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Unconventional Superconductor Needs Helium as Coolant

Elena Hassinger’s experiments create surroundings that are colder than outer space. Last year, the expert in low-temperature physics and her colleagues succeeded in discovering the unconventional superconductor CeRh₂As₂, a quantum material which exhibits two superconducting states. To carry out the experiment, the superconductor must be cooled to temperatures below those that can be found in outer space, for which a cryostat is used in which the gases helium-3 and helium-4 circulate in a complex circuit bringing the temperature close to absolute zero (0 kelvin).

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