Saturday Physics for Everyone

Title Saturday Physics for Everyone: Magnets and Big Machines: The Use of Neutrons to Explore Magnetism in New Materials
Speaker Professor Gregory MacDougall
Date: 12/6/2014
Time: 10:15 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.

141 Loomis Laboratory, 1110 W. Green Street, Urbana, IL 61801


Department of Physics University of Illinois

Contact: Toni Pitts
217 244 2948
Originating Calendar: Physics - Saturday Physics for Everyone

Popular Lecture:  At a length-scale a hundredth of a million times smaller than an inch, physicists talk about magnetic materials as a regular lattice of atoms, where each atom hosts a series of spinning electrons acting as tiny bar magnets. Characterization and control of these magnetic patterns is central to technologies underpinning modern data storage, electric motors, sensors and medical imaging. Physicists study spin systems as part of the search for new superconductors and novel quantum states, and observe the emergence of particles in these systems that don’t exist in the universe at large.

Yet, how is this done? The patterns involved are a thousand times smaller than the wavelength of visible light, and conventional imaging probes are insufficient for the study of electron spins. In this talk, I will explain the concept behind neutron scattering, and discuss how physicists use beams of neutrons and cleverly designed machines at research reactors and accelerators to gain insight into the position and movement of atoms inside materials. I will present recent and ongoing developments at U.S. and international neutron facilities, and discuss how the research being done there is impacting technology development and our greater understanding of condensed matter physics.

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