The low-temperature hidden-order state of URu2Si2 has long been a subject of intense speculation, and is thought to represent an as-yet-undetermined many-body quantum state not realized by other known materials. Here, x-ray absorption spectroscopy and high-resolution resonant inelastic x-ray scattering are used to observe electronic excitation spectra of URu2Si2, as a means to identify the degrees of freedom available to constitute the hidden-order wave function. Excitations are shown to have symmetries that derive from a correlated 5f2 atomic multiplet basis that is modified by itinerancy. The features, amplitude, and temperature dependence of linear dichroism are in agreement with ground states that closely resemble the doublet Γ5 crystal field state of uranium.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physics and Astronomy(all)