Quantum Spin Liquid, a third type of magnetism, was demonstrated in December of 2012 by a team at MIT, in the form of synthetic herbertsmithite. Herbertsmithite is believed to be a two-dimensional quantum spin liquid: a solid material whose atomic spins continue to have motion, even at absolute zero temperature. This exciting research has potential to improve technology, another wonderful scientific advance related to the study of mineralogy. While this form of magnetism is limited to the pure synthetic herbertsmithite, the minerals found in nature are quite interesting in their own right.
We noticed a beautiful example of this rare mineral available on eBay by the seller MineralMan999. This sample shows some big crystals for the typical material.
You can use this link to search for samples of Herbertsmithite on eBay
This uncommon Copper Zinc Hydroxide Chloride named to honor Dr. G. F. Herbert Smith (1872-1953) of the Natural History Museum, London, England, who discovered the mineral paratacamite.
The blog “Nanoscale Views”, written by Douglas Natelson, had the best article about understanding quantum spin liquids in a easy to digest fashion. On the subject of the experiments,
So what did the experimenters do? They grew large, very pure single crystals of herbertsmithite, and fired neutrons at them. Knowing the energies and momenta of the incident neutrons, and measuring the energies and momenta of the scattered neutrons, they were able to map out the properties of the excitations, showing that they really do look like what one expects for a quantum spin liquid.
You can read his entire article HERE