A common theme in the News stories selected for this section, and in the commentary and analysis which comes with them is applicability to novel forms of energy and a more basic common denominator is spin. The more exotic of these novel forms involves hydrogen - in physical states
which are called fractional or densified. Magnetism also plays a key role in many forms of alternative energy and seems to constantly appear in the Science News in unexpected ways. An emerging field called nanomagnetism is poised to explain many anomalies of hydrogen as magnetic or optomagnetic with positive feedback, resulting in extreme radiance. Few forces in nature are more magnified by inverse square relationships than magnetism in hydrogen when it is changing from atomic dimensions to protons.
Spin coupling and its subset, magnetic coupling, have several nuances from the alternative energy perspective: from the tiny to the astronomical. In quantum mechanics, states of total angular momentum are built out of separate momenta – this is called angular momentum coupling. In electrical transformers, spin and precession are coupled back and forth to raise voltage potential. In galaxies, spin-orbit coupling reflects the law of conservation of angular momentum, which holds for celestial systems as well as atomic. Spin is universal and it can be energetic in ways that chemistry or nuclear energy do not fully encompass. Three new forms of magnetism – superferromagnetism, superparamagnetism and multiferroics are outgrowths of computer hard disk technology and are underappreciated outside the curricula of Universities, even today. They may be keys to "new hydrogen technology" which involves yet another superlative: superradiance.
Consequently, those looking into alternative energy approaches which are not quite nuclear, and not quite chemical, have migrated to spin as a general guideline and exploitable parameter - which side steps thermodynamics on occasion. So-called "perpetual motion" is factual on the large scale (galaxies) and on the small scale (atoms)... thus the logic behind spin-coupling is that there should be an intermediate scale which can be useful to humans who are stuck in the middle. This would be the gap where perpetual motion is apparently forbidden, sometimes "by law". For many years, research groups have observed strong nonthermal effects of coherent light on magnetization. It has been demonstrated that circularly polarized laser pulses can excite and coherently control the spin dynamics of magnets. The next step is to use this phenomenon with induction coils for a close loop systme. An Appendix appears at the end of this article with definitions of terms which are not in general usage.
In this month's News (from Nanowerk News) we find "Light finds a One Way Street." A research team from the RIKEN Center for Emergent Matter Science in Japan has demonstrated a novel phenomenon called magnetochiral dichroism, which is an arcane way of saying "using magnetism to control light". When combined with the reversed ability: for light to control magnetism non-thermally which has been known for many years, we find a system which is "not exactly" thermodynamic. It can be described as superradiant, which is close to coherent and far more ordered - but without requiring corresponding input for ordering.
In effect, RIKEN shows that a magnetic field can prevent light from propagating parallel or antiparallel to the direction of magnetization. The discovery, which was made in the multiferroic 'helimagnet' gallium-copper-iron-oxide, a perovskite - could lead to new possibilities in the control of light and to possibly increase the understanding of "photon multiplication" as seen in the Dynamic Casimir Effect.
Figure 1: Multiferroics have a screw spin structure that can control the propagation of light
Multiferroic materials exhibit both magnetic order and an electric polarization property called ferroelectricity. These properties are determined by the polarization of electron 'spin' in the multiferroic lattice. Multiferroics (which includes many perovskites) with spiral or helical spin structures which are known as helimagnets. Theory predicts that the combination of spin helicity and magnetization in these materials could result in a novel form of magnetoelectric coupling called magnetochiral dichroism, in which helical or chiral electric and magnetic polarizations combine to form a motional electromagnetic field that can interact with light passing through the material. That light can later be used to control magnetization, is also newsworthy - but that is beyond this study.
Another interconnection between light and magnetism involves DCE and photon multiplication. In principle, DCE (dynamical Casimir effect) can be a proximate source of gain using non-thermal input and multiplying photons – if - there is an ultimate source of energy which circumvents CoE, or Conservation of Energy. Here is a video of how an oscillating mirror "creates photons" an outcome which has actually been shown to happen in experiment at low power.
Next we can consider "triple coherency" in an effort to raise the power - which is a mutual three-way resonance for photons, phonons and electrons (the matter wave of the electron as it interacts with an exciton hole). Triple coherency should be possible in a narrow range of the IR spectrum and nowhere else. When Casimir cavities are part of the structure of the device we have the table set for what can be seen as a photonic chain reaction.
The basic concept is that with a lighting device, not unlike an incandescent light bulb, surface plasmons can be formed creating both photons of light and high electric fields. A percentage of the IR light becomes semi-coherent, following which photons are multiplied by DCE in Casimir cavities of the alumina. This requires that the cavity walls become resonant with the photon wavelength: the result is superradiance. Robert H. Dicke coined the term in 1954. The Pustovit paper below supplies the formalism for superradiance and pinpoints a main formative pathway, which is surface plasmons (SPP): "Plasmon-mediated superradiance near metal nanostructures".
This phenomenon is being pushed ever closer to commercial realization in a see-saw approach which would be implicit in a photon chain reaction. According to a recent work at Oxford ("Super-absorbing ring could make light work of snaps")... Lead author Higgins opines: "If you built a system with a capacity of 100 energy units the idea would be to 'half-charge' it to 50 units, and the wire would then 'harvest' every unit over 50." This means that a device can handle the absorption of many photons in quick succession when it is exposed to a bright source, but in the dark it will simply sit in the super-absorbing state and efficiently grab any rare passing photon...eventually, harvesting sunlight in a highly-efficient way might one day be possible.
All of these details seem to come together as an alternate explanation to the recent demonstration of Andrea Rossi, so long as Dirac's "sea" remains a valid hypothesis for external field effect or electron "sink" which leaves spin energy in 3-space. There is nothing in principle, even accounting for the 2nd Law of thermodynamics, to forbid non-nuclear energy from entering a sysem in the from of spin, spin-waves or other non-thermal means.
The superlative conclusion to a complex assortment of magnetic, optical and spin parameters is that to avoid thermodynamic limitations, one must enhance thermal input parameters to the extent possible. Spin may offer a way to do this.
Superparamagnetism is a form of magnetism which only appears only nanoparticles. In sufficiently small nanoparticles, in the range of the Casimir force, magnetization can randomly flip direction under the influence of temperature. In the absence of an external magnetic field, magnetization appears to be zero but an external magnetic field is able to magnetize the nanoparticles, similarly to a paramagnet with vastly increased, magnetic susceptibility.
Superferromagnetism is the combined effect of an ensemble of magnetically interacting nanoparticles particles that would be superparamagnetic if they were not interacting. Superparamagnetism sets a size limit on the storage density of hard disk drives due to the minimum dimension of particles that can be used. This limit is known as the superparamagnetic limit.
Multiferroics relates to materials that exhibit more than one primary magnetic, ferroelectric or magnetoelectric parameter simultaneously, and where there is coupling between the parameters. The definition of multiferroics includes antiferromagnetism, ferrimagnetism, and ferroelectric effects. Most multiferroics are transition metal oxides with perovskite crystal structure.
A magnon is a quasiparticle and the collective excitation of electron spin in a lattice of atoms with magnetic susceptibility - and can be viewed as a quantized spin wave. As a quasiparticle, a magnon carries a fixed amount of energy and lattice momentum. It also possesses a spin of ħ (where ħ is the reduced Planck constant). In contrast, a phonon is a collective vibrational or thermal excitation of the lattice atoms or ions which can be viewed as a superset of the magnon.
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