Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Acrobatics for anyons: New test for elusive fundamental particle proposed

Date:
June 21, 2011
Source:
Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München
Summary:
Anyons are hypothetical particles that have been postulated to represent a third class of fundamental particles alongside the known bosons and fermions. Physicists in Germany have now proposed a novel experimental design that should make it possible to create and detect them for the first time.

Anyons are hypothetical particles that have been postulated to represent a third class of fundamental particles alongside the known bosons and fermions. Physicists from Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitaet in Munich have now proposed a novel experimental design that should make it possible to create and detect them for the first time.

In quantum physics there are two classes of fundamental particles. Photons, the quanta of light, are bosons, while the protons and neutrons that make up atomic nuclei belong to the fermions. Bosons and fermions differ in their behavior at a very basic level. This difference is expressed in their quantum statistics. In the 1980s a third species of fundamental particle was postulated, which was dubbed the anyon. In their quantum statistics, anyons interpolate between bosons and fermions.

"They would be a kind of missing link between the two known sorts of fundamental particles," says LMU physicist Dr. Tassilo Keilmann. "According to the laws of quantum physics, anyons must exist -- but so far it hasn't been possible to detect them experimentally."

An international team of theorists under Keilmann's leadership has now taken an in-depth look at the question of whether it is possible to create anyons in the context of a realistic experiment. Happily for experimentalists, the answer is yes. The theoreticians have come up with an experimental design in which conventional atoms are trapped in a so-called optical lattice. Based on their calculations, it ought to be possible to manipulate the interactions between atoms in the lattice in such a way as to create and detect anyons. In contrast to the behavior of bosons and fermions, the exotic statistics of anyons should be continuously variable between the endpoints defined by the other two particle types.

"These novel quantum particles should be able to hop between sites in the optical lattice," says Keilmann. "More importantly, they and their quantum statistics should be continuously adjustable during the experiment." In that case, it might even be feasible to transmute bosons into anyons and then to turn these into fermions. Such a transition would be equivalent to a novel "statistically induced quantum phase transition," and would allow the anyons to be used for the construction of quantum computers that would be far more efficient than conventional electronic processors. "We have pointed to the first practical route to the detection of anyons," says Keilmann. "Experimentalists should be able to implement the set-up in the course of experiments that are already underway."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Tassilo Keilmann, Simon Lanzmich, Ian McCulloch, Marco Roncaglia. Statistically induced phase transitions and anyons in 1D optical lattices. Nature Communications, 2011; 2: 361 DOI: 10.1038/ncomms1353

Cite This Page:

Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München. "Acrobatics for anyons: New test for elusive fundamental particle proposed." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 21 June 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/06/110621131325.htm>.
Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München. (2011, June 21). Acrobatics for anyons: New test for elusive fundamental particle proposed. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 31, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/06/110621131325.htm
Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München. "Acrobatics for anyons: New test for elusive fundamental particle proposed." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/06/110621131325.htm (accessed July 31, 2014).

Share This




More Matter & Energy News

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Britain Testing Driverless Cars on Roadways

Britain Testing Driverless Cars on Roadways

AP (July 30, 2014) — British officials said on Wednesday that driverless cars will be tested on roads in as many as three cities in a trial program set to begin in January. Officials said the tests will last up to three years. (July 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Amid Drought, UCLA Sees Only Water

Amid Drought, UCLA Sees Only Water

AP (July 30, 2014) — A ruptured 93-year-old water main left the UCLA campus awash in 8 million gallons of water in the middle of California's worst drought in decades. (July 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow

Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow

AP (July 30, 2014) — Smartphone powered paper airplane that was popular on crowdfunding website KickStarter makes its debut at Wisconsin airshow (July 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
U.K. To Allow Driverless Cars On Public Roads

U.K. To Allow Driverless Cars On Public Roads

Newsy (July 30, 2014) — Driverless cars could soon become a staple on U.K. city streets, as they're set to be introduced to a few cities in 2015. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

    Environment News

    Technology News



    Save/Print:
    Share:  

    Free Subscriptions


    Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

    Get Social & Mobile


    Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

    Have Feedback?


    Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
    Mobile iPhone Android Web
    Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
    Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
    Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins