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The Wigner crystal is an elusive beast. Predicted in 1934, this crystal of electrons, which is one of the most strongly correlated states of matter, forms when the electron density is ultralow. But a lack of clean enough systems with that property make it hard to measure. Within the last few months, researchers have imaged its structure. Now another group, led by Vikram Deshpande at the University of Utah, Salt Lake City, has measured the energy required to add an electron to the crystal, a quantity that reveals the interaction strength of the system.
A new instrument mounted atop a telescope in Arizona aimed its robotic array of 5,000 fiber-optic “eyes” at the night sky to capture the first images showing its unique view of galaxy light.