New Quantum State of Matter Discovered — A Breakthrough for Quantum Memory Creation

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A substance’s state is determined by the interaction type of elementary particles, unique for solid, liquid, and gas phases. However, the quantum level reveals a world so unusual that it’s “neither to tell in a fairy tale nor to describe with a pen.” The quantum realm conceals so much that is unexplored that each discovery presents horizons of opportunities. A recently discovered new quantum state of matter promises to aid the creation of quantum memory, among other applications.

Researchers from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and their Chinese colleagues reproduced conditions under which a substance acquired a chiral Bose-liquid state. Chirality indicates the absence of left and right symmetry in the substance’s structure, while the relation to Bose-liquid speaks of extraordinary fluidity or superconductivity at temperatures close to absolute zero.

The new state of matter was achieved in a sample made up of two semiconductor layers stacked upon each other. The top layer had an excess of electrons, while the bottom one had a certain deficit of holes. The subtlety of the experiment lay in the fact that not all electrons had holes. By applying a super-strong magnetic field to the sample, the scientists began to monitor electron movement. As the field’s strength increased, the sample transitioned into a state of chiral Bose-liquid, demonstrating a series of unique properties.

“At the edge of the two semiconductor layers, electrons and holes move at the same speeds,” said physicist Lingjie Du from Nanjing University in China. “This leads to spiral transport, which can be further modulated by external magnetic fields, as at higher fields, electron and hole channels gradually separate.”

For instance, when cooled down to temperatures close to absolute zero, electrons in the substance “hung in a predictable order and with a fixed spin direction,” unresponsive to other particles or magnetic fields. This stability could be utilized in digital data storage systems at the quantum level.

Another intriguing aspect was that the influence of an external particle on one of the system’s electrons resulted in a reaction in all the system’s electrons, explained by the effect of quantum entanglement of particles in the Bose-liquid. This discovery also promises to be useful in future quantum systems.

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Martin Harris
I'm Martin Harris, a tech writer with extensive experience, contributing to global publications. Trained in Computer Science, I merged my technical know-how with writing, becoming a technology journalist. I've covered diverse topics like AI and consumer electronics, contributing to top tech platforms. I participate in tech events for knowledge updating. Besides writing, I enjoy reading, photography, and aim to clarify technology's complexities to readers.

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