This is a new technological discipline which aims to exploit the subtle and mind-bendingly esoteric quantum properties of the electron to develop a new generation of electronic devices. Its potential is sufficiently great that the US Department of Defense has invested more than $50 million dollars in spintronics research in the past year. The word is a blend of electronics with spin, the quantum property it exploits. Like so many words applied to the subatomic realm, spin has to be taken figuratively as a convenient label for a property that has no equivalent in gross matter. Every electron exists in one of two states, spin-up or spin-down; it is possible to make a sandwich of gold atoms between two thin films of magnetic material that will act as a filter or valve that only permits electrons in one of the two states to pass. The filter can be changed from one state to the other using a brief and tiny burst of current. From this simple device it’s hoped to make incredibly tiny chips that will act as super-fast memories whose contents will survive loss of power. The adjective is spintronic.
Search World Wide Words
Recently added pieces
Zoilism; Fish-faced; Poach; Immensikoff; Habiliments; The Sense of Style by Steven Pinker; Agister; The Word at War; Not so green as you’re cabbage-looking; Peely-wally; Draw a line in the sand; Porphyrogeniture; Set one’s cap at; Epicaricacy; Furthest and farthest; Hide one’s light under a bushel; Jentacular.
Support World Wide Words!
Donate via PayPal. Select your currency from the list and click Donate.
Buy from Amazon and get me a small commission at no cost to you. Select your preferred site and click Go!