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Physicists Nudge Electrons, Move Toward Crazy-Fast Computers

 Electrons have three basic properties: mass, electric charge and spin. The spin is a form of angular momentum, which relates to how an electron moves around the nucleus of an atom. An electron's spin comes in two flavors: up and down.

Manipulating electrons is important for computing since most data storage these days is magnetic and relies on aligning the spin of electrons in a material. In recent years, a new technology known as spintronics has emerged that aims to control both the spin and the electric charge of electrons to improve how information is stored. The technology relies on the rapid switching of magnetic fields, which can now be done within quadrillionths of a second, a new study shows.

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