It’s official – we have a new fundamental state of matter to add to our collection and it comes in the form of 3D quantum liquid crystals. The new state of matter was discovered by Caltech physicists at the Institute for Quantum Information and Matter and has a lot of people excited. Researchers expect this new state of matter to play a big part in ultra-fast quantum computing and could be just the beginning.
With standard liquid crystals, their molecules flow freely as if they were a liquid, but remain directionally oriented like a solid. Quantum liquid crystals’ molecules behave in a similar fashion to standard liquid crystals, but their electrons orient themselves along certain axes instead. When it comes to 3D quantum liquid crystals the magnetic properties they exhibit depends on the direction they flow along a particular axis.
Moving forward, the researchers are hopeful the discovery of 3D quantum liquid crystals may help in developing more efficient computer chips. It could also help us to achieve along that quantum computing journey enabling us to decrypt codes and make calculations much faster than a conventional computer. But quantum effects are delicate and transient and so achieving a quantum computer is no easy feat, but then that’s where the 3D quantum liquid crystals come in.
“In the same way that 2D quantum liquid crystals have been proposed to be a precursor to high-temperature superconductors, 3D quantum liquid crystals could be the precursors to the topological superconductors we’ve been looking for,” said Caltech assistant professor of physics, David Heish.
- Scientists: “We Have Detected the Existence of the Fundamentally New State of Matter” / Futurism
- A parity-breaking electronic nematic phase transition in the spin-orbit coupled metal Cd2Re2O7
- New Quantum Liquid Crystals May Play Role in Future of Computers / Caltech
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