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Concept: Magnetic field


Several mammalian species spontaneously align their body axis with respect to the Earth’s magnetic field (MF) lines in diverse behavioral contexts. Magnetic alignment is a suitable paradigm to scan for the occurrence of magnetosensitivity across animal taxa with the heuristic potential to contribute to the understanding of the mechanism of magnetoreception and identify further functions of magnetosensation apart from navigation. With this in mind we searched for signs of magnetic alignment in dogs. We measured the direction of the body axis in 70 dogs of 37 breeds during defecation (1,893 observations) and urination (5,582 observations) over a two-year period. After complete sampling, we sorted the data according to the geomagnetic conditions prevailing during the respective sampling periods. Relative declination and intensity changes of the MF during the respective dog walks were calculated from daily magnetograms. Directional preferences of dogs under different MF conditions were analyzed and tested by means of circular statistics.

Concepts: Magnetic field, Earth's magnetic field, Magnet, Earth, Dynamo theory, Magnetism, Solar wind, Magnetosphere


Background The presence of a cardiovascular implantable electronic device has long been a contraindication for the performance of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). We established a prospective registry to determine the risks associated with MRI at a magnetic field strength of 1.5 tesla for patients who had a pacemaker or implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD) that was “non-MRI-conditional” (i.e., not approved by the Food and Drug Administration for MRI scanning). Methods Patients in the registry were referred for clinically indicated nonthoracic MRI at a field strength of 1.5 tesla. Devices were interrogated before and after MRI with the use of a standardized protocol and were appropriately reprogrammed before the scanning. The primary end points were death, generator or lead failure, induced arrhythmia, loss of capture, or electrical reset during the scanning. The secondary end points were changes in device settings. Results MRI was performed in 1000 cases in which patients had a pacemaker and in 500 cases in which patients had an ICD. No deaths, lead failures, losses of capture, or ventricular arrhythmias occurred during MRI. One ICD generator could not be interrogated after MRI and required immediate replacement; the device had not been appropriately programmed per protocol before the MRI. We observed six cases of self-terminating atrial fibrillation or flutter and six cases of partial electrical reset. Changes in lead impedance, pacing threshold, battery voltage, and P-wave and R-wave amplitude exceeded prespecified thresholds in a small number of cases. Repeat MRI was not associated with an increase in adverse events. Conclusions In this study, device or lead failure did not occur in any patient with a non-MRI-conditional pacemaker or ICD who underwent clinically indicated nonthoracic MRI at 1.5 tesla, was appropriately screened, and had the device reprogrammed in accordance with the prespecified protocol. (Funded by St. Jude Medical and others; MagnaSafe number, NCT00907361 .).

Concepts: Electromagnetism, Magnetic field, X-ray, Spin, Implantable cardioverter-defibrillator, Cardiac electrophysiology, Magnetic resonance imaging, Artificial pacemaker


Wormholes are fascinating cosmological objects that can connect two distant regions of the universe. Because of their intriguing nature, constructing a wormhole in a lab seems a formidable task. A theoretical proposal by Greenleaf et al. presented a strategy to build a wormhole for electromagnetic waves. Based on metamaterials, it could allow electromagnetic wave propagation between two points in space through an invisible tunnel. However, an actual realization has not been possible until now. Here we construct and experimentally demonstrate a magnetostatic wormhole. Using magnetic metamaterials and metasurfaces, our wormhole transfers the magnetic field from one point in space to another through a path that is magnetically undetectable. We experimentally show that the magnetic field from a source at one end of the wormhole appears at the other end as an isolated magnetic monopolar field, creating the illusion of a magnetic field propagating through a tunnel outside the 3D space. Practical applications of the results can be envisaged, including medical techniques based on magnetism.

Concepts: Electron, Electromagnetism, Magnetic field, Electromagnetic radiation, Maxwell's equations, Wave, Universe, Magnetostatics


Many organisms spanning from bacteria to mammals orient to the earth’s magnetic field. For a few animals, central neurons responsive to earth-strength magnetic fields have been identified; however, magnetosensory neurons have yet to be identified in any animal. We show that the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans orients to the earth’s magnetic field during vertical burrowing migrations. Well-fed worms migrated up, while starved worms migrated down. Populations isolated from around the world, migrated at angles to the magnetic vector that would optimize vertical translation in their native soil, with northern- and southern-hemisphere worms displaying opposite migratory preferences. Magnetic orientation and vertical migrations required the TAX-4 cyclic nucleotide-gated ion channel in the AFD sensory neuron pair. Calcium imaging showed that these neurons respond to magnetic fields even without synaptic input. C. elegans may have adapted magnetic orientation to simplify their vertical burrowing migration by reducing the orientation task from three dimensions to one.

Concepts: Nervous system, Neuron, Magnetic field, Earth's magnetic field, Earth, Caenorhabditis elegans, Animal, Human migration


While magnetoreception in birds has been studied intensively, the literature on magnetoreception in bony fish, and particularly in non-migratory fish, is quite scarce. We examined alignment of common carps (Cyprinus carpio) at traditional Christmas sale in the Czech Republic. The sample comprised measurements of the directional bearings in 14,537 individual fish, distributed among 80 large circular plastic tubs, at 25 localities in the Czech Republic, during 817 sampling sessions, on seven subsequent days in December 2011. We found that carps displayed a statistically highly significant spontaneous preference to align their bodies along the North-South axis. In the absence of any other common orientation cues which could explain this directional preference, we attribute the alignment of the fish to the geomagnetic field lines. It is apparent that the display of magnetic alignment is a simple experimental paradigm of great heuristic potential.

Concepts: Magnetic field, Germany, Czech Republic, Carp, Czechoslovakia, Nazi Germany, Czech language, Prague


Spin-transfer torques offer great promise for the development of spin-based devices. The effects of spin-transfer torques are typically analysed in terms of adiabatic and non-adiabatic contributions. Currently, a comprehensive interpretation of the non-adiabatic term remains elusive, with suggestions that it may arise from universal effects related to dissipation processes in spin dynamics, while other studies indicate a strong influence from the symmetry of magnetization gradients. Here we show that enhanced magnetic imaging under dynamic excitation can be used to differentiate between non-adiabatic spin-torque and extraneous influences. We combine Lorentz microscopy with gigahertz excitations to map the orbit of a magnetic vortex core with <5 nm resolution. Imaging of the gyrotropic motion reveals subtle changes in the ellipticity, amplitude and tilt of the orbit as the vortex is driven through resonance, providing a robust method to determine the non-adiabatic spin torque parameter β=0.15±0.02 with unprecedented precision, independent of external effects.

Concepts: Magnetic field, Angular momentum, Fundamental physics concepts, Torque, Magnetism, Magnetic moment, Force, Sound


Electrical stimulation is currently used to treat a wide range of cardiovascular, sensory and neurological diseases. Despite its success, there are significant limitations to its application, including incompatibility with magnetic resonance imaging, limited control of electric fields and decreased performance associated with tissue inflammation. Magnetic stimulation overcomes these limitations but existing devices (that is, transcranial magnetic stimulation) are large, reducing their translation to chronic applications. In addition, existing devices are not effective for deeper, sub-cortical targets. Here we demonstrate that sub-millimeter coils can activate neuronal tissue. Interestingly, the results of both modelling and physiological experiments suggest that different spatial orientations of the coils relative to the neuronal tissue can be used to generate specific neural responses. These results raise the possibility that micro-magnetic stimulation coils, small enough to be implanted within the brain parenchyma, may prove to be an effective alternative to existing stimulation devices.

Concepts: Neuron, Brain, Magnetic field, Brain tumor, Human brain, Magnetic resonance imaging, Neurology, Transcranial magnetic stimulation


Ferromagnetic nanostructures have been electrodeposited within the pores of porous silicon templates with average pore diameters between 25 and 60 nm. In this diameter regime, the pore formation in general is accompanied by dendritic growth resulting in rough pore walls, which involves metal deposits also offering a branched structure. These side branches influence the magnetic properties of the composite system not only due to modified and peculiar stray fields but also because of a reduced interpore spacing by the approaching of adjacent side pores. To improve the morphology of the porous silicon structures, a magnetic field up to 8 T has been applied during the formation process. The magnetic field etching results in smaller pore diameters with less dendritic side pores. Deposition of a ferromagnetic metal within these templates leads to less branched nanostructures and, thus, to an enhancement of the coercivity of the system and also to a significantly increased magnetic anisotropy. So magnetic field-assisted etching is an appropriate tool to improve the structure of the template concerning the decrease of the dendritic pore growth and to advance the magnetic properties of the composite material.

Concepts: Magnetic field, Magnet, Paramagnetism, Magnetism, Ferromagnetism, Composite material, Hysteresis, Boeing 787


Electronic phase separation is one of the key features in correlated electron oxides. The coexistence and competition of multiple phases give rise to gigantic responses to tiny stimuli producing dramatic changes in magnetic, transport and other properties of these compounds. To probe the physical properties of each phase separately is crucial for a comprehensive understanding of phase separation phenomena and for designing their device functions. Here we unravel, using a unique p-n junction configuration, dynamic properties of multiple phases in manganite thin films. The multiple dielectric relaxations have been detected and their corresponding multiple phases have been identified, while the activation energies of dielectric responses from different phases were extracted separately. Their phase evolutions with changing both temperature and applied magnetic field have been demonstrated by dielectric response. These results provide a guideline for exploring the electronic phase separation phenomena in correlated electron oxides.

Concepts: Magnetic field, Fundamental physics concepts, Maxwell's equations, Physical quantities, Capacitor, Dielectric, Dielectric spectroscopy, Permittivity


Conventional spin-singlet Cooper pairs convert into spin-triplet pairs in ferromagnetic Josephson junctions in which the superconductor/ferromagnet interfaces (S/F) are magnetically inhomogeneous. Although much of the theoretical work describing this triplet proximity effect has considered ideal junctions with magnetic domain walls (DW) at the interfaces, in practice it is not easily possible to isolate a DW and propagate a supercurrent through it. The rare-earth magnet Gd can form a field-tuneable in-plane Bloch DW if grown between non-co-linearly aligned ferromagnets. Here we report supercurrents through magnetic Ni-Gd-Ni nanopillars: by field annealing at room temperature, we are able to modify the low temperature DW-state in Gd and this result has a striking effect on the junction supercurrent at 4.2 K. We argue that this result can only be explained in terms of the interconversion of triplet and singlet pairs, the efficiency of which depends on the magnetic helicity of the structure.

Concepts: Magnetic field, Fundamental physics concepts, Magnet, Paramagnetism, Magnetism, Ferromagnetism, Antiferromagnetism, Domain wall