Jun 10, 2019

# 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.

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)