Spin Nernst effect could help scientists design new gadgets that store data using quantum property of spin
When things heat up, spinning electrons go their separate ways.
Warming one end of a strip of platinum shuttles electrons around according to their spin, a quantum property that makes them behave as if they are twirling around. Known as the spin Nernst effect, the newly detected phenomenon was the only one in a cadre of related spin effects that hadn’t previously been spotted, researchers report online September 11 in Nature Materials.
“The last missing piece in the puzzle was spin Nernst and that's why we set out to search for this,” says study coauthor Sebastian Goennenwein, a physicist at the Technical University of Dresden in Germany.
The effect and its brethren — with names like the spin Hall effect, the spin Seebeck effect and the spin Peltier effect — allow scientists to create flows of electron spins, or spin currents. Such research