Magnets in the News

  1. The "Dent" in Earth's Magnetic Field

    The "Dent" in Earth's Magnetic Field
    A dent is evolving within Earth’s Magnetic Field, and it has scientists watching closely. This isn’t necessarily new news though. Scientists have known about this weak spot for decades now, but it’s of importance right now due to one crucial factor-- it’s apparent growth.  This weak spot phenomenon is called The South Atlantic Anomaly (SAA) and it stretches across the Atlantic Ocean from South Africa into Brazil. In this area, the magnetic field is weaker than normal, resulting in a “dent.” The Earth’s magnetic field, also known as the geomagnetic field, is important as it protects us against solar windー a flow of charged particles that are released from the upper atmosphere of the Sun.   Continue reading →
  2. A New Way to Measure Magnets on the Atomic Level

    A New Way to Measure Magnets on the Atomic Level
    When it comes to magnetic materials, magnetic ordering — simply put, the characteristic by which spins within atoms order themselves to allow magnets to interact — is very important to understand.  Recently, a team of researchers created a way to examine electronic spins within magnets at almost the atomic level, showing promising potential in small-level magnetism, like within data storage devices.  Continue reading →
  3. Magnetic Personalities: Suzanne McEnroe

    Magnetic Personalities: Suzanne McEnroe
    Researcher Suzanne McEnroe is the epitome of a magnetic personality-- you don’t have to just take our word for it though as she received the William Gilbert Award in 2019 for “outstanding and unselfish work in magnetism of Earth materials and of the Earth and planets.” Her leadership in research has been integral in understanding mineral magnetism, paleomagnetic field records, and geomagnetic field anomalies, to name a few. Continue reading →
  4. The Story Behind The Apex Jingle

    Recently, we had a jingle made especially for Apex. Wanting to include everyone in on the fun-- we created a contest on our Facebook to see who could guess the writer/singer of our new jingle. The winner would be awarded $100 in Apex dollars! And, each week we revealed hints as to who the correct answer could be.        The answer...
  5. 3D Printed Precise Magnets Using Special Stainless Steel

    3D Printed Precise Magnets Using Special Stainless Steel
    In what may appear to be no big deal -- but is in fact, a big deal -- 3D printed magnets have been created by using laser beams and metal powder. Empa team, led by Aryan Arabi-Hashemi and Christian Leinenbach, used a special type of stainless steel to precisely 3D print magnets, with a final result looking like a metal chess board. The board is four millimeters long on each side with alternating darker and lighter spots in the shape of squares. Eight of these squares are magnetic and the other eight have non-magnetic properties. Continue reading →
  6. Felix Bloch: Contributions to Magnetism

    Felix Bloch: Contributions to Magnetism
    Felix Bloch was a Swiss-American physicist and Nobel Prize winner who developed a technique for observing magnetism in nuclear particles. This would later be referred to as nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR,) and would lay a foundation for diagnostic medicine, like magnetic resonance imaging (MRI.) Below, we're exploring the late Bloch’s contributions to NMR and MRI and their relation to magnetism.  Continue reading →
  7. Magnetic Exhibits: In-Person and Virtual

    Magnetic Exhibits: In-Person and Virtual
    Being cooped up at home all day isn’t fun for anyone. Why not try to make the best of things, and find educational value while doing so? Together, we’ll explore two museums that are featuring magnetic exhibits for you to virtually visit,  as well as even offering virtual and online resources to fill your time. Continue reading →
  8. A Breakthrough in Liquid Magnetism - A Quantum Mechanical Mystery

    A Breakthrough in Liquid Magnetism - A Quantum Mechanical Mystery
    A team of researchers working at the Advanced Photon Source (APS), a U.S Department of Energy facility Argonne National Laboratory, has been able to show that, by applying slow and steady pressure, some magnetic materials can be pushed into a state similar to a liquid.  Continue reading →
  9. Electromagnets and Rare Earth Elements (REE) Guiding Military Missiles

    Electromagnets and Rare Earth Elements (REE) Guiding Military Missiles
    Military missile guidance encapsulates a variety of methods, but one thing remains the same –– target accuracy dictates effectiveness. If you miss your target, that can lead to chaos, unnecessary violence, and even civilian casualties. Historically, this has been a devastating issue, so the most accurate methods are highly sought after.  Today, the military uses infrared-guided technology –– electromagnetic radiation...
  10. Inducing Magnetism in Graphene

    Inducing Magnetism in Graphene
    While graphene has mechanical, electronic, and optical properties it hasn’t been good for magnetic purposes. Empa researchers and international partners have succeeded in synthesizing nanographene which conclusively demonstrates that carbon in very specific forms has magnetic properties.  What We’ve Known Graphene is non-metallic thanks to its 2-D structure made of carbon. In 2017, we wrote about a study where researchers...

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