A multi-institutional team has just published a new way to “read” an antiferromagnet electrically—that is, a new way to determine what its magnetic state is.
The discovery is important because magnets play a foundational role in much of today’s technology. For example, computer memory is generally based on magnets; information is stored in the alignment of magnets’ north and south poles, which signify ones or zeros.
Unfortunately, ordinary magnets suffer from the problem of uncontrollable pole reversals, which can happen spontaneously or in response to heat or light. As devices become smaller and more complicated, such reversals are expected to cause increasing instability.
Read more about this breakthrough research.