Submitted on Wednesday, 3/7/2018, at 10:59 AM

Interest in Physics Professor David S. Hall’s work with the skyrmion has taken off like, well, lightening.

Hall, members of his student research team and his collaborators at Aalto University in Finland recently created a three-dimensional skyrmion—a quasiparticle consisting of a knotted configuration of atomic magnetic moments, or spins—in a quantum gas in Hall’s lab. Scientists predicted the existence of the skyrmion theoretically more than 40 years ago, but this is the first time such an object, exhibiting the properties of ball lightning,  has been observed in an experiment.

The experiment has attracted the attention of Science, Gizmodo, and other science-related news services.