Three Researchers from the Department of Physics and Centre for Quantum Information & Quantum Control (CQIQC) have developed a theoretical model that describes the interactions between subatomic particles in quantum matter. This framework will help researchers understand the behaviour of these "strange metals" where the four fundamental properties of electrons – charge, spin, orbit and lattice become intertwined. In these materials, electrons exhibit collective behaviour instead of behaving as discrete particles.
As students learn in school, electrons are discrete, subatomic particles that flow through wires like molecules of water flowing through a pipe. We call that flow electricity and harness it to power and control everything from lightbulbs to the Large Hadron Collider.
But in quantum matter, electrons don’t behave as they do in normal, everyday materials. In normal materials, interactions between electrons are relatively weak, while in quantum materials they are much stronger resulting in complex states of matter.
The research study was published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS). The lead author is physics PhD student Andrew Hardy, with co-authors postdoctoral fellow Arijit Haldar and Prof. Arun Paramekanti.