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Nature. 2013 Jan 31;493(7434):621-6. doi: 10.1038/nature11820.

Hastatic order in the heavy-fermion compound URu2Si2.

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  • 1Center for Materials Theory, Department of Physics and Astronomy, Rutgers University, 136 Frelinghuysen Road, Piscataway, New Jersey 08854-8019, USA.


The development of collective long-range order by means of phase transitions occurs by the spontaneous breaking of fundamental symmetries. Magnetism is a consequence of broken time-reversal symmetry, whereas superfluidity results from broken gauge invariance. The broken symmetry that develops below 17.5 kelvin in the heavy-fermion compound URu(2)Si(2) has long eluded such identification. Here we show that the recent observation of Ising quasiparticles in URu(2)Si(2) results from a spinor order parameter that breaks double time-reversal symmetry, mixing states of integer and half-integer spin. Such 'hastatic' order hybridizes uranium-atom conduction electrons with Ising 5f(2) states to produce Ising quasiparticles; it accounts for the large entropy of condensation and the magnetic anomaly observed in torque magnetometry. Hastatic order predicts a tiny transverse moment in the conduction-electron 'sea', a colossal Ising anisotropy in the nonlinear susceptibility anomaly and a resonant, energy-dependent nematicity in the tunnelling density of states.

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