Tuesday, May 19, 2020

‘Milestone’ Evidence for Anyons, a Third Kingdom of Particles

Quanta Magazine

Anyons don’t fit into either of the two known particle kingdoms. To find them, physicists had to erase the third dimension.

Every last particle in the universe — from a cosmic ray to a quark — is either a fermion or a boson. These categories divide the building blocks of nature into two distinct kingdoms. Now researchers have discovered the first examples of a third particle kingdom.

Anyons, as they’re known, don’t behave like either fermions or bosons; instead, their behavior is somewhere in the middle. In a recent paper published in Science, physicists have found the first experimental evidence that these particles don’t fit into either kingdom. “We had bosons and fermions, and now we’ve got this third kingdom,” said Frank Wilczek, a Nobel prize–winning physicist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. “It’s absolutely a milestone.” Continue reading at Quanta Magazine

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