Have Physicists Discovered a New Particle?

The quantum world seems to suggest one

Have Physicists Discovered a New Particle
Image by Pixabay

A new definition of metals and insulators?

This event is now challenging a long understood belief of how insulators and metals differed. In the well-established quantum theory of materials, insulators were believed not to experience any quantum oscillation.

Long-held quantum beliefs shattered

The presence of quantum oscillations has long been seen as the stark distinction between insulators and metals. Electrons are extremely active in metals with very low resistivity — meaning low resistance to electrical conduction.

quantum physics
quantum physics
Image by Pixabay

No explanation for this observation

The new observation prompted researchers to then measure the resistivity of their monolayer tungsten ditelluride in magnetic fields. They were shocked to see that the insulator’s resistivity, which was very large, started oscillating when the magnetic field was increased. This indicates a definite shift into the quantum state.

A new fermion?

Fermions are a type of quantum particle classification that also include electrons. In the world of quantum materials, a charged fermion can exist as a negatively charged electron or a positively charged ‘hole’ that participates in the electrical conduction.

Retired Scientist and Jogger. Experienced online publisher since 2006.

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