Excitations called non-Abelian anyons are predicted to exist in a Kitaev spin liquid - the ground state of an exactly solvable model proposed by Kitaev almost a decade ago. A smoking-gun signature of such non-Abelian anyons, namely a half-integer quantized thermal Hall conductivity, was recently reported in alpha-RuCl3. While fascinating, a microscopic theory for this phenomenon in alpha-RuCl3 remains elusive because the pure Kitaev phase cannot capture these anyons appearing in an intermediate magnetic field. Mr. Gordon and his collaborators find a generic microscopic theory of the Kitaev spin liquid emerging between the low- and high-field states, and predict a way to find a wide regime of non-Abelian anyon Kitaev spin liquid. This work was done under the supervision of Prof. Hae-Young Kee, and published in Nature Communications, June 2019 (add link here: https://www.nature.com/articles/s41467-019-10405-8 )
PhD student Jacob Gordon has Developed a Microscopic Model for Non-Abelian Anyons in Solid-State Materials
Elementary excitations in highly entangled states such as quantum spin liquids may exhibit exotic statistics, different from those obeyed by fundamental bosons and fermions.