Called “quantum spin liquid,” it was discovered by scientists at the University of Cambridge and represents the amazing fulfillment of a prediction of a new state of matter that was posited over 40 years ago, reports Nature Materials. The matter causes electrons to break into pieces called “majorana fermions.” Majorana fermions could be a necessary component needed to make quantum computers faster than ever thought possible. Previously it was believed that electrons were mostly indivisible.
“It’s an important step for our understanding of quantum matter,” said Dmitry Kovrizhin, one of the co-authors of the study. “It’s fun to have another new quantum state that we’ve never seen before — it presents us with new possibilities to try new things.” [Image: Genevieve Martin, Oak Ridge National Laboratory]