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Elusive magnetic 'monopole' seen in quantum system

Elusive magnetic 'monopole' seen in quantum system

February 3, 2014 - If you break a magnet in two, you don't get a north half and a south half - you get two new magnets, each with two poles.

"Monopoles" were famously predicted to exist by physicist Paul Dirac in 1931 - but they have remained elusive.

Now scientists have engineered a synthetic monopole in a quantum system for the first time, allowing its mysterious properties to be explored.

They describe their breakthrough in Nature journal.

"Detecting a natural magnetic monopole would be a revolutionary event comparable to the discovery of the electron," wrote the team from Aalto University, Finland, and Amherst College, US, in their paper.


"[Our work] provides conclusive and long-awaited experimental evidence of the existence of Dirac monopoles.

"It provides an unprecedented opportunity to observe and manipulate these quantum mechanical entities in a controlled environment."

The discovery of magnetic monopoles has been long-awaited as they can help to explain various physical phenomena.



Sources and more information:

Magnetic poles can 'split in two'

If you break a magnet in two, you don't get a north half and a south half - you get two new magnets, each with two poles. "Monopoles" were famously predicted to exist by physicist Paul Dirac in 1931 - but they have remained elusive. Now scientists have engineered a synthetic monopole in a quantum system for the first time, allowing its mysterious...

On magnetic monopoles

Many thanks to Alex Hill. This looks interesting and timely, because we have just devised the first geometrical theory of magnetic monopoles in UFT255 and UFT256. The Dirac monopole has been very greatly developed, and there are topological magnetic monopoles of several different kinds. The monograph by Harmuth in my series "Contemporary Chemical...

Scientists discover long-awaited synthetic particle

Physicists create synthetic magnetic monopoles in the lab

Bose-Einstein condensates used to emulate exotic magnetic monopole

Magnetic monopoles seen in the lab


( via bbc.co.uk )



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