frustrted magnetism

The Exotic Physics of Frustrated Magnets

Editor’s Note: This guest blog post is by Dr. Kingshuk Majumdar, associate professor of physics, Grand Valley State University, MI. Dr. Majumdar shares some of his research below, which was greatly facilitated via use of a supercomputing cluster. If you would like to contribute to Engineering on the Edge, please contact us.

Frustrated magnetic materials contain a wealth of interesting magnetic properties. Unlocking the mysteries of these frustrated magnets will not only deepen our understanding of the fundamental physics of these materials, but may also provide clues for potential technological applications in the near future. Therefore, these systems are presently under intense investigation by the physics community.

Besides mass and charge, the electron, an elementary particle within an atom, also has “spin.” Spin, an intrinsic property of electrons, comes in two varieties — “spin‐up” and “spin‐down.” In frustrated magnets, imbalance of these two types of spins results in magnetic frustration. With state‐of‐ the‐art 504 node supercomputing cluster “MATLAB on the TeraGrid” housed in Center for Advanced Computing at Cornell University, I am theoretically investigating the rich and exotic physics of these complex magnetic materials.

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