As a rule, I try not to make a habit of just posting things without writing an accompanying little article with the greater context to make it more interesting. But there are exceptions to every rule and since it's Sunday and there aren't many people around, I'm going to go ahead and post this anyway. I think it is really neat and I also think that I am not nearly smart enough to write anything of use about it.

The cover story of the Feb 27th Nature magazine is about a new quasiparticle called a "dropleton". Quasiparticles are just what physicists call things that aren't particles, but kind of behave like particles. And they all end in "on". Like polarons, plasmons or phonons. Or excitons (remember our old friend the exciton?).

Apparently, and this is all news to me, excitons can pair up and become "biexcitons"; they can even form bigger groups which are called "polyexcitons". Now physicists are reporting that there are alternative large clusters of excitons that are distinct from polyexcitons because they behave like a liquid. And they have called them dropletons.


Anyway, as I say, this is a little above and beyond the scope of my brain, but if you're interested in these sorts of things, you should check out the original article:

Quantum droplets of electrons and holes, Nature.

Image credit: Wired (this is actually a pretty good article about the phenomenon too).