Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Electrons moving in a magnetic field exhibit strange quantum behavior

08.08.2014

The dynamic behavior of electrons in magnetic fields is crucial for understanding physical processes, such as the quantum Hall effect, which are important in many areas of solid state physics, including electrical conductivity. Yet, there is much that remains unknown about exactly how electrons behave in a magnetic field.

In research published today in Nature Communications, researchers Franco Nori and Konstantin Bliokh from the RIKEN Center for Emergent Matter Science in Japan, in collaboration with an experimental team in Austria, have made the first direct observations of free-electron Landau states—a form of quantized states that electrons adopt when moving through a magnetic field—and found that the internal rotational dynamics of quantum electrons, or how they move through the field, is surprisingly different from the classical model, and in line with recent quantum-mechanical predictions made at RIKEN.

The experimental team used a transmission electron microscope to generate nanometer-sized electron vortex beams in which the electrons had a variety of quantum angular-momentum states, and then analyzed the beam propagation to reconstruct the rotational dynamics of the electrons in different Landau states.

According to classical physics, the electrons should rotate uniformly at what is called the cyclotron frequency, the frequency adopted by a charged particle moving through a magnetic field.

Remarkably, what the researchers discovered is that in fact, depending on the quantum number describing the angular momentum, the electrons rotated in three different ways with zero frequency, the cyclotron frequency, and the Larmor frequency, which is half the cyclotron frequency.

This shows that the rotational dynamics of the electrons are more complex and intriguing than was once believed.

According to Franco Nori, who leads the RIKEN team, "This is a very exciting finding, and it will contribute to a better understanding of the fundamental quantum features of electrons in magnetic fields, and help us to reach a better understanding of Landau states and various related physical phenomena."

Jens Wilkinson | Eurek Alert!
Further information:
http://www.riken.jp

More articles from Physics and Astronomy:

nachricht New quantum liquid crystals may play role in future of computers
21.04.2017 | California Institute of Technology

nachricht Light rays from a supernova bent by the curvature of space-time around a galaxy
21.04.2017 | Stockholm University

All articles from Physics and Astronomy >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Making lightweight construction suitable for series production

More and more automobile companies are focusing on body parts made of carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP). However, manufacturing and repair costs must be further reduced in order to make CFRP more economical in use. Together with the Volkswagen AG and five other partners in the project HolQueSt 3D, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) has developed laser processes for the automatic trimming, drilling and repair of three-dimensional components.

Automated manufacturing processes are the basis for ultimately establishing the series production of CFRP components. In the project HolQueSt 3D, the LZH has...

Im Focus: Wonder material? Novel nanotube structure strengthens thin films for flexible electronics

Reflecting the structure of composites found in nature and the ancient world, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have synthesized thin carbon nanotube (CNT) textiles that exhibit both high electrical conductivity and a level of toughness that is about fifty times higher than copper films, currently used in electronics.

"The structural robustness of thin metal films has significant importance for the reliable operation of smart skin and flexible electronics including...

Im Focus: Deep inside Galaxy M87

The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.

Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...

Im Focus: A Quantum Low Pass for Photons

Physicists in Garching observe novel quantum effect that limits the number of emitted photons.

The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...

Im Focus: Microprocessors based on a layer of just three atoms

Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.

Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Expert meeting “Health Business Connect” will connect international medical technology companies

20.04.2017 | Event News

Wenn der Computer das Gehirn austrickst

18.04.2017 | Event News

7th International Conference on Crystalline Silicon Photovoltaics in Freiburg on April 3-5, 2017

03.04.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Molecular libraries for organic light-emitting diodes

24.04.2017 | Life Sciences

Research sheds new light on forces that threaten sensitive coastlines

24.04.2017 | Earth Sciences

Making lightweight construction suitable for series production

24.04.2017 | Machine Engineering

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>