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Researchers in the US, Switzerland and Finland say they have imaged magnetic monopoles (magnets with only one pole) in an artificial spin ice material. The result, obtained at the Advanced Light Source (ALS) at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBL), is not only important for fundamental physics studies, it will be of interest for developing spintronics and information technology devices of the future.

 

Magnetic monopoles were first predicted by Paul Dirac in 1931 in his work on quantum electrodynamics, but they have never been seen in nature. They are elementary particles that act as isolated magnetic north and south poles and are the magnetic analogues of electric charges.

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Category: Science