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Spinning atoms in light crystals

October 29, 2013 1:47 pm | News | Comments

After more than 40 years of intense research, experimental physicists still seek to explore the rich behavior of electrons confined to a 2-D crystalline structure exposed to large magnetic fields. Now a team in Europe has developed a new experimental method to simulate these systems using a crystal made of neutral atoms and laser light.

New research validates theory on quantum magnetic ordering in materials

October 22, 2013 9:19 am | News | Comments

A new study set out to use numerical simulations to validate previous theoretical predictions describing materials exhibiting so-called antiferromagneting characteristics. A recently discovered theory shows that the ordering temperature depends on two factors—namely the spin-wave velocity and the staggered magnetization. The simulations match these theoretical predictions.

Scientist use heat to make magnets

October 21, 2013 2:19 pm | News | Comments

Researchers have recently provided the first evidence ever that it is possible to generate a magnetic field by using heat instead of electricity. The phenomenon is referred to as the Magnetic Seebeck effect or “thermomagnetism”.

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Understanding a new kind of magnetism

September 23, 2013 7:37 am | by David L. Chandler, MIT News Office | News | Comments

Using low-frequency laser pulses, a team of researchers has carried out the first measurements that reveal the detailed characteristics of a unique kind of magnetism found in a mineral called herbertsmithite. In this material, the magnetic elements constantly fluctuate, leading to an exotic state of fluid magnetism called a “quantum spin liquid.”

A material’s multiple personalities

September 12, 2013 7:57 am | News | Comments

Just like people, materials can sometimes exhibit “multiple personalities.” This kind of unusual behavior in a certain class of materials has compelled researchers at Argonne National Laboratory to take a closer look at the precise mechanisms that govern the relationships between superconductivity and magnetism.

Magnetic semiconductor material holds promise for “spintronics”

September 11, 2013 7:36 am | News | Comments

Researchers at North Carolina State Univ. have created a new compound, strontium tin oxide (Sr3SnO) that can be integrated into silicon chips and is a dilute magnetic semiconductor, meaning that it could be used to make “spintronic” devices, which rely on magnetic force to operate, rather than electrical currents.

Ion thruster: A new idea for nanosatellite micro-rockets

September 3, 2013 8:10 am | by Marcia Goodrich, MTU | News | Comments

Though nanosatellites already borrow several components, including cameras and radios, from terrestrial gadgets, propulsion systems have to be built from scratch. Researchers are working on electrospray ionic liquid “rockets”, but the microscopic needles they require are difficult and tedious to make. A researcher has found a way to let nature do the work, simplifying the fabrication process.

Memory tech breakthrough eliminates the magnet

August 15, 2013 1:09 pm | News | Comments

Researchers in Israel have developed a simple magnetization progress that depends on electron spin to eliminate the need for permanent magnets in memory devices. The new technique, called magnetless spin memory (MSM), drives a current through chiral material and selectively transfers electrons to magnetize nanomagnetic layers or nanoparticles.

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Engineers identify key factors for wireless power transfer

July 31, 2013 10:00 pm | News | Comments

What happens to a resonant wireless power transfer system in the presence of complex electromagnetic environments, such as metal plates? A team of researchers has explored the influences at play in this type of situation, and they describe how efficient wireless power transfer can be achieved in the presence of metal plates.

Magnetism of single molecule controlled by voltage

July 25, 2013 10:59 am | News | Comments

The smallest unit of a magnet is the magnetic moment of a single atom or ion. Researchers in Germany wanted to find out whether the magnetism of a pair of magnetic moments can be measured electrically in a single molecule. To do this, they succeeded in performing an extraordinary experiment which shows how magnetism that generally manifests itself by a force between two magnetized objects acts within a single molecule.

Researchers find factors needed for magnetically mediated superconductivity

July 15, 2013 9:28 am | News | Comments

In the search for understanding how some magnetic materials can be transformed to carry electric current with no energy loss, scientists have used an experimental technique to measure the energy required for electrons to pair up and how that energy varies with direction. The method measures energy levels as small as one ten-thousandth the energy of a single light photon.

Scientists make molecular chains hypersensitive to magnetic fields

July 8, 2013 7:55 am | News | Comments

A research collaboration in Europe is the first to successfully create perfect 1-D molecular wires of which the electrical conductivity can almost entirely be suppressed by a weak magnetic field at room temperature. The underlying mechanism is possibly closely related to the biological compass used by some migratory birds to find their bearings in the geomagnetic field.

Researchers find unexpected superconductor

July 2, 2013 8:25 am | News | Comments

A research team has found superconductivity in the solid form of a compound called carbon disulfide, CS2, which is sometimes used in liquid form as a chemical solvent or insecticide. Superconductivity is usually present in highly ordered molecular structures, but in carbon disulfide, superconductivity arises from a highly disordered state, which is rare. Even more strange is the magnetic state that precedes superconductivity.

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Scientists solve riddle of strangely behaving magnetic material

June 24, 2013 7:57 am | News | Comments

Materials scientists at the U.S. Dept. of Energy's Ames Laboratory have found an accurate way to explain the magnetic properties of a compound that has mystified the scientific community for decades. The compound of lanthanum, cobalt and oxygen (LaCoO3) has been a puzzle for over 50 years, due to its strange behavior.

Surprising turns in magnetic thin films could lead to better data storage

June 18, 2013 7:19 am | by David L. Chandler, MIT News Office | News | Comments

A magnetic phenomenon newly discovered by Massachusetts Institute of Technology researchers could lead to much faster, denser and more energy-efficient chips for memory and computation. The findings could reduce the energy needed to store and retrieve one bit of data by a factor of 10,000.

Scientists moving 15-ton magnet from N.Y. to Chicago

June 17, 2013 6:20 pm | by Frank Eltman, Associated Press | News | Comments

Scientists on Long Island are preparing to move a 50-foot-wide electromagnet 3,200 miles over land and sea to its new home at the U.S. Department of Energy's Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory in Illinois. The trip, starting at Brookhaven National Laboratory, is expected to take more than a month.

Controlling magnetic clouds in graphene

June 12, 2013 8:14 am | News | Comments

Wonder material graphene can be made magnetic, and its magnetism can be switched on and off at the press of a button. This opens a new avenue towards electronics with very low energy consumption. In a report published by a Univ. of Manchester team shows how to create elementary magnetic moments in graphene and then switch them on and off. This is the first time magnetism itself has been toggled.

New family of quasicrystals discovered

June 11, 2013 7:29 am | News | Comments

Scientists at Ames Laboratory have discovered a new family of rare-earth quasicrystals using an algorithm they developed to help pinpoint them. Quasicrystalline materials may be found close to crystalline phases that contain similar atomic motifs, called crystalline approximants. And just like fishing experts know how to hook a big catch, the scientists used their knowledge to hone in on the right spot for their discovery.

Researchers discover artificial magnetic monopoles

May 31, 2013 11:13 am | News | Comments

A team of researchers from Cologne, Munich and Dresden have managed to create artificial magnetic monopoles. To do this, the scientists merged tiny magnetic whirls, so-called skyrmions. At the point of merging, the physicists were able to create a monopole, which has similar characteristics to a fundamental particle postulated by Paul Dirac in 1931. In addition to fundamental research, the monopoles may also have application potential.

An electrical switch for magnetism

May 31, 2013 8:22 am | by David L. Chandler, MIT News Office | News | Comments

Researchers have developed a new way of controlling the motion of magnetic domains—the key technology in magnetic memory systems. The new approach requires little power to write and no power to maintain the stored information, and could lead to a new generation of extremely low-power data storage. It controls magnetism by applying a voltage, rather than a magnetic field.

A quantum simulator for magnetic materials

May 24, 2013 11:37 am | News | Comments

Physicists understand perfectly well why a fridge magnet sticks to certain metallic surfaces. But there are more exotic forms of magnetism whose properties remain unclear, despite decades of intense research. Now, researchers at ETH Zurich in Switzerland have developed a quantum simulator that can arrange atoms in a way that they mimic the behavior of electrons in magnetic materials.

Whirlpools on the nanoscale could multiply magnetic memory

May 22, 2013 11:04 am | by Paul Preuss, Berkeley Lab | News | Comments

Magnetic memories store bits of information in discrete units whose electron spins all line up in parallel, pointing one way or the opposite to signify a one or a zero. At the Advanced Light Source, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory scientists recently joined an international team to advance a new concept in magnetic memory, one in which spin orientation is controlled in magnetic nanodisks, allowing multi-bit storage.

Physicists light “magnetic fire” to reveal energy's path

May 13, 2013 3:27 pm | News | Comments

Research on bursts of energy within magnetic systems dates back two decades. But scientists haven't been able to measure and understand what prompts this phenomenon, known as "magnetic deflagration." New York University physicists have uncovered how energy is released and dispersed in magnetic materials in a process akin to the spread of forest fires.

New magnetic graphene may revolutionize electronics

May 10, 2013 12:44 pm | News | Comments

Scientists already know that graphene has extraordinary conductive, mechanical, and optical properties. Now it is possible to give it one more property: magnetism. Researchers in Spain have used a technique that involves growing a precise graphene film over a ruthenium single crystal inside an ultra high vacuum chamber where organic semiconducting molecules are evaporated on the graphene surface.

Scientists find new magic in magnetic material

May 8, 2013 4:04 pm | News | Comments

From powerful computers to super-sensitive medical and environmental detectors that are faster, smaller, and use less energy—yes, we want them, but how do we get them? In research that is helping to lay the groundwork for the electronics of the future, University of Delaware scientists have confirmed the presence of a magnetic field generated by electrons which scientists had theorized existed, but that had never been proven until now.

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