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New Neutron Scattering Results on the Enigmatic Ground State of the Pyrochlore Magnet Tb2Ti2O7

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The ground state of the candidate spin liquid pyrochlore magnet Tb2Ti2O7 (TTO) has been long debated. Despite theoretical expectations of magnetic order below ~1K based on classical Ising-like Tb3+ spins, earlier muSR and neutron scattering experiments showed no long range order down to 50mK. This motivated two theoretical scenarios to account for the apparently disordered ground state: a quantum spin ice scenario and a non-magnetic singlet ground state. I will discuss new neutron scattering measurements on TTO that show short range spin correlations developing below ~ 0.5 K with a (½, ½, ½) ordering wavevector, and a concomitant opening of a spin gap across most of the Brillouin zone. Our measurements also refine the crystal field ground state for Tb3+ in TTO and in its sister, “soft” spin ice compound Tb2Sn2O7.