X-ray holograms reveal secret magnetism

X-ray holograms reveal secret magnetism

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Credit: ARGONNE NATIONAL LABORATORY/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

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Caption: By observing changes in coherent X-ray speckle pattern, researchers can investigate nanoscale dynamics of antiferromagnetic domain walls and observe a cross over from classical to quantum behavior. Unlike conventional magnets, antiferromagnets are materials that exhibit %u2018secret' magnetism that is not easily detectable. Instead, their magnetism is confined to very small regions where atoms behave as tiny magnets by spontaneously aligning themselves oppositely to adjacent atoms thus neutralising the overall magnetism of the material.The magnetic characteristics of ferromagnets have been studied by scientists since Greek antiquity, enabling them to build up a detailed picture of the regions, or %u201Cmagnetic domains,%u201D into which they are divided. However, antiferromagnets remained a mystery because their internal structure is far too fine to be measured using techniques ultimately relying on visual inspection. The internal order of antiferromagnets is on the same scale as the wavelength of X-rays %u2014 below 10 nanometers %u2014 and these have now been used to produce a %u2018speckle' pattern which is actually

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Keywords: anl, antiferromagnets, argonne national laboratory, atomic, atoms, ferromagnets, hologram, physics, quantum, research, science, secret magnetism, x ray hologram, x ray speckle pattern, x-ray hologram, x-ray speckle pattern, xray

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