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Computational Sleuthing Confirms First 3D Quantum Spin Liquid

By Rice University News

May 17, 2022

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Rice University's Andriy Nevidomskyy said U.S. and German physicists have validated single crystals of cerium zirconium pyrochlore as a three-dimensional (3D) quantum spin liquid.

Nevidomskyy described the excitations in spin liquids as "these bizarre, delocalized objects that carry half of one spin degree of freedom. It's like half of a spin."

The researchers conducted spin dynamics calculations for an existing quantum mechanical model of cerium zirconium pyrochlore, using Monte Carlo methods, exact diagonalization, and analytical tools.

They tested the model against thermodynamic, neutron-scattering, and magnetization outcomes from earlier experimental studies.

Nevidomskyy acknowledged this research is "not immediately tied to quantum computing, although ideas exist for using fractionalized excitations as a platform for logical qubits [quantum bits]."

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