PerspectivePhysics

The Lowdown on Heavy Fermions

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Science  19 Feb 2010:
Vol. 327, Issue 5968, pp. 969-970
DOI: 10.1126/science.1186253

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Summary

One of the quests of condensed matter physics is to discover materials with new types of collective electronic properties, such as the giant magnetoresistance materials (1) now used for memory storage or high-temperature superconductors (2). Such “strongly correlated electron” materials challenge our understanding and provide the grist for future technologies. However, identifying new kinds of electronic behavior is still serendipitous, largely because the materials structures of greatest interest do not crystallize to order. On page 980 of this issue, Shishido et al. (3) introduce a systematic approach based on molecular beam epitaxy for the preparation of complex interacting electron materials, thus opening up the possibility of making available many new structures not currently accessible to direct chemical synthesis.