Name: Briana R.
Our physics class is researching GMRs and magnetic fields
and we were wondering if you could tell us how to make one. How do they
work? Anything information you could give us would me amazing.
The GMR effect depends on sandwiching a thin non-ferromagnetic layer between
two magnetic materials. Because your class has been researching them, you
have discovered that "thin" means only a few atoms thick. It is not easy to
make a thin layer a few atoms thick because it requires laboratory vacuum
There is one company that makes GMR chips that sense magnetic fields
(http://www.nve.com/) , but just having a manufactured chip would not be
interesting because the company has done all the engineering for you.
The problem is that much of the "easy to make" physics was done fifty or 100
years ago, and some more recent discoveries, like GMR, transistors, hall
effect, and nanotubes, require fancy lab equipment to make or examine.
However, it is possible to still investigate physics phenomena using
household items like laser pointers, meters, diffraction gratings, lenses,
and so on.
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Update: June 2012