Accelerating Science Discovery - Join the Discussion

Published by Kathy Chambers
Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL) researcher Ignace Jarrige shown with the sample used in the magnetic refrigeration experiment. Courtesy BNLBrookhaven National Laboratory (BNL) researcher Ignace Jarrige shown with the sample used in the magnetic refrigeration experiment. Courtesy BNL

For more than 50 years, scientists around the world have attempted to understand the intriguing phenomena of the Kondo effect.  When magnetic impurities are added to non-magnetic host materials, their properties display unexpected, anomalous behavior as a result of the Kondo effect.  These dilute magnetic alloys, and their unusual behaviors are important tools for scientific research in topics such as ferromagnetism, superconductivity, and other solid-state phenomena.  The Kondo effect provides insight into the electronic properties of a wide variety of materials and opens doors to new discoveries. 

Published by Kathy Chambers
Hubble Space Telescope Courtesy of NASAHubble Space Telescope Courtesy of NASA

Just like magic, shape-memory materials have the ability to be transformed into another shape and then return to their original shape—or in some cases even metamorphose into a third shape before returning to their original shape.  This transformation is possible because the crystalline structure of shape-memory alloys allows them to sense and respond to their environment.  Shape-memory transformation behavior can now be created by thermal, light, or chemical environments. Shape-memory alloys have been used by the research community for well over a decade to accomplish tasks that were not possible otherwise.   

Published by Kathy Chambers
The flow of a magnetic property of electrons known as spin current from a magnetic material (blue), to a nonmagnetic material (red). Image courtesy SLAC National Accelerator LaboratoryThe flow of a magnetic property of electrons known as spin current from a magnetic material (blue), to a nonmagnetic material (red). Image courtesy SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory

Department of Energy (DOE) researchers and their collaborators continued to make significant progress throughout 2015 in the emerging field of spintronics, also known as magnetic electronics.  Spintronics could change conventional electronics by using the spin of electrons to store information in solid state devices rather than, or in addition to, the transport of the electrical charge of electrons.  This new technology addresses many of the challenges of conventional electronics because it allows for transfer of information from one place to another using much less energy, essentially generating no...