Research led by a University of Sussex scientist has turned a 156-year-old law of physics on its head in a development which could lead to more efficient recharging of batteries in cars and mobile phones.
Dr. Jordi Prat-Camps, a research fellow at the University of Sussex, has for the first time demonstrated that the coupling between two magnetic elements can be made extremely asymmetrical. Working with colleagues from the Austrian Academy of Sciences andUniversity of Innsbruck, Dr. Prat-Camps' research rips up the physics rule book by showing it is possible to make one magnet connect to another without the connection happening in the opposite direction.
The findings run contrary to long-established beliefs of magnetic coupling, which emerge from the four Maxwell equations dating back to the seminal works of Michael Faraday and James Clerk Maxwell in the 19th century.
Dr. Prat-Camps said: "We have created the first device that behaves like a diode for magnetic fields. Electric diodes are so crucial that none of the existing electronic technologies such as microchips, computers or mobile phones would be possible without them. If our result for magnetic fields wouldhaveone millionth of the same impact as the developments in electric diodes, it would be a hugely impactful success. The creation of such a diode opens up a lot of new possibilities for other scientists and technicians to explore. Thanks to our discovery we think it might be possible to improve and the performance of wireless power transfer technologies to improve the efficiency of recharging phones, laptops and even cars."