Text Size

U.S. and European physicists searching for an explanation for high-temperature superconductivity were surprised when their theoretical model pointed to the existence of a never-before-seen material in a different realm of physics: topological quantum materials.

In a new study due this week in the Early Edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), Rice University theoretical physicist Qimiao Si and colleagues at the Rice Center for Quantum Materials in Houston and the Vienna University of Technology in Austria make predictions that could help experimental physicists create what the authors have coined a "Weyl-Kondo semimetal," a quantum material with an assorted collection of properties seen in disparate materials like topological insulators, heavy fermion
metalsand high-temperature superconductors.

All these materials fall under the heading of "quantum materials," ceramics, layered composites and other materials whose electromagnetic behavior cannot be explained by classical physics. In the words of noted science writer Philip Ball, quantum materials are those in which "the quantum aspects assert themselves tenaciously, and the only way to fully understand how the material behaves is to keep the quantum in view."

To read more, click here.
Category: Science