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A theorized but never-before detected property of quantum matter has now been spotted in the lab, a team of scientists reports.

The team proved that a particular quantum material can demonstrate electrical dipole fluctuations -- irregular oscillations of tiny charged poles on the material -- even in extremely cold conditions, in the neighborhood of minus 450 degrees Fahrenheit.

The material, first synthesized 20 years ago, is called k-(BEDT-TTF)2Hg(SCN)2 Br. It is derived from organic compounds, but behaves like a metal.

"What we found with this particular quantum material is that, even at super-cold temperatures, electrical dipoles are still present and fluctuate according to the laws of quantum mechanics," said Natalia Drichko, associate research professor in physics at the Johns Hopkins University.

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Category: Science