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Neutron Spectroscopy: New Quantum State Observed

31 July 2017

In the quantum world, phenomena can emerge from the interactions of multiple particles, known as many-body systems. Certain quantum many-body states are of practical use, for example in superconductivity, superfluids and Bose-Einstein condensates. Many others exist only theoretically, without experimental proof.

An international group of theoretical and experimental physicists have now for the first time succeeded in generating experimentally a quantum phase transition in strontium copper borate. This goal was achieved by using almost every large-scale facility that Europe has to offer in this area: the Swiss spallation source SINQ, the Paul Scherrer Insitute, the PANDA instrument operated by the Jülich Centre for Neutron Science (JCNS) at the Heinz Maier-Leibnitz Zentrum (MLZ) and the ILL in Grenoble. The scientists were able to identify the new quantum state with the help of neutron spectroscopy at high pressure.

NeutronenspektroskopieDr. Astrid Schneidewind at the JCNS outstation at MLZ has significantly contributed to the discovery of the new quantum state using the cold three-axes spectrometer PANDA.
Copyright:  Wolfgang Filser/TUM

Original publication:

M. E. Zayed et al.;
4-spin plaquette singlet state in the Shastry–Sutherland compound SrCu2(BO3)2;
Nature Physics, published online 17 July 2017, DOI: doi:10.1038/nphys4190

Further information:

Press release “First observation: new type of entanglement in a 2D quantum material” from EPFL on 17.7.2017

More on the cold three-axes spectrometer PANDA