Frustrated magnets are known to possess a magnetic structure that does not exhibit any magnetic feature when at low temperatures. However, a group of researchers at the Princeton University has found that in spite of not possessing any magnetic feature in low temperatures, frustrated magnets exhibit features of the Hall Effect.
For those who don’t know: the Hall Effect suggests that a magnetic field, when applied to electric current carried by charged particles present in a conductor, results in its deflection to one side.
N. Phuan Ong, a professor of physics at the Princeton University, when discussing the matter, said that the statement that talks about Hall Effect for neutral particles is kind of an oxymoron and is an out and out crazy idea. He added that at times quantum behavior comes up with strange facts and this is one example of those strange facts. According to Phuan Ong, this behavior of frustrated magnets is something that shouldn’t have happened, but is happening.
Scientists taking part in the said study are saying that the findings about Hall Effect identified in a nonmagnetic material might turn out to be of great help for the development of electronic and computing devices. According to them, this observation can assist in creation of a quantum computer that can be used for processing numerous calculations simultaneously.
Experts consider the subject of frustrated magnets a part of both theoretical physics and material science. It’s better to say that the subject is located right on the threshold of both steams of science. These materials are referred to as frustrated magnets due to their inability of getting a long-range magnetic order in spite of housing a large exchange between the spins of their elementary particles.
Scientists have recently started studying frustrated magnets as they believe these materials can be used fruitfully in different technological applications. One example of such applications is magnetic refrigerator.
Magnetic refrigerators use magnets for keeping things cold and can be perfect alternatives to the standard refrigerators that use chlorofluorocarbons for keeping things cold. Having a substitute of refrigerators using chlorofluorocarbons is a good thing as use of chlorofluorocarbons are believed to be one of the main causes of ozone layer depletion.