Fundamental property of magnets is measured for the first time
Scientists have proven the existence of “magnon polarisation” by measuring this fundamental property of magnets for the very first time.
Researchers from the University of Leeds and Tohoku University in Japan collaborated to measure magnon polarisation through a process called polarised neutron scattering.
The scientists fired a focused beam of neutrons at a magnet. While many of the neutrons passed through the magnet, a small number of the neutrons were scattered when they collided with magnons. By measuring the properties of the scattered neutrons, the scientists could calculate the fundamental properties of the magnons.
Theories remain as predictions until experimental measurements confirm if they are correct
Dr Joseph Barker, from the School of Physics and Astronomy, said: “In Physics, theories remain as predictions until experimental measurements confirm if they are correct or not. A famous example is the search for the Higgs Boson, but there are many untested theories across the sciences.
“Magnon polarisation has recently become an important topic in spintronics so it was the perfect time to try and measure it and verify that it exists.
“The experiments and analysis were difficult and complex. In fact, it took two attempts, once in the United States and then in France, to perfect the experimental method.
“We also had to create a precise computer model to ensure we understood what we were seeing correctly because the neutron scattering measurements come from a series of physical processes which cannot be untangled into individual parts.”
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