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Left panels: Spin (atomic magnet) configurations respecting (lower panel) and violating (upper panel) the conservation law. Right panels: The corresponding neutron scatterings for the two situations: 3D structure of the neutron scattering pattern (mid panel) and the constant energy cross sections of the pinch point (lower panel) and half moon (upper panel). The two patterns corresponding to the two spin configurations on the left. Credit: Theory of Quantum Matter Unit

Half moons and pinch points: Same physics, different energy

At the point when physicists send neutrons shooting through a frustrated magnet, the particles spray out the opposite side in signature patterns. The structures...