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Dynamic fractals discovered in a magnet

Image: Example of the fractal structures in spin ice together with a famous example of a fractal (the Mandelbrot set), on top of a photograph of water ice. 

Image Credit: Jonathan Nilsson HallĂ©n, Cavendish Laboratory, University of Cambridge

University of Tennessee researchers were involved in the discovery of fractal networks which are dynamically created and erased. Spin ices are famous as the first materials to realize magnetic monopoles. Now researchers at the University of Cambridge, University of Tennessee, CONICET in La Plata Argentina, and Max Planck Institute for Physics of Complex Systems in Dresden, Germany have shown that these monopoles move on self similar networks known as fractals. Fractals are famous for describing natural phenomena from the shape of coastlines to pathways in lightening strikes. The discovery here is a novel consequence of topology in a real material, a crucial physical property that researchers are only starting to understand. The findings which were published in Science point to the rich potential for new unexpected phenomena in topological materials. You can read more at