skip to main content
DOE PAGES title logo U.S. Department of Energy
Office of Scientific and Technical Information

Title: Evidence for the confinement of magnetic monopoles in quantum spin ice

Abstract

Magnetic monopoles are hypothesised elementary particles connected by Dirac strings that behave like infinitely thin solenoids. Despite decades of searching, free magnetic monopoles and their Dirac strings have eluded experimental detection, although there is substantial evidence for deconfined magnetic monopole quasiparticles in spin ice materials. Here we report the detection of a hierarchy of unequally-spaced magnetic excitations via high resolution inelastic neutron spectroscopic measurements on the quantum spin ice candidate Pr 2Sn 2O 7. Here, these excitations are well-described by a simple model of monopole pairs bound by a linear potential with an effective tension of 0.642(8) K · °A –1 at 1.65 K. The success of the linear potential model suggests that these low energy magnetic excitations are direct spectroscopic evidence for the confinement of magnetic monopole quasiparticles in the quantum spin ice candidate Pr 2Sn 2O 7.

Authors:
 [1]; ORCiD logo [2]; ORCiD logo [2];  [1];  [3]; ORCiD logo [4]; ORCiD logo [2]; ORCiD logo [2]; ORCiD logo [2];  [5];  [6];  [7];  [1]; ORCiD logo [8]
  1. Univ. of Edinburgh, Edinburgh (United Kingdom)
  2. Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States)
  3. McMaster Univ., Hamilton, ON (Canada); Canadian Inst. for Advanced Research, Toronto, ON (Canada)
  4. Univ. of Manitoba, Winnipeg, MB (Canada)
  5. Univ. of Winnipeg, Winnipeg, MB (Canada)
  6. Univ. of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN (United States)
  7. National Taiwan Univ., Taipei (Taiwan); National Synchrotron Radiation Research Center, Hsinchu (Taiwan)
  8. McMaster Univ., Hamilton, ON (Canada); Canadian Institute for Advanced Research, Toronto, ON (Canada); Univ. of Winnipeg, MB (Canada); Univ. of Manitoba, Winnipeg, MB (Canada)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE
OSTI Identifier:
1530119
Grant/Contract Number:  
AC05-00OR22725
Resource Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Journal of Physics. Condensed Matter
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 29; Journal Issue: 45; Journal ID: ISSN 0953-8984
Publisher:
IOP Publishing
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
75 CONDENSED MATTER PHYSICS, SUPERCONDUCTIVITY AND SUPERFLUIDITY; neutron scattering; spin ice; geometrically frustrated magnetism; quantum spin ice; magnetic monopoles

Citation Formats

Sarte, Paul M., Aczel, Adam A., Ehlers, Georg, Stock, Christopher, Gaulin, Bruce D., Mauws, Cole, Stone, Matthew B., Calder, Stuart A., Nagler, Stephen E., Hollett, J. W., Zhou, H. D., Gardner, Jason S., Attfield, J. P., and Wiebe, Christopher R. Evidence for the confinement of magnetic monopoles in quantum spin ice. United States: N. p., 2017. Web. doi:10.1088/1361-648X/aa8ec2.
Sarte, Paul M., Aczel, Adam A., Ehlers, Georg, Stock, Christopher, Gaulin, Bruce D., Mauws, Cole, Stone, Matthew B., Calder, Stuart A., Nagler, Stephen E., Hollett, J. W., Zhou, H. D., Gardner, Jason S., Attfield, J. P., & Wiebe, Christopher R. Evidence for the confinement of magnetic monopoles in quantum spin ice. United States. doi:10.1088/1361-648X/aa8ec2.
Sarte, Paul M., Aczel, Adam A., Ehlers, Georg, Stock, Christopher, Gaulin, Bruce D., Mauws, Cole, Stone, Matthew B., Calder, Stuart A., Nagler, Stephen E., Hollett, J. W., Zhou, H. D., Gardner, Jason S., Attfield, J. P., and Wiebe, Christopher R. Fri . "Evidence for the confinement of magnetic monopoles in quantum spin ice". United States. doi:10.1088/1361-648X/aa8ec2. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1530119.
@article{osti_1530119,
title = {Evidence for the confinement of magnetic monopoles in quantum spin ice},
author = {Sarte, Paul M. and Aczel, Adam A. and Ehlers, Georg and Stock, Christopher and Gaulin, Bruce D. and Mauws, Cole and Stone, Matthew B. and Calder, Stuart A. and Nagler, Stephen E. and Hollett, J. W. and Zhou, H. D. and Gardner, Jason S. and Attfield, J. P. and Wiebe, Christopher R.},
abstractNote = {Magnetic monopoles are hypothesised elementary particles connected by Dirac strings that behave like infinitely thin solenoids. Despite decades of searching, free magnetic monopoles and their Dirac strings have eluded experimental detection, although there is substantial evidence for deconfined magnetic monopole quasiparticles in spin ice materials. Here we report the detection of a hierarchy of unequally-spaced magnetic excitations via high resolution inelastic neutron spectroscopic measurements on the quantum spin ice candidate Pr2Sn2O7. Here, these excitations are well-described by a simple model of monopole pairs bound by a linear potential with an effective tension of 0.642(8) K · °A–1 at 1.65 K. The success of the linear potential model suggests that these low energy magnetic excitations are direct spectroscopic evidence for the confinement of magnetic monopole quasiparticles in the quantum spin ice candidate Pr2Sn2O7.},
doi = {10.1088/1361-648X/aa8ec2},
journal = {Journal of Physics. Condensed Matter},
number = 45,
volume = 29,
place = {United States},
year = {2017},
month = {10}
}

Journal Article:
Free Publicly Available Full Text
Publisher's Version of Record

Citation Metrics:
Cited by: 3 works
Citation information provided by
Web of Science

Figures / Tables:

Figure 1 Figure 1: Local spin configurations in quantum spin ices leading to magnetic monopoles and Dirac strings. (a) Schematic of one possible twoin/two-out spin ice configuration in adjacent tetrahedra of the pyrochlore lattice. (b) A defect spin ice state is created by the flipping of a spin labeled in yellow andmore » results in the creation of a magnetic monopole pair labeled N and S. (c) The monopole pair can separate further via adjacent spin flips. (d) A schematic of an effective “Dirac string”, which consists of an infinitesimally thin solenoid (one unit of flux width) connecting the monopole pair.« less

Save / Share:

Works referenced in this record:

Quantised Singularities in the Electromagnetic Field
journal, September 1931

  • Dirac, P. A. M.
  • Proceedings of the Royal Society A: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences, Vol. 133, Issue 821
  • DOI: 10.1098/rspa.1931.0130

Dirac Strings and Magnetic Monopoles in the Spin Ice Dy2Ti2O7
journal, September 2009


On the Elementary Electrical Charge and the Avogadro Constant
journal, August 1913


The physics programme of the MoEDAL experiment at the LHC
journal, September 2014

  • Acharya, B.; Alexandre, J.; Bernabéu, J.
  • International Journal of Modern Physics A, Vol. 29, Issue 23
  • DOI: 10.1142/S0217751X14300506

Magnetic monopoles in spin ice
journal, January 2008

  • Castelnovo, C.; Moessner, R.; Sondhi, S. L.
  • Nature, Vol. 451, Issue 7174
  • DOI: 10.1038/nature06433

Measurement of the charge and current of magnetic monopoles in spin ice
journal, October 2009

  • Bramwell, S. T.; Giblin, S. R.; Calder, S.
  • Nature, Vol. 461, Issue 7266
  • DOI: 10.1038/nature08500

Zero-point entropy in ‘spin ice’
journal, May 1999

  • Ramirez, A. P.; Hayashi, A.; Cava, R. J.
  • Nature, Vol. 399, Issue 6734
  • DOI: 10.1038/20619

Magnetic Coulomb Phase in the Spin Ice Ho2Ti2O7
journal, September 2009


Experimental signature of the attractive Coulomb force between positive and negative magnetic monopoles in spin ice
journal, March 2016

  • Paulsen, C.; Giblin, S. R.; Lhotel, E.
  • Nature Physics, Vol. 12, Issue 7
  • DOI: 10.1038/nphys3704

Candidate quantum spin ice in the pyrochlore Pr 2 Hf 2 O 7
journal, July 2016


Disordered Route to the Coulomb Quantum Spin Liquid: Random Transverse Fields on Spin Ice in Pr 2 Zr 2 O 7
journal, March 2017


Generic quantum spin ice
journal, September 2012


Seeing the light: Experimental signatures of emergent electromagnetism in a quantum spin ice
journal, August 2012


Dynamics of diluted Ho spin ice Ho 2 x Y x Ti 2 O 7 studied by neutron spin echo spectroscopy and ac susceptibility
journal, May 2006


Quantum Strings in Quantum Spin Ice
journal, June 2012


Dynamic Spin Ice: Pr 2 Sn 2 O 7
journal, November 2008


Low-temperature magnetic properties of the geometrically frustrated pyrochlore Pr2Sn2O7
journal, May 2004

  • Matsuhira, K.; Sekine, C.; Paulsen, C.
  • Journal of Magnetism and Magnetic Materials, Vol. 272-276
  • DOI: 10.1016/j.jmmm.2003.12.500

Crystal-field states of Pr 3 + in the candidate quantum spin ice Pr 2 Sn 2 O 7
journal, September 2013


Quenched crystal-field disorder and magnetic liquid ground states in Tb 2 Sn 2 x Ti x O 7
journal, June 2015


Quantum oscillations of nitrogen atoms in uranium nitride
journal, January 2012

  • Aczel, A. A.; Granroth, G. E.; MacDougall, G. J.
  • Nature Communications, Vol. 3, Issue 1
  • DOI: 10.1038/ncomms2117

Quantum Criticality in an Ising Chain: Experimental Evidence for Emergent E 8 Symmetry
journal, January 2010


Magnon Bound States in Anisotropic Linear Chains
journal, November 1969


Excitation of Multiple-Magnon Bound States in Co Cl 2 ·2 H 2 O
journal, November 1969


Two-dimensional Ising field theory in a magnetic field: Breakup of the cut in the two-point function
journal, August 1978


A measure of monopole inertia in the quantum spin ice Yb2Ti2O7
journal, December 2015

  • Pan, LiDong; Laurita, N. J.; Ross, Kate A.
  • Nature Physics, Vol. 12, Issue 4
  • DOI: 10.1038/nphys3608

Anisotropic Exchange within Decoupled Tetrahedra in the Quantum Breathing Pyrochlore Ba 3 Yb 2 Zn 5 O 11
journal, June 2016


Solitary Magnons in the S = 5 2 Antiferromagnet CaFe 2 O 4
journal, June 2016


Quantum fluctuations in spin-ice-like Pr2Zr2O7
journal, June 2013

  • Kimura, K.; Nakatsuji, S.; Wen, J-J.
  • Nature Communications, Vol. 4, Issue 1
  • DOI: 10.1038/ncomms2914

    Works referencing / citing this record:

    Absence of spin-ice state in the disordered fluorite D y 2 Z r 2 O 7
    journal, June 2019


      Figures/Tables have been extracted from DOE-funded journal article accepted manuscripts.