In a new study, U.S. and Austrian physicists have observed quantum entanglement among "billions of billions" of flowing electrons in a quantum critical material.
The research, which appears this week in Science, examined the electronic and magnetic behavior of a "strange metal" compound of ytterbium, rhodium and silicon as it both neared and passed through a critical transition at the boundary between two well-studied quantum phases.
The study at Rice University and Vienna University of Technology (TU Wien) provides the strongest direct evidence to date of entanglement's role in bringing about quantum criticality, said study co-author Qimiao Si of Rice.
"When we think about quantum entanglement, we think about small things," Si said. "We don't associate it with macroscopic objects. But at a quantum critical point, things are so collective that we have this chance to see the effects of entanglement, even in a metallic film that contains billions of billions of quantum mechanical objects."To read more, click here.