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Weyl particles are not particles which can move on their own (like electrons or protons), they only exist as 'quasiparticles' within a solid material. Now, for the first time, such Weyl particles has been found in a special kind of material, which is particularly interesting for novel technological applications: scientists have measured Weyl fermions in a material with highly correlated electrons. Surprisingly, these fermions move very slowly, despite having no mass.

There was great excitement back in 2015, when it was first possible to measure these 'Weyl fermions' -- outlandish, massless particles that had been predicted almost 90 years earlier by German mathematician, physician and philosopher, Hermann Weyl. Now, once again, there has been a breakthrough in this field of research, with researchers at TU Wien being the first to successfully detect Weyl particles in strongly correlated electron systems -- that is, materials where the electrons have a strong interaction with each other. In materials like this, the Weyl particles move extremely slowly, despite having no mass. The discovery should now open the door to an entirely new area of physics, and enable hitherto unimagined material-physical effects.

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Category: Science