A new theory developed by Prof Gerrit van der Laan, from the Science & Technology Facilities Council (STFC) and Diamond Light Source, and published this week in the journal Physical Review Letters, provides a powerful sum rule that scientists can use to explore the properties of novel materials, such as those used for spintronics devices. Such materials require constant refinement of their physical qualities in order to keep up with the rapid advancement in a wide range of technologies, from read heads of hard drives (metal-based) to superior transistors (semiconductor-based).
“Theory goes hand-in-hand with state-of-the-art experiments as scientists from both the physical and life sciences attempt to understand and harness the molecular world and, in doing so, bring about dramatic advances in technological materials. Sum rules are very important in this process since they allow the experimentalists to extract physical information from their measurements without the need for extensive theoretical modelling. Hence, the data offers instantaneously access to the numbers for the physical quantities.”
Prof van der Laan, STFC and Diamond Light Source
Diamond Light Source is the UK's national synchrotron science facility, located at the Harwell Science and Innovation Campus in Oxfordshire.
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