When "frustrated" by their arrangement, magnetic atoms surrender their individuality, stop competing with their neighbors and then practice a group version of spin control—acting collectively to achieve local magnetic order—according to scientists from the Commerce Departments National Institute of Standards and Technology, Johns Hopkins University and Rutgers University writing in the Aug. 22, 2002, issue of the journal Nature.
Chill! Atoms in zincochromite, a "geometrically frustrated magnet," resolve their frustration through group spin control. Neighboring tetraheda (solids with four triangular faces) contribute a side each to create hexagonal (six-sided) spin clusters. A hexagon bunches the spins of magnetic atoms-one at each corner-into a single "spin director" (arrows). The composite behavior achieves local magnetic order.
The unexpected composite behavior detected in experiments done at the NIST Center for Neutron Research (NCNR) accounts for the range of surprising—and, heretofore, unexplainable—properties of so-called geometrically frustrated magnets, the subject of intensifying research efforts that may lead to new types of matter. The finding also may shed light on natural clustering processes including the assembly of quarks and other minuscule components into atoms, the folding of proteins and the clumping of stars in galaxies, the scientists say.
These and other important phenomena—including high-temperature superconductivity—suggest that there are "higher-order organizing principles that are intrinsic to nature," explains lead author Seung-Hun Lee, NCNR staff physicist.
Mark Bello | EurekAlert!
UNH scientists help provide first-ever views of elusive energy explosion
16.11.2018 | University of New Hampshire
NASA keeps watch over space explosions
16.11.2018 | NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center
Researchers at the University of New Hampshire have captured a difficult-to-view singular event involving "magnetic reconnection"--the process by which sparse particles and energy around Earth collide producing a quick but mighty explosion--in the Earth's magnetotail, the magnetic environment that trails behind the planet.
Magnetic reconnection has remained a bit of a mystery to scientists. They know it exists and have documented the effects that the energy explosions can...
Biochips have been developed at TU Wien (Vienna), on which tissue can be produced and examined. This allows supplying the tissue with different substances in a very controlled way.
Cultivating human cells in the Petri dish is not a big challenge today. Producing artificial tissue, however, permeated by fine blood vessels, is a much more...
Faster and secure data communication: This is the goal of a new joint project involving physicists from the University of Würzburg. The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research funds the project with 14.8 million euro.
In our digital world data security and secure communication are becoming more and more important. Quantum communication is a promising approach to achieve...
On Saturday, 10 November 2018, the research icebreaker Polarstern will leave its homeport of Bremerhaven, bound for Cape Town, South Africa.
When choosing materials to make something, trade-offs need to be made between a host of properties, such as thickness, stiffness and weight. Depending on the application in question, finding just the right balance is the difference between success and failure
Now, a team of Penn Engineers has demonstrated a new material they call "nanocardboard," an ultrathin equivalent of corrugated paper cardboard. A square...
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16.11.2018 | Life Sciences