Magnetization Increases with Temperature

May 28, 2004 by Phil Schewe and Ben Stein

Magnetization increases with temperature for antiferromagnetic nanoparticles. This odd experimental finding, made a few years ago, is now explained, for the first time, by physicists at the Technical University of Denmark. The experimental behavior is odd for two reasons: first because antiferromagnets, whose tiny neighboring magnetic moments generally line up in an alternating down and up pattern, are supposed to sustain no significant net magnetization of their own in an applied field; and second because magnetism itself, which arises at the microscopic level from the aligned magnetic moments of many atoms (the atoms act as tiny bar magnets), should tend to decline as the disruptive action of higher temperatures takes effect.
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