Exploring the magnetism of a single atom

Thursday, May 8, 2014 - 13:02 in Physics & Chemistry

Magnetic devices like hard drives, magnetic random access memories (MRAMs), molecular magnets, and quantum computers depend on the manipulation of magnetic properties. In an atom, magnetism arises from the spin and orbital momentum of its electrons. 'Magnetic anisotropy' describes how an atom's magnetic properties depend on the orientation of the electrons' orbits relative to the structure of a material. It also provides directionality and stability to magnetization.

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