Altermagnets – Science News Australia – Physics News

Science News Australia Physics Magnetics

For the first time in almost a century, physicists have discovered an entirely new type of magnetic material.

Dive into any physics textbook, and you’ll find magnetic materials divided into two main categories: ferromagnets and antiferromagnets. Ferromagnets are the more familiar type, known for their ability to hold notes on a fridge or guide a compass needle north, thanks to their magnetic fields. Antiferromagnets, while lacking external magnetic fields, possess unique magnetic properties.

This longstanding duo has now expanded into a trio with the identification of a new class of magnetic materials known as altermagnets, which could pave the way for faster, more efficient computer hard drives.

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