Researchers discover novel quantum state

Researchers have discovered a unique quantum state where water stays liquid at very low temperatures, due to atoms maintaining a liquid alignment. This discovery could lead to the development of highly sensitive quantum sensors.

A team of researchers from the Institute of Solid State Physics at the University of Tokyo in Japan, Johns Hopkins University in the United States, and the Max Planck Institute for the Physics of Complex Systems in Dresden, Germany has discovered a quantum state where water remains liquid even at extremely low temperatures. The team found that the alignment of atoms – one of their central property – did not ‘freeze’, as it would typically happen, but remained in a ‘liquid’ state.

The researchers intended to create a quantum state in which the atomic alignment that is associated with the spins did not order, even at very low temperatures. To achieve this state, they used a special material – a compound of the elements, praseodymium, zirconium, and oxygen.

The new quantum material could serve as a model system to develop new quantum sensors that are highly sensitive.