Hot on the Heels of Quasiparticles

November 2, 2016

A polaron (orange) is formed amidst the electrons (violet) inside a solid.
Credit: ETH Zurich / Meinrad Sidler

Electrons in a solid can team up to form so-called quasiparticles, which lead to new phenomena. Physicists at ETH in Zurich [in collaboration with Prof. Eugene Demler] have now studied previously unidentified quasiparticles in a new class of atomically thin semiconductors.

If one tries to understand weather phenomena, it's not much use looking at the behaviour of single water droplets or air molecules. Instead, meteorologists (and also laymen) speak of clouds, winds and precipitation - objects that result from the complex interplay between small particles. Physicists dealing with the optical properties or the conductivity of solids use much the same approach. Again, tiny particles - and atoms - are responsible for a multitude of phenomena, but an illuminating picture only emerges when many of them are grouped into "quasiparticles..."


Continue reading "Hot on the heels of quasiparticles" by Oliver Morsch, physics.org, November 2, 2016. Also read the Letter to Nature Physics: M. Sidler, P. Back, O. Cotlet, A. Srivastava, T. Fink, M. Kroner, E. Demler & A. Imamoglu, "Fermi polaron-polaritons in charge-tunable atomically thin semiconductors," Nature Physics (2016) DOI: 10.1038/nphys3949.