Let me put things into perspective by comparing with other applications of string theory. Nowadays review papers written by cosmologists about inflation models often discuss string theory scenarios such as brane inflation, among other non-stringy models. Also you often hear about heavy-ion theorists and experimentalists talking about the AdS/CFT bound on QGP viscosity. However, the AdS/CFT approach to high-Tc superconductors, while hailed as a major new achievement of string theory and heavily cited within string theory circles, seems to have received little citation from the condensed matter community. Hardly any physicist with a traditional background in high-Tc superconductors have made references to AdS/CFT in their publications.
I find this situation to be a bit peculiar. Why do you think this is the case? Does this situation have any implication for the long-term promise of this research field?
While being a complete outsider, I'd like to venture some guesses to this question. Please tell me whether they sound sensible: 1) Condensed matter physicists already had several theories that more or less explain the essential features of high-Tc, so AdS/CFT is not seen as a gift from God. What they really want is a "recipe" for room-temperature superconductors, but AdS/CFT hasn't provided this. 2) AdS/CFT currently only deals with toy models rather than realistic condensed matter systems, so people whose research interest lies firmly in real-world phenomenology see AdS/CFT as worthless. 3) Due to very different training, condensed matter physicists simply don't understand this research program.
What do you think?