Researchers [...] have for the first time observed a nanoscale symmetry hidden in solid state matter. They have measured the signatures of a symmetry showing the same attributes as the golden ratio famous from art and architecture.
On the atomic scale particles do not behave as we know it in the macro-atomic world. New properties emerge which are the result of an effect known as the Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle. [...]
When applying a magnetic field at right angles to an aligned spin the magnetic chain will transform into a new state called quantum critical, which can be thought of as a quantum version of a fractal pattern. [...] We have tuned the system exactly in order to turn it quantum critical.”
By tuning the system and artificially introducing more quantum uncertainty the researchers observed that the chain of atoms acts like a nanoscale guitar string. [...] “Here the tension comes from the interaction between spins causing them to magnetically resonate. For these interactions we found a series (scale) of resonant notes: The first two notes show a perfect relationship with each other. Their frequencies (pitch) are in the ratio of 1.618…, which is the golden ratio famous from art and architecture.” [...] “It reflects a beautiful property of the quantum system — a hidden symmetry. Actually quite a special one called E8 by mathematicians, and this is its first observation in a material,” [...]
[...] “Such discoveries are leading physicists to speculate that the quantum, atomic scale world may have its own underlying order. Similar surprises may await researchers in other materials in the quantum critical state.”