Friday, September 05, 2014

Particle Physics In A Superconductor

It has finally come full circle.

The Higgs mechanism, which came out of the phenomenon of superconductivity and were then used in elementary particle physics, has come back to superconductivity with the latest result published in Science. In this report, physicists see the similar Higgs boson signature in superconductors as those described in particle physics.

To find it in a superconductor in its normal state, Shimano and colleagues violently shook the superconductor with a very brief pulse of light. Shimano says it is similar to how particle physicists create the real Higgs boson with energetic particle collisions. They first created the superconducting Higgs last year, and have now studied its properties to show that, mathematically speaking, it behaves almost exactly like the particle physics Higgs.

Again, this is similar to the discovery of magnetic monopole in spin-glass system and the discovery of Majorana fermions. A lot of particle physics can be done in condensed matter!

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