Articles about magnetism

Alien 'lava lamp' with dying magnetic field orbited Earth a billion years ago – science

Scientists studying prehistoric lunar rocks have found evidence of a lava-lamp-like dynamo at the heart of our Moon’s metallic core that generated a long-lasting magnetic field. The Moon samples were collected in 1971 by astronauts, David Scott and James Irwin, during NASA’s Apollo 15 space mission. Now, a paper published in …
Katyanna Quach, 11 Aug 2017

Dead cockroaches make excellent magnets – now what are we supposed to do with this info?

Fun Fact: Dead cockroaches stay magnetized far longer than their live brethren, according to real actual science. In a bizarre experiment, a team of international physicists gassed a group of roaches to death with nitrogen before rinsing them in an ultrasonic bath. The luckier ones were kept alive and fed an unlimited diet of …
Katyanna Quach, 17 Feb 2017
robot sperm

Swivel on this: German boffins build nanoscale screwing engine for sluggish sperm

Video Scientists at the Institute for Integrative Nanosciences in Dresden, Germany, have successfully tested a tiny motor that can be attached to sperm to give them an extra push to meet a human egg. Youtube Video The research, published in the latest issue of Nano Letters, details how the team built a screw-like metal helix that …
Iain Thomson, 16 Jan 2016

Back to the ... drawing board: 'Hoverboard' will disappoint Marty McFly wannabes

The internet is aflutter over the Kickstarter campaign for the "Hendo Hoverboard", a magnetically levitating toy that the firm alleges will be available on October 21, 2015 – the same day that Michael J Fox programmed into the De Lorean for the second Back to the Future film. hoverboard As a consumer device it looks a little …
Iain Thomson, 22 Oct 2014
New humpback dolphin species

DOLPHINS SMELL MAGNETS – did we hear that right, boffins?

Scientists have discovered that dolphins are sensitive to magnetic fields, shedding some light on how the lusty mammals navigate the oceans. A team at the Université de Rennes in France carried out experiments on six bottlenose dolphins to determine whether they behaved differently when exposed to magnets. The researchers …
Jasper Hamill, 30 Sep 2014
Luke Skywalker

Laser deflector shields possible with today's tech – but there's one small problem

Vid A new paper from the University of Leicester claims that it's technically possible to build shields around a spacecraft to protect it from laser fire using available technology, but with the somewhat troubling side effect of leaving the pilot unable to see where he or she is going. The research, published [PDF] in the peer- …
Iain Thomson, 3 May 2014
STEREO image of the Sun. Pic: NASA

Flippin' heck! Magnetic poles of Sun are gyrating: What Earth needs to know

Vid Sun watchers at Stanford say our star is undergoing one of its periodic magnetic polarity changes, leading to a modest peak in solar activity. "It looks like it's happening right now in the southern hemisphere," Todd Hoeksema, a solar physicist at the university, told The Register. "The North Pole flipped in early June last …
Iain Thomson, 11 Nov 2013
Toshiba 7mm hybrid disk drive slider

Magnets too slow for disk writes? Use lasers

A group of Swiss researchers has demonstrated using lasers to control magnetisation at extremely high speed, a line of research they hope will one day will help speed up hard drives. One of the limits of the modern hard drives' performance is how quickly a bit's magnetisation can be accurately changed using a magnetic write …

Apple takes aim at accessory makers, files iPad stand patent

If you were among the 25,000 or so Apple faithful who crowded the exhibit hall at this year's Macworld/iWorld "Ultimate iFan Event" a couple of weeks back, you're certain to agree that the last thing the iMarketplace needs is yet another iPad stand. Apple, however, disagrees. As part of its weekly patent-application release, …
Rik Myslewski, 1 Mar 2013
The Register breaking news

MIT boffins demonstrate NEW form of magnetism

A state of magnetism predicted in 1987 has been observed for the first time at MIT, with researchers saying that it might one day find applications in storage and communications technologies. The “one day” is still quite some way off, however, with the researchers only at the very beginning of observing the properties of what’ …
The Register breaking news

GRAIL lunar orbiters get down to business

NASA reports that its twin Gravity Recovery And Interior Laboratory (GRAIL) spacecraft in orbit around the Moon have begun sending back data. The mission's two craft, named Ebb and Flow after a public competition, will spend the next three months in orbit around our only natural satellite, measuring its gravitational field. …
Iain Thomson, 8 Mar 2012

Laser boffins blast bits onto hard drive at 200Gb/sec

A team of scientists have published a new way of using heat to store data magnetically, which could increase the speed of hard drives over a hundredfold. Conventional drives use electromagnetism to selectively change the polarity of points on a drive, representing a one or a zero. But according to research published in Nature …
Iain Thomson, 8 Feb 2012
The Register breaking news

Magno stimulation makes brain learn skills better - boffins

Canadian brainbox brainboxes have found that cunningly targeted "magnetic stimulation" of the brain can help test subjects to learn manual skills. A subject undergoing magnetic brain stimulation Thinks: Soon I shall be INVINCIBLE Lara Boyd and Meghan Linsdell of the University of British Columbia have published the results …
Lewis Page, 7 Jul 2009
The Register breaking news

Boffins finger reason for non-aligned cows

The scientists who brought the world proof that, in keeping with ancient lore, cows really do graze along a north-south axis, have found the reason they sometimes fail to display their natural animal magnetism. To recap, as we reported back in August last year, Sabine Begall and colleagues at the University of Duisburg-Essen …
Lester Haines, 17 Mar 2009
For Sale sign detail

'Infinitesimal magnetic tornadoes' set to ravage computing

Treasure this fine example of scientific press release bilge: "At the human scale, the tightly wrapped spinning columns of air in a tornado contain terrifying destructive power that ravages communities. At the nanoscale, however, closely coiled magnetic vortices hold the promise of a new generation of computers." These vortices …
Chris Mellor, 4 Feb 2009

Will magnetic switching by light keep storage vendors spinning?

Hard drive storage is based on switching magnetic states by magnetism. Switching by laser light could be much faster and could be used on non-spinning media. Laser light switching of a magnetic medium is described in a PhD thesis, Laser-Induced Femtosecond Magnetic Recording, written by Dr Daniel Stanciu, currently a …
Chris Mellor, 20 Jan 2009
The Register breaking news

Grazing cattle display animal magnetism

Researchers have explained why cattle will tend to face the same direction when grazing - a behaviour long known to herdsmen and hunters but previously attributed to either prevailing winds or the sun's position. In fact, Reuters reports, they align their bodies along a north-south axis, suggesting the Earth's magnetic field …
Lester Haines, 26 Aug 2008
The Register breaking news

Scientists unravel galactic spaghetti monster

Scientists believe they have deduced what sustains the noodly appendages of a galactic "spaghetti monster" - actually Galaxy NGC 1275 in Perseus - which displays "a mammoth network of spaghetti-like gas filaments around a black hole", as New Scientist puts it. Galaxy NCG 1275 NS explains: "As the black hole sucks in gas from …
Lester Haines, 21 Aug 2008

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