Journal Article Possible observation of highly itinerant quantum magnetic monopoles in the frustrated pyrochlore Yb[2]Ti[2]O[7]

Tokiwa, Y.  ,  Yamashita, T.  ,  Udagawa, M.  ,  Kittaka, S.  ,  Sakakibara, T.  ,  Terazawa, D.  ,  Shimoyama, Y.  ,  Terashima, T.  ,  Yasui, Y.  ,  Shibauchi, T.  ,  Matsuda, Y.

72016-02-25 , Nature Publishing Group
The low-energy elementary excitations in frustrated quantum magnets have fascinated researchers for decades. In frustrated Ising magnets on a pyrochlore lattice possessing macroscopically degenerate spin-ice ground states, the excitations have been discussed in terms of classical magnetic monopoles, which do not contain quantum fluctuations. Here we report unusual behaviours of magneto-thermal conductivity in the disordered spin-liquid regime of pyrochlore Yb[2]Ti[2]O[7], which hosts frustrated spin-ice correlations with large quantum fluctuations owing to pseudospin-1/2 of Yb ions. The analysis of the temperature and magnetic field dependencies shows the presence of gapped elementary excitations. We find that the gap energy is largely suppressed from that expected in classical monopoles. Moreover, these excitations propagate a long distance without being scattered, in contrast to the diffusive nature of classical monopoles. These results suggests the emergence of highly itinerant quantum magnetic monopole, which is a heavy quasiparticle that propagates coherently in three-dimensional spin liquids.

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