Tag Archives: Quantum Phase Transition

Neutrons and a ‘bit of gold’ uncover new type of quantum phase transition

by Jeremy Rumsey, PHYS.ORG

When matter changes from solids to liquids to vapors, the changes are called phase transitions. Among the most interesting types are more exotic changes—quantum phase transitions—where the strange properties of quantum mechanics can bring about extraordinary changes in curious ways.

In a paper published in Physical Review Letters, a team of researchers led by the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory reports the discovery of a new type of quantum phase transition. This unique transition happens at an elastic quantum critical point, or QCP, where the phase transition isn’t driven by thermal energy but instead by the quantum fluctuations of the atoms themselves. Continue reading Neutrons and a ‘bit of gold’ uncover new type of quantum phase transition