University of Chicago’s (UC’s) Daniel Silevitch and Thomas Rosenbaum and the London Centre for Nanotechnology’s Gabriel Aeppli have developed a method for controlling the properties of magnets that could be used to improve the storage capacity of computer hard drives. Magnets’ polarity has to easily switch when writing data to memory, but becomes more difficult to switch when storing or reading data. Magnets are normally heated and softened to save data and then cooled and hardened to store and read the data. The researchers’ method can tune the softness of data storing magnets with a small external magnetic field, which enables the writing, storage, and readout of data at an even temperature.
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