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Jan 13, 2021

Physicists Detect Tantalising Hints of a “Fundamentally New Form of Quantum Matter”

Posted by in categories: particle physics, quantum physics

Metals and insulators are the yin and yang of physics, their respective material properties strictly dictated by their electrons’ mobility — metals should conduct electrons freely, while insulators keep them in place.

So when physicists from Princeton University in the US found a quantum quirk of metals bouncing around inside an insulating compound, they were lost for an explanation.

We’ll need to wait on further studies to find out exactly what’s going on. But one tantalising possibility is that a previously unseen particle is at work, one that represents neutral ground in electron behaviour. They’re calling it a ‘neutral fermion’.

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