IAS Gyan

Daily News Analysis


24th August, 2023 Science and Technology

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  • The recent discovery of a "demon particle" by researchers at the University of Illinois has sparked excitement in the realm of materials science.
  • This elusive particle holds the potential to revolutionize the field of superconductivity by enabling the development of superconductors that operate at room temperature, a long-sought-after goal.


The Quest for Room-Temperature Superconductors

Superconductors and Temperature

  • Superconductors are materials capable of conducting electricity without resistance, leading to efficient electrical transmission and other applications.
  • However, traditional superconductors require extremely low temperatures to exhibit this property, limiting their practical use.

Importance of Room-Temperature Superconductors

  • The discovery of materials that can achieve superconductivity at higher temperatures, particularly room temperature, has been a persistent goal in the scientific community.
  • Room-temperature superconductors could revolutionize fields like electronics, transportation, and medical imaging.

The Birth of the "Demon Particle"

David Pines' Prediction

  • The concept of the "demon particle" traces back to physicist David Pines' 1956 prediction.
  • Pines theorized that electrons passing through solid materials could exhibit unusual behavior under certain conditions.

Plasmons and Limitations

  • Ordinarily, electrons in solids combine into collective units called plasmons, resulting in a loss of their individual properties.
  • However, due to their significant mass, plasmons cannot form at energies corresponding to room temperature, limiting the potential for superconductivity.

Unveiling the Demon Particle

Unexpected Discovery

  • The recent discovery of the demon particle was made by a team of researchers led by Peter Abbamonte, a physics professor at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.
  • The researchers were initially investigating the electronic properties of strontium ruthenate, a material similar to high-temperature superconductors.

Oscillatory Behavior

  • The demon particle's uniqueness lies in its oscillatory behavior.
  • It consists of two electron bands that oscillate out of phase with nearly equal magnitude.

Implications and Future Prospects

Unlocking Room-Temperature Superconductors

  • The demon particle's property of forming at any energy level, including room temperature, has opened new possibilities for the development of room-temperature superconductors.
  • If harnessed, these materials could have a transformative impact on various technological applications.

Challenges and Further Research

  • While the discovery of the demon particle is a significant breakthrough, the path towards practical room-temperature superconductors remains challenging.
  • Researchers will need to unravel the complexities of this phenomenon and explore strategies to harness its potential.


The discovery of the demon particle marks a remarkable advancement in the pursuit of room-temperature superconductors. As researchers delve deeper into the fundamental properties of this elusive particle, they hold the key to unlocking revolutionary technological advancements that could reshape various industries and enhance our understanding of the intricate world of superconductivity.




Q. Discuss the significance of the recently discovered 'demon particle' in the context of superconductivity. How does its unique behavior offer the potential for the development of room-temperature superconductors? (250 Words)