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Still Waters

Physicists make Electron Crystal after 86 yrs

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Still Waters

In 1934, theoretical physicist Eugene Wigner proposed a new type of crystal.

If the density of negatively charged electrons could be maintained below a certain level, the subatomic particles could be held in a repeating pattern to create a crystal of electrons; this idea came to known as a Wigner crystal.

That's a lot easier said than done, though. Electrons are fidgety, and it's extremely difficult to get them to sit still. Nevertheless, a team of physicists has now achieved it - by trapping the wiggly little brats between a pair of two-dimensional semiconducting tungsten layers.



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