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2005/06 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

PHYS3420 Magnetism and Magnetic Materials

10 creditsClass Size: 40

Module manager: Dr C H Marrows

Taught: Semester 1 (Sep to Jan) View Timetable

Year running 2005/06


PHYS2042, PHYS2070, PHYS2200

This module is not approved as an Elective


On completion of the module students should be able to:
- describe the quantum mechanical nature of the molecular field: the exchange interaction;
- recognise the necessity of anisotropy for stable ferromagnetism;
- recall the origin and consequences of the demagnetising field;
- discuss domains and simple micro-magnetics;
- recall the consequences of magnetism on transport properties of materials;
- describe current issues in ultrathin film magnetism - surface anisotropy, interlayer coupling etc;
- describe current issues in magnetic heterostructures and devices;
- recall how the physical phenomena described are accessed experimentally.

Skills outcomes
Problem modelling and solvingProblem modelling and solving


Introduction to basic concepts. Measurements of magnetisation. Exchange and Heisenberg Hamiltonian. Quantum and Classical Diamagnetism and Paramagnetism. Magnetisation vs. temperature: Molecular field, Stoner model, magnons, critical regime. Measurement of magnon spectra. Anisotropy and Superparamagnetism. Stoner-Wohlfarth particles. Origins of anisotropy. Exchange anisotropy. Magnetostatic self-energy and demagnetising factors. Shape anisotropy. Domain structures and domain walls. Simple micromagnetics. Permanent magnets and energy products. Low-dimensional ordering, perpendicular anisotropy. Interlayer exchange and magnetic quantum wells. Spin-dependent band structures - spin-dependent transport. Anisotropic, giant, and tunnelling magnetoresistance. Magnetotransport measurements. GMR devices, magnetic tunnel junctions. Spin-valves, heads and MRAM cells.

Teaching methods

Due to COVID-19, teaching and assessment activities are being kept under review - see module enrolment pages for information

Lectures: 22 x 1 hour.

Private study

Private study: 78 hours.

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Student appraisals.

Methods of assessment

Due to COVID-19, teaching and assessment activities are being kept under review - see module enrolment pages for information

1 x 2 hour paper at the end of the semester: 100%.

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 19/04/2005


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