Rotational Symmetry Breaking in the Hidden-Order Phase of URu2Si2.
Summary of "Rotational Symmetry Breaking in the Hidden-Order Phase of URu2Si2."
A second-order phase transition is characterized by spontaneous symmetry breaking. The nature of the broken symmetry in the so-called "hidden-order" phase transition in the heavy-fermion compound URu(2)Si(2), at transition temperature T(h) = 17.5 K, has posed a long-standing mystery. We report the emergence of an in-plane anisotropy of the magnetic susceptibility below T(h), which breaks the four-fold rotational symmetry of the tetragonal URu(2)Si(2). Two-fold oscillations in the magnetic torque under in-plane field rotation were sensitively detected in small pure crystals. Our findings suggest that the hidden-order phase is an electronic "nematic" phase, a translationally invariant metallic phase with spontaneous breaking of rotational symmetry.
Department of Physics, Kyoto University, Kyoto 606-8502, Japan.
This article was published in the following journal.
Name: Science (New York, N.Y.)
- PubMed Source: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21273481
- DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1126/science.1197358
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