Researchers at Rice University and the Vienna University of Technology (TU Wien) in Austria have developed a method to transform the quantum behavior of an intermetallic crystal of cerium, palladium, and silicon in two unique ways: one in which electrons compete to occupy orbitals; and another where they compete to occupy spin states.
This discovery could be important for scientists trying to develop quantum computers.
The researchers created a theoretical model that contains both spins and orbitals. Their analysis of the model revealed a surprising form of quantum criticality.
Said Rice University researcher Ang Cai, "Even though this is a soup of things—spins, orbitals that are all strongly coupled to each other and to background conduction electrons—we could resolve two quantum critical points in this one system under the tuning of one parameter, which is the magnetic field."
From Rice University
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