ON THE EDGE: Working with the Tiniest Magnets, Hebrew U. Discovers New Magnetic Phenomenon with Industrial Potential

(Jerusalem, April 12, 2022)—Probing the world of the very, very small is a wonderland for physicists.  At this nano-scale, where materials as thin as 100 atoms are studied, totally new and unexpected phenomena are discovered.  Here, nature ceases to behave in a way that is predictable by the macroscopic law of physics, unlike what goes on in the world around us or out in the cosmos.

 

Dr. Yonathan Anahory at Hebrew University of Jerusalem (HU)’s Racah Institute of Physics led the research team, which included HU doctoral student Avia Noah.  He spoke of his astonishment when looking at images of the magnetism generated by nano-magnets, "it was the first time we saw a magnet behaving this way," as he described the images that revealed the phenomenon of "edge magnetism".

 

The images showed that the magnetic material the HU researchers were studying only retained magnetism on its edge—in fact only within 10 nanometers of the edge (remember a human hair is around 100, 000 nanometers). Their results were published in the prestigious journal Nano Letters.