Neutrons Verify New Quantum State

Materials Research / Information Technology

Date: 28/10/2016
Source: fz-juelich.de

Jülich, 26 October 2016 – An international research team has proved the existence of spin-spirals in a quantum liquid. They emerge at low temperatures from the magnetic moments (“spins”) of manganese scandium thiospinel single crystals (MnSc2S4). Neighbouring spins fluctuate here collectively as spirals, but when spatial distances are involved, they do not take on any particular order, just as water molecules will only form structures with neighbouring water molecules. Proof of this so-called “spiral spin-liquid” was achieved with the help of polarized diffuse neutron scattering on an instrument of the Jülich Centre for Neutron Science (JCNS) at its outstation at the Heinz Maier-Leibnitz Zentrum.

Original publication:

S. Gao et al.;
Spiral Spin-Liquid and the emergence of a vortex-like state in MnSc2S4;
Nature Physics (2016), Published online 24 October 2016, DOI:10.1038/nphys3914

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