antiferromagnetism

antiferromagnetic

[an-tee-fer-oh-mag-net-ik, an-tahy-]
adjective Physics.
noting or pertaining to a substance in which, at sufficiently low temperatures, the magnetic moments of adjacent atoms point in opposite directions.


Origin:
1935–40; anti- + ferromagnetic

antiferromagnetism [an-tee-fer-oh-mag-ni-tiz-uhm, an-tahy-] , noun
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antiferromagnetism (ˌæntɪˌfɛrəʊˈmæɡnɪˌtɪzəm)
 
n
physics See also ferrimagnetism the phenomenon exhibited by substances that resemble paramagnetic substances in the value of their relative permeability but that behave like ferromagnetic substances when their temperature is varied

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antiferromagnetism

type of magnetism in solids such as manganese oxide (MnO) in which adjacent ions that behave as tiny magnets (in this case manganese ions, Mn2+) spontaneously align themselves at relatively low temperatures into opposite, or antiparallel, arrangements throughout the material so that it exhibits almost no gross external magnetism. In antiferromagnetic materials, which include certain metals and alloys in addition to some ionic solids, the magnetism from magnetic atoms or ions oriented in one direction is canceled out by the set of magnetic atoms or ions that are aligned in the reverse direction.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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