The property that makes fluorescent lights buzz could power a new generation of more efficient computing devices that store data with magnetic fields, rather than electricity.
A team led by University of Michigan researchers has developed a material that’s at least twice as “magnetostrictive” and far less costly than other materials in its class. In addition to computing, it could also lead to better magnetic sensors for medical and security devices.
Magnetostriction, which causes the buzz of fluorescent lights and electrical transformers, occurs when a material’s shape and magnetic field are linked — that is, a change in shape causes a change in magnetic field. The property could be key to a new generation of computing devices called magnetoelectrics.
Magnetoelectric chips could make everything from massive data centers to cell phones far more energy efficient, slashing the…