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  1. ITV Report

Scientists discover 'ground-breaking' magnetic capabilities of gold

A team of physicists from the University of Bath have magnetised gold in a process that could lead to a new generation of electronics.

The scientists investigated what happens when material that carries electrical current without generating any heat, is sandwiched between a layer of a magnetic material and a layer of gold.

The results found that the charge carried through to the gold, causing it to turn magnetic.

Gold discovered to turn magnetic when layered amongst a magnetic material and a superconductor. Credit: PA

Gold does not hold a magnetic charge in nature and will only pick up a very weak force if put inside a magnetic field.

Researchers believe the findings could be used to make computers faster, smaller and more powerful.The devices to be born out of the new research have been dubbed 'spintronics'.

Professor Bending, Head of the Department of Physics at the University of Bath believes the developments are ground-breaking.

This is the first step to realising superconducting spintronic devices that operate without generating heat and could be the basis for entirely new types of computers that are faster, smaller and more powerful than before."

– Professor Bending, University of Bath