PerspectiveQuantum Gases

The Weyl side of ultracold matter

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Science  16 Apr 2021:
Vol. 372, Issue 6539, pp. 234-235
DOI: 10.1126/science.abg0892

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Summary

The discovery of Weyl semimetals in 2015 was a breakthrough in the modern history of quantum matter, connecting relativistic phenomena predicted in particle physics with unusual topological properties of the solid state (1). This connection originates from the peculiar band structure of Weyl materials. In general, the band structure of a solid governs which energies are accessible to an electron moving with a given momentum. In Weyl semimetals, energy bands touch at singular points (the Weyl nodes), around which energy has a linear dependence on momentum k, reminiscent of relativistic elementary particles. On page 271 of this issue, Wang et al. (2) realized Weyl-type band structures for ultracold atoms with a high degree of control and tunability. This work paves the way for the exploration of the properties of Weyl-type band structures with a bottom-up, tunable approach and incremental complexity.

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