You may know that the media used in magnetic recording technologies, such as computer hard drives, are made of millions of tiny nanomagnets. Each nanomagnet can be switched up or down to record bits of information as ones and zeros. These media are constantly subjected to magnetic fields in order to write, read, and erase information. If you have ever placed a magnet too close to your laptop or cell phone, you know that exposure to an external magnetic field can disrupt information stored this way. Did you know that it is possible for the nanomagnets to "remember" their previous state, if carefully manipulated under specific magnetic field and temperature conditions? Using a kind of memory called topological magnetic memory, scientists have found out how to imprint memory into magnetic thin films by cooling the material under the right conditions.
About kchesnelKarine Chesnel is an Associate professor of Physics at BYU. She earned a MS in Physics from the Ecole Normale Superieure and a PhD in Physics from University Joseph Fourier in France. She completed a Post Doctoral Fellowship at the University of California Berkeley and was a visiting scientist at the High Magnetic Field CNRS laboratory in Toulouse, France, before joining the faculty at BYU.