Science of frustrated magnets: Hall Effect experiment reveals clues to their discontent



Frustrated magnets -- new experiment reveals clues to their discontent



Excerpt from thewestsidestory.net

A scientific study carried out in Princeton has brought about the discovery of unlikely properties in materials called frustrated magnets using the Hall Effect.

Hall Effect is the property of magnetic fields having influence over electric currents. When a current is exposed to a magnetic field, it tends to deflect to one side.

The study used this effect to identify whether frustrated magnets can influence such properties. Hall Effect has a few practical applications in real life situations. Automobile breaking sensors and sensors in pc printers are developed based on this phenomenon.

Science of frustrated magnets: experiment reveals clues to their discontent
Frustrated magnets on the other hand are said to lose their magnetic properties at low temperatures. Initially, scientists did not think that it would be possible for Hall Effect to occur in neutral particles. 
Some scientists did however believe that it would probably be possible for frustrated materials to maintain the Hall Effect even below extremely cold conditions of nearly absolute zero. The idea sparked a lot of interest in the science community. If the latter turned out to be true, it would probably lead to new possibilities through innovation.

The controversial discussion had to be settled once and for all in the old fashioned way. Scientific experimentation. The study was carried out by a group made up of students and Professors. The team was formed by Robert Cava, Russell Wellman, Max Hirschberger, Jason Krizan and Ong. Their study was focused on a group of magnets called pyrochlores.

The aim of the study was to discover the influence of the Hall Effect at different temperatures. The results of the pyrochlores experiment concluded that the spins seemed to point at random directions. According to Ong, there was no alignment due to geometric frustration.

The experiment failed to prove the influence on neutral particles. However, future studies and well-orchestrated experiments are expected to show positive results in the future.

Future research is also expected to reveal more about semiconductors in high temperatures as well as other practical applications.