Primal Magnetism

ImageQuantum critical transitions take place at absolute zero and their occurrence can provide fundamental information about the onset of magnetism. Studying quantum criticality is challenging, however, because we cannot make measurements at absolute zero, and we must rely on less distinct changes in the state of a solid, that occur at slightly higher temperatures. Using an unusually broad set of precise physical property measurements very close to absolute zero, researchers have found strong evidence of quantum critical transitions in YbAgGe and mapped out its response to small applied magnetic fields. The results provide profound new understanding about magnetism and superconductivity in systems where the electrons interact strongly. They have observed the very birth of local moment behavior, providing insights into how magnetism comes into being.

  1. E. Mun, S. L. Bud'ko and P. C. Canfield. Thermoelectric power investigations of YbAgGe across the quantum critical point. Physical Review B 82, 174403, (2010) Editor's Suggestion DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevB.82.174403

Contact: Paul Canfield,

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