FACULTY HONOR: Hasan's Weyl fermion work among Top Ten Breakthroughs of 2015

Dec. 11, 2015 9 a.m.

Princeton University Professor of Physics M. Zahid Hasan is one of three physicists whose efforts to observe Weyl fermions, an elusive massless particle theorized 85 years ago, have been named among the Top Ten Breakthroughs of 2015 by Physics World magazine. Hasan shares the honor with researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the Chinese Academy of Sciences who independently found evidence of the fermion. Hasan led an international team that reported their discovery in the journal Science in July. Proposed by the mathematician and physicist Hermann Weyl in 1929, Weyl fermions have long been regarded as possible building blocks of other subatomic particles. If applied to next-generation electronics, the fermions could allow for a nearly free and efficient flow of electricity and thus greater power. Established in 2009, the Top Ten is chosen by Physics World editors and reporters and the winning research must have fundamental importance, a strong connection between theory and experiment, provide a significant advance in knowledge, and be of general interest to all physicists.