Certain physical phenomena only exist as a result of the interplay of a multitude of particles. Waves, for example, cannot be generated from just a single water molecule. Researchers at the Peter Grünberg Institute are investigating this type of so-called “correlated” phenomena in solids, arising from the interaction of hundreds of billions of atomic nuclei and electrons. One of the challenges of their work is that the properties they are looking for do not derive directly from the basic formulae of elementary particle physics; here, the whole is clearly far more than the sum of its parts.
Image taken from: How chemistry controls electron localization in 3d1 perovskites: a Wannier-function study;
Pavarini et al.; New J. Phys. 7 188, DOI:10.1088/1367-2630/7/1/188 Source: Forschungszentrum Jülich