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Researchers from the RIKEN Center for Emergent Matter Science in Japan have uncovered the first evidence of an unusual quantum phenomenon--the integer quantum Hall effect--in a new type of film, called a 3D topological insulator. In doing this, they demonstrated that "surface Dirac states"--a particular form of massless electrons--are quantized in these materials, meaning that they only take on certain discrete values. These discoveries could help move science forward toward the goal of dissipationless electronics--electronic devices that can operate without producing the vast amounts of heat generated by current silicon-based semiconductors.

That would be an extraordinary advancement indeed. To read more, click here.