Spectral evidence for Dirac spinons in a kagome lattice antiferromagnet

A collaboration between theoretical physicists Dr. Chengkang ZHOU and Professor Zi Yang MENG from the Department of Physics at The University of Hong Kong (HKU), along with experimentalists Mr. Zhenyuan ZENG and Professor Shiliang LI at the Institute of Physics (IOP), Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), and Professor Kenji NAKAJIMA from J-PARC Center, Japan, has led to a discovery in the realm of quantum physics. Their study, published in a recent issue of Nature Physics (Nat. Phys. (2024)), sheds light on the long-anticipated emergence of quasiparticles, akin to the famous Dirac particles obeying the relativistic Dirac equation. These quasiparticles, known as Dirac spinons, were theorised to exist within a novel quantum state called a quantum spin liquid state. This work captures the conic spin excitations arising from Dirac spinons, resulting in low-energy spin excitations with sharp energy-momentum characteristics. Their results provide strong evidence for the emergence of a Dirac quantum spin liquid state in YCu3-Br. Continue reading

Higgs mode via dimensional crossover in quantum magnets

The Higgs mode or the Anderson-Higgs mechanism (named after another Nobel Laureate Philip W ANDERSON), has widespread influence in our current understanding of the physical law for mass ranging from particle physics - the elusive “God particle” Higgs boson discovered in 2012 to the more familiar and important phenomena of superconductors and magnets in condensed matter physics and quantum material research. Continue reading