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Monopoles in magnetic ice

A magnetic monopole caught by magnetic force microscopy. We have a pretty solid scientific background, and for most of it magnetic monopoles have been on the edges of our understanding of scientific reality. Our physicist friends told us that there was no reason why the should not exist, but all of methods we understood for creating a magnetic field involved spinning a charge, and that entailed making both a North and South pole together. Well, I don’t mind being wrong, and the elegant way in which monopoles are created by scientists at Nanofolio is really quite fun, and very easily understood…

So, it was a great pleasure to be asked to develop an interactive feature on this work for them. To do this we’ve really just taken their Nature Physics paper, and illustrated some of the main points. The authors were, I think, more excited about the elementary excitations they were seeing than the magnetic monopoles, which are a bit old hat to the modern physicist, so we looked at those as well. But, magnetic monopoles, just how cool is that!*

You can view the interactive features on the Nanofolio website at: “Monopoles in magnetic ice” – this page has ongoing links to the original publication and review in Nature Physics.

*They are in a magnetic ice after all – but you’ll have to look at the feature to find out more about that!