Researchers make magnetic monopoles

February 03, 2014 //By Peter Clarke
Researchers make magnetic monopoles
Magnetic monopoles, a theoretical phenomenon not observed directly before, have been synthesized by a research team from Aalto University (Espoo, Finland) and Amherst College (Amherst, Mass.).

The team has created and photographed synthesized monopoles in a supercooled medium according to a research paper published in Nature

Professor David Hall led the experimental part of the research and the magnetic monopoles were created in the physics laboratories at Amherst College. Mikko Moettoenen led the theoretical and computational part of the research.

A hunt has been on for magnetic monopoles, which feature either a north or south pole only since Paul Dirac published a comprehensive theory that implied their existence in 1931. Implied artifacts of magnetic monopoles of been observed in spin-ices previously but this research is the first time that Dirac monopoles have been observed directly within a medium – ultracold helium-3, which is a Bose-Einstein condensate. The authors have taken images of monopoles at the termini of vortices within the condensate.

The images are described as "conclusive and long-awaited experimental evidence of the existence of Dirac monopoles."

"The creation of a synthetic magnetic monopole should provide us with unprecedented insight into aspects of the natural monopole," said Professor Hall, in a statement from Aalto University.

The observation of the synthetic magnetic monopole was published in Observation of Dirac Monopoles in a Synthetic Magnetic Field 
M. W. Ray, E. Ruokokoski, S. Kandel, M. Möttönen, and D. S. Hall


Related links and articles:

https://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v505/n7485/full/nature12954.html

https://www.aalto.fi


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