Scientists at the Max Planck Institute for Chemical Physics of Solids in Dresden, Princeton University, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and the University of the Chinese Academy of Sciences have spotted the fingerprint of an elusive particle: The axion—first predicted 42 years ago as an elementary particle in extensions of the standard model of particle physics. Based on predictions from Illinois Physics Professor Barry Bradlyn and Princeton Physics Professor Andrei Bernevig's group, the group of Chemical Physics Professor Claudia Felser at Max Planck in Dresden produced the charge density wave Weyl metalloid (TaSe4)2I and investigated the electrical conduction in this material under the influence of electric and magnetic fields. It was found that the electric current in this material below -11 °C is actually carried by axion particles.
Condensed Matter Physics
What is Condensed Matter Physics?
Condensed matter physics attempts to understand and manipulate the properties of matter in its solid and liquid forms from fundamental physical principles of quantum and statistical mechanics.
What are we doing in Condensed Matter Physics at Illinois?
The University of Illinois maintains a distinguished tradition of focusing on the collective properties of matter and the emergence of novel and unusual states of matter, such as superconductivity and superfluidity.
Research in these areas has been recognized by numerous major awards, including Nobel Prizes to John Bardeen and Anthony Leggett. However, the university is also distinguished by its strong contributions to the development of technology emanating from condensed matter physics, especially in the area of semiconductor physics.
Today, the condensed matter group is the largest focus area in the department, with vibrant programs in both theory and experimental work. Every area of modern-day condensed matter physics is represented at Illinois, together with numerous cross-disciplinary programs in atomic, molecular and optical physics, materials science, and even biology.