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Dr. Toeno van der Sar is an assistant professor at Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands, where he runs his own research group of five PhD students and a post-doc student. He joins the show today to discuss their work in the field of nanoscience and quantum nanotechnology.

Tune in to discover:

  • What makes a magnet a magnet
  • How the behavior of electrons in a magnetic domain illustrates one of the main principles of quantum mechanics
  • How to create a spin wave through magnetic materials in order to transmit information through magnetic materials without moving around any charge (and why this is significant in terms of computer processors and increasing computer speed)

The focus of research in the Van der Sar Lab is on understanding the behavior of electrons on the nanoscale. More specifically, they are studying the collective behavior of electrons and atoms in magnets, which are used in many devices, including hard drives and MRI scanners. It is Dr. Van der Sar’s belief that a better understanding of magnetism could be used to develop new ways of computing.

He explains how and why magnets work the way they do, how the electrons within a magnet interact with one another in a way that creates a magnetic field, even far away from the material, and why the spin and position of electrons can never both be the same according to the Pauli exclusion principle of quantum mechanics.

Dr. Van der Sar’s main interest is in the dynamics of spins in magnetic materials. He explains what a spin wave is, how one can be created, and how spin changes depending on the temperature to which a magnet is subjected, or the material within which it exists. He also discusses spin waves as a way to transport information through magnetic materials and how this could be applied to computer processing. He shares the details of the projects he’s currently working on in the lab with spin wave conductors, and the new technique he’s using in order to detect the magnetic fields generated by spin waves in magnets.

Press play to hear the full conversation and visit to learn more.

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