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herbertsmithite: a new state of matter?

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avatarUdut, Kenneth -- on Aug. 2 2008, from Golden Gate Estates, Naples, FL
Founder of this Naples site of NeighborHelp Referrals.

The universe is latticework! triangles? Oh my!


A new state of matter?
" ...unusual because its electrons are arranged in a triangular lattice. Normally, electrons prefer to line up so that their spins are in the opposite direction to that of their immediate neighbours, but in a triangle this is impossible - there will always be neighbouring electrons spinning in the same direction. Wen and his colleagues propose that such a system would be a string-net liquid. "

From wikipedia:
String-net liquid is the phrase used for a hypothetical state of matter in which the atoms do not line up in opposing "spins", but in a more erratic order, as if they had partial spins or charges. Herbertsmithite, a crystalline material occurring in nature, may have such qualities. Discovered by Xiao-Gang at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. First thought of in 1983.
" Suddenly we realised, maybe the vacuum of our whole universe is a string-net liquid, "

" Some minerals, namely jarosites and herbertsmithite, contain layers with kagome lattice arrangement of atoms in their crystal structure. These minerals display novel physical properties connected with geometrically frustrated magnetism. The term is much in use nowadays in the scientific literature, especially by theorists studying the magnetic properties of a theoretical kagome lattice in two or three dimensions. "


herbertsmithite: a new state of matter? The universe is latticework!  triangles?  Oh my!