An account is given of the main steps that led the research group in Rome, to which the author belongs, to the formulation of the charge-density-wave scenario for high-
superconducting cuprates. The early finding of the generic tendency of strongly correlated electron systems with short range interactions to undergo electron phase separation was subsequently contrasted with the homogenizing effect of the long-range Coulomb interaction. The two effects can find a compromise in the formation of incommensurate charge density waves. These charge density waves are inherently dynamical and are overdamped as a consequence of the possibility to decay in electron-hole pairs, yet tend to maintain a (quantum) critical character, which is mirrored in their marked momentum and frequency dependence and in their strong variation with temperature and doping. These dynamical incommensurate charge density waves act as mediators of pairing lading to high-
superconductivity, and provide the scattering mechanism that produces the observed violation of the Fermi-liquid paradigm in the metallic phase.
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