what are Magnet bubbles?

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Offline ScientificSorcerer

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what are Magnet bubbles?
« on: 29/07/2014 13:13:03 »
                              What are magnetic bubbles?

I haven't the slightest Idea what these "Magnetic Bubbles" actually are.  These things exist on the outer edges of the solar system in an area called the"solar sheath" just outside the heliosphere. Each "bubble" is huge, some are over 100 million miles across!

This short video will give a simplistic introduction into the subject in layman's terms: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yUt6mRDV5hY

At about 1:15 in the video they start talking about the sun's magnetic field and how it twists and "Bunches up" near the end of the heliosphere.
This "bunching up" action causes magnetic bubbles.

None of this stuff makes any sense to me at all.  I understand magnetism from the half shells to the domains (even cosmic magnets like the sun and earth) yet I have never heard of something like this and it intrigues me greatly.  I don't get it, but then again I haven't seen much work on the subject.

I want to know if these "magnet bubbles" can be made on a small scale in a laboratory. How would that be done? what would be the properties of these so called "magnet bubbles" and what are it's possible uses?

They seem to be in a quite exotic magnetic state.  they are so strange to me.


Offline evan_au

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Re: what are Magnet bubbles?
« Reply #1 on: 30/07/2014 11:31:49 »
Magnetic bubbles are regions which have a different magnetic field orientation to the surrounding area.

The solar wind running into the interstellar gas causes unstable and turbulent mixing of gas and the magnetic field. This region is quite chaotic and dynamic, and is really a pretty good vacuum by most standards.

In the 1980s, magnetic bubbles were used for computer memory. Ferromagnetic materials break up into magnetic domains, pointing in opposite directions. If you apply an external magnetic field, some domains expand, while others shrink - eventually forming small islands. With the right material, you can produce stable and uniform magnetic bubbles, which can be manipulated in an orderly fashion  by localised magnetic fields to store and retrieve information.

For a given magnetic material, there is a smallest stable size for the magnetic bubble, which limits how much you can shrink this technology. Magnetic bubble memory has now been superseded by USB sticks and portable hard drives, which have continued expanding in capacity at an exponential rate.