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Question of the Week: Can magnetic monopoles be realized via topological insulators?

Question of the Week, 30.08.2010

In a recent publication (DOI: 10.1126/science.1189924), physicists reported about the possibility to “tune” topological insulators by introducing magnetic dopants and simultaneous magnetic and charge doping. Well-tuned, the topological insulator dibismuth triselenide gave rise to an insulating massive Dirac fermion state, which may enable physicists to observe exciting phenomena, such as magnetic monopoles.

Y. L. Chen et al.

“Massive Dirac Fermion on the Surface of a Magnetically Doped Topological Insulator”

Science 6, Vol. 329 no. 5992, pp. 659-662 (2010)

More about topological insulators:

S. Chadov et al.

“Tunable multifunctional topological insulators in ternary Heusler compounds”

Nature Materials, Vol. 9, pp. 541-545 (2010)

Hear Prof. Shou Cheng Zhang from Stanford University explain topological insulators:

More about magnetic monopoles:

D. J. P. Morris et al.

“Dirac Strings and Magnetic Monopoles in the Spin Ice Dy2Ti2O7

Science 16,Vol. 326. no. 5951, pp. 411 – 414, (2009)

Leonie Mueck