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A new class of magnets that expand their volume when placed in a magnetic field and generate negligible amounts of wasteful heat during energy harvesting, has been discovered by researchers at Temple University and the University of Maryland.

The researchers, Harsh Deep Chopra, professor and chair of mechanical engineering at Temple, and Manfred Wuttig, professor of materials science and engineering at Maryland, published their findings, "Non-Joulian Magnetostriction," in the May 21st issue of the journal, Nature (DOI:10.1038/nature14459).

This transformative breakthrough has the potential to not only displace existing technologies but create altogether new applications due to the unusual combination of magnetic properties.

"Our findings fundamentally change the way we think about a certain type of magnetism that has been in place since 1841," said Chopra, who also runs the Materials Genomics and Quantum Devices Laboratories at Temple's College of Engineering.

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