The answers to many questions in condensed-matter physics are hidden in the interactions that occur in quantum many-body systems. Such systems are notoriously difficult to simulate, with numerically tractable solutions existing under very limited circumstances. Unfortunately for physicists, the calculable parameters of many-body systems tend to be experimentally inaccessible, making it difficult to test theories empirically. Now, Fangyuan Yang at the University of California, Santa Barbara, and colleagues have measured one previously inaccessible quantity—chemical potential—allowing precise benchmarking of numerical techniques .
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