B. Grenier, S. Petit, V. Simonet, E. Canévet, L.-P. Regnault, S. Raymond, B. Canals, C. Berthier, and P. Lejay
We explore the spin dynamics emerging from the Néel phase of the chain compound antiferromagnet BaCo2V2O8. Our inelastic neutron scattering study reveals unconventional discrete spin excitations, so-called Zeeman ladders, understood in terms of spinon confinement, due to the interchain attractive linear potential. These excitations consist of two interlaced series of modes, respectively, with transverse and longitudinal polarization. The latter, which correspond to a longitudinal fluctuation of the ordered moment, have no classical counterpart and are related to the zero-point fluctuations that weaken the ordered moment in weakly coupled quantum chains. Our analysis reveals that BaCo2V2O8, with moderate Ising anisotropy and sizable interchain interactions, remarkably fulfills the conditions necessary for the observation of discrete long-lived longitudinal excitations.