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Nov 12, 2020

Physicists Devise a Brilliant Way to Make And Observe Elusive Electron Crystals

Posted by in category: particle physics

In 1934, theoretical physicist Eugene Wigner proposed a new type of crystal.

If the density of negatively charged electrons could be maintained below a certain level, the subatomic particles could be held in a repeating pattern to create a crystal of electrons; this idea came to be known as a Wigner crystal.

The first time a Wigner crystal was experimentally observed was in 1979, when researchers measured an electron-liquid to electron-crystal phase transition using helium; since then, such crystals have been detected numerous times.

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