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Friday, April 20, 2012

Electron decay into two separate parts

Electrons doing the splits
Artist's impression of an electron 
splitting up into two new particles: 
a spinon carrying the electron's spin 
and an orbiton carrying its orbital moment. 
(Graphics: David Hilf, Hamburg)




"An electron has been observed to decay into two separate parts, each carrying a particular property of the electron: a spinon carrying its spin - the property making the electron behave as a tiny compass needle - and an orbiton carrying its orbital moment - which arises from the electron's motion around the nucleus. These newly created particles, however, cannot leave the material in which they have been produced. This result is reported in a paper published in Nature by an international team of researchers led by experimental physicists from the Paul Scherrer Institute (Switzerland) and theoretical physicists from the IFW Dresden (Germany)."
Follow the link to read more.
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