24 Aug 2015
A layer of carbon can bestow the powers of magnetism. Viviane Richter explains.
A magnetic field: Magnets have become crucially important in the computer age, so researchers are seeking to learn how to magnetise metals without the help of rare Earth elements.Credit: Science Photo Library / Getty Images
In a feat of modern day alchemy, scientists have successfully turned non-magnetic metals into magnets. Oscar Cespedes at the University of Leeds and his team published their magnetic recipe in Nature in August. The key ingredient? A dusting of carbon.
“This is a new way of making magnets – it opens up a new field!” says Naresh Dalal from Florida State University, who also researches magnetic materials.
Magnets are crucial in the age of big data. We’ve generated almost as much data in the past two years as during all of human history. To generate and…
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