In a scrambled Rubiks cube, colorful squares clash without order. As pieces click into place in the hands of a skilled puzzle solver, the individual characters of squares dissolve as solid faces of uniform color emerge.
In the same way, barium copper silicate-also known as Han Purple, a vivid pigment used in ancient China-transforms from a nonmagnetic, disordered insulator into a magnetic, ordered condensate under conditions of extreme cold and high magnetic field. The components that click into place to form an entirely new phase are the electron orientations of atoms, or spins, described by their quantum state as up or down.
Now, scientists at Stanford, Los Alamos National Laboratory and the Institute for Solid State Physics (University of Tokyo) have discovered that at the abrupt lowest temperature transition at which the silicate enters a new state-called the quantum critical point-the three-dimensional material loses a dimension to form a Flatland, of sorts. Just as in the 1884 novella Flatland that posited a planar world, the spins strongly interact only in two dimensions. Effects from the third dimension are negligible. Their work appears in the June 1 issue of Nature.
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21.04.2017 | California Institute of Technology
Light rays from a supernova bent by the curvature of space-time around a galaxy
21.04.2017 | Stockholm University
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...
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...
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...
Two researchers at Heidelberg University have developed a model system that enables a better understanding of the processes in a quantum-physical experiment...
Glaciers might seem rather inhospitable environments. However, they are home to a diverse and vibrant microbial community. It’s becoming increasingly clear that they play a bigger role in the carbon cycle than previously thought.
A new study, now published in the journal Nature Geoscience, shows how microbial communities in melting glaciers contribute to the Earth’s carbon cycle, a...
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21.04.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
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21.04.2017 | Physics and Astronomy