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Czech physicists contributed to the discovery of new mechanisms for storing information

The Spintronics and Nanoelectronics group from the Institute of Physics, Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic has completed another successful research project which opens new oportunities for future information technologies.

A discovery of Czech physicists published in Nature Photonics and Nature Communications

The preparation of high quality nano-scale films of ferromagnetic semiconductors is a formidable challenge. If successful it would inevitably provide unprecedented grounds for exploring new physical phenomena arising from the inteaction of photons with magnets and may suggest new means for the manipulation of magnets in opto-electronic devices at sub-picosecond time scales.

What will soon be the most powerful neutrino detector in the United States has recorded its first three-dimensional images of particles. A team of Czech physicists, engineers and technicians from Charles University in Prague, Czech Technical University in Prague and Institute of Physics ASCR successfully contributes to the NOvA experiment. The collaboration is financially supported by Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports of the Czech Republic.

The telescope FRAM (F/Photometric Robotic Atmospheric Monitor), which is operated by the Institute of Physics of the ASCR at the Pierre Auger Observatory close to the town Malargüe in western Argentina, has successfully observed the asteroid 2012 DA14. The asteroid flew very close to the Earth surface during the evening hours of February 15th, 2013, more specifically at 20:26 CET it flew less than 28,000 kilometers above the surface of the Earth, what is the record for the celestial body of this size.

Spintronics is the leading technology for magnetic storage and sensing. In the near futurte, it is expected to provide high density magnetic random access memories and logic-in-memory architectures, opening a route to the new generation of high-speed, low-power instant on-and-off computers.

A direct transfer of angular momentum from a circularly polarized light to spins allows to excite a magnet from its equilibrium state at sub-picosecond time scales. The discovery, allowing to manipulate spins in a magnet by short laser pulses, was reported by scientists from the joint Laboratory of Opto-Spintronics at the Faculty of Mathematics and Physics, Charles University and the Institute of Physics, Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic.

One of the basic features of any material is its ability to conduct an electrical current. Although the electrical conductivity varies with temperature, for most materials the division between metals and insulators is given by their chemical composition and crystallographic structure. There are, however, compounds which can be converted from a metal to an insulator and vice versa by a small variation of external parameters such as pressure or temperature.

Unique combination of plasma temperature and density has been achieved with X-ray free-electron laser

In the first February issue of Nature, a Letter [1] appeared attracting an attention of specialists in areas of high-energy-density physics, laboratory astrophysics, inertial confinement fusion (ICF) and plasma physics. An international team of researchers headed by young Oxford physicist Sam Vinko created a unique state of matter by isochorically heating a thin aluminium foil using a tightly focused X-ray beam produced by the LCLS (Linac Coherent Light Source) free-electron laser in California.

The results of long term research of silicon thin films achieved in the Institute of Physics have been recognized by invitation of RNDr. Jan Kočka, DrSc., head of the Department of Thin Films and Nanostructures of the Institute of Physics, to deliver the plenary “Mott lecture” at the 24th International Conference on Amorphous and Nanocrystalline Semiconductors (

Vítězslav Jarý, a PhD student in the Institute of Physics AS CR, has won the first prize in the H. Becquerel competition. He is involved in the Nuclear Chemistry program at FNSPE, CTU and is working on the scintillation mechanisms in the materials based on complex oxides. His studies are focused, in particular, on the problems of energy capture and energy transfer.