Spin Kaleidoscope

spin kaleidoscope
Quantum interference pattern on the surface of a topological insulator.

Topological insulators are a recently discovered type of material that allow electricity to flow easily on their surface, but resist electrical flow through their interiors. The unusual material has been used in experiments that simulate the behavior of exotic particles, and may soon lead to components in advanced computers. This image shows a map of the electrical characteristics of a topological insulator, providing information that is helping physicists to better understand how these novel materials work.

Related Abstract

Gray arrow  Visualizing surface states of topological insulators using spectroscopic mapping with the scanning tunneling microscope

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Journalists wishing to reproduce this image for news stories about related research should include the following image credit: Credit: Image courtesy of P. Roushan and A. Yazdani/Princeton University (2011).