The startling similarity between the physical laws describing electric phenomena and those describing magnetic phenomena has been known since the 19th century. However, one piece that would make the two perfectly symmetric was missing: magnetic monopoles. While magnetic monopoles in the form of elementary particles remain elusive, there have been some recent successes in engineering objects that behave effectively like magnetic monopoles. Now, scientists at the Institute of Science and Technology Austria (IST Austria) have shown that there is a much simpler way to observe such magnetic monopoles: They have demonstrated that superfluid helium droplets act as magnetic monopoles from the perspective of molecules that are immersed inside them. Such droplets have been studied for decades, but until now, this fascinating characteristic had gone entirely unnoticed.
New manifestation of magnetic monopoles discovered