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Physics: Scientists Accidentally Discover Completely New Kind of Quantum Material Whose Electrons Act like Rays of Light

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Physics: Scientists Accidentally Discover Completely New Kind of Quantum Material Whose Electrons Act like Rays of Light

Postby MrFredPFL » Mon Dec 25, 2017 2:00 am

Story : http://www.newsweek.com/physics-scientists-accidentally-discover-new-quantum-mat





Physicists have discovered the existence of an entirely new kind of quantum material, more or less on accident. The breakthrough could lead to the creation of a semimetal with the potential to revolutionize energy transmission technology.

Researchers from the Rice Center for Quantum Materials in Houston, Texas, and the Vienna University of Technology in Austria, recently created a theoretical model they hoped would help them better understand high-temperature superconductivity, according to a Rice University press release. To their surprise, the model revealed the potential to create a never-before-seen semimetal in an completely separate branch of physics: topological quantum materials. The research was described in a new paper published in the journal of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Corresponding author Qimiao Si, a theoretical physicist at Rice University, explained to Newsweek that what they stumbled upon was a new theoretical model in which electrons suddenly acted as if they didn't have any mass.

“In other words, the electrons move like they were photons," Si told Newsweek over email. "A group of such electrons move like a ray of light does.”







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