Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Copper nickel magnetism

  1. Sep 21, 2005 #1
    why adding copper to nickel result in reduced magnetism of nickel? :confused:
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 21, 2005 #2


    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    Ni is ferromagnetic. Cu is not. When Cu is added to Ni, they form an isomorphous substitutional alloy. Some of the Ni atoms are replaced by Cu atoms.

    To put it simpistically, the interaction between a Ni-atom and a Cu-atom is not a ferromagnetic interaction. For a ferromagnetic interaction between 2 atoms, you must have the right extent of orbital overlap - and this depends on the shape of the valence wavefunctions as well as the separation between atoms. In a substitutional alloy, you are not changing the interatomic spacing, but by changing the atoms, you are changing the valence orbital shapes/sizes. By making some of the near-neighbor interactions be paramagnetic instead of ferromagnetic, you are reducing the magnetization.
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook