Ultrafast Magnetism Conference

The first Ultrafast Magnetism Conference (UMC) was held last week in Strasbourg, France. A week focused on magnetism on the sub-picosecond timescale. Talks from both experimental and theoretical groups included talks on laser induced magnetization dynamics, THz stimulation and ultrafast magneto-acoustics.

Image from www.cntraveller.com

This meeting was a huge success with over 150 participants from all over the world and a large number of invited talks. The format was a single session talks and posters so that all participants could see everything on offer. The single session format promoted a comfortable environment in which the audience could ask questions and discuss things amongst themselves.

I gave a contribution based on the thermally induced switching phenomena in GdFeCo, recently accepted to Nature Scientific Reports (the preprint can be found on arXiv). This work by Joe Barker shows that the thermally induced switching is caused by the excitation of a two magnon bound state. This bound state is possible when sufficient energy is provided to excite two spinwave bands. This lays out a criteria for ultrafast switching with heat to occur, which Joe tested using the atomistic spin model.

The second Ultrafast Magnetism Conference will take place in 2015 in Nijmegen, where I am sure the event will be even larger and the talks will be equally as interesting.

New Paper on Ultrafast Switching in Ferrimagnets

Yesterday saw a long awaited paper into the mechanism behind heat induced switching in ferrimagnetic materials. Using the newly developed Landau-Lifshitz-Bloch equation for a ferrimagnet we linearize the equations of motion in the conditions seen in heat induced switching, arriving at a set of dynamical equations. These dynamical equations show that the reversal path occurs via a transfer of angular momentum from the linear motion to the transverse motion. We support these analytics by making comparisons with atomistic spin dynamics.

Spinwaves Symposium 2013, St. Petersburg, Russia

Last week saw the 2013 spinwaves symposium held in St. Petersburg and hosted by the Ioffe Physical-Technical Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences. A combination of invited and contributed talks made for a very interesting meeting demonstrating the latest advances in magnetism. I presented a talk looking at spin-spin correlations during ultrafast demagnetisation processes.

Spin Waves 2013

St. Petersburg is a very impressive city and gave a good impression on my first visit to the country. I look forward to returning to Russia, perhaps for spinwaves 2015 (hopefully next time I won’t leave my car keys in my hotel room!).