Artificial Magnetic Monopoles Created
Researchers from Cologne, Munich and Dresden have created artificial magnetic monopoles by merging tiny magnetic whirls called "skyrmions". At the point at which they merge, a monopole appears. Physicist Paul Dirac postulated in 1931 that a similar kind of particle would exist.
(An emergent magnetic monopole)
Depiction of the merging of two magnetic vortices,
so-called skyrmions, in the magnetic structure of a material.
The point at the which the vortices merge displays the
properties of an emergent magnetic monopole.
When the monopole moves along the direction of the vortices
a skyrmion is created or destroyed.
(Credit: Ch. Schütte/University of Cologne
When a magnet is divided, a new magnet with north and south poles is always created. However, a monopole, i.e. a north pole without a south pole or a south pole without a north pole has not yet been discovered. In the current edition of the journal Science, researchers from Cologne, Munich and Dresden describe the discovery of new type of artificial monopole in a solid, i.e. particles, which have similar characteristics to monopoles, but which only exist within materials.
Larry Niven introduced science fiction readers to the idea of magnetic monopoles in his 1973 novel Protector. Appropriately, they were found within an exotic material - the nickel-iron core of asteroids.
Nick Sohl was coming home.
...He had gone mining in Saturn's rings, with a singleship around him and a shovel in his hand (for the magnets used to pull monopoles from asteroidal iron did look remarkably like shovels)...
A century ago monopoles had been mere theory and conflicting theory at that. Magnetic theory said that a north magnetic pole could not exist apart from a south magnetic pole, and vice-versa. Quantum theory implied that they might exist independently.
The first permanent settlements had been blooming among the biggest Belt asteroids when an exploring team found monopoles scattered through the nickel-iron core of an asteroid.
(Read more about Niven's monopole mining)
Via Science Daily; thanks to Broklynite for the tip and the reference on the story.
Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 6/24/2013)
Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.
| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |
you like to contribute a story tip?
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add
Comment/Join discussion ( 0 )
Related News Stories -
Shape-Memory Metal Transforms Millions Of Times
'Annealed in any shape for a time, and codified, the structure of that shape is retained down to the molecules.' - Samuel R. Delany
Growing Metal In The Shape You Want
What more do you need, engineers?
Laser Etching Makes Metal Super-Hydrophobic
'The water flowed off those walls without binding tension.'- Frank Herbert, 1965.
3D Printing Your Science-Fictional Metals
I love science-fictional materials!
Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!)
is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for
the Invention Category that interests
you, the Glossary, the Invention
Timeline, or see what's New.
TALOS Exoskeleton Development Proceeding
'Suited up, you look like a big steel gorilla...'
Autonomous Robots Navigate Like Rats
'Out of warrens in the wall, tiny robot mice darted.'
SINTEF Robot Cleans Solar Panels
'The window cleaners, with large padded feet...'
Pangorin Restaurant Service Robots
What'll you have? Jawa juice?
Drug Creates Real Melanin Tan
I've used them all my life...
Medical Drones Hover Like Angels Near You
'The death-reversal equipment is on its way...'
SkEye Amazing Israeli Gigapixel Drone
'An eye that could not only see, but fly...'
How Rude! DARPA Wants Robots To Behave More Like Threepio
'Do I know protocol? Why, it's my primary function.'
'Liquid Light' Flows Around Corners
Light as a superfluid.
Unrolling The Filmy Materials Of Space Tech
'When unfolded and unrolled... it became a tough, gleaming film.'
Buddy Companion Robot Your Bulbous Friend
'Nanny was built in the shape of a sphere, a large metal sphere, flattened on the bottom...'
Poli-X1 Prototype Bee Pollinator
Is there anything drones can't do?
Bake in Space Bake-Off... In Space!
'A joyous condition commenced for the cook in the electric kitchen...'
DeepMind AI Baffled By Homer Simpson, Needs Human Help
'Whenever a robot finds something it can't identify straight off...'
Does Earth's Middle Mantle Hold Oceans Of Water?
Al Gore, you have no idea.
Vaccine Blocks Heroin High
'You're biochemically incapable of getting off...'
More SF in the News Stories
More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories