First pictures of magnetic polarons taken

Physicists at LMU Munich and the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics photographed the magnetic structure around a mobile charge carrier within a crystal lattice, so-called magnetic polarons, for the first time using a quantum simulator.

Artistic representation of a magnetic polaron (Christoph Hohmann, Joannis Koepsell /MPQ)

Artistic representation of a magnetic polaron (Christoph Hohmann, Joannis Koepsell /MPQ)

It was a magnetic moment in 2018, when the physicists from Immanuel Bloch‘s department Quantum Many Body Systems at the MPQ succeeded in photographing magnetic polarons for the first time. This enabled the scientists to study polarons and their vicinity in detail. To create polarons, the team led by Christian Groß, prepared special charge carriers, called doublons, in a strongly correlated many-body system of Lithium atoms. Thereby, the physicists were able to observe, that a doublon was constantly surrounded by profound changes within the magnetic environment. In theory, these changes around charge carriers had been predicted, but only now were they verified by direct pictures from the experiment in Garching. (Nature 2019)

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