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Mysterious Quantum ‘Dropletons’ Form Inside Semiconductors Shot With Lasers

•, By Adam Mann
These things were not predicted under any theory and surprised scientists when they appeared unexpectedly in extremely low temperature semiconductor experiments. They have properties unlike anything seen before.
“At first we scratched our heads,” said physicist Steven Cundiff of the University of Colorado and National Institute of Standards and Technology in Boulder, one of the authors of a paper appearing today in Nature. “But then we came up with this idea that what we were seeing was this new thing we’re calling a quantum droplet.”
Now before you start asking questions like, “What?” and “Huh?” we probably need to break things down a little here.
There are materials, such as metals, that are good conductors of electricity. Inside of a conductor like copper wire are countless copper atoms arranged in a lattice. The electrons of the copper atoms become unbound from their nuclei and are free to flow, allowing them to easily carry a current. The opposite of this is an insulator, like rubber, in which electrons stay put.

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