The team of scientists have found evidence for the confinement idea by neutron scattering experiments on magnetic crystals of calcium cuprate (a copper-oxide material synthesized at the Leibniz Institute for Solid State and materials research in Dresden). The neutron experiments were performed using the MAPS spectrometer at the ISIS pulsed neutron source at Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, UK. Further the crystal and magnetic structure were investigated from neutron data collected on the E5 instrument at the research reactor BER II in Berlin.
The neutron scattering data show that the electrons essentially first split into spins and charges on the chains, then the spinons pair up again due to ladder effects. Prof Alan Tennant, the head of "Institute Complex Magnetic Materials" at HZB, explained: "The geometry of the ladder in fact plays a special role: the spinons always appear in pairs and when they move apart, they force a reorganisation of the intervening electrons that costs energy. The energy cost grows with separation like a rubber band." According to Bella Lake "This strong pairing up of two spinons is like quarks binding together to form subatomic particles like hadrons and mesons."
Prof Alexei Tsvelik who developed the theoretical description explained "The formation of hadrons is well established on a qualitative level, but its quantitative aspects remain unresolved. It is unknown how to relate the theoretical parameters to the observed hadron masses. This is one of the reasons why condensed matter analogues are interesting. They provide examples of confinement for which detailed descriptions have been achieved."
|Contact: Professor Bella Lake|
Helmholtz Association of German Research Centres