It's true! How odd this may sound, this has been done. You might think it's
an utter and complete waste of money, but it's research and some even think
this will have applications in consumer electronics.
Apparently what's noded on magnetism is a bit brief, so until that's
improved upon I'll give you the short version here. In short magnetism is
created by electrically charged particles in motion. Naturally magnetic
materials are created by electron movements around the atomic nuclei and by
their spin. The magnetic field surrounding earth is believed to originate from
streams inside our planet. Magnets are always dipoles, meaning that they
always have a "north pole" and a "south pole". Because of
this, the magnetic field lines are always closed loops, which also is why
when you break a magnet you will always have two new magnets.
Magnets are manufactured by taking naturally magnetic metals, melting them
and then crushing it into a fine powder. Every tiny grain is then a small magnet
with a north and south pole. Then they are put in a magnetic field, aligning
them correctly at the same time as they are joined back together.
Anyhow, it is now reported in the scientific magazine Physical Review
Letters, in the September 17 issue, that a group of Japanese researches at
High Energy Accelerator Research Organization in Tsukuba have done exactly
what this node title says, having created a nonmagnetic magnet. As I said above,
magnetism is created by both electron movements in their orbitals around the
nuclei and their spin. These two contribute to the total magnetism. What the
team lead by Hiromichi Adachi did was that they created an alloy of
aluminum and samarium. The idea was to find a material where the orbital and
spin magnetism would be equal in force but opposite in direction. Samarium is a
rare-earth element where the spin and orbital energy is dependant on
After having magnetized the SmAl2 alloy at very low temperatures,
they found that at 70 degrees Kelvin, the magnetic field dropped to zero!
This was because the spin and orbital components would cancel each other
The use of this is of course not obvious, but it has been suggested
that they would be used on devices that use electron spin instead of charge.
Today everything that is using electricity uses the charge of electrons. The
other fundamental property of an electron is spin, which until recently never
have been used in consumer products. It is believed that this will be useful in
Source: Scientific American