One-component order parameter in URu2Si2 uncovered by resonant ultrasound spectroscopy and machine learning

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Science Advances  06 Mar 2020:
Vol. 6, no. 10, eaaz4074
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.aaz4074


The unusual correlated state that emerges in URu2Si2 below THO = 17.5 K is known as “hidden order” because even basic characteristics of the order parameter, such as its dimensionality (whether it has one component or two), are “hidden.” We use resonant ultrasound spectroscopy to measure the symmetry-resolved elastic anomalies across THO. We observe no anomalies in the shear elastic moduli, providing strong thermodynamic evidence for a one-component order parameter. We develop a machine learning framework that reaches this conclusion directly from the raw data, even in a crystal that is too small for traditional resonant ultrasound. Our result rules out a broad class of theories of hidden order based on two-component order parameters, and constrains the nature of the fluctuations from which unconventional superconductivity emerges at lower temperature. Our machine learning framework is a powerful new tool for classifying the ubiquitous competing orders in correlated electron systems.

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