For decades, scientists have searched for magnetic monopoles--particles that, unlike traditional magnets, have just a north or south pole. This week in Science, two teams of condensed matter physicists independently report observations of the next best thing: tiny ripples in solid materials that act like the elusive particles. The find does not end the quest for bona fide monopoles, but it may herald the discovery of other weird "quasiparticles" in solids, as well as provide the basis for new technologies.
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