Strange state of matter made into a pancake-shape for first time

A supersolid is an exotic state of matter that behaves like both a solid and a fluid. It was first predicted 60 years ago, but has only recently been created in the lab

Physics 14 May 2022

A pancake-shaped supersolid

Researchers have made a pancake-shaped supersolid

Thomas Bland et al.

A pancake-shaped supersolid has been made for the first time. This exotic state of matter behaves as a solid, but also flows like a frictionless fluid. It was first theorised 60 years ago, but was only recently created in the lab.

At temperatures a billionth of a degree Celsius above absolute zero, atoms form exotic phases of matter instead of freezing into solids. Some ultracold metals become perfect conductors of electricity. Ultracold materials that are very magnetic can become supersolids, in which atoms are …

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