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Inducing a Magnetic Monopole with Topological Surface States

Science  27 Feb 2009:
Vol. 323, Issue 5918, pp. 1184-1187
DOI: 10.1126/science.1167747

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Abstract

Existence of the magnetic monopole is compatible with the fundamental laws of nature; however, this elusive particle has yet to be detected experimentally. We show theoretically that an electric charge near a topological surface state induces an image magnetic monopole charge due to the topological magneto-electric effect. The magnetic field generated by the image magnetic monopole may be experimentally measured, and the inverse square law of the field dependence can be determined quantitatively. We propose that this effect can be used to experimentally realize a gas of quantum particles carrying fractional statistics, consisting of the bound states of the electric charge and the image magnetic monopole charge.

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