Direct visualization of coexisting channels of interaction in CeSb

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Science Advances  01 Mar 2019:
Vol. 5, no. 3, eaat7158
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.aat7158


Our understanding of correlated electron systems is vexed by the complexity of their interactions. Heavy fermion compounds are archetypal examples of this physics, leading to exotic properties that weave magnetism, superconductivity and strange metal behavior together. The Kondo semimetal CeSb is an unusual example where different channels of interaction not only coexist, but have coincident physical signatures, leading to decades of debate about the microscopic picture describing the interactions between the f moments and the itinerant electron sea. Using angle-resolved photoemission spectroscopy, we resonantly enhance the response of the Ce f electrons across the magnetic transitions of CeSb and find there are two distinct modes of interaction that are simultaneously active, but on different kinds of carriers. This study reveals how correlated systems can reconcile the coexistence of different modes on interaction—by separating their action in momentum space, they allow their coexistence in real space.

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