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Title: Orbital-exchange and fractional quantum number excitations in an f-electron metal Yb2Pt2Pb

Exotic quantum states and fractionalized magnetic excitations, such as spinons in one-dimensional chains, are generally expected to occur in 3d transition metal systems with spin 1/2. Our neutron-scattering experiments on the 4f-electron metal Yb2Pt2Pb overturn this conventional wisdom. We observe broad magnetic continuum dispersing in only one direction, which indicates that the underlying elementary excitations are spinons carrying fractional spin-1/2. These spinons are the emergent quantum dynamics of the anisotropic, orbital-dominated Yb moments. Owing to their unusual origin, only longitudinal spin fluctuations are measurable, whereas the transverse excitations such as spin waves are virtually invisible to magnetic neutron scattering. Furthermore, the proliferation of these orbital-spinons strips the electrons of their orbital identity, resulting in charge-orbital separation.
Authors:
;  [1] ;  [2] ;  [1] ;  [3] ;  [4] ;  [1] ;  [5] ;  [5] ;  [6] ;  [6] ;  [2]
  1. Brookhaven National Lab. (BNL), Upton, NY (United States)
  2. Stony Brook Univ., Stony Brook, NY (United States); Brookhaven National Lab. (BNL), Upton, NY (United States); Texas A & M Univ., College Station, TX (United States)
  3. Max Planck Institute for the Physics of Complex Systems, Dresden (Germany); Univ. of Amsterdam, Amsterdam (The Netherlands)
  4. Univ. of Amsterdam, Amsterdam (The Netherlands)
  5. National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, MD (United States)
  6. Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
1263910
Report Number(s):
BNL--112301-2016-JA
Journal ID: ISSN 0036-8075; R&D Project: PO010; KC0201060
Grant/Contract Number:
SC00112704
Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Science
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 352; Journal Issue: 6290; Journal ID: ISSN 0036-8075
Publisher:
AAAS
Research Org:
Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL), Upton, NY (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Basic Energy Sciences (BES) (SC-22)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
75 CONDENSED MATTER PHYSICS, SUPERCONDUCTIVITY AND SUPERFLUIDITY