Researchers have confirmed the properties of a mystery material that has puzzled physicists since the 1960’s. The material is an odd iridescent color and has been proven to be Samarium hexaboride, SmB6, a compound made of metal samarium and a rare metalloid boron.
The researchers have provided new evidence that SmB6 is a topological insulator, capable of conducting electricity like a metal but blocking the flow of the current like rubber through their interior. This discovery raises the possibility for engineers to use SmB6, similar to the use of silicon, in conventional electronics and quantum computing.
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