Magnetite is making headlines among scientists.
As physorg.com reported, an international team of scientists solved a fundamental problem that has baffled physicists for more than 70 years. The team discovered how a subtle electronic effect in magnetite – the most magnetic of all naturally occurring minerals – causes a dramatic change to how this material conducts electricity at very low temperatures.
“The discovery gives new insight into the mineral in which mankind discovered magnetism, and it may enable magnetite and similar materials to be exploited in new ways,” physorg.com reported.
“The research, published in Nature, was led by the University of Edinburgh in collaboration with the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility (ESRF) in Grenoble, France, where the experiments were conducted.”
Put simply, scientists had been baffled as to why magnetite switches from being a conductor to an insulator at -150C.
phsyorg.com told its readers: “They [the research scientists] discovered electrons are being trapped within groups of three iron atoms where they can no longer transport an electrical current.
“This vital insight into how magnetite is constructed and how it behaves will help in the development of future electronic and magnetic technologies.”
Here’s the full report: http://bit.ly/uAeF2m