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posted by janrinok on Wednesday January 12, @05:36PM   Printer-friendly

Physicists detect a hybrid particle held together by uniquely intense 'glue': The discovery could offer a route to smaller, faster electronic devices:

Now MIT physicists have detected another kind of hybrid particle in an unusual, two-dimensional magnetic material. They determined that the hybrid particle is a mashup of an electron and a phonon (a quasiparticle that is produced from a material's vibrating atoms). When they measured the force between the electron and phonon, they found that the glue, or bond, was 10 times stronger than any other electron-phonon hybrid known to date.

The particle's exceptional bond suggests that its electron and phonon might be tuned in tandem; for instance, any change to the electron should affect the phonon, and vice versa. In principle, an electronic excitation, such as voltage or light, applied to the hybrid particle could stimulate the electron as it normally would, and also affect the phonon, which influences a material's structural or magnetic properties. Such dual control could enable scientists to apply voltage or light to a material to tune not just its electrical properties but also its magnetism.

The results are especially relevant, as the team identified the hybrid particle in nickel phosphorus trisulfide (NiPS3), a two-dimensional material that has attracted recent interest for its magnetic properties. If these properties could be manipulated, for instance through the newly detected hybrid particles, scientists believe the material could one day be useful as a new kind of magnetic semiconductor, which could be made into smaller, faster, and more energy-efficient electronics.

"Imagine if we could stimulate an electron, and have magnetism respond," says Nuh Gedik, professor of physics at MIT. "Then you could make devices very different from how they work today."

Journal Reference:
Emre Ergeçen, Batyr Ilyas, Dan Mao, et al. Magnetically brightened dark electron-phonon bound states in a van der Waals antiferromagnet [open], Nature Communications (DOI: 10.1038/s41467-021-27741-3)


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  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 12, @08:07PM (5 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 12, @08:07PM (#1212195)

    Phonons are actually antigrav particles
    https://arxiv.org/abs/1807.08771 [arxiv.org]

  • (Score: 2) by maxwell demon on Wednesday January 12, @08:12PM (2 children)

    by maxwell demon (1608) on Wednesday January 12, @08:12PM (#1212197) Journal

    Looking at the abstract of the linked paper, I can't find anything about antigrav.

    --
    The Tao of math: The numbers you can count are not the real numbers.
  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 12, @10:17PM (1 child)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 12, @10:17PM (#1212228)

    Thank you, this is an interesting paper. I never had much field theory, but this "negative mass" statement all hinges on the following paragraph. The bolded part being the part that is the key to the analysis, but the one that I need to ponder over:

    Now, this effect [phonon transport in fluids bending opposite to gravity] is completely equivalent to standard refraction: in the presence of gravity, the pressure of the superfluid depends on depth, and so does the speed of sound. As a result, in the geometric acoustics limit sound waves do not propagate along straight lines. Because of this, one might be tempted to dismiss any interpretation of this phenomenon in terms of “gravitational mass”. However, since in the formalism of [1] the effect is due to a coupling with gravity in the effective Lagrangian of the phonon, the same coupling must affect the field equation for gravity: the (tiny) effective gravitational mass of the phonon generates a (tiny) gravitational field. The source of this gravitational field travels with the phonon. This point was not appreciated in [1].

    • (Score: 1) by didymus on Thursday January 13, @04:35AM

      by didymus (16209) on Thursday January 13, @04:35AM (#1212326)

      Tiny gravitational field, as in very, very small. There goes my hoverboard design!