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Quantum breakthrough could lead to "super-powered" hard drives



While the world focused on the latest Avenger movie, an international team of scientists may have unlocked the superpowers of another familiar Marvel character: Magneto.

Researchers at Argonne National Laboratory, Oakland University, Michigan, and Fudan University In China, a quantum level exploit has been discovered that allows engineers to better control the magnetic properties of certain metals. The experimental observations were discovered by testing with the same metals used to store data on hard drives.

In essence, the scientists observed a quantum effect that demonstrates the potential for controlling certain properties of the magnetism of the metal by rotating electrons in one direction or another. What this means is the potential for faster storage and retrieval of information as well as larger data volumes in smaller rooms.

Argonne researcher Axel Hoffmann, a co-author of the study, reported Phys.Org :

Technically speaking, we have found a considerable effect due to magnetic damping in nanoscale layers of cobalt-iron alloy which are deposited on one side of a magnesium oxide substrate.

Magnetic damping is responsible for the various qualities of a magnetic field engineer used to convert metal alloys into storage facilities, drive magnetic motors and operate certain types of braking devices. By using the newly discovered spin technique that would replace or supplement conventional alloy burn-in techniques, scientists believe they can make a significant leap forward in our ability to control magnetic fields as they relate to these specific metal alloys.

The team's research work:

Our results provide new insights into the mechanism of damping in metallic ferromagnets that are important for optimizing the dynamic properties of future magnetic devices.

Spin is like mass or charge, a property that all electrons have. The control of this component of quantum physics is unimagined promise for engineers, chemists and physicists. Besides its use as a means of controlling magnetism, it is also promising as a method of splitting water atoms to provide hydrogen as an energy efficient fuel while suppressing the unwanted byproduct of hydrogen peroxide. And there are probably other crazy hypothetical ways physicists of the future can use electron spin to do science-fiction-like things like tunneling or warp drive building.

It's Amazing That a Research Team Has Found One So the decade-old technology behind modern hard drives can be completely redesigned. Hopefully, this research will run out and we'll get cheaper, more efficient hard disks powered by quantum magic.

H / t: Phys.Org


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