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Top Story

Unusual quantum liquid on crystal surface could inspire future electronics

For the first time, an experiment has directly imaged electron orbits in a high-magnetic field, illuminating an unusual collective behavior in electrons and suggesting new ways of manipulating the charged particles. The study demonstrates that the electrons, when kept at very low temperatures where their quantum behaviors emerge, can spontaneously begin to travel in identical elliptical paths on the surface of a crystal of bismuth, forming a quantum fluid state. This behavior was anticipated theoretically during the past two decades by researchers from Princeton and other universities. Fundamental explorations of materials may provide the basis for faster and more efficient electronic technologies. Today's electronic devices, from computers to cellphones, use processors made from silicon. With silicon reaching its maximum capacity for information processing, researchers are looking to other materials and mechanisms.

Visit Website | Image credit: Image courtesy of Ali Yazdani, Department of Physics, Princeton University