May 31, 2013

Artificial Magnetic Monopoles discovered

A team of researchers from Cologne, Munich and Dresden have managed to create artificial magnetic monopoles. To do this, the scientists merged tiny magnetic whirls, so-called skyrmions.  At the point of merging, the physicists were able to create a monopole, which has similar characteristics to a fundamental particle postulated by Paul Dirac in 1931. In addition to fundamental research, the monopoles may also have application potential. The question of whether magnetic whirls can be used in the production of computer components one day is currently being researched by a number of groups worldwide.

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.