August 10, 2011
Exotic Quantum Crystal Discovered
Kiel researchers discover novel state of crystal matter
Nature knows two opposite types of solids: one that emerges upon compression from a liquid and a second that appears if the pressure on a liquid is reduced. While the former is typical for substances in our everyday life the latter occurs for example in a dense quantum liquid of electrons (such as in metals) or ions (in exotic white dwarf or neutron stars). Now it has been shown that there exists yet a third form of matter that inherits both of these properties. This unusual behaviour has been predicted to exist in crystals of excitons "“ hydrogen atom-like bound states of electrons and holes "“ in a semiconductor quantum well placed in a strong electric field.
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