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MIT Discovers Third Kind of Magnetism

The project group said that quantum spin liquid (QSL) is the third kind of known magnetism, in addition to ferromagnetism, as well as antiferromagnetism in which the magnetic fields cancel each other out. According to the researchers, QSL is a solid herbertsmithite crystal, but its magnetic state is liquid.

"Unlike the other two kinds of magnetism, the magnetic orientations of the individual particles within it fluctuate constantly, resembling the constant motion of molecules within a true liquid," the announcement reads.

While there is no static magnetic orientation order, MIT professor Young Lee said that "there is a strong interaction between them, and due to quantum effects, they don't lock in place." It is believed that Lee and his team are first to demonstrate a model that so far only existed in theory.

At this time, the researcher said that the discovery is "very fundamental research" that could take a very long time to make its way into "practical applications". However, the research could possibly advance data storage technologies, high-temperature superconductors, as well as quantum computing.

"We have to get a more comprehensive understanding of the big picture," Lee says. "There is no theory that describes everything that we're seeing."

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  • wannabepro
    Interesting.
    Now please actually use it unlike so many 'break through(s)' that get thrown under the carpet and never heard of again.
    Reply
  • AzureFlash
    Wizards, all of them. I bet they used calculus, too. Holy shit.
    Reply
  • sacre
    wannabeproInteresting.Now please actually use it unlike so many 'break through(s)' that get thrown under the carpet and never heard of again.
    Take everything with a grain of salt. Nearly every year for the past 15 years i've been seeing articles come out about "3d transistors" and "liquid CPU's" and "laser cpus" and "aids almost cured?" "Cancer cure around corner" "this" "that" "this"

    I'm sure its all adding up to something, but 3/4 of these are incomplete studies and 3/4 of them end in failure.

    Just like this, we won't hear about it again for another 5-10 years.
    Reply
  • memadmax
    Apple will sue them before it even reaches the market....
    Reply
  • A Bad Day
    memadmaxApple will sue them before it even reaches the market....
    Apple would be very insignificant as it was in the 1990's by the time the tech is available for marketing.
    Reply
  • JAYDEEJOHN
    Your link to the original is broken.

    This makes sense in a way, and so far sounds highly reactive
    Reply
  • jrodil
    uh-oh! T1000 in the making!
    Reply
  • palladin9479
    wannabeproInteresting.Now please actually use it unlike so many 'break through(s)' that get thrown under the carpet and never heard of again.
    That is the difference between science and engineering. Science is discovering new concepts behind how the universe works, engineering is about taking those discoveries and making something with them, at a profit (or otherwise worth the time / expense). Many things don't make it to market because it's found to be uneconomical at that time. Kinda of a "yes we could make this super awesome device but it would cost ONE MILLION DOLLARS (in doctor evil voice)". The science and technology still exists, so in the future when materials science or other advanced engineering comes along, they can go back to the previous idea and see if it's feasible to implement.
    Reply
  • CaedenV
    sacreTake everything with a grain of salt. Nearly every year for the past 15 years i've been seeing articles come out about "3d transistors" and "liquid CPU's" and "laser cpus" and "aids almost cured?" "Cancer cure around corner" "this" "that" "this"I'm sure its all adding up to something, but 3/4 of these are incomplete studies and 3/4 of them end in failure.Just like this, we won't hear about it again for another 5-10 years.-3D transistors are coming, but not until we hit an end to the current trend of die shrinks, so it will be a few years.
    -Never heard of liquid CPUs, but laser/light based switching CPUs are doing well in development. The issue though seems to be that while it can be done, our current track of technology offers better returns on investment, and is the easier tech to continue Moore's Law, so we may never get to see it.
    -The problem with the 'cure for cancer' seems to be a fundamental misunderstanding of what cancer is. Cancer is always in our bodies. I have cancer, you have cancer, we all have cancer, it is the very root of evolution. But the thing is that most cancers are not self-sustaining so the cells simply die off, or our bodies have mechanisms to find the mistakes, and remove them before they get out of hand. It is in these stages of preventive medicine that we need to focus our research. Then for those who have cancer we simply need to find a better form of removal. Half killing someone to kill a cancer, or hacking someone to pieces are so dark-age, and scary, and simply ineffective. Focus more on prevention and harboring an environment that is not as conducive to promoting cancerous growth, and then find finer tools for removal so that we can get away from chemo treatments. We will never find the 'silver bullet' against cancer because there isn't one. Each type of cancer is different, and each person's cancer is to some extent unique. Until we can have intelligent nonobots that can watch our DNA, there will not be a cure in the way that everyone is hoping for.
    -Aids sucks, but they really are pretty close to at least an inoculation for HIV. It does not help those who already have Aids, but it will help the next generation.

    As for the actual article, it made my head spin a bit. The way it is described in the article I am unsure if they are talking about an actual form of magnetism, or that they found a material that behaves oddly around magnetism. Either way, it sounds really neat. If there is a way to get something to behave predictably to electricity or magnetism and can be scaled down to extremely small sizes, then there is a place for it in the field of computers.
    Reply
  • vittau
    CaedenV-3D transistors are coming, but not until we hit an end to the current trend of die shrinks, so it will be a few years.Aren't 3D transistors (or tri-gate) already being used in the Ivy Bridge processors?
    Reply