Frustrated magnets describes what scientists believe are objects or materials that should be magnetic at low temperatures – but for some reason, are not at all. The questions largely stem around the notion that if you have a material that is typically magnetic, or has qualities that should create a magnetic charge is somewhat unclear. Since scientists have largely been unable to explain this phenomenon, which creates a scenario where materials are left without the stringent rules that typically exist within metallic materials.

Much of this comes back to the Hall Effect, which has been linked to these frustrated magnets by researchers at Princeton University. The logic behind the Hall Effect suggests that charged particles are ultimately deflected to one side of the magnetic object, rendering it no longer magnetic. While it’s a complex theory, it’s one that is relatively explainable in terms of the frustrated magnets. The notion is that something inside of these frustrated magnets – the materials that is – creates a situation where they cannot function like normal magnets.

This though does a lot to debunk previous thoughts and notions that something else might have been at play here. While the Hall Effect wasn’t something that many scientists thought would be an option – Princeton has proven that it is an option, and that it goes far beyond that. This will spur further research and extra development in this area of study, and could actually lead to better answers on why these frustrated magnets act like they do.

N. Phuan Ong of Princeton University, who worked on the study pointed out that, “To talk about the Hall Effect for neutral particles is an oxymoron, a crazy idea.” That’s why the researchers were so quick to determine under what circumstances that the Hall Effect could actually take place, and in doing so, have really furthered two key areas. First, the region that impacts the frustrated magnets – but also the region that wonders more specifically about the Hall Effect, which is still relatively unknown.