Wednesday, June 16, 2010

First Real Space Observation of a Skyrmion

Nature just published a paper claiming the first real-space observation of 2D skyrmion[1]. This was observed in a magnetic crystal system, i.e. this is out of condensed matter.

As in the earlier discovery of the "magnetic monopole", these exotic and fundamental physics are coming out of condensed matter physics, an area that many outside of that field do not consider to be "fundamental". Yet, it has produced a tremendous amount of physics that permeates into areas of physics that people usually consider as basic science and "fundamental".


[1] X.Z. Yu et al., Nature v.465, p.901(2010).

1 comment:

Rolando said...

This is not the first time there are reports of skyrmions in condensed matter physics. The same group of Prof. Tokura in Japan has reported similar experiments in similar silicide materials observing the same magnetic structures (these are either PRL or PRB papers). There have been similar observations in MnSi using neutron scattering where the skyrmion lattice has been observed (this paper might actually be published in Nature itself), of course the neutron scattering measures the skyrmion lattice in k-space rather than real space.