Scientists have created a new state of matter, and a possible picture of the nature of space-time itself:
Xiao-Gang Wen at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Michael Levin at Harvard University ran with Laughlin's ideas and have come up with a prediction for a new state of matter, and even a tantalising picture of the nature of space-time itself. Levin presented their work at the Topological Quantum Computing conference at the University of California, Los Angeles, early this month.
The first hint that a new type of matter may exist came in 1983. "Twenty five years ago we thought we understood everything about how matter changes phase," says Wen. "Then along came an experiment that opened up a whole new world."