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Gigantic Pseudo-Magnetism

  1. Jul 31, 2010 #1
    I was reading about how strained graphene can cause electrons to act as if they were in a magnetic field, exhibiting pseudo-magnetic behavior on the order of hundreds of tesla:

    http://www.rdmag.com/News/2010/07/Materials-Magnetism-Graphene-under-strain-creates-gigantic-pseudo-magn/ [Broken]

    If electrons can be bunched up so tightly as a result of this, then what possible applications could arise from this? I was wondering if the tight bunching of electrons could perhaps serve as a neutron radiation shield, interacting with the neutron's small magnetic moment.

    Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2017
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 31, 2010 #2


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    There's no actual magnetic field being created here. They won't interact with neutrons significantly more than electrons do ordinarily, which is to say very little. And even then, it'd only be neutron scattering, not absorption.

    The electronic density is not so high in absolute terms; you'd have significantly higher electron densities around the core of any heavy atom. Nor is the effect really that huge in itself; it's just that a moderate shift in electronic levels corresponds to a huge field if you view it as a Zeeman effect, since the magnetic moment of electrons is so small. Or to put it another way: Magnetic fields have little or no effect on chemistry. (hence NMR/MRI machines)

    As it happens, neutron bombardment of graphite (a neutron moderator) causes lattice distortions in itself, known as the http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wigner_effect" [Broken]. Which is pretty well-studied. It was the indirect cause of the Windscale disaster.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2017
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