Nov 28, 2022

Chiral orbit currents create new quantum state

Posted by in categories: chemistry, computing, particle physics, quantum physics

Physicists have discovered a new quantum state in a material with the chemical formula Mn3SiTe6. The new state forms due to long-theorized but never previously observed internal currents that flow in loops around the material’s honeycomb-like structure. According to its discoverers, this new state could have applications for quantum sensors and memory storage devices for quantum computers.

Mn3SiTe6 is a ferrimagnet, meaning that its component atoms have opposing but unequal magnetic moments. It usually behaves like an insulator, but when physicists led by Gang Cao of the University of Colorado, Boulder, US, exposed it to a magnetic field applied along a certain direction, they found that it became dramatically more conducting – almost like it had morphed from being a rubber to a metal.

This effect, known as colossal magnetoresistance (CMR), is not itself new. Indeed, physicists have known about it since the 1950s, and it is now employed in computer disk drives and many other electronic devices, where it helps electric currents shuttle across along distinct trajectories in a controlled way.


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  1. J'shua says:

    Back in 2014, I postulated to the presenters at the Tesla Tech Extraordinary Science & Technology Convention in Albuquerque, that a spiraling energy would surely be found to useful in in certain exotic and shaped materials. I had no idea it would be useful in computer electronics and quantum computing! I thought it would be a way to Harness power off of circuits! Wow, the amazing wonders of discovery and perseverance!