By Ria Misra – Scientists have theorized for decades that an additional state of matter exists, but despite tantalizing hints to its presence, details about this mystery state have remained elusive—until now.
Normally, electrons in a magnetic field will align themselves so that as the material’s temperature approaches absolute zero, the electron poles will eventually face the same direction.
Quantum spin liquids throw all of that out the window with the presence of Majorana fermions, which occur when electrons in a quantum spin state literally break apart. This creates strange patterns so hard to predict that, until this experiment, scientists weren’t even sure just what those patterns might look like.
By using neutron scattering on a graphene-like material, however, researchers were able to get a look at that pattern, and to finally confirm what paper coauthor Johannes Knolle described in a statement as “a new addition to a short list of known quantum states of matter.” more> http://goo.gl/1zj5vq