Unusual quantum state of matter observed for the first time

In the field of science, quantum physics, devoted to describing the behavior of atoms and subatomic particles in order to elucidate their properties, it is not every day that someone encounters new states of matter. Yet that’s exactly what an international team of researchers including University of Montreal (UdeM) physics professor Andrea Bianchi and his students Avner Fitterman and Jeremi Dudemaine have done. In a paper recently published in the scientific journal Physical Review X, the researchers documented the “quantum spin liquid ground state” of Ce2Zr2O7, a magnetic material made in Bianchi’s lab, a compound composed of cerium, zirconium and oxygen compounds. In quantum physics, spin is an internal property of an electron that is related to rotation. It is the spin that makes the material in the magnet magnetic. Ce2Zr2O7 is a magnetic cerium-based material. “The existence of this compound is known,” Bianchi said. “Our breakthrough was in creating it in a uniquely pure form. We used a sample melted in an optical furnace to generate a near-perfect triangular arrangement of atoms, and then examined the quantum state. “It was this near-perfect triangle that allowed Bianchi and his team to create magnetic frustration in Ce2Zr2O7. Working with McMaster and researchers at Colorado State University, Los Alamos National Laboratory, and the Max Planck Institute for Physics of Complex Systems in Dresden, Germany, they measured the compound’s magnetic diffusion ( magnetic diffusion). “Our measurements show overlapping particle functions — and therefore no Bragg peaks — a clear sign of the absence of classical magnetic order,” Bianchi said. “We also observed a spin distribution that fluctuates continuously in direction, This is characteristic of spin liquids and magnetoresistance. This suggests that the material we created behaves like a true spin liquid at low temperatures.” After confirming these observations with computer simulations, the team concluded that they did Witness an unprecedented quantum state.

This article is reprinted from: https://www.solidot.org/story?sid=71516
This site is for inclusion only, and the copyright belongs to the original author.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.