magnets in science

  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. Industries That Could Be Revolutionized Thanks to Magnetic Breakthroughs

    Industries That Could Be Revolutionized Thanks to Magnetic Breakthroughs
    When we think of items that have helped revolutionize various industries, we may think as far back as the printing press and its impacts on the newspaper industry. Maybe we think of the Internet and its effect on nearly every industry imaginable. But what about magnets? Surely we know magnets are important, but do they still have a breakthrough-worthy impact on revolutionizing industries today?  Here are just a few industries that are using the power of magnets to revolutionize their work.  Continue reading →
  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. 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 →
  7. 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...
  8. A Team From Purdue Has Made the Fastest Spinning Object Ever, In a Vacuum

    A Team From Purdue Has Made the Fastest Spinning Object Ever, In a Vacuum
    A team of researchers from Purdue have measured vacuum friction for the first time in history. By making the fastest spinning object ever with a laser-like 150-nanometer spinning silica ball, this team showed how a tiny ball of silicon dioxide that rotates 300 billion times per second has been able to detect torque, for the first time ever.  Continue reading →
  9. Why Magnetism in Certain Materials is Different in Atomically Thin Layers and Their Bulk Forms

    Why Magnetism in Certain Materials is Different in Atomically Thin Layers and Their Bulk Forms
    A group of researchers led by MIT Department of Physics Professor Pablo Jarillo-Herrero have built on two years of prior research to present us with new findings. Previous research led by researchers at the University of Washington showed that rotating layers of hexagonally-structured graphene at a particular “magic angle” could change the material’s electronic properties from an insulating state to a superconducting state. This time, Jarillo-Herro’s group went deep into 2-D magnets to find if magnetism in certain materials is different in atomically thin layers than in their bulk forms.  Continue reading →
  10. Here’s What Happens When You Heat Paramagnets

    Here’s What Happens When You Heat Paramagnets
    Magnets are a crucial part of collecting energy from heat. When one side of a magnet is heated, the other, cooler side will become more magnetic, which produces spin --flux of magnetism -- and creates electricity. Once paramagnets are heated up, though, nothing happens. That is until an international team of researchers and scientists found a way to capture heat and transform it into electricity using paramagnets, something that wasn’t thought to be possible.  Continue reading →

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