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Saturday, January 20, 2018

Russian scientists have traced the magnetic vortices in the memory of the future


Physics from MIPT and the Institute of General physics of RAS followed the behavior of skyrmions, a kind of magnetic vortices inside the basis for future spin memory that help scientists understand how to create memory for quantum computers, according to a paper published in the journal Scientific Reports.

Skyrmions are a special hypothetical particle of matter with unusual magnetic properties that make them similar or a kind of “hedgehog” or microscopic vortex. The tips of the needle in such a “hedgehog” or the edge of the hurricane are charged positively, and the body “the animal”, or the eye of the hurricane — negative.

Such structures, as explained by Sergey Demishev from MIPT in Dolgoprudny and his colleagues, have extremely high stability, which allows their use as a durable and economical of memory cells for spin and quantum computers of the future, as well as conventional computers of today.

“Real” skyrmions, scientists have not yet discovered and not created, and their close analogues are special structures inside thin films of magnetic materials or substances, like manganese silicide in which such vortices arise under special conditions — for example, at temperatures close to absolute zero.

For this reason, theoretical physicists and their colleagues practice today are actively investigating the behaviour of such a virtual skyrmions, trying to understand how they arise and how you can make these vortices to be born in a more convenient for practical use.

For example, physicists from Russia was trying to understand why skyrmions are born not only on the surface of two-dimensional films of a silicide of manganese, but in its single crystals. In this respect there are several points of view — some scientists believe that the magnetic “funnel” are born in them separately from each other, while others believe that they are inseparably linked and that the nature of their birth is associated with the structure of the crystal.

To answer this question Demishev and his colleagues watched how changing the resistance of MnSi crystals with changes in the direction and strength of the magnetic field, as well as at lower and higher temperatures.

These experiments showed that actually exist and skyrmions”individuality”, and skyrmions are”collectivists” — the manner of their birth and behavior depends on the temperature and properties of the magnetic field. According to Demichev, similar behavior is common in MnSi and other materials with type-II superconductors, the outer layer which under certain circumstances also arise magnetic storms and the flow of superconducting current, which scientists call the “Abrikosov vortices”.

From a practical point of view of single skyrmions can be used for transmission and storage of information and the implementation of various logical operations. Do now: physicists left to find materials similar to a high-temperature superconductor, in which tiny magnetic vortices are stable at room temperatures.

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