Dec 10, 2016

Extremely Rare Quantum Spin Liquid Observed In Crystal Point

Posted by in categories: particle physics, quantum physics

Quantum spin liquid, a very rare state of matter, has been observed in a new crystal especially designed with the hopes of using its unique quantum properties.

The crystal, an ytterbium compound with the formula YbMgGaO4, was first synthesized by Chinese scientists for the first time in 2015. Now, in a new study published in the journal Nature, researchers from the United States suggest that the new material can produce a quantum spin liquid when frozen to temperatures near absolute zero. At present, only a few materials are believed to possess these properties.

“Imagine a state of matter where this entanglement doesn’t involve two electrons but involves, three, five, 10 or 10 billion particles all in the same system,” Martin Mourigal, lead physicist of the study, said in a press release by Georgia Tech. “You can create a very, very exotic state of matter based on the fact that all these particles are entangled with each other. There are no individual particles anymore, but one huge electron ensemble acting collectively,” he added.

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