Experimental evidence for the predicted chiral anomaly

Last week Professor of Physics N. Phuan Ong, and Professor of Chemistry Robert Cava, both of Princeton University, co-led a study published in Science providing experimental evidence of the chiral anomaly. A long standing prediction, first thought to exist in crystalline structures back in 1983, describes the process of how particles are able to change their orientation depending on the magnetic or electric field present.Chiral shells

Ong and Cava, who have both previously published in JPCM and other IOP Publishing journals, observed the anomaly in the topological Dirac semimetal Na3Bi. They found that aligning the magnetic field parallel to the current causes the chiral populations to mix, inducing an increase in conductivity – a phenomenon the researchers call the “axial current plume.”

While still in the early days of development, the implications of this research will help to further increase the energy efficiency of tomorrow’s electronic devices. Congratulations to all involved on their fantastic discovery.

If you are interested in topological insulators, you can find a great selection of high quality papers in our collection here. You can also read more of Ong and Cava’s previous work.

“Evidence for the chiral anomaly in the Dirac semimetal Na3Bi,” was published online in the journal Science by Jun Xiong; Satya K. Kushwaha; Tian Liang; Jason W. Krizan; Max Hirschberger; Wudi Wang; Robert J. Cava; and N. Phuan Ong.

For more information about the group’s work and a history of the chiral anomaly please find Princeton University’s full press release.

Image by Nyst, P.H., 1878-1881. Conchyliologie des terrains tertiaires de la Belgique. — Ann. Mus. r. Hist. nat. Belg., 3: 1-262 (1878), 28 pls. (1881) scanned by Tom Meijer for Wikimedia Commons under a CC BY 2.0 license.

Categories: Journal of Physics: Condensed Matter

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