Like light waves, magnetic waves move through materials at fixed-maximum velocity. However, at smallest possible length scale (nanometres) and therefore the shortest possible time-scale (femtoseconds), magnetism behaves differently. Physicists at Radboud University have discovered that magnetic waves with very short wavelengths can propagate up to 40% faster than previously thought. This supermagnonic propagation offers opportunities for even faster, smaller & more energy-efficient ways of data-processing in future computers. The research are going to be published in Physical Review Letters on 25 August.
“The concept is like supersonic aircrafts, which move faster than the utmost speed of sound waves. We therefore call these fastest magnetic waves supermagnonic,” explains physicist Johan Mentink. because of new theoretical methodology inspired by machine learning, the researchers managed to perform calculations on 2-dimensional magnets. These calculations revealed that the littlest magnetic waves can travel up to 40% faster than the max. propagation speed. “Thanks to the machine learning simulations by colleague Giammarco Fabiani and therefore the analytical calculations by Master’s student Martijn Bouman, we now understand why these supermagnonic magnetic waves can exist.”
Faster, more energy efficient and smaller
In today’s computers, information is transferred from A to B by electrons. However, the speed of this information transfer has its limits. additionally , there’s an energy loss thanks to the resistance electrons experience along the way. Alternatively, light pulses are often used for information transfer, as done in fiber internet, for instance . Information transfer using light is quicker and more energy efficient.
“However, our objective lies beyond that,” Johan Mentink says. “We are trying to find how to-make data transfer faster, more energy-efficient and smaller. Light waves are fast, but the wavelength of light is long. so as to seek out smaller solutions, we’ll need to check out shorter waves: like magnetic waves, for instance .”
Being faster, smaller and more efficient is significant for future computers. Consider, for instance , the large data centers in our country that already today use a big a part of our power grid’s capacity: this consumption will only increase within the future. Johan Mentink: “Our research has shown that, in theory, data transfer using supermagnonic motion are often even faster than was thought possible. However, we don’t yet know exactly how magnetism works at smallest length scales & shortest time scales. so as to eventually use magnetism for data-processing in practice, we must first understand the underlying fundamental physics. This research pushes the boundaries of our knowledge and takes us one step closer.”
The research published in the Journal Physical Review Letters.