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New Type of Magnet Found With Possible PC Uses – New Scientist

Alter-magnets could be used to boost the storage on computer hard drives or new kinds of computers that use magnetic spin instead of current to perform measurements and calculations

Image: World of Science Media, via Instagram.


A scientist in Switzerland has confirmed the existence of a new third type of magnetism known as alter-magnetism, according to a report by New Scientist, which is different from ferromagnets, such as fridge magnets, which have a strong magnetic field, and anti-ferromagnetism, which was discovered in the 1930s and lacks external fields, but has electrons spinning alternatively up and down.

Recently, Juraj Krempasky and colleagues at the Paul Scherrer Institute confirmed the existence of an alter-magnet by measuring the electron structure in a crystal, manganese telluride, that was previously thought to be anti-ferromagnetic, the report said, adding that alter-magnets “contain a blend of properties from different classes of existing magnets, [and] could be used to make high capacity and fast memory devices or new kinds of magnetic computers”, such as boosting the storage on computer hard drives, or to develop spintronic computers that use magnetic spin instead of current to perform measurements and calculations.

Read the full report: The New Scientist.




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Jim Pollard

Jim Pollard is an Australian journalist based in Thailand since 1999. He worked for News Ltd papers in Sydney, Perth, London and Melbourne before travelling through SE Asia in the late 90s. He was a senior editor at The Nation for 17+ years.


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