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July 15th, 2004

Device senses spin of single electron

A 12-year research effort has delivered the ultimate in sensitivity: an instrument that can feel the force of a single electron's spin. The device measures the miniscule magnetic force between an electron and the tip of a tiny cantilever, a lever whose base is anchored to a fixed point. "This force is familiar to anyone who has played with magnets," says Dan Rugar, head of nanoscale studies at IBM's Almaden Research Center in San Jose, California, and leader of the research team. (more on earlier article)


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