A Russian physicist with the Department of Electrodynamics of Complex Systems and Nanophotonics, Alexander Rozhkov, has brought forth theoretical mathematical models which point out the probable existence of a formerly unknown state of matter. The previously unknown state is called fermionic matter – such matter is found in the “liquid” form on the one-dimensional plane of spacetime. Although considering the plane on which the state of matter is found, therein lies the problem. One-dimensional entities cannot be described within the framework of current working models.
Rozhkov explained that the previously unknown one-dimensional state of matter is most likely not observable without extreme scientific aid. He also stated that the term “liquid” should be used ambiguously. “It applies to models describing multi-particle systems with inter-particle interaction,” he said. Essentially, particle systems are used to describe the way in which many identical objects, each following isolated paths, or under external influence, behave in a complex system. For example, in a flow of water, each molecule of water moves away from its source and is forced down by gravity all while following its own path.
In quantum mechanics there exists two types of particles, fermions and bosons. Fermionic matter is an elementary particle that has a half-integer spin such as a proton, neutron, or an electron. This type of particle is what is seen, felt, and observed every day. Bosons, on the other hand, differ from regular matter in that they have full-integer spin and can therefore exist in a superposition (occupying two points of spacetime simultaneously), whereas fermions cannot.
Currently, there exists two generally accepted models of fermionic matter. Fermionic liquid defines two and three-dimensional spaces while Tomonaga-Luttinger liquid is used for a one-dimensional space. These are theorized as one-dimensional super conductor material like quantum wires and carbon nanotubes. These materials have a near perfect conductance with essentially zero electrical resistance. Rozhkov said that at very low temperatures within high magnetic fields, fermions begin to act as they have no spin. Such action magnetically traps the atoms in the one-dimensional state, allowing physicists to accurately model the state of matter.
Although many physicists describe an applied application with their theoretical or experimental findings, Rozhkov is skeptical is begin speculating about the future of his discovery. “I found an exotic mutant different from anything currently known.” He believes that a current application is nearly irrelevant until further studies and experimentation can be completed.
Rozhkov added that the group of physicists and researchers with whom he is working is looking into additional low-dimensional and multi-particle systems. Recent discoveries in this concentration of particle systems include further results on anti-ferromagnetism, the phenomenon where all magnetism lost without an external force applied.
Rozhkov’s discovery opens up an entirely new way of thinking within the field of particle physics. As was previously mentioned, he does not want to speculate about the potential applications of one-dimensional liquidity. However, it could advance current experimentation with application like the space elevator, which is theorized to be engineered using low-dimensional carbon nanotubes. Nonetheless, the one-dimensional fluidity of fermions proves the existence of the previously unknown state of matter.
By: Alex Lemieux