The new material is a lattice-shaped pattern, formed from a layer of the two different types of subatomic particles: bosons and fermions.
Bosons are a type of particle which is difficult for scientists to create and manipulate because they do not interact with each other. Fermions are more stable – particles such as electrons – and interact through electrostatic force.
The material sees the two different types of particle combining and interacting in a new way, with the particles eventually form into a crystalline state, which in turn creates a material which has an insulating effect.
“Conventionally, people have spent most of their efforts to understand what happens when you put many fermions together,” says condensed matter physicist Chenhao Jin from the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB).
“The main thrust of our work is that we basically made a new material out of interacting bosons.”
The new material doesn’t yet have any practical uses, but exotic creations like this help scientists understand how the universe is put together, the team said.
“What happened here is that we discovered the correlation that drove the bosons into a highly ordered state,” said physicist Richen Xiong, from UCSB.
The scientists think the discovery could lead to them finding more materials like this further down the line.
“We know that some materials have very bizarre properties,” said Xiong. “And one goal of condensed matter physics is to understand why they have these rich properties and find ways to make these behaviours come out more reliably.”
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