[Seminar] 30 years of Philip Anderson's RVB theory of high Tc superconductivity in cuprates: is it still relevant today?
30 years of Philip Anderson's RVB theory of high Tc superconductivity in cuprates: is it still relevant today?
Prof. James Annett, HH Wills Physics Laboratory, University of Bristol, UK
In January 1987 Philip W Anderson (December 13, 1923 – March 29, 2020) published one of the most controversial and influential papers in the history of superconductivity. Now cited over 6000 times, the paper introduced the Resonating Valence Bond theory, or RVB, of superconductivity as an explanation of the then very recently discovered 30K superconductivity in the doped quantum, antiferromagnet La_2-xBa_xCuO_4. The core idea is that the stong antiferromagnetic exchange interaction combined with doping leads to a novel two-dimensional quantum spin liquid of the Cu spins, in which neighbouring spins form a liquid of fluctuating singlet pairs. Doped holes move through this novel quantum spin liquid as charged bosonic 'holons' which condense into a superfluid explaining high Tc superconductivity. While several aspects of the original idea have been now proved incorrect, the ideas in the theory were highly influential in developing new models of superconductivity in strongly correlated electron systems which do not involve electron-phonon interactions. In this talk I shall review the ideas in the RVB and its successors and try to show which aspects of the original idea remain valid and useful after over 30 years of research into cuprate high Tc superconductivity.
 PW Anderson, Science 235 1191 (1987)
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