PerspectiveTopological Matter

“Weyl”ing away time-reversal symmetry

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Science  20 Sep 2019:
Vol. 365, Issue 6459, pp. 1248-1249
DOI: 10.1126/science.aax6190

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Summary

Topological quantum materials foster charge and spin states protected from several perturbations, such as crystal defects and impurities or interactions with their noisy “quantum-incoherent” environment. The prediction and discovery of topological insulators (1) has since spurred interest in the even more exotic topological semimetals that offer a platform upon which the interplay between broken-symmetry phases and topology can be investigated. For example, a broken time-reversal symmetry (TRS) phase such as ferromagnetism could be manipulated to exert control over topologically protected charge and spin currents. In three parallel studies in this issue on pages 1282, 1286, and 1278, Liu et al. (2), Morali et al. (3), and Belopolski et al. (4), respectively, report on the identification of ferromagnetic Weyl semimetals through measurements of their band structure. Their results represent an important advance in the search for materials where the intersection of magnetism and topology could be exploited for next-generation technologies.

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