to any conferences, or have interacted with other theory graduate students in your field (and not just within your institution). I'm sure you've heard of a few of their names, especially if they've published and/or presented their work at conferences. When it is time to select a candidate for a postdoc position, you'd be surprised how significant name recognition can be. Do you think you will have established your name in some way by the time you graduate?

    I know quite a bit about "switching fields". Not only did I change experimental field area when going from my PhD to my postdoc (tunneling spectroscopy to ARPES), but I also switched physics fields completely from my postdoc to my professional career (condensed matter to accelerator physics). It is why I emphasize quite a bit on here, and in most of my advice to students, to pay closer attention to the skills and technique rather than the specific areas. I've seen how the technique of trying to measure the self-energy of the many-body effects of a material near the Fermi energy somehow has a significant relevance in trying to minimize the electron beam emittance out of the photoinjector in a FEL.

    It is the technique and knowledge that are the utmost importance, not the area of study, as far as getting employed is concerned.

    Zz.
     
  12. Jan 12, 2017 #11

    radium

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    Getting a postdoc in condensed matter theory is very competitive, usually people will have published several good papers. It sounds like are not really switching fields, I know lots of theorists who work in several different areas, and a lot of research is motivated by the cuprates even though it is not directly related.
     
  13. Jan 27, 2017 #12
    Also consider he wrote an entire book on a theory that is wrong.
     
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