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"Overwhelming" Evidence For Magnetic Monopoles

kdawson posted more than 4 years ago | from the go-north-young-man-and-keep-on-going dept.

Science 256

Thorfinn.au sends along big physics news: magnetic monopoles have been detected at low temperatures in "Dirac strings" within a single crystal of Dysprosium Titanate. Two papers are being published today in the journal Science and two more on arXiv.org, as yet unpublished, provide further evidence. "Theoretical work had shown that monopoles probably exist, and they have been measured indirectly. But the Science papers are the first direct experiments to record the monopole's effects on the spin-ice material. The papers use neutrons to detect atoms in the crystal aligned into long daisy chains. These daisy chains tie each north and south monopole together. Known as 'Dirac strings,' the chains, as well as the existence of monopoles, were predicted in the 1930s by the British theoretical physicist Paul Dirac. Heat measurements in one paper also support the monopole argument. The two, as yet unpublished, papers on arXiv add to the evidence. The first provides additional observations, and the second uses a new technique to determine the magnetic charge of each monopole to be 4.6x10-13 joules per tesla metre. All together, the evidence for magnetic monopoles 'is now overwhelming,' says Steve Bramwell, a materials scientist at University College London and author on one of the Science papers and one of the arXiv papers."

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Missing Link (5, Informative)

dtmos (447842) | more than 4 years ago | (#29310485)

I think this [sciencemag.org] is at least one of the Science articles to which the post (almost) refers.

Re:Missing Link (2, Informative)

biryokumaru (822262) | more than 4 years ago | (#29310533)

I believe this [nature.com] is the article that is quoted. I submitted it to the editor, but who knows if it'll get up there. Science articles listed therein are cited from print form.

Re:Missing Link (0, Offtopic)

impaledsunset (1337701) | more than 4 years ago | (#29310563)

Forgetting to put the href in the link to the most important physics news in the century is like forgetting to put your weenie in the most beautiful^W^Wonly girl that shared her company with you.

Re:Missing Link (2, Funny)

Jurily (900488) | more than 4 years ago | (#29311023)

"What if the link won't like me?"

Re:Missing Link (1)

julesh (229690) | more than 4 years ago | (#29310715)

I think this is at least one of the Science articles to which the post (almost) refers.

Useful. Because, you know, I'm really going to go and pay $15 to read a single article online, when I could alternatively just buy the magazine for $10.

Monopoles are not illegal (4, Funny)

jollyreaper (513215) | more than 4 years ago | (#29310493)

It's only against the law to use your monopole to extort the market.

Re:Monopoles are not illegal (2, Funny)

turing_m (1030530) | more than 4 years ago | (#29310825)

Exactly - I thought the whole joy of wielding a massive monopole was to embrace... and extend.

Re:Monopoles are not illegal (1)

pabloa (261745) | more than 4 years ago | (#29310851)

I fell asleep after the words "big physics news"

Re:Monopoles are not illegal (1)

Clever7Devil (985356) | more than 4 years ago | (#29311019)

See, now I read the title and thought "great! That damn thimble WAS always falling off the board!"

Re:Monopoles are not illegal (1)

Rude Turnip (49495) | more than 4 years ago | (#29311075)

It's all fun and games until you have to disclose to your neighbors by law what you did with your monopole.

In other news (2, Funny)

Drakkenmensch (1255800) | more than 4 years ago | (#29310515)

Uncle Pennybags purchases Acme's Magnet making division to create magnetic monopoly.

Re:In other news (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29310699)

Uncle Pennybags purchases Acme's Magnet making division to create magnetic monopoly.

Oh, crud. What will this mean at the ACME PHYSICS SUPPLY SHOPPE chain? [gnu.org]

Looks like I'd better stock up before the prices goes up...I have been eying that perfect ammeter for awhile.

Pity, I had liked that place.

Re:In other news (1)

Hal_Porter (817932) | more than 4 years ago | (#29310749)

Oh, crud. What will this mean at the ACME PHYSICS SUPPLY SHOPPE chain? [gnu.org]

Have they got a price for Gnu Hurd?

Re:In other news (1)

Drakkenmensch (1255800) | more than 4 years ago | (#29311173)

And don't forget that the final sales price of my precious Orbo pre-order is going to skyrocket.

That wasn't part of the deal, Blackheart! That wasn't part of the deal!!!

monopoles (1, Funny)

jswigart (1004637) | more than 4 years ago | (#29310539)

Clearly we knew monopoles exist already since Microsoft is guilty of being one right?

Analogy (1)

MistrX (1566617) | more than 4 years ago | (#29310543)

2 stupid questions: - Can someone make a car analogy? - Are there any applications for it within our understanding of physics? When I hear of monopoles it's often in a bad context, and in combination with news about LHC creating blackholes and other Earth eating stuff. I don't think the LHC is a doomsday device but I don't really get magnetic monopoles.

Re:Analogy (1)

stei7766 (1359091) | more than 4 years ago | (#29310603)

I dunno about a car analogy, but I always think of magnetic monopoles like a point charge. You can have an object be either positively or negatively charged. Get two near each other and you have a dipole, which is like a normal magnet.
What you would do with one I have no clue, but I bet there would be a fleet of magnet researches chomping at the bit to find something.

Re:Analogy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29310681)

What you would do with one I have no clue.

You build Mag Tubes [strategywiki.org] . Obviously you have never played Alpha Centauri.

Re:Analogy (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29310745)

Hmmm, already used mod points but here goes a car analogy:

Finding a monopole magnet in science is similar to finding a Chevrolet Volt [wikipedia.org] that works and lives up to current expectations and what it's promised to be able to do. Loads of people have talked about it, and many marketing folks have said they might have seen one, but when it comes down to it, not much is available as proof for the public eye.

- Fluffeh [slashdot.org] .

Re:Analogy (2, Informative)

anarchyboy (720565) | more than 4 years ago | (#29310767)

The kind of monopoles they talk about in relation to the LHC would be a new particle of somesort which has a single "magnetic charge" like the electron has an electric charge, for some complicated reasons some people believe that the existance of even one such particle in the universe would be a pretty big deal and possibly a bad thing if we created one.

The kind of monopoles created here are configurations of molecules(?) in a lattice that forms something called a spin glass, essentially it allready has lots of little bar magnets in it allready. What's interesting is they can apparently create monopole pairs, like the electron-hole pairs in a semiconductor. The behaviour of these should still match those of a pair of magnetic monopoles which is where all the dirac string buisness is from.

Re:Analogy (5, Interesting)

gardyloo (512791) | more than 4 years ago | (#29310839)

Are there any applications for it within our understanding of physics?

The existence of monopoles is a possible "explanation" for the quantization of electric charge. Maxwell's Equations are only self-consistent if:
            1. magnetic monopoles don't exist, and charge is not quantized;
OR
            2. magnetic monopoles do exist (at least one, somewhere), and charge is quantized.

As charge is quantized, it has always been a strong argument for monopoles' existence. Of course, perhaps Maxwell's Equations aren't applicable at the quantum level, but so far they've done a damned good job of being consistent and predicting and explaining things.

Re:Analogy (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29310943)

I'm just a random dude throwing out a comment and don't really know much about it. To the best I can imagine, monopoles would interact with each other without the directional component, much like gravity (sans tidal forces). I.e. if you put one normal magnet's north pole near another normal magnet's south pole, they will attract each other and also re-orient so that their fields align. But monopoles, whose fields would lack the directional component, would simply attract or repel each other.

I have no idea of what new uses this could be put to, or even if macroscopic-sized monopoles could be created.

Not really useful (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29310579)

They come in "pairs" huh. Sounds like the N S of a regular old fashioned magnet to me. If they could be separated ever then they really would be monopoles but otherwise how can you be sure its not just a regular magnet thats too small a scale to detect the flux coming from every angle around it?

Re:Not really useful (5, Funny)

noidentity (188756) | more than 4 years ago | (#29310625)

They come in "pairs" huh. Sounds like the N S of a regular old fashioned magnet to me. If they could be separated ever then they really would be monopoles but otherwise how can you be sure its not just a regular magnet thats too small a scale to detect the flux coming from every angle around it?

Damn! Anonymous Coward has thought of something none of the scientists have even considered. Give this guy a research position ASAP.

Re:Not really useful (2, Insightful)

mea37 (1201159) | more than 4 years ago | (#29310999)

After filtering out your sarcasm, I must say you are completely correct. How dare AC ask for further explanatino of the topic? The Scientists know everything, so nobody else needs to know anything! If The Scientists say its a monopole, that should be all you need to know, so go back to your video games.

I didn't study enough physics to know much about monopoles. The physics majors I knew told us of a lot of things you could prove, if you knew that a monopole existed. (I never asked, and they never elaborated.) That being the case, what constitutes a monopole probably has a lot more to do with setting up the conditions for those proofs, and a lot less to do with what seems (to the AC, myself, or anyone else) to be the intuitive meaning.

That being the case, it would be nice if someone who knows that they're talking about were to provide more explanation. Instead all we get is noidentity mocking an AC for asking what is really a pretty reasonable question.

Re:Not really useful (1)

CensorshipDonkey (1108755) | more than 4 years ago | (#29310901)

Quarks are close inseparable from each other, and yet we know they exist as a more fundamental unit of matter. Just because the scientists observe pairs of items of interests do not mean those items do not exist.

"I maintain nonetheless..." (3, Insightful)

Arancaytar (966377) | more than 4 years ago | (#29310605)

"...that yin-yang dualism can be overcome. With sufficient enlightenment we can give substance to any distinction: mind without body, north without south, pleasure without pain. Remember, enlightenment is a function of willpower, not of physical strength."

-- Chairman Sheng-ji Yang, Essays on Mind and Matter

So, can haz magtube now plz?

a magnetic monopole is like a one-sided coin: (-1, Troll)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 4 years ago | (#29310631)

impossible

if you have a coin with one side, you can turn it over, and there's another side. you don't turn a coin over and there's a black hole of nonexistence. you cannot construct a coin with one side. there will always be another side to that coin. please don't talk to me about toruses: we're talking about an analogy to the concept of a monopole

there's no such thing as a monopole. whatever it is, will have another side. and on that other side, there's the magnetic field lines, going on their merry way. a magnet is just atoms lined up in a certain way. are you telling me you can have one-sided atoms?

this is some sort of stupidity here

Re:a magnetic monopole is like a one-sided coin: (5, Insightful)

anarchyboy (720565) | more than 4 years ago | (#29310707)

Yea like that electric charge nonsense, you can't have a particle with a single electric charge! that'd be crazy whatever it is will allways have another side with the oposite charge!

lo, you have defeated me (-1, Troll)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 4 years ago | (#29310815)

with a weapon i cannot possibly match: colossal fucking ignorance of the concept of magnetism

woe is me

Re:lo, you have defeated me (5, Insightful)

anarchyboy (720565) | more than 4 years ago | (#29310899)

I know what magnetism is, I also know what a magnetic monopole is, hell I even know what a dirac string is and what a spin glass is. Honestly your argument about coins made no sense at all.

I was attempting to point out that electric charge also has field lines but that they do not have two sides like a coin, the entire point of the discovery of a magnetic monopole is that it doesn't have two sides in the way that all the other magnetic dipoles we are used to have.

Re:lo, you have defeated me (2, Funny)

m.ducharme (1082683) | more than 4 years ago | (#29310991)

I'm sorry, but you're going to have to provide your credentials if you want me to accept that you know more about magnetism than four separate physics research teams, two with articles in Science and two more with draft articles on arXiv.org, all of which show evidence of the existence of magnetic monopoles.

Re:lo, you have defeated me (4, Insightful)

Abcd1234 (188840) | more than 4 years ago | (#29311021)

I'm sorry, but you're going to have to provide your credentials if you want me to accept that you know more about magnetism than four separate physics research teams, two with articles in Science and two more with draft articles on arXiv.org, all of which show evidence of the existence of magnetic monopoles.

Christ, not to mention Paul fucking Dirac.

circletimessquare, you have one again exceeded yourself at demonstrating your truly incredible arrogance and stupidity.

Re:lo, you have defeated me (2, Interesting)

IWannaBeAnAC (653701) | more than 4 years ago | (#29311017)

You should do some more research, anarchyboy is right, there is no theoretical reason (aside from never having observed them) why magnetic monopoles cannot exist.

What this work shows is that they can exist, although it is not in the 'real world', but as effective particles in a solid state system. The mechanism will be similar to spin-charge separation [wikipedia.org] that occurs in 1D systems, whereby the degrees of freedom of a particle separate into independently moving constituents. In this case, it will be the north and south poles of a dipole that become effectively independent and behave as distinct particles.

This doesn't mean that monopoles must be able to exist in a vacuum, possibly (probably?) they cannot, but the reason why will be due to the properties of the vacuum, not any fundamental restriction on monopoles.

Re:lo, you have defeated me (3, Insightful)

ojustgiveitup (869923) | more than 4 years ago | (#29311135)

Sorry son, it is you who have been defeated by your own ignorance and closed-mindedness. You threw out one (dumb, totally invalid and irrelevant) analogy, somebody came back with a very proper analogy to something actually *related* to magnetism, and you shrugged it off as him not understanding magnetism. In fact, your narrow understanding of magnetism with your little coin analogy has been a convenient way to understand the concept for many years...until today. That's the point. Scientists have been researching monopoles for a long time, quite simply because the coin analogy never quite added up - there was no good reason why they *always* came as dipoles, besides that monopoles had never been observed. Now they have been, everything you know about magnets will probably be wrong once more data is gathered, and you will either have to take the scientists' word for it, or you will have continue using inaccurate mental models to make sense out of it for yourself.

Re:a magnetic monopole is like a one-sided coin: (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29311175)

Wrong analogy. An electric charge exists statically, whereas a magnetic field only exists by virtue of a nearby moving electric charge. Whenever something is moving, the first derivative of its position can be described with a vector, which, unless the vector has no magnitude, indicates that it must be moving away one position while simultaneously moving towards another. This duality is, roughly speaking, where it comes from that you cannot have a magnetic field with only one pole... it is approximately mathematically equivalent to the notion of a non-zero vector having no additive inverse.

Bullshit. (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29310729)

All my coins are shaped like mobius strips.

Re:a magnetic monopole is like a one-sided coin: (1)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 4 years ago | (#29310751)

Yes, and the world being round is absolutely preposterous. How could you possibly move in the same direction and end up back where you started? That is ludicrous. Some sort of stupidity there.

Re:a magnetic monopole is like a one-sided coin: (1)

John Hasler (414242) | more than 4 years ago | (#29310753)

> this is some sort of stupidity here

It certainly is. The physicists are not the ones exhibiting it, though.

Re:a magnetic monopole is like a one-sided coin: (5, Informative)

locofungus (179280) | more than 4 years ago | (#29310777)

A magnetic monopole is to a magnetic field what an electron is to an electric field.

This will, amongst other things, mean that Maxwell's equations become more symmetrical.

div D = rho; div B = 0

Will become

div D = rho_e; div B = rho_m

And there will be a magnetic current term for curl H.

It's long been known that if a magnetic monopole exists then charge must be quantized.

I've not looked at any of the papers but I'm interested to find out if they've got a mass estimate for them. Last I remember reading about this they were expected to be heavy (uranium nucleus sort of heavy) but I don't recall if that was an extrapolation from their non-detection or whether there was a more fundamental reason for them needing to be so massive.

Tim.

how does a magnetic field line just stop somewhere (-1, Flamebait)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 4 years ago | (#29310893)

and not continue on its way around to the other side of a magnet?

i like the equations, it makes you look authoritative. next time i try to convince someone the planet earth is actually a flat disc, i'll throw in some equations

a magnetic monopole is a physical impossibility. point of simple fact

Re:how does a magnetic field line just stop somewh (2, Insightful)

quanticle (843097) | more than 4 years ago | (#29311031)

How does an electric field line just stop somewhere?

defeated by ignorance (-1, Troll)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 4 years ago | (#29311067)

if you don't know what a magnetic field line is, what can one say to you?

Re:defeated by ignorance (1)

cnvandev (1538055) | more than 4 years ago | (#29311123)

A good place to start is by explaining to them what a magnetic field line is.

Re:defeated by ignorance (1)

roystgnr (4015) | more than 4 years ago | (#29311149)

He knows what a magnetic field line is, just like you. He also knows what an electric field line is, which is where you need to catch up. Try to be less arrogant about your ignorance, especially to someone who is taking the time to try to educate you.

Re:defeated by ignorance (1)

Too Much Noise (755847) | more than 4 years ago | (#29311317)

If I had a dollar for every time someone on /. claims to understand something without really doing so, your posts on this topic alone would already get me some beer. You need to brush up on the notion of quantum collective excitations - any advanced condensed matter book will do. After you do that, reading TFAs might provide you with some answers.

Contrariwise, you're free to apply your 'reasoning' to 'proving' how superconductivity should not exist either.

Re:how does a magnetic field line just stop somewh (4, Informative)

locofungus (179280) | more than 4 years ago | (#29311081)

Now I've scanned one of the papers I see that they're not detecting the sort of magnetic monopole I was thinking of (i.e. a new sub-atomic particle)

Instead they've detected the equivalent of a charged molecule.

They give an analogy of the disassociation of water into H3O+ and OH-. They claim to have done the same thing with magnets - ending up with a disassociated north and south pole.

So their work doesn't appear to give any clue to the mass of a magnetic monopole particle. But AFAICT they have still created a type of magnetic monopole, exactly the same way as a proton is an electric monopole even though it has an internal structure.

Tim.

Re:how does a magnetic field line just stop somewh (5, Informative)

jpflip (670957) | more than 4 years ago | (#29311087)

(Disclosure: I'm a physicist)

You could just as well ask: "how can an electric field line just stop somewhere?", and thereby conclude that there can be no such thing as an "electric monopole" (a positively- or negatively-charged particle). As long as the universe has no net electric or magnetic charge, all lines will terminate somewhere. If the universe did have a net charge the point is subtle, but that's irrelevant: the paper talks above pairs of opposite-pole monopoles created together, like a particle and its antiparticle. So this argument doesn't hold water.

Monopoles aren't impossible in principle (it would just be an extra term in Maxwell's equations) and are predicted in some theories, but fundamental-particle monopoles have never been observed. The summaries of this paper are confusing a lot of people: the authors are describing a crystal system with excitations that look like monopoles. They are NOT describing discovery of a new fundamental particle, but rather a new kind of solid-state phenomenon.

i cannot conceive of the possibility (-1, Troll)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 4 years ago | (#29311251)

a magnetic field is a relationship between a particle and its environment. it begins at the particle, it loops around, it ends on the other side of the particle

i don't see how it is possible to disassociate the particle and continue that relationship with the environment. if the magnetic field line begins with a particle, but doesn't end anywhere associated with that particle, i don't see how it can continue to exist, since it cannot begin and never end

wouldn't a monopole just start moving and never stop until it exits the universe?

the argument against a monopole seems to me to be the same argument against a perpetual motion machine

a monopole IS a perpetual motion machine: a failure in human logic, nothing real

Re:i cannot conceive of the possibility (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29311305)

The equations for magnetism are similar to the equations for electricity, apart from an extra equation which states that there are no magnetic monopole. That equation comes from empirical evidence and can be removed without breaking anything. As a proof, electricity doesn't have that extra equation and works just fine.

Re:how does a magnetic field line just stop somewh (1)

IWannaBeAnAC (653701) | more than 4 years ago | (#29311097)

how does a magnetic field line just stop somewhere and not continue on its way around to the other side of a magnet?

By having a non-zero divergence. Just like Gauss' law divergence D = rho (charge density), we have divergence B = rho_m (density of magnetic monopoles).

Re:how does a magnetic field line just stop somewh (1)

Cyberax (705495) | more than 4 years ago | (#29311143)

"and not continue on its way around to the other side of a magnet?"

Yes! That's why it's called 'monopole'. It behaves like electric charge, but with respect to magnetic field. For example, moving monopoles create _electric fields_ with closed lines.

And impossibility of monopoles is not a fact. In fact, (pun intended) it's long been known that monopoles can exist within the framework of classic electrodynamics.

An interesting fact: existence of even one monopole in the Universe forces _all_ electric charges to be quantized. But all electric charges ARE quantized.

Re:how does a magnetic field line just stop somewh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29311215)

a magnetic monopole is a physical impossibility. point of simple fact

A monopole is just one end of a very, very, very long dipole - the other end is lost in space so to speak.

Re:a magnetic monopole is like a one-sided coin: (1)

JamesP (688957) | more than 4 years ago | (#29310995)

I'm wondering , if we have curl H = J(electric), if we'll end up have something like curl (something) = J(magnetic) (a new equation or I dunno)

Re:a magnetic monopole is like a one-sided coin: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29311213)

Yes. You can reason through this and find a magnetic monopole current induces a curl in the E field. Consider Lorentz boosts and see how the fields transform.

Re:a magnetic monopole is like a one-sided coin: (1)

blueg3 (192743) | more than 4 years ago | (#29311265)

curl-H = J_e + dE/dt
curl-E = -(J_m + dB/dt)

So how "real" is this? (1)

jeffb (2.718) (1189693) | more than 4 years ago | (#29311261)

I've been reading for decades about the search for subatomic-particle-type monopoles, and all the wondrous things one could do with them [washington.edu] . This sounds more like some kind of group phenomenon, an emulation of a monopole, if you will. Sort of like holes in a semiconductor, which behave in some ways like positive "things", but are actually just the absence of an electron in a lattice.

I'm guessing that these aren't the kind of "real" monopoles that would let us build super-powerful motors, or compact proton disintegrators, or whatnot. On the other hand, even though the semiconductor folks can't isolate and sell bucketloads of holes, they do turn out to be quite useful.

Re:a magnetic monopole is like a one-sided coin: (1)

the_humeister (922869) | more than 4 years ago | (#29310803)

Superconducting wires? Bah, impossible! Time moves slower the faster you go? Bah, that's not even remotely correct! The earth is round? Bah, it's flat and carried on the backs of turtles all the way down!

Re:a magnetic monopole is like a one-sided coin: (4, Insightful)

CensorshipDonkey (1108755) | more than 4 years ago | (#29310865)

there's no such thing as a monopole. whatever it is, will have another side. and on that other side, there's the magnetic field lines, going on their merry way. a magnet is just atoms lined up in a certain way. are you telling me you can have one-sided atoms?

I think the stupidity is yours. Magnets are not just atoms lined up, atoms themselves have magnetic poles. In fact, the components of atoms (such as electrons) have magnetic poles as well.

It's perfectly conceivable to think of a point source of just North or South where the field lines radiate outwards in all directions. They would arc toward the nearest magnetic pole of opposite polarity. The diagrams are simple to draw and have been accepted by just giants in the field as Dirac for eighty years. The only question is: do they actually occur?

Re:a magnetic monopole is like a one-sided coin: (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29311271)

Magnetic lines seem to come from electrons as they move through the aether, the faster they move the more aggressive the magnetic flux gets and since electrons always orbit an atoms nucleus the lines go up through the middle and around the donut shape of its orbit. If an electron breaks its orbit there really isn't a distinct north or south, just the direction the lines are rotating around the electron (right or left - and whether they are actually physically moving is something we may never actually know but lines going in one direction wont combine with lines in the other direction). That being said I don't think the magnetism actually exists as something within the structure of the electron but only within the space around it like a pebble making a wave in a pool - the pebble doesn't "posses" the wave it creates even if the wave wouldn't exist without it.

I guess I'm trying to say the electrons don't actually have a magnetic pole as you assert.

Also how can you throw a pebble into the middle of a pond and get the waves to move in one direction from the pebble but not the other? I think envisioning the creation of a monopole is something like that and I'm still not convinced the people considering it are looking at it the right way.

Re:a magnetic monopole is like a one-sided coin: (1)

Myopic (18616) | more than 4 years ago | (#29310983)

Guys, guys, calm down. Obviously this poster is making a joke. We all know that quantum particles come in pairs or groups; we all know that quantum particles are often monopoles, most famously electrons and positrons.

More than anything, we all know that quantum particles aren't like coins -- they are more like cars...

Re:a magnetic monopole is like a one-sided coin: (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 4 years ago | (#29311029)

There are all sorts of physical phenomena that defy intuition and do not exist in our day to day environment. That you cannot intuit their existence doesn't change the fact of their existence.

Neutron stars are somewhat less abstract than these monopoles appear to be (the stars are reasonably explained using high school physics), but they aren't exactly something that can compared to day to day macroscopic physical reality.

Re:a magnetic monopole is like a one-sided coin: (1)

nedlohs (1335013) | more than 4 years ago | (#29311195)

Because you are better at physics and Paul Dirac was.

not a "real" monopole (5, Interesting)

anarchyboy (720565) | more than 4 years ago | (#29310649)

Surely if they are two monopoles tied by a dirac string then they actually make a dipole. I was under the impression a monopole would create a dirac string (a discontinuity in the field) that extends to infinity. Interestingly by allowing the dirac string to extend first in one direction, then in the other and joining the two resultant fields gives a fully continuous description of the monopole without the need for a dirac string.

I think what the summary is refering too is similar to the creation of a electron and hole pair in a semiconductor rather than a fundamental monopole particle. So they are in fact creating both poles but that inside the spin glass they are not confined with respect to each other so each one appears as a monopole in the material.

pepetium mobiles?? (4, Funny)

psy0rz (666238) | more than 4 years ago | (#29310679)

is it possible to create pepetium mobiles now? ;) most of the the 'free energy' designs are based around non-existing monopoles, and tricks to 'emulate' monopoles.

Re:pepetium mobiles?? (2, Insightful)

John Hasler (414242) | more than 4 years ago | (#29310835)

> is it possible to create pepetium mobiles now?

No. The existence of magnetic monopoles does not imply perpetual motion.

Re:pepetium mobiles?? (1, Insightful)

gurps_npc (621217) | more than 4 years ago | (#29311011)

Actually it would, if they exist. Many of the so called perpetual motion machines would work if they had a monopole.

This is why I agree with the others that laugh at this article with it's ridiculous claim that monopoles exist. A monopole connecting to another monopole is called a dipole, no matter how long the connection or what kind of item it is.

WTF.. (2, Interesting)

Absolut187 (816431) | more than 4 years ago | (#29310695)

..is magnetic charge?

>>
The first provides additional observations, and the second uses a new technique to determine the magnetic charge of each monopole to be 4.6x10-13 joules per tesla metre.
>>

And how is it different from electric charge?

Re:WTF.. (1)

anarchyboy (720565) | more than 4 years ago | (#29310791)

Its not, its just like electric charge only for magnetism.

Re:WTF.. (2, Informative)

hardburn (141468) | more than 4 years ago | (#29310863)

If you have a regular old magnet, it has North and South sides. The net force, or charge, between those two sides is zero.

A monopole would be North or South, but not both. It would have a positive net force, much like an electron.

Re:WTF.. (2, Informative)

MartinSchou (1360093) | more than 4 years ago | (#29310867)

Let me wiki that for you: Magnetic charge [wikipedia.org]

Re:WTF.. (3, Funny)

Hal_Porter (817932) | more than 4 years ago | (#29310879)

Magnetic charges fired in a customised photon torpedo were used in Voyager S96E10 to defeat the dudes with forehead that looked like vulva.

Re:WTF.. (4, Funny)

Rogerborg (306625) | more than 4 years ago | (#29311287)

I'm glad you provided the episode number, because the description didn't narrow it down much.

Re:WTF.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29310935)

They have units of ampere*meter instead of ampere*second. Don't listen to this "joules per tesla metre" non-sense.

Re:WTF.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29310947)

Think of them as different causes of motion. Magnetic charges cause motion in magnetic materials and electric charges cause motion in other electrically charged materials. They are supposed to be linked in someway. Same goes for the "colour" charges of the strong force. And to generalize further, physicists hope to find a link to gravity which also causes motion (in all materials).

Woo! (4, Funny)

RenHoek (101570) | more than 4 years ago | (#29310697)

Isn't this just in time for the new season of the show Big Bang Theory, where Sheldon is on an expedition to find magnetic monopoles? :)

Holy Crap! (0, Offtopic)

Javarufus (733962) | more than 4 years ago | (#29310711)

Wait, how will this affect me tonight when I roll a big fatty and watch TV?

Re:Holy Crap! (1)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 4 years ago | (#29310855)

TV's could become even thinner, I suppose. Any Advancement made in Magnets always seems to turn into smaller computer chips.

could be helpful on trips (1)

syrinx (106469) | more than 4 years ago | (#29310717)

I mean, if you're traveling, you wouldn't want your houses and hotels to go flying off the board, so the magnets would be pretty helpful. I'm just wondering if the Chance and Community Chest cards are magnetized too? And how do you deal with all the money? These questions need to be answered before we can truly say there is overwhelming evidence for magnetic Monopoly.

he said "pole" (1)

syntap (242090) | more than 4 years ago | (#29310719)

I thought we were talking about a Slashdot question that only had the CowboyNeal answer as a choice.

My Klein bottle gets a free refund! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29310733)

The Klein bottle [kleinbottle.com] manufacturer guarantees unconditionally the following:

  • We warrant each Acme Klein Bottle for a period of FIVE YEARS to be absolutely free of any magnetic monopoles. If you discover one, contact us immediately and we will refund your purchase price right after claiming the Nobel Prize.
  • Furthermore, we guarantee for TEN YEARS that any polyhedron spanning your unbroken Acme Klein Bottle will have about as many edges as the sum of its vertices plus faces.
  • We further warrant for ONE MILLION YEARS that within a Euclidean plane, the square of a right triangle's hypotenuse will equal the sum of the squares of the two remaining legs.

I have contacted them to notify them of this and to request a refund of my Klein bottle purchase. If you also have a Klein bottle I highly recommend doing the same!

"small crystals about the size of an ear plug." (5, Funny)

olsmeister (1488789) | more than 4 years ago | (#29310765)

That tells me nothing. How many beard seconds [wikipedia.org] is that?

Re:"small crystals about the size of an ear plug." (1)

Bob Hearn (61879) | more than 4 years ago | (#29311221)

Surely, you mean how many cubic beard seconds is that?

what series is this from? (0)

Nadaka (224565) | more than 4 years ago | (#29310793)

Monopoles? Dirac Strings? Did I just wake up in Star Trek? If so, where the hell is my Uhura?

Re:what series is this from? (1)

RancidMilk (872628) | more than 4 years ago | (#29311093)

I'm sorry Mario, but your princess is in another castle.

I can see the scene now (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29310837)

Data: "Magnetic monopoles have been detected at low temperatures in "Dirac strings" within a single crystal of Dysprosium Titanate"

Geordi: "If we generate a phase-inverted lepton pulse from the main deflector, we might be able to force a quantum pulse cascade which will counteract their effect!!!"

Interesting, but... (2, Insightful)

emeri1md (935883) | more than 4 years ago | (#29310845)

Can someone translate this into English for us non-Physics geeks? What exactly does this mean? Will it lead to new applications of magnets (the closest analogy I can come up with from this brief description)?

Re:Interesting, but... (1)

gurps_npc (621217) | more than 4 years ago | (#29311047)

A monopole would be the north end of a magnet without a south end. A positive without a negative. Such a device, if it really existed, would enable us to build perpetual motion machines (see here [compsci.ca] . But the item described by this article is NOT a monopole. They are describing two monopoles connected by a dirac string (one dimenisional curve in space). If you connect two monopoles, that is a DIPOLE, it doesn't matter what connects them.

Re:Interesting, but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29311157)

I'm not sure what Geek you speak, but here is the translation into Linux Geek:
(clears throat)

RTFM!

Gamer Geek:

!1! Neub!11! Pwned by M! 7e337 P0l3 SK1775!!!111

Mac Geek:

You have to upgrade to Snow Leopard and then relink your brain to core monopole. Then it should work for you.

But does it... (0, Offtopic)

argent (18001) | more than 4 years ago | (#29310905)

... run Linux?

Monopoles (2, Funny)

Airdorn (1094879) | more than 4 years ago | (#29310997)

...therefore, God exists.

Has existed for years (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29311015)

Magnetic monopoly has existed for years, guys, come on with these stories! jeez.

http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/Monopoly-Magnetic-Pocket-Edition-Boxed_W0QQitemZ280392141950QQcmdZViewItemQQimsxZ20090902?IMSfp=TL090902157001r16643

For a minute there, (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29311049)

i thought they were talking about www.poloniasingles.com/

Jmorava (1)

JMorava (1631195) | more than 4 years ago | (#29311119)

These are not the magnetic monopoles you're looking for.

Brace yourselves for the onslaught (3, Insightful)

140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) | more than 4 years ago | (#29311147)

The whole crowd of people selling devices that use Zero Point Energy and magnetic suspension perpetual motion machines and people who write hundred page manuscripts in purple ink arguing why the Second Law of Thermodynamics must be repealed are going to come out of the wood work now.

Re:Brace yourselves for the onslaught (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29311233)

Chris Reeve (pln2bz), where are you when we need you?

Not this time..... (5, Informative)

scradock (1420165) | more than 4 years ago | (#29311159)

Having read at least one of the arxiv articles, it is clear to me that the authors have NOT detected magnetic monopoles, and don't actually claim that they have. They claim that a certain type of ordering in a very specific crystal at very low temperatures BEHAVES AS IF it was a magnetic monopole - it's an analogy at best. The energy required to trigger the effect is minute, so they can "see" lots of MMAs (magnetic monopole analogs [my terminology]), and hence study what would happen if lots of REAL MMs existed in some other situation. They confirm that setting up Maxwell's equations to include a monopole shows the same sorts of behavior as what they see. But a real, isolated magnetic monopole? Not this time......

Practical Impact? (2)

mdmkolbe (944892) | more than 4 years ago | (#29311193)

What are the practical implications/applications of monopoles?

I'm not dissing the theoretical impact. I'm just curious if anyone has a use in mind for them.

magnetic monopoles and energy (1)

strack (1051390) | more than 4 years ago | (#29311225)

i read somewhere that magenetic monopoles can be used to convert protons directly into energy, as per e = mc^2. can anyone clarify what this new discovery means for this concept. it would be the ultimate energy source, i would presume.

I'm a bit confused by this (3, Insightful)

Bootsy Collins (549938) | more than 4 years ago | (#29311309)

Dirac's argument (and all the field-theoretic) arguments in favor of the existence of magnetic monopoles have had to do with an elementary particle exhibiting those characteristics. Sometimes this is phrased in the terms of a 0-dimensional topological defect, something that would be produced by certain kinds of symmetry breaking; and indeed one of the arguments in favor of cosmological inflation theories was the fact that we don't see fundamental-particle monopoles, and would expect to. Finding one of these guys would be amazing news.

What these experiements seem to have done, however, is detected the effect of what condensed matter physicists like to refer to as a quasi-particle, akin to the phonon, which is a different thing entirely.

Or am I missing something?

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