Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Physicists Explain the Collective Motion of Particles Called Fermions

30.03.2012
Fermions exhibit collective behavior in unexpected situations, according to new research in Nature

Some people like company. Others prefer to be alone. The same holds true for the particles that constitute the matter around us: Some, called bosons, like to act in unison with others. Others, called fermions, have a mind of their own.

Different as they are, both species can show "collective" behavior -- an effect similar to the wave at a baseball game, where all spectators carry out the same motion regardless of whether they like each other.

Scientists generally believed that such collective behavior, while commonplace for bosons, only appeared in fermions moving in unison at very long wavelengths. Now, however, collective behavior has been discovered at short wavelengths in one Fermi system, helium-3.

A team led by Professor Eckhard Krotscheck -- a physicist who recently joined the University at Buffalo from the Johannes Kepler University in Linz, Austria -- predicted the existence of the behavior using theoretical tools. Independently, but practically at the same time, a French team observed the collective behavior.

A paper detailing both the theoretical and experimental discoveries appears today in the journal Nature.

Krotscheck said the scientists' success in developing accurate theoretical predictions lay, in part, in the fact that they focused on mathematical tools instead of trying to reproduce experiments.

"Knowing how nature ticks at a microscopic scale, we set out to develop a robust theory that was capable of dealing with a wide range of situations and systems," Krotscheck said. "We demanded that our mathematical description is accurate for both fermions and bosons, in different dimensions, and for both coherent and incoherent excitations. Only after we were done, we looked at experiments."

Krotscheck's colleagues on the study include Henri Godfrin, Matthias Meschke and Ahmad Sultan of the Institut Néel, CNRS, and Université Joseph Fourier in France; Hans-Jochen Lauter of the Institut Laue-Langevin in France and Oak Ridge National Laboratory; and Helga Bohm and Martin Panholzer of the Institute for Theoretical Physics at Johannes Kepler University in Austria. Meschke also belongs to the Low Temperature Laboratory of Aalto University in Finland.

Charlotte Hsu | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.buffalo.edu

More articles from Physics and Astronomy:

nachricht Hope to discover sure signs of life on Mars? New research says look for the element vanadium
22.09.2017 | University of Kansas

nachricht Calculating quietness
22.09.2017 | Forschungszentrum MATHEON ECMath

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: The pyrenoid is a carbon-fixing liquid droplet

Plants and algae use the enzyme Rubisco to fix carbon dioxide, removing it from the atmosphere and converting it into biomass. Algae have figured out a way to increase the efficiency of carbon fixation. They gather most of their Rubisco into a ball-shaped microcompartment called the pyrenoid, which they flood with a high local concentration of carbon dioxide. A team of scientists at Princeton University, the Carnegie Institution for Science, Stanford University and the Max Plank Institute of Biochemistry have unravelled the mysteries of how the pyrenoid is assembled. These insights can help to engineer crops that remove more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere while producing more food.

A warming planet

Im Focus: Highly precise wiring in the Cerebral Cortex

Our brains house extremely complex neuronal circuits, whose detailed structures are still largely unknown. This is especially true for the so-called cerebral cortex of mammals, where among other things vision, thoughts or spatial orientation are being computed. Here the rules by which nerve cells are connected to each other are only partly understood. A team of scientists around Moritz Helmstaedter at the Frankfiurt Max Planck Institute for Brain Research and Helene Schmidt (Humboldt University in Berlin) have now discovered a surprisingly precise nerve cell connectivity pattern in the part of the cerebral cortex that is responsible for orienting the individual animal or human in space.

The researchers report online in Nature (Schmidt et al., 2017. Axonal synapse sorting in medial entorhinal cortex, DOI: 10.1038/nature24005) that synapses in...

Im Focus: Tiny lasers from a gallery of whispers

New technique promises tunable laser devices

Whispering gallery mode (WGM) resonators are used to make tiny micro-lasers, sensors, switches, routers and other devices. These tiny structures rely on a...

Im Focus: Ultrafast snapshots of relaxing electrons in solids

Using ultrafast flashes of laser and x-ray radiation, scientists at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (Garching, Germany) took snapshots of the briefest electron motion inside a solid material to date. The electron motion lasted only 750 billionths of the billionth of a second before it fainted, setting a new record of human capability to capture ultrafast processes inside solids!

When x-rays shine onto solid materials or large molecules, an electron is pushed away from its original place near the nucleus of the atom, leaving a hole...

Im Focus: Quantum Sensors Decipher Magnetic Ordering in a New Semiconducting Material

For the first time, physicists have successfully imaged spiral magnetic ordering in a multiferroic material. These materials are considered highly promising candidates for future data storage media. The researchers were able to prove their findings using unique quantum sensors that were developed at Basel University and that can analyze electromagnetic fields on the nanometer scale. The results – obtained by scientists from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics, the Swiss Nanoscience Institute, the University of Montpellier and several laboratories from University Paris-Saclay – were recently published in the journal Nature.

Multiferroics are materials that simultaneously react to electric and magnetic fields. These two properties are rarely found together, and their combined...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

“Lasers in Composites Symposium” in Aachen – from Science to Application

19.09.2017 | Event News

I-ESA 2018 – Call for Papers

12.09.2017 | Event News

EMBO at Basel Life, a new conference on current and emerging life science research

06.09.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Rainbow colors reveal cell history: Uncovering β-cell heterogeneity

22.09.2017 | Life Sciences

Penn first in world to treat patient with new radiation technology

22.09.2017 | Medical Engineering

Calculating quietness

22.09.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>