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Frustrated magnets are materials in which localized magnetic moments or spin interact through competing exchange interactions that cannot be satisfied simultaneously.
This nature of the frustrated magnet is long-debated.
The researchers from Princeton have thrown some light on the nature of the frustrated magnets.
The experiment was conducted to see if the frustrated magnet follows Hall Effect.
What is Hall Effect? When a magnetic field is applied to a current carrying conductor like copper ribbon then the current deflects to a single side of the ribbon.
It was believed that Hall Effect can be observed only in charge carrying particles and not in neutral or non- charge carrying material like the frustrated magnets.
According to some theorist’s neutral particles in frustrated magnet will exhibit Hall Effect in extreme cold conditions near absolute zero where the particles behave in accordance with quantum mechanics rather than classical physics law.
The researches turned to finding out whether the frustrated magnet exhibit Hall Effect.
The team is composed of Phuan Ong, Princeton’s Eugene Higgins Professor of Physics, and colleague Robert Cava, Princeton’s Russell Wellman Moore Professor of Chemistry, and their graduate students Max Hirschberger and Jason Krizan.
They used a class of magnets called as pyrochlores where all of its spin should line up in an order pointing to one direction at very low temperature near absolute zero.
But the experiment results were completely different they found that the spins were pointing in different directions.
The frustrated materials are also dubbed as Quantum spin ice.
Ong said, “These materials are very interesting because theorists think the tendency for spins to align is still there, but, due to a concept called geometric frustration, the spins are entangled but not ordered.”
Quantum computer depends on entanglement which is the key property of quantum systems and the researches are investigating to solve problems which the today’s computer is facing.