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Electrons' magnetic interactions measured

Electrons can act as tiny magnets, and the magnetic field of each particle can influence the orientation of the magnetic fields of other particles around it. The strength of this interaction has now been measured.

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The minuscule magnetic interaction between two electrons has been measured.

Electrons can act as tiny bar magnets and exert a magnetic force on each other. The strength of this minuscule magnetic interaction has been hard to measure. But by cashing in on characteristics of quantum mechanics, a team was able to show that the strength of the interaction depends on the distance — specifically, 1 divided by the distance cubed — between the two particles.

The results, reported in the June 19 Nature, could have implications for the emerging field of quantum sensing, scientists say.

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