Observation of the Magnon Hall Effect

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Science  16 Jul 2010:
Vol. 329, Issue 5989, pp. 297-299
DOI: 10.1126/science.1188260

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The Hall effect usually occurs in conductors when the Lorentz force acts on a charge current in the presence of a perpendicular magnetic field. Neutral quasi-particles such as phonons and spins can, however, carry heat current and potentially exhibit the thermal Hall effect without resorting to the Lorentz force. We report experimental evidence for the anomalous thermal Hall effect caused by spin excitations (magnons) in an insulating ferromagnet with a pyrochlore lattice structure. Our theoretical analysis indicates that the propagation of the spin waves is influenced by the Dzyaloshinskii-Moriya spin-orbit interaction, which plays the role of the vector potential, much as in the intrinsic anomalous Hall effect in metallic ferromagnets.

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