A novel material that may demonstrate a highly unusual "liquid" magnetic state at extremely low temperatures has been discovered by a team of Japanese and U.S. researchers, according to tomorrows issue of Science.*
A crystal diagram shows the triangle-shaped atomic structure of nickel gallium sulfide, which may have an unusual "liquid" magnetic state at low temperatures. Red spheres represent nickel, green spheres are gallium, and yellow are sulfur. Image credit: S. Nakatsuji et al., Science, 9/9/2005
Multi-colored arrows show the disordered array of magnetic spins associated with the electrons of nickel within NiGa2S4. The data were collected by precisely measuring the change in speed and direction of neutrons as they were passed through the material and interacted with the electrons. Image credit: S. Nakatsuji et al., Science, 9/9/2005
The material, nickel gallium sulfide (NiGa2S4), was synthesized by scientists at Kyoto University. Its properties were studied by both the Japanese team and by researchers from The Johns Hopkins University (JHU) and the University of Maryland (UM) at the Commerce Departments National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).
The scientists studied the polycrystalline sample using both X-rays and neutrons as probes to understand its structure and properties. The neutron experiments were conducted at the NIST Center for Neutron Research.
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Our brains house extremely complex neuronal circuits, whose detailed structures are still largely unknown. This is especially true for the so-called cerebral cortex of mammals, where among other things vision, thoughts or spatial orientation are being computed. Here the rules by which nerve cells are connected to each other are only partly understood. A team of scientists around Moritz Helmstaedter at the Frankfiurt Max Planck Institute for Brain Research and Helene Schmidt (Humboldt University in Berlin) have now discovered a surprisingly precise nerve cell connectivity pattern in the part of the cerebral cortex that is responsible for orienting the individual animal or human in space.
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Using ultrafast flashes of laser and x-ray radiation, scientists at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (Garching, Germany) took snapshots of the briefest electron motion inside a solid material to date. The electron motion lasted only 750 billionths of the billionth of a second before it fainted, setting a new record of human capability to capture ultrafast processes inside solids!
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For the first time, physicists have successfully imaged spiral magnetic ordering in a multiferroic material. These materials are considered highly promising candidates for future data storage media. The researchers were able to prove their findings using unique quantum sensors that were developed at Basel University and that can analyze electromagnetic fields on the nanometer scale. The results – obtained by scientists from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics, the Swiss Nanoscience Institute, the University of Montpellier and several laboratories from University Paris-Saclay – were recently published in the journal Nature.
Multiferroics are materials that simultaneously react to electric and magnetic fields. These two properties are rarely found together, and their combined...
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