Magnetic monopoles detected in a real magnet for the first time

Sep 03, 2009
This is an impression of a "spin spaghetti" of Dirac strings. Credit: HZB / D.J.P. Morris & A. Tennant

Researchers from the Helmholtz Centre Berlin, in cooperation with colleagues from Dresden, St. Andrews, La Plata and Oxford, have for the first time observed magnetic monopoles and how they emerge in a real material. They publish this result in the journal Science within the Science Express web site on Sept. 3.

Magnetic monopoles are hypothetical particles proposed by physicists that carry a single magnetic pole, either a magnetic North pole or South pole. In the material world this is quite exceptional because are usually observed as dipoles, north and south combined. However there are several theories that predict the existence of monopoles. Among others, in 1931 the physicist Paul Dirac was led by his calculations to the conclusion that magnetic monopoles can exist at the end of tubes - called Dirac strings - that carry magnetic field. Until now they have remained undetected.

This is a schematic diagram of the neutron scattering experiment: Neutrons are fired towards the sample, and when a magnetic field is applied the Dirac strings align against the field with magnetic monopoles at their ends. The neutrons scatter from the strings providing data which show us the strings properties. Credit: HZB / D.J.P. Morris & A. Tennant

Jonathan Morris, Alan Tennant and colleagues (HZB) undertook a neutron scattering experiment at the Berlin research reactor. The material under investigation was a single crystal of Dysprosium . This material crystallises in a quite remarkable geometry, the so called pyrochlore-lattice. With the help of neutron scattering Morris and Tennant show that the magnetic moments inside the material had reorganised into so-called „Spin-Spaghetti". This name comes from the ordering of the dipoles themselves, such that a network of contorted tubes (Strings) develops, through which magnetic flux is transported. These can be made visible by their interaction with the neutrons which themselves carry a . Thus the neutrons scatter as a reciprocal representation of the Strings.

During the neutron scattering measurements a magnetic field was applied to the crystal by the researchers. With this field they could influence the symmetry and orientation of the strings. Thereby it was possible to reduce the density of the string networks and promote the monopole dissociation. As a result, at temperatures from 0.6 to 2 Kelvin, the strings are visible and have magnetic monopoles at their ends.

Pictured are Bastian Klemke and Jonathan Morris at instrument E2 of the Research-Reactor at HZB in Berlin (Flat-Cone Single Crystal Diffractometer). Credit: HZB / A. Rouvičre

The signature of a gas made up by these monopoles has also been observed in heat capacity measured by Bastian Klemke (HZB). Providing further confirmation of the existence of monopoles and showing that they interact in the same way as electric charges.

In this work the researchers, for the first time, attest that monopoles exist as emergent states of matter, i.e. they emerge from special arrangements of dipoles and are completely different from the constituents of the material. However, alongside this fundamental knowledge, Jonathan Morris explains the further meaning of the results: „We are writing about new, fundamental properties of matter. These properties are generally valid for materials with the same topology, that is for magnetic moments on the pyrochlore lattice. For the development of new technologies this can have big implications. Above all it signifies the first time fractionalisation in three dimensions is observed."

More information:

• Article in Science Express 3-Sep-2009: "Dirac Strings and Magnetic Monopoles in Spin Ice Dy2Ti2O7" DOI: 10.1126/science.1178868; D.J.P. Morris, D.A. Tennant, S.A. Grigera, B. Klemke, C. Castelnovo, R. Moessner, C. Czter-nasty, M. Meissner, K.C. Rule, J.-U. Hoffmann, K. Kiefer, S. Gerischer, D. Slobinsky, and R.S. Perry

• Castelnovo, C. et al.: Magnetic monopoles in spin ice. In: Nature 451, 42-45, 2008.

Source: Helmholtz Association of German Research Centres (news : web)

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danman5000
4.3 / 5 (11) Sep 03, 2009
Holy crap.



If this is accurate and true, this is huge. Actually existing monopoles is something that's been predicted for a long time but never seen, and I certainly never believed they could really exist. The possible technological impact of monopoles is profound. My only concern here is that they say "monopoles exist as emergent states of matter," rather than as a particle (like an electric monopole, the electron). This might mean it would be very hard to utilize these things in useful ways. But this is all infant research so here's hoping for the best. Keep up the good work, very exciting times ahead!
Adriab
4.2 / 5 (10) Sep 03, 2009
Holy crap.


I agree. Wow, this is big. Real magnetic monopoles could have so many applications. Science is exciting.
Fazer
3.8 / 5 (10) Sep 03, 2009
I barely understand this, but it seems to me that the implication, at least in the pretty picture, is that the monopoles appear in pairs, one at each end of the strings. If they always come in pairs, then maybe they are just the north and south ends of funky, elongated, twisted magnetic domains. It isn't as though they can carry away a single monopole and do something interesting with it, they are still tied together in pairs, just like any other magnetic structure. Any thoughts on that?
gmurphy
2.8 / 5 (5) Sep 03, 2009
this is one of the best things I've ever read in physorg, amazing!
jonnyboy
2.3 / 5 (4) Sep 03, 2009
If they actually produced this monopole, as the article seems to say, it leads to the inevitable conclusion that there is either a circular magnetic field (think black hole of magnetism)or no magnetic field. How confused and lost am I?
OKilic
5 / 5 (6) Sep 03, 2009
Although this is amazing research, these monopoles "exist as emergent states of matter", and therefore should not be confused with a real monopole particle (such as a magnetic counterpart of an electron). I believe these monopoles are as real as, e.g., particles with fractional elementary charges observed in the fractional quantum Hall effect, something that you cannot observe in free space.
otto1923
3 / 5 (2) Sep 03, 2009
I agree. Wow, this is big. Real magnetic monopoles could have so many applications.
So tell me and the reading public, what are they good for besides lending weight to theories? Niven used them for propulsion?
otto1923
2 / 5 (4) Sep 03, 2009
Like this?
http://pesn.com/2...onopole/
Seriously, what do we do with them?
danman5000
3.4 / 5 (5) Sep 03, 2009
Like this?

http://pesn.com/2...onopole/

Seriously, what do we do with them?



Did that article even say anything at all? All he talks about are death threats, scary white helicopters, and how the government is murderous and evil. Ridiculous. Also, he claims that "Today and for the last 10 years, I have been nearly unable to even think let alone function in any capacity well enough to hold down a full time job." Really? Then how did he write the article? If he's capable of coming up with sentences like that, surely he could get a job with a data entry company or something.

He only makes two mentions of actual uses that I could find - torque and "invisibility". Torque is plausible - if you used monopoles in an electric motor it would be far stronger than with dipoles. Invisibility though? I can see the connection since light is an EM wave, but monopoles would have to be insanely powerful to bend it.

The first two uses that came to my mind were incredibly efficient electric motors (more torque, as mentioned, and no resistance to turning besides friction) and transportation (like better maglev systems and not just for trains, for similar reasons as the motor).

A better article I found was http://www.frc.ri...npol.mss

As with everything else you'll find it's all speculation of course, but at least it's not full of "the government is trying to kill me" nonsense.
kasen
4.7 / 5 (6) Sep 03, 2009
Is the word 'string' used as a reference to some string theory, or they just called them that to attract attention and/or confuse laymen?

If I understand correctly, it's a synthetic quasiparticle, it appears in special materials under specific circumstances. I don't think it has any major implications, as an actual monopole would. Might be useful for research, since Dysprosium Titanate doesn't sound like it grows on trees.

Hmm...Wikipedia seems to back my assumptions up, so settle down Internet folk, we're not quite there yet.
nkalanaga
4.2 / 5 (5) Sep 03, 2009
Fazer: That's the way I read it, too. There seem to be several varieties of "magnetic monopoles", depending on the theory predicting them. The ones that the physicists really want are the elementary particles, which these are not. They could still have uses, though, if we could figure out how to manipulate them. New types of data storage, maybe?
Noumenon
4.6 / 5 (49) Sep 03, 2009
That's right nkalanaga, kasen, OKilic, Fazer.
Question
5 / 5 (2) Sep 03, 2009
quote from article:
"In this work the researchers, for the first time, attest that monopoles exist as emergent states of matter, i.e. they emerge from special arrangements of dipoles and are completely different from the constituents of the material."

If these monopoles arise from a "secial arrangement of dipoles" how are they different from a regular magnet with two poles, other than being in some contorted twisted state? Their diagram shows this also, not with single monopoles but with two poles "connected" just like a regular magnet.
nkalanaga
4.8 / 5 (4) Sep 03, 2009
Possibly the difference is that regular magnets are collections of dipoles, and can be cut into pieces with each piece becoming a new magnet. If these transport the flux internally, and they don't show the usual arrangement of external field lines between the poles, they would act like two disconnected monopoles. If this is the case, then they would act quite unlike ordinary magnets at scales similar to the size of the strings.
otto1923
3 / 5 (4) Sep 03, 2009
@danman5000
Did that article even say anything at all? All he talks about are death threats, scary white helicopters,
Yeah I know, I think that would have been obvious to anybody, it was a joke... That's why I said 'Seriously...' after it. I thought the article was FUNNY. Oy. I wonder just how dense some of you idiot savants really are. Except you Noummunn. You're a metaphysical phemenon. Phomenum. Pheminonen.
otto1923
4 / 5 (1) Sep 03, 2009
-And I had seen that article, written in 1979. What have people come up with since then?
Sean_W
1.3 / 5 (3) Sep 04, 2009
Way off topic here but still on the monopole subject, if you force many small normal dipole magnets into a sphere with all the norths in and all souths out (or the reverse obviously) and put several layers of this arangement so you build up a magnetic material that mimics a monopole on a macro scale, what would hapen to the field lines at the center? Would they desparately force out through any gap in the particles to connect with the opposite poles or would they just force half of the magnetic particles to switch polarity to neutralize the magnet? It seems odd that a material where neighboring dipoles are all aligned would unalign because of their collective field. But then I don't know much at all about physics beyond a few of the easier laws and theories. Thanks in advance to anyone who can enlighten me.
out7x
2 / 5 (2) Sep 04, 2009
Is the neutron magnetic moment from the one up quark, and 2 down quarks, or the gluons energy?
alexxx
Sep 04, 2009
This comment has been removed by a moderator.
bluehigh
1 / 5 (1) Sep 04, 2009
non-physical entities that are an artifact of configuration. Yawn, still no directly detected monopoles. Guess why not.
deatopmg
1 / 5 (1) Sep 04, 2009
Dirac proves to be right - AGAIN!
Noumenon
4.6 / 5 (49) Sep 04, 2009
@danman5000

Did that article even say anything at all? All he talks about are death threats, scary white helicopters,
Yeah I know, I think that would have been obvious to anybody, it was a joke... That's why I said 'Seriously...' after it. I thought the article was FUNNY. Oy. I wonder just how dense some of you idiot savants really are. Except you Noummunn. You're a metaphysical phemenon. Phomenum. Pheminonen.


As usual you argue without knowing what your arguing about. Kant's point was to show metaphysics CANNOT be a source of knowledge,.. but eh why let facts get in the way of your continued silly insults.
Pfhoryan
not rated yet Sep 04, 2009
Is that really new? Leptonic magnetic monopoles have been described and observed:

G. Lochak "The equation of a Light Leptonic Magnetic Monopole and its Experimental Aspects." Zeitshrift fur Naturforschung A, 62a, 231-246, 2007.
http://arxiv.org/...1.2752v1
Question
3 / 5 (1) Sep 04, 2009
@danman5000



Did that article even say anything at all? All he talks about are death threats, scary white helicopters,
Yeah I know, I think that would have been obvious to anybody, it was a joke... That's why I said 'Seriously...' after it. I thought the article was FUNNY. Oy. I wonder just how dense some of you idiot savants really are. Except you Noummunn. You're a metaphysical phemenon. Phomenum. Pheminonen.




As usual you argue without knowing what your arguing about. Kant's point was to show metaphysics CANNOT be a source of knowledge,.. but eh why let facts get in the way of your continued silly insults.


What facts? I would like to see some. All I see in this article is simple twisted intertwined bar magnets and confusing talk. Not a single magnetic monopole.
Ant
not rated yet Sep 04, 2009
surely if this observation is of strings then those strings should have two ends, Whats at the other end? The work looks interesting but I doubt the validity of the conclusions. I would suspect that magnetism is the product of opposing poles.
Pfhoryan
5 / 5 (2) Sep 04, 2009
What facts? I would like to see some. All I see in this article is simple twisted intertwined bar magnets and confusing talk. Not a single magnetic monopole.



Agree, What they describe looks no different than a string made of tiny aligned magnets, with two poles at each extremity.
This is not an elementary magnetic monopole like the one theorized by Lochak and observed by Urutskoiev (see arxiv paper above).
Noumenon
4.6 / 5 (49) Sep 04, 2009
@Question, I wasn't referring to the article linked by Ottis
Tachyon8491
1 / 5 (2) Sep 04, 2009
Actually, all ontological identities, including all memebers of all the particle families, are "emergent phenomena" - the epistemological fault committed here is a result of a discretist, atomistic orientation which sees "ultimate fundamentality" in elementary particles without ascribing any more fractal substructure to them.

This modelling fault, concerning both the questions of elementarity/fundamentality and internal fractal substructure, is a question of ontological focus - nothing is totally autonomous and independent - a question that was already solved, believe it or not, in the metaphysical reality modelling in the understanding of Interdependent Origination foundational to Buddhism and as quantified, e.g. in the Twelve Nidhanas. In quantum physics this focus too often becomes radically scientistic and gets hooked on its own paradigmatic anchors, to whit, take the electron. It is still comfortably taught by modern electrodynamicists that the electron is a "point-source" of energy and surrounded by dipolarly contrasting "virtual positive charges" and acts as a source of energy all BY ITSELF. In actuality, nothing in the universe is a source of energy all by itself, a tautological impossibility and the very essence of a perpetuum mobile - all sources are transductive, in the conversion of one energy-form to another. Whitaker's 1903/04 analysis of Maxwellian electromagnetics proves conclusively that the dipolar field breaks down into two phase-conjugate longitudinal wave-pairs where the electron acts as a gateway between 4-D Minkowskian spacetime and 3-D physical expression - it converts a reverse flow in time into real EM energy in physical space. Learn more from T. Bearden's seminal paper, "Giant Negentropy from the Common Dipole," prove it by performing the Bohren Experiment with COP>18, do some background research on the multiply performed verifications of these experiments, understand Lorent'z trick of symmetrical regauging to get rid of the Heaviside Dark component in EM energy induction and the faulty modelling in regarding the Poynting component as allegedly being the only "real" EM-energy flow in all presently designed electrical circuits, learn how Morgan destroyed Tesla's "Free Energy" concept and the reality of this in the corrected Maxwellian Electrodynamics and its scientific and social implications, understand then how this is tenaciously hunted down, ridiculed and excommunicated by paradigmatically entrenched academic, governmental and corporate agencies that have existing infrastructure of trillions invested in the insane overutilisation of nuclear and fossil fuels and you'll begin to see how we have been misled and lied to for just about a hundred years...
Royale
5 / 5 (1) Sep 04, 2009
@ Question:
Noumenon is referring to "facts" that he/she's always presenting from Philosophy, or some other region of "science". I'm honestly not sure if he/she has ever referred to any commonly accepted ideas. Some people don't quite understand that while science doesn't know everything, it's A LOT farther along than some random person saying something (that although makes sense, has no evidence to back it up). Sorry a bit of a tangent there. But if I see someone link to "Aether Waves" one more time, I might just lose it.

=)
Noumenon
4.6 / 5 (49) Sep 04, 2009
Royale, do you even know what your talking about? I did not interject philosophy into this discussion, nor said anything about AWT. I stated an indisputable historic fact in response to a comment Ottis1923 made concerning me, not the article or the link.

I don't reject "commonly accepted ideas".
GPhillip
5 / 5 (3) Sep 04, 2009
Well, regardless of all that, whatever it was, I see no evidence of magnetic monopoles in this article. It appears the magnetic ctrings were detected by nutron scattering and they just assume there must be a magnetic monopole on the ends of the strings. The article is misleading. It should have been titled "Stings of magnetic force detected that may or may not have magnetic monopoles on their ends, but most probably not." Basically, this is a stretched out dipole with the ends connected by a string of magnetic force. It's not a monopole at all. The claim is false and the article is incorrect and misleading. Shame on physorg for printing such a misleading article. Of course it's an interesting result, but far from the earth shattering discovery of magnetic monopoles. This is just scientific yellow journalism. Shame, shame, shame on physorg.
Pfhoryan
not rated yet Sep 04, 2009
Don't you read previous comments? The magnetic monopoles you're dreaming of, are in plain sight for years:

G. Lochak "The equation of a Light Leptonic Magnetic Monopole and its Experimental Aspects." Zeitshrift fur Naturforschung A, 62a, 231-246, 2007.

http://arxiv.org/...1.2752v1
otto1923
not rated yet Sep 04, 2009
As usual you argue without knowing what your arguing about. Kant's point was to show metaphysics CANNOT be a source of knowledge,..
Ergo, op cit, if you are in fact one such phenomenon then you are a source of no knowledge. According to Kant. Maybe you should try a philo who's a little more supportive.
but eh why let facts get in the way of your continued silly insults.
Only meant for entertainment value. Ad Noumenim. I thought we were bonding? I actually bought another Spinoza book the other day.

@Adriab
After a week or so I still see no current thinking here on what freaking good are monopoles anyway. You made the statement- what are applications? You still out there or just hit-and-run?
Question
5 / 5 (2) Sep 04, 2009
Possibly the difference is that regular magnets are collections of dipoles, and can be cut into pieces with each piece becoming a new magnet. If these transport the flux internally, and they don't show the usual arrangement of external field lines between the poles, they would act like two disconnected monopoles. If this is the case, then they would act quite unlike ordinary magnets at scales similar to the size of the strings.


What difference does it make if the magnetic field lines are transported internally or even outside, beyond the range of the neutron detectors.
You still have string magnets with two poles. If you cut the string magnets in half you will still end up with two magnets with two poles or a total of 4 poles just like any ordinary magnet. Just because you cannot detect the returning field lines is not proof they do not exist.
Let's see them create a single monopole that is attracted to only one pole of an ordinary magnet.
dfwrunner
not rated yet Sep 04, 2009
It is indeed possible (and not even very difficult) to make macro scale magnet arrangements that "look like" (for practical purposes and effects) monopoles. It's all about "wave shaping" and geometry. But in reality, one pole is merely "hidden from view", but still exists.
brant
not rated yet Sep 04, 2009
"This name comes from the ordering of the dipoles themselves, such that a network of contorted tubes (Strings) develops, through which magnetic flux is transported."

How about we call those tubes electric currents......

Felix Ehrenhaft observed monopoles years ago.
http://leedskalni...ests.pdf
RolfRomeo
not rated yet Sep 05, 2009
Way off topic here but still on the monopole subject, if you force many small normal dipole magnets into a sphere with all the norths in and all souths out (or the reverse obviously) and put several layers of this arangement so you build up a magnetic material that mimics a monopole on a macro scale, what would hapen to the field lines at the center? Would they desparately force out through any gap in the particles to connect with the opposite poles or would they just force half of the magnetic particles to switch polarity to neutralize the magnet? It seems odd that a material where neighboring dipoles are all aligned would unalign because of their collective field. But then I don't know much at all about physics beyond a few of the easier laws and theories. Thanks in advance to anyone who can enlighten me.


There will be zero net magnetization. The magnetic field from one half of the sphere will be exactly cancelled by that of the other half. There will be no net current around a circumference to produce a magnetic field. (Naive and classical, but if an axe does the job, why use a scalpel?)
RolfRomeo
not rated yet Sep 05, 2009
You asked specifically about the field lines,classically there won't really be any, as the magnetic field from one atom will be pretty much cancelled by that of it's neighbours. Imagine starting with a thin sheet, magnetized so that south is on the up-side and north on the down-side. Again classically, as that is all i know, the magnetic field comes about because there is a net current around the circumference of the sheet, due to naive electrons in orbits around equally aligned atoms. If you were to try to bend this sheet into a hollow sphere, the current will cancel when the edges contact, and the magnetic field will cease.

To visualize this situation draw a line around the edges of a piece of paper, now mark it with arrowheads all pointing head-to-butt to emulate our current. If you fold this piece of paper over so two opposite edges touch each other, you will notice the arrows point in opposite directions "cancelling" each other.

Hope I'm making any sense, this was very head-to-keyb-newThought-oard.
Alexa
1 / 5 (1) Sep 09, 2009
These noodles aren't monopoles, just very long and curved spaghetti magnets. Maxwell's equations still remain intact.

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