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Coherent transmutation of electrons into fractionalized anyons

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Science  07 Nov 2014:
Vol. 346, Issue 6210, pp. 722-725
DOI: 10.1126/science.1253251

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Nailing down a quantum spin liquid

Quantum spin liquids (QSLs) possess magnetic interactions that, even at absolute zero temperature, remain in a disordered liquid-like spin state. It is very difficult to prove unambiguously that a material is a QSL, because there is always a possibility that it can become ordered below the lowest measured temperature. Barkeshli et al. used quantum field theory to propose a direct way to identify a QSL by placing it in contact with other exotic materials, such as superconductors or magnets. The theory predicted that, at such a boundary, electrons entering the QSL would turn into excitations lacking charge or lacking spin. Future experiments may be able to detect this transmutation.

Science, this issue p. 722

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