(Phys.org) Researchers from Colorado State University, are at the Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) to probe a material called ytterbium silicate.
Kate Ross and Ph.D. candidate Gavin Hester, believe ytterbium silicate, the only magnetic material based on a rare-earth element that shows evidence of a Bose-Einstein condensate, may hold the key to understanding quantum phenomena in other magnets based on rare-earth elements. By probing samples of ytterbium silicate with neutrons, Ross hopes to generate a detailed map of this unique Bose-Einstein condensate and then use that map to validate her hypothesis by identifying exotic quantum states in other magnetic materials.
Ytterbium Silicate Findings Considered Essential for Material Platforms of Quantum Technologies in Future
“We’re definitely interested in learning more about this BEC phase in ytterbium silicate specifically, but we hope that what we learn here will also help our colleagues discover more quantum states in rare-earth–based materials. This fundamental understanding is essential for forming the material platforms of future quantum technologies,” said Ross.

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