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Phys Rev Lett. 2005 Dec 16;95(25):256403. Epub 2005 Dec 15.

Magnetic form factor of alpha-Ce: towards understanding the magnetism of cerium.

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Institut Laue Langevin, 6 Rue Jules Horowitz, 38042, Grenoble Cedex, France.


A favored interpretation of the gamma <--> alpha phase transition in cerium postulates the transformation of the localized 4f state in gamma-Ce to a weakly correlated itinerant 4f band in alpha-Ce. However, results of high-energy neutron inelastic scattering measurements, presented here, show clearly that the magnetic susceptibility response from alpha-Ce follows the Ce3+ form factor despite the large, 30-fold, increase in its spectral width relative to that in gamma-Ce. This observation provides, for the first time, indisputable evidence for the localized character of the 4f state in the alpha phase. The present findings appear consistent with recent calculations combining dynamical mean-field theory with the local density approximation that indicate a strongly correlated 4f state in alpha-Ce. The localized 4f state is also fundamental to the Kondo volume collapse theories for the gamma <--> alpha phase transition in cerium.

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