Probing the world of the very small is a wonderland for physicists. At this nanoscale, materials as thin as 100 atoms are studied and unexpected phenomena are discovered. Nature ceases to behave in a way that is predictable by the macroscopic law of physics. It is not like what goes on in the world around us or out in the cosmos.
Hebrew University of Jerusalem (HU)’s Racah Institute of Physics scientists talked about their astonishment when looking at images of the magnetism generated by nanomagnets. The images revealed the phenomenon of “edge magnetism.”
The images showed that the magnetic material the scientists were studying only retained magnetism on its edge. The study was published in the journal Nano Letters.
This nano-effect could actually have wide applications in our daily lives. The new edge magnetism offers the possibility of making long wire magnets only 10 nanometres thick. It could curve into any shape. The actual discovery of edge magnetism was serendipitous. Scientists looked at a new magnetic nano-material (CGT).
The discovery ultimately relied on images produced by a new type of magnetic microscopy developed in Israel. It can measure the magnetic field of a single electron. Discovering new phenomena relies on highly sophisticated new technologies. The phenomena themselves will be at the heart of even more advanced technologies as edge magnetism has demonstrated.