In search of Weyl semimetals

phys.org | 1/18/2019 | Staff
DanRules394 (Posted by) Level 3
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Imagine how much you could accomplish if the circuits in your laptop and cell phone worked 10 times faster, and your battery lasted 10 times longer, than they do now.

In order to understand the technology of tomorrow—and today—you have to go back to equations developed by physicists in the 1930s. One of these physicists was Hermann Weyl, who in 1937 theorized the existence of Weyl fermions, massless particles that could carry electrical charge at high speeds. No one has ever observed these particles in isolation, but Weyl fermions have been spotted in a special class of materials called Weyl semimetals. In 2015, a research team from Princeton found that tantalum arsenide is a Weyl semimetal, and since then teams from around the world are studying other materials to see whether they exhibit the properties predicted by Weyl.

Team - Engineers - University - Delaware - Materials

Now, a team of electrical engineers at the University of Delaware has discovered that novel semi-metallic materials, alloys of germanium and tin, have properties like Weyl semimetals. This has not been observed before by any other research group.

The team is led by James Kolodzey, Charles Black Evans Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, who studies the flow of electric current through materials.

Engineers - Materials - Point - View - Kolodzey

"Historically, electrical engineers have tried to categorize materials from an electronic and optical point of view," Kolodzey said. For example, metals like copper and aluminum conduct electricity well because of the movement of electrons, the subatomic particles that carry electric charge. "In metals, electrons are a bit loose and flow easily," said Kolodzey. That's why copper is used in wiring...
(Excerpt) Read more at: phys.org
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