Just last month, an Oak Ridge National Laboratory team offered evidence that magnetic resonance was a more likely candidate than phonons as the mechanism behind high-temperature superconducting. But now a research team at Cornell University (Ithaca, N.Y.) has countered that careful characterization at the atomic scale reveals that the mechanism causing high-temperature superconducting may be phonons after all. Since the discovery of high-temperature superconducting materials, no one has convincingly explained why they work. Low-temperature superconducting is caused by a boson mode—a phonon—that interacts with electrons. But electron-phonon interaction in high-temperature superconductors has been elusive to observe, giving rise to the magnetic-resonance hypothesis. If the mechanism that enables high-temperature superconducting can be quantified, then designers worldwide could craft materials that eventually would enable room-temperature superconductivity.