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New type of magnetism "Quantum Spin Liquid (QSL)" may advance data storage & communications

Question asked by Kaustubh Katdare in #Coffee Room on Dec 19, 2012
Kaustubh Katdare
Kaustubh Katdare · Dec 19, 2012
Rank A1 - PRO
Those of you who paid attention physics class may remember that there are two known types of magnetisms - ferromagnetism aka your regular magnets and antiferromagnetism - where the magnetic fields of ions cancel out each other. MIT's engineers have now found out a third type of magnetism which they say may improve our data storage and communication technologies. This new type of magnetism is called Quantum Spin Liquid aka QSL.

[caption id="attachment_44752" align="aligncenter" width="620"][​IMG] Herbertsmithite Crystal | Image Credit - Tianheng Han[/caption]

MIT professor, Young Lee says that QSL is a solid crystal but with magnetic state described as 'liquid'. The magnetic orientations of the individual particle in QSL fluctuate constantly, similar to motion of molecules in a liquid. The researchers were able to create a large crystal of material called herbertsmithite in laboratory over a period of 10 months. What you're looking in in the photo above is the crystal that weighs 0.2 grams and is 7 mm in length. Lee further adds that there are no theories to explain what they're observing through their experiments.

The details of QSL are available on MIT's website, mentioned in the source below.

Via: MIT News

  Posted in: #Coffee Room

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