Possible New Quantum Particle Discovery Surprises Scientists
Princeton physicists accidentally discovered surprising behavior in an insulating material. Check out the study here.
Science & Tech
During recent experiments, researchers at Princeton University were "completely surprised" to discover a behavior in an insulator that was previously believed to be unique to metals, NewAtlas reports.
The discovery hints at the existence of a new type of quantum particle, dubbed a neutral fermion by the Princeton physicists. They published their findings in the journal Nature.
Typically, metals conduct electricity and insulators do not. This is due to the fact that electrons are generally very mobile in metals, while the high resistance of insulators slows down this movement.
Due to the high movement of electrons in metals, they are able to exhibit a phenomenon known as quantum oscillations.
When electrons in metals are exposed to a magnetic field at very low temperatures, they are able to shift into a quantum state that causes resistivity oscillation in the material.