Swiss Light Source
I didn't realise Steve Jobs was Swiss, nor that they had preserved his backside.
An international research team has observed an electron being split into two “quasi particles”, one carrying the original particle’s spin, the other carrying its orbital movement. Spin (giving rise to magnetism) and angular momentum (the path the electron follows around the nucleus of an atom) are two out of the electron’s …
Electrons are still "infrangible"
This here phenomenon seems to occur in a more complex materials that have several electrons and nucleai bunched up in a fracking complex structure.
The problem is that the reporter tries to describe something using imagery that doesn't necessarily apply. One would have to start from the mathematical foundations. The methaphors may come later..
Agreed. English language and the quantum world don't mix very well.
Physicists use maths (including lots of imaginary numbers) to very successfully describe that world. But trying to imagine something like an electron as an object made of other stuff just doesn't apply.
For example, Quantum Field Theory describes an electron as being something that is as big as the entire universe. It has a bit of "electronness" everywhere (the field being the whole universe and not just a football field). Only in some places and in some circumstances is it instantiated into something that you imagine a small point of charge to be.
Then you get onto equivalences. A photon can be a bit of light one moment, and a pair of particles the next. Stand in an accelerating lift and you can't tell whether you're in a strong gravitational field or are simply accelerating.
It's fascinating stuff, but so weird that it hurts my head thinking about it.
This why I don't rely on El Reg, this story was posted 6 hours before El Reg could cut and paste it
Broaden your horizons. However, you might be the first sighting of a Register Fanboi though.
Am I biting the hand that feeds it? Oh yes!
when it comes to contemporary science, but Richard Chirgwin's reports are, in my humble opinion, not among them. He does a excellent job of reporting scientific developments in popular (i e, non-mathematical) language, at least as good a job as such pop sci sites as Science Daily (http://www.sciencedaily.com/) or Phys Org (http://phys.org/). Moreover, from what I have seen, Mr Chirgwin is ready to correct his articles if and when errors of fact are pointed out to him. There are, alas, other bloggers here on the Reg whose dedication to scientific objectivity is far less evident and who would be much more appropriate subjects for your criticism....
Did it stay with the spinon, orbiton or wander off by itself to cry in the corner all alone?
Is this result really that significant? Afaik this wasn't a true splitting of a discrete electron but rather the apparent shift of some of its properties around the electron sea in a semi conductor - whilst it's an exciting result - it's not the revelation that breaking apart a single electron orbiting a hydrogen atom would be.
Having said that it may have theoretical and practical uses analogous to the 'electron holes' concept in semi-conductors.
A good question Gordon. It seems important enough to expect them to go looking for it or at least mention it. I suspect that what has happened is that the X-rays picked out some aspect of the properties of the quantum 'mush' that is smeared around the electron 'sea' of this complex crystalline solid.
I also wonder what temperature the solid was at when they detected this.
Splitting electrons is soooo boring. They'll just find another little Russian doll.
I want to see proper, popular research, research that would be published by my journal of choice, namely 'Hello!'. When are we going to get concrete proof of the Pratchettian Kingons, Queeons and Republicons. The theory  has been around since the late 1980s. I, personally, am prepared to undertake the torture of minor royals in order to assist this valuable and necessary research.
Only recently shed ourselves of 13 years of the real rabid control freaks. The UK hadn't yet reached the 'glories' of North Korea and Stalinist USSR, but was well on the way.
The Tories are doing a fine job of undoing the control mess left behind, but it is so great that socialist sect followers have difficulty distinguishing what is inherited control-freakiness from reality.
Cranks don't 'do' reality, so I think your biting will be in vain.
The 'rabid control' was indeed inherited - a continuation of policy from the 1980s onwards. I don't see much sign of it slowing down, let alone being 'undone'. Renaming the 'Interception Modernisation Programme' as the 'Communications Capabilities Development Programme' is not exactly bringing down the Berlin Wall, is it?
I prefer the Politicion. It comes in three quantum "flavours": Labour, Conservative, and Libdem. When observed before an election, the three flavours are distinctly observable. After an election Conservative and Labour turn out to be identical in terms of greed, incompetence, and all other observable quantum properties, and Libdem vanishes.
when you split the Politicion and take out the spin, the orbit will become an inward spiral that will cause orbit particle to eventually disappear up its own arse, as usual the charge will be passed to the maninthestreetion.
According to the BBC blue cars can beat traffic jams, I'm going to buy one.
"An analogy of this slippery idea is a traffic jam on a one-lane road - it is as if one blue car, pointed west and running at 1,000 RPM, passes on its blueness, its engine speed and its direction to adjacent cars."
"Spin .. and angular momentum ... are two out of the electron’s three quantum properties, the other is charge
You guys really don't know your QM, do you ?
Charge and spin are 2 intrinsic (fixed value) properties of an electron, as is rest mass. Angular monentum of an electron "orbing" a nucleus ( if and when it is part of an atom ) is one of several descrete but variable eigen values that will have at a particular time. If your counting that as a "quantum property " (eh ?) , then you need to count spin orientation and energy eigenvalue as well. The 2 out of 3 comment makes no sense at all.
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