Quantum Anomaly revealed
Date: Monday, July 24, 2017 @ 13:09:24 EDT
Topic: Science


An international team of physicists, materials scientists and string theoreticians have observed a phenomenon on Earth that was previously thought to only occur hundreds of light years away or at the time when the universe was born. This result could lead to a more evidence-based model for the understanding the universe and for improving the energy-conversion process in electronic devices. Previously it was thought to only occur in the early stages of the universe and within neutron stars and black holes.

IBM scientists predict this discovery will open up a rush of new developments around sensors, switches and thermoelectric coolers or energy-harvesting devices, for improved power consumption.

 



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The conservation laws, such as those of charge, energy and momentum, have a central role in physics. In some special cases, classical conservation laws are broken at the quantum level by quantum fluctuations, in which case the theory is said to have quantum anomalies1. One of the most prominent examples is the chiral anomaly which involves massless chiral fermions. These particles have their spin, or internal angular momentum, aligned either parallel or antiparallel with their linear momentum, labelled as left and right chirality, respectively. In three spatial dimensions, the chiral anomaly is the breakdown (as a result of externally applied parallel electric and magnetic fields) of the classical conservation law that dictates that the number of massless fermions of each chirality are separately conserved. The current that measures the difference between left- and right-handed particles is called the axial current and is not conserved at the quantum level. In addition, an underlying curved space-time provides a distinct contribution to a chiral imbalance, an effect known as the mixed axial–gravitational anomaly1, but this anomaly has yet to be confirmed experimentally. However, the presence of a mixed gauge–gravitational anomaly has recently been tied to thermoelectrical transport in a magnetic field even in flat space-time, suggesting that such types of mixed anomaly could be experimentally probed in condensed matter systems known as Weyl semimetals. 

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More: https://www.ibm.com/blogs/research/2017/07/scientists-observe-gravitational-anomaly-on-earth/







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