Physicists last year created an exotic state of matter previously unattainable in the laboratory but whose characteristics theorists have debated for more than 40 years. The latest probes of the new state suggest that the material—a cloud of ultracold atoms that's imbalanced with regard to a quantum property known as spin—behaves differently than most theorists had anticipated.
The new findings promise physicists a deeper understanding of superfluidity, a condition in which a fluid flows without resistance. The results may also provide insight into superconductivity, a form of superfluidity in which paired electrons flow without resistance.
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