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International research team demonstrates electrical switching of an antiferromagnet Ferromagnets and antiferromagnets are the two common forms of magnetically ordered materials. Traditionally we thought that magnetism can be easily controlled and utilized only in ferromagnets. Researchers from the Czech Republic, United Kingdom, and Germany change this perception by demonstrating electrical switching of magnetization in an antiferromagnetic microchip.

During November 14 - 17, 2015, the Pierre Auger Collaboration celebrated the inauguration of AugerPrime. Spread over an area of 3000 km2 in the 'yellow pampa' in western Argentina, Auger is the largest cosmic ray experiment in the world. AugerPrime allows the Czech researchers to contribute to discerning the mysteries of ultrahigh energy cosmic rays until 2025.

The Pierre Auger Observatory is the world’s leading science project for the exploration of cosmic rays. The Observatory has achieved excellent results helping scientists to better understand particles with energies more than million times larger than the beam energy at the current world largest accelerator.

The electronic properties of solid state materials used in today’s electronic devices are governed by properties of valence electrons. One such property is the spin of the electron, which, in layman’s terms, is the sense of rotation of the spinning motion of the electron. As realized almost ninety years ago by German physicist Friedrich Hund (1896 – 1997), the electrons in a given atom all tend to spin with the same sense of rotation, a rule of thumb which is now called Hund’s rule

Researchers from the Institute of Physics and the University of Regensburg (Germany) introduced a new method of atomic force microscopy (Atomic Force Microscopy = AFM), which allows to resolve the polarity of individual chemical bonds in a single molecule. The possibility of the detailed resolution of the charge distribution in the chemical bonds within a molecule significantly advances our current possibilities to study the charge transfer at the atomic and molecular level.

Scientists from the Institute of Physics of the Czech Academy of Sciences (CAS) together with colleagues from Osaka University in Japan presented in the journal Nature Communications [1] a new method that significantly advances the current possibility for atomic force microscopes to image chemical structures of individual molecules.

Recent developments in scanning microscopy enable us to resolve the chemical structure of individual molecules deposited on surfaces.

During a two-day meeting held on 15 and 16 July 2015, the Cherenkov Telescope Array (CTA) Resource Board, with the participation of Czech representatives, decided to choose two sites for detailed contract negotiations for the location to host the world’s largest gamma-ray telescope network: a location in the Atacama desert in Chile in the southern hemisphere and Roque de los Muchachos Observatory in La Palma, Canary Islands in the northern hemisphere.

The solid, liquid and gaseous state of matter are a common knowledge. However, the number of different states in which materials may exist is in principle unlimited. One of the prime goal of condensed matter physics is to understand the properties of these states and to predict the transitions between them. Jan Kuneš from the Department of condensed matter theory of the Institute of Physics CAS was awarded a prestigious ERC Consolidator Grant to study exotic states of new magnetic materials.

A state-of-the-art laser facility currently under construction in Prague is on the road to becoming one of Europe’s Centres of Excellence, thanks to a new partnership project with the UK Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC). The Czech Institute of Physics’ HiLASE facility and the UK’s STFC Central Laser Facility (CLF) have been awarded around €500,000 in the first phase of funding for a new Teaming initiative under the EU’s Horizon 2020 framework programme.

Over the past two decades, the research of ferromagnetic semiconductors, with (Ga,Mn)As as a prime example, has led to a deeper understanding of relativistic spin-dependent phenomena in magnetic systems. It has also led to discoveries of new effects and demonstrations of unprecedented functionalities in experimental micro-electronic and opto-electronic devices. Researchers from the Institute of Physics of the Academy of Sciences in Prague, in collaboration with researchers from the Charles University in Prague and from the UK, have published a comprehensive review of this active field of condensed matter physics

Current information technologies are either charge-based or spin-based. Semiconductor microprocessors are prime examples among the large variety of charge-based devices. They utilize the possibility offered by semiconductors to easily electrically manipulate and detect their electronic charge states representing the zeros and ones. Spin-based devices operate on an entirely distinct principle. In some materials, like iron, electron spins spontaneously align their direction which generates magnetism.