A valley so low: Electrons congregate in ways that may be useful to “valleytronics”

Yellow swirling ellipses against a blue background

A Princeton University-led study has revealed an emergent electronic behavior on the surface of bismuth crystals that could lead to insights on the growing area of technology known as "valleytronics." The term refers to energy valleys that form in crystals and that can trap single electrons. These valleys potentially could be used to store information, … Continue reading A valley so low: Electrons congregate in ways that may be useful to “valleytronics”

Novel insulators with conducting edges

Current flowing on the edges

Article courtesy of the University of Zurich An international team including scientists at Princeton University is researching a new class of materials: higher-order topological insulators. The edges of these crystalline solids conduct electric current without dissipation, while the rest of the crystal remains insulating. These materials could be useful for applications in semiconductor technology and … Continue reading Novel insulators with conducting edges

Spotting the spin of the Majorana fermion under the microscope

By Catherine Zandonella, Office of the Dean for Research Researchers at Princeton University have detected a unique quantum property of an elusive particle notable for behaving simultaneously like matter and antimatter. The particle, known as the Majorana fermion, is prized by researchers for its potential to open the doors to new quantum computing possibilities. In … Continue reading Spotting the spin of the Majorana fermion under the microscope

Mysterious force harnessed in a silicon chip

By Catherine Zandonella for the Office of the Dean for Research Getting something from nothing sounds like a good deal, so for years scientists have been trying to exploit the tiny amount of energy found in nearly empty space. It's a source of energy so obscure it was once derided as a source of "perpetual … Continue reading Mysterious force harnessed in a silicon chip

Artificial topological matter opens new research directions

By Catherine Zandonella, Office of the Dean for Research An international team of researchers have created a new structure that allows the tuning of topological properties in such a way as to turn on or off these unique behaviors. The structure could open up possibilities for new explorations into the properties of topological states of … Continue reading Artificial topological matter opens new research directions

A new cosmic survey offers unprecedented view of galaxies

By the Office of the Dean for Research The universe has come into sharper focus with the release this week of new images from one of the largest telescopes in the world. A multinational collaboration led by the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan that includes Princeton University scientists has published a "cosmic census" of a … Continue reading A new cosmic survey offers unprecedented view of galaxies

Theorists propose new class of topological metals with exotic electronic properties (Physics Review X)

By Tien Nguyen, Department of Chemistry Researchers at Princeton, Yale, and the University of Zurich have proposed a theory-based approach to characterize a class of metals that possess exotic electronic properties that could help scientists find other, similarly-endowed materials. Published in the journal Physical Review X, the study described a new class of metals based … Continue reading Theorists propose new class of topological metals with exotic electronic properties (Physics Review X)

PPPL researchers combine quantum mechanics and Einstein’s theory of special relativity to clear up puzzles in plasma physics (Phys. Rev. A)

By John Greenwald, Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory Communications Among the intriguing issues in plasma physics are those surrounding X-ray pulsars — collapsed stars that orbit around a cosmic companion and beam light at regular intervals, like lighthouses in the sky.  Physicists want to know the strength of the magnetic field and density of the plasma … Continue reading PPPL researchers combine quantum mechanics and Einstein’s theory of special relativity to clear up puzzles in plasma physics (Phys. Rev. A)

Unconventional quasiparticles predicted in conventional crystals (Science)

By Staff An international team of researchers has predicted the existence of several previously unknown types of quantum particles in materials. The particles -- which belong to the class of particles known as fermions -- can be distinguished by several intrinsic properties, such as their responses to applied magnetic and electric fields. In several cases, … Continue reading Unconventional quasiparticles predicted in conventional crystals (Science)

Theorists smooth the way to solving one of quantum mechanics oldest problems: Modeling quantum friction (J. Phys. Chem. Letters)

By: Tien Nguyen, Department of Chemistry Theoretical chemists at Princeton University have pioneered a strategy for modeling quantum friction, or how a particle’s environment drags on it, a vexing problem in quantum mechanics since the birth of the field. The study was published in the Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters. “It was truly a most … Continue reading Theorists smooth the way to solving one of quantum mechanics oldest problems: Modeling quantum friction (J. Phys. Chem. Letters)