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article imageOp-Ed: Fabulous science — A whole new electronic state of matter!

By Paul Wallis     Feb 23, 2020 in Science
Pittsburgh - There are protons, there are neutrons, and there are electrons, right? Now there are bunches of electrons that act in a whole new way. It’s a new class of particles. This is a whole new piece of string for physics, and unbelievably useful.
You can thank the University of Pittsburgh for this rather Nobel Prize-like massive breakthrough in fundamental physics. This is great work. The story is a bit complex. The basics are that using a different type of conduction known as ballistic conduction, electrons suddenly get organized and do all these new things to form these new states of matter.
The form of groupings is a remarkably consistent, stable structure called a Pascal triangle. This thing has a reliable mathematical base, no “uncertainty” at all. The triangles are about as regular and orderly as you could possibly hope, and with all these new properties.
The really huge deal at the moment is getting electrons to behave like this. The most useful particle of all is now ready to go to work in ways nobody’s ever seen before.
Since the world basically runs on electrons, from phones to chemistry to water to everything else, this discovery has got a lot of people interested. Electrons generally aren’t all that organized. They usually just scamper around being electrons, but now they can do a lot more.
Nobody knew electrons could form groupings like this, because they usually don’t. Now, these super-groupings of electrons in a remarkably helpful symmetric state has more than a few heads being scratched.
Are your ballistic conductors feeling vindicated? They should.
This is a payoff for all those decades of mindbogglingly lengthy and thankless research into conductors and semiconductors. Ballistic conduction is far more efficient, enabling electron behaviour to be more regulated, with fewer “distractions” from conductors and the environment around them.
To colour this in a bit:
• A “new state of electronic matter” means the electron groups have unique properties. As far as anyone seems to know or be prepared to mention, there’s nothing like this in nature.
• Can they form new types of matter? Anyone’s guess. How you define a new state of matter may take a bit of terminological panel beating, too.
• Can they make power more efficient by increasing loads and then separating back into electrons at different points in a circuit or network? Worth checking.
• Do different sizes of groups have different properties? They might. Scale also matters, whether size matters or not. A group of 3 may do things quite differently to a group of 9, for example.
• How do these electrons affect the usual electronic relationships with other particles?
• Do they create negatively charged, manageable fields? Interesting thought, isn’t it?
• What if the electron groups team up with other quantum particles?
• Can you make a type of matter which can produce stable materials which have never existed before?
• Can you make compounds of these “tertiary materials”?
Short answer to the last question is probably Yes. If these groupings can deliver whole new combinations of particles reliably, and these new materials can exist in a stable form, you’ve got a whole new form of chemistry, at the very least. You’ll also have a lot of new material properties to explore.
This is a fantastic bit of science. It actually is a whole new dimension to physics, one that to my knowledge wasn’t even predicted. All the practical applications of this discovery are just barely still in the ballpark for current theory and may take millennia of exploration.
Ahem – About that science stuff you keep getting wrong
Just one more thing that needs mentioning – This is what pure research is all about. This is why you don’t use the choke chain on science. These guys have discovered something so far ahead of the mainstream that it’s barely ponderable, in fact. You’re gonna need a much bigger ballpark for all types of science using this way of assembling electrons, even at this early stage.
Most of human existence is about handling matter in billions of different forms. This may well be the new way to do that and do it a lot better. If you think the invention of fire and the wheel would have been good investments, watch how this works. You’ll get more than an education.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of DigitalJournal.com
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