Physicists trace the “hopping” of single electrons in magnetic materials
How much energy does it take for an electron to hop from atom to atom, and how do the magnetic properties of the material influence the rate or ease of hopping? Answers to those questions could help explain why some materials, like those used in a computer hard drive, become conductors only in a magnetic field while they are very strong insulators otherwise. They might also help scientists learn how to use the electron’s “spin” (a property analogous to the spinning of a child’s toy top), as well as its charge, to carry information in a new field known as spintronics.
Stéphane Grenier, a postdoctoral fellow studying electronic excitations, or “electron hopping,” at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Brookhaven National Laboratory, will describe the techniques he uses and the properties of these materials at the March 2005 meeting of the American Physical Society in Los Angeles, California. His talk will take place on Monday, March 21, at 2:30 p.m. in room 151 of the Los Angeles Convention Center.
Karen McNulty Walsh | EurekAlert!
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