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MIT discovers a new state of matter, a new kind of magnetism

MIT discovers a new state of matter, a new kind of magnetism | Science Communication from mdashf | Scoop.it
Researchers at MIT have discovered a new state of matter with a new kind of magnetism. This new state, called a quantum spin liquid (QSL), could lead to significant advances in data storage.

 

Researchers at MIT have discovered a new state of matter with a new kind of magnetism. This new state, called a quantum spin liquid (QSL), could lead to significant advances in data storage. QSLs also exhibit a quantum phenomenon called long-range entanglement, which could lead to new types of communications systems, and more.

 

Generally, when we talk about magnetism’s role in the realm of technology, there are just two types: Ferromagnetism and antiferromagnetism. Ferromagnetism has been known about for centuries, and is the underlying force behind your compass’s spinning needle or the permanent bar magnets you played with at school. In ferromagnets, the spin (i.e. charge) of every electron is aligned in the same direction, causing two distinct poles. In antiferromagnets, neighboring electrons point in the opposite direction, causing the object to have zero net magnetism (pictured below). In combination with ferromagnets, antiferromagnets are used to create spin valves: the magnetic sensors used in hard drive heads.

 

In the case of quantum spin liquids, the material is a solid crystal — but the internal magnetic state is constantly in flux. The magnetic orientations of the electrons (their magnetic moment) fluctuate as they interact with other nearby electrons. “But there is a strong interaction between them, and due to quantum effects, they don’t lock in place,” says Young Lee, senior author of the research. It is these strong interactions that apparently allow for long-range quantum entanglement.


Via Dr. Stefan Gruenwald
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Quantum Stealth Invisibility Cloak Gets Pentagon Backing

Quantum Stealth Invisibility Cloak Gets Pentagon Backing | Science Communication from mdashf | Scoop.it

The United States military is reportedly backing a Canadian company's development of a material that can render soldiers invisible, according to news reports. Maple Ridge, B.C.-based Hyperstealth Biotechnology has developed "Quantum Stealth," a type of camouflage that bends light around the wearer or an object to create the illusion of invisibility. President and CEO Guy Cramer likened the new technology to Harry Potter's invisibility cloak during a recent CNN appearance, and described its ability to easily and effectively hide a soldier in different environments.

 

"Unless you walked right into them, you wouldn't know that they were there," Cramer said. The material doesn't require batteries, projectors or cameras. It is also inexpensive and lightweight, according to Hyperstealth's website.

For security reasons, the company will not provide public demonstrations, only mockup photos. But Canadian military groups and the U.S. Federal Emergency Response Team have seen the technology and can back up his claims. Cramer described the material's incredible value to soldiers who carry out operations during the day, or those who are trying to evade their enemy, the Daily Mail reported. Beyond that, the technology could have use on a larger scale, on submarines, tanks or aircrafts.

 


Via Dr. Stefan Gruenwald
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