'Material universe' yields surprising new particle

An international team of researchers has predicted the existence of a new type of particle called the type-II Weyl fermion in metallic materials. When subjected to a magnetic field, the materials containing the particle act ...

New state of matter detected in a two-dimensional material

An international team of researchers have found evidence of a mysterious new state of matter, first predicted 40 years ago, in a real material. This state, known as a quantum spin liquid, causes electrons - thought to be ...

First sighting of mysterious Majorana fermion on a common metal

Physicists at MIT and elsewhere have observed evidence of Majorana fermions—particles that are theorized to also be their own antiparticle—on the surface of a common metal: gold. This is the first sighting of Majorana ...

New material shows high potential for quantum computing

A joint team of scientists at the University of California, Riverside, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology is getting closer to confirming the existence of an exotic quantum particle called Majorana fermion, crucial ...

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Fermion

In particle physics, a fermion (named after Enrico Fermi) is any particle which obeys the Fermi–Dirac statistics (and follows the Pauli exclusion principle). Fermions contrast with bosons which obey Bose–Einstein statistics.

A fermion can be an elementary particle, such as the electron; or it can be a composite particle, such as the proton. The spin-statistics theorem holds that, in any reasonable relativistic quantum field theory, particles with integer spin are bosons, while particles with half-integer spin are fermions.

In contrast to bosons, only one fermion can occupy a particular quantum state at any given time. If more than one fermion occupies the same physical space, at least one property of each fermion, such as its spin, must be different. Fermions are usually associated with matter, whereas bosons are generally force carrier particles; although in the current state of quantum physics the distinction between the two concepts is unclear.

The Standard Model recognizes two types of elementary fermions: quarks and leptons. In all, the model distinguishes 24 different fermions: 6 quarks and 6 leptons, each with a corresponding anti-particle.

Composite fermions, such as protons and neutrons, are key building blocks of matter. Weakly interacting fermions can also display bosonic behavior under extreme conditions, such as in superconductivity.

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