Ordering electron and nuclear spins in quantum wires

Nuclear and electron spins in a quantum wire may spontaneously form an ordered state at very low temperatures, according to work recently carried out by an international team of physicists. The team was studying the conductance of gallium-arsenide quantum wires and discovered that, at temperatures of 0.1‚ÄČK and lower, the conductance of the wires dropped below the universal quantized value. This reduced quantization is explained using a theoretical model that proposes that the nuclear and electron spins order themselves in a helical formation at these temperatures.

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