Monday, April 12, 2010

Stronger magnetic material discovered, may overturn laws of physics.

From Minnesota Daily:
Iron cobalt is known as the most magnetic material on Earth today, but a professor at the University of Minnesota was able to show that this may no longer be true.

Dr. Jianping Wang, a graduate faculty member in the department of physics, said he was able to show an iron and nitrogen compound is 18 percent more magnetic than iron cobalt. The claim may disprove the accepted physics limits set for magnetization in a substance.

“We found there is a new physics behind the materials we study right now,” Wang said.

In his iron and nitrogen compound material, Wang said he found electrons in a form that have never been addressed in traditional theories behind magnetization — localized electrons, which differ from the free-flowing electrons that are typically seen in magnetic moments.

“With the presence of localized electrons, you have to throw out all traditional understanding [of magnetism],” Wang said.

It is these localized electrons that lead to the high magnetization, according to Wang.

Wang said his study goes against traditional theories found in textbooks that set limits on how magnetic a substance can be.

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