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Physics and Astronomy

Physics & Astronomy Colloquium

3:30 PM, Friday, February 7, 2014
Room 155, Chem-Phys Building

Dr. Karin Everschor-Sitte
University of Texas at Austin

Skyrmions and their dynamics – “Banana kicks in magnetism”

Since Tony Skyrme's discovery of skyrmions in particle physics in the 1960's, its notion has been generalized to a certain type of mathematical object (topologically stable whirls) that are realized in different areas of physics. This colloquium focuses on magnets without inversion symmetry, like MnSi, where in 2009 a skyrmion crystal was observed as a new magnetic state. In recent years, magnetic skyrmions have attracted a great deal of interest as they have been found in different materials (metals, semiconductors, and even insulators), and on different length and temperature scales. Furthermore, the peculiar twist of the magnetization in the skyrmion crystal leads to a very efficient coupling to electric currents which makes it also interesting for spintronics. We study the interplay of electric currents and skyrmions as well as the induced forces onto each other. Very characteristic for the skyrmion crystal is a finite and quantized Magnus force which can be understood in close analogy to the Magnus force acting on a spinning ball leading to famous “banana kicks” in soccer.

Refreshments will be served in CP 179 at 3:15 PM