As a physicist studying cuprates, I would caution that many of the strongest claims in the Quanta article are basically clickbait, especially the title of the article, and the notion that this experiment has solved the problem "to nearly everyone's satisfaction".

The actual experiment and resulting paper [0] on the other hand are very good work, and may very well be right, but a substantial amount more work will be needed to determine how much of the rather unusual phenomenology of the cuprates is well-explained by superexchange interactions. I guess even more work will be needed to convince the majority of the field that this the right model for the cuprates, as opposed to any of the very many other models that have been proposed and studied in the past few decades. In particular:

- High temperature superconductivity is not the only strange thing about the cuprates. The normal state (i.e. above the superconducting transition temperature) also has some rather unusual properties that are the subject of much of the current research. Some of these properties can probably be explained as arising from superexchange interactions, but I expect not all of them can.

- BSCCO is one of quite a large family of cuprate compounds. In this case, it was almost certainly chosen because it cleaves easily, producing nice surfaces which are necessary for this type of experiment. On the other hand, it is quite structurally complicated, and in some sense "messy" compared to many of the other commonly-studied compounds. This is actually taken advantage of for the experiment discussed here, but it would be interesting (if possible) to see if a similar result can be replicated in any of the other cuprates.

Anyway, this is quite an interesting experiment, but I'm somewhat dissapointed in the Quanta article for such sensationalistic reporting. I suppose that's to be expected for a popular science article.

[0] https://www.pnas.org/doi/10.1073/pnas.2207449119

It's like ties in a railroad track, if you find a stride that matches an integer multiple of the tie distance you can run like it was normal ground.

The natural "stride" of an electron might be more than 2.6 nanometers. It could be they swing side to side a bit if the distance isn't quite right.

Some experimentation is now in order.

2.6 Nanometers is about 5 atoms of silicon between peaks.

I'm trying to find out the size of the cell created between sheets of graphene at the "magic angle" of 1.56 degrees.

It may be that you simply need to construct the right geometry between nodes to get superconductivity.

Regardless of the underlying quantum mechanics, there's a large opening for experimental physics here. Are there edge effects, what about grain boundaries, etc.

I assume this is already being done, but I've had the following idea kicking around for a while:

Create a simulation, down to the quantum states, of a lattice of molecules at a certain simulated temperature (say, room temperature), and induce a simulated current through the lattice, and see if it superconducts. Proceed by iterating through billions of permutations of compounds in the simulated lattice, until the simulation finds a room-temperature superconductor.

Assuming this is feasible, does anyone know of organizations that are doing this?

It’s stories like these that keep me interested in physics