Nov 22, 2021

Skyrmions: Fundamental particles modeled in beam of light

Posted by in categories: mathematics, particle physics, space

Scientists at the University of Birmingham have succeeded in creating an experimental model of an elusive kind of fundamental particle called a skyrmion in a beam of light.

The breakthrough provides physicists with a real system demonstrating the behavior of skyrmions, first proposed 60 years ago by a University of Birmingham mathematical physicist, Professor Tony Skyrme.

Skyrme’s idea used the structure of spheres in 4-dimensional space to guarantee the indivisible nature of a skyrmion particle in 3 dimensions. 3D particle-like skyrmions are theorized to tell us about the early origins of the Universe, or about the physics of exotic materials or cold atoms. However, despite being investigated for over 50 years, 3D skyrmions have been seen very rarely in experiments. The most current research into skyrmions focuses on 2D analogs, which shows promise for new technologies.

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