Albert Fert, Nobel Prize in Physics 2007, invited to the convention of the American Physical Society in Los Angeles

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The annual meeting of the American Physical Society took place from March 5 to 9, 2018 in Los Angeles. This is the major "generalist" conference in physics, it usually gathers about 10,000 participants around sixty parallel sessions.

 
Professor Albert Fert, French Nobel Prize laureate in Physics 2007, was invited to present the work of his team in a session devoted to "Topological materials for conversion between charge and spin currents." Albert Fert was delighted that many works of French teams were cited in this session. Among the many topics discussed during the APS conference, Albert Fert notes the progress in the field of "skyrmions."

As the newspaper Le Monde wrote in 2013, "An unpronounceable name. An impenetrable definition. An elusive representation. But palpable promises.” [1]. Schematically, skyrmions are pseudo-nanoparticles (see figure), which are expected to be very important for storing and processing information in computers. After an initial discovery in Germany, this is a field that has been widely studied in France, including by the Fert team, who recently demonstrated the possibility of occurrence of these skyrmions at room temperature, making even more likely their use in practice [2].

Knots of electron spins in a skyrmion