Speaker: Myriam Sarachik (City University of New York)
Molecular magnets, or "single molecule magnets", are organic crystals that contain a very large (Avogadro's) number of nominally identical magnetic molecules of large total spin. Straddling the quantum and classical regimes, they exhibit interesting effects such as "macroscopic" quantum tunneling of the magnetization and quantum interference between tunneling paths. Interest in these materials has grown dramatically in the last several years, owing to their potential usefulness as qubits for quantum computation. Typical behavior of the class will be examined by considering Mn12-acetate, a particularly simple prototype. The talk will end with a brief description of our recent discovery of magnetic deflagration, a phenomenon closely analogous to the propagation of a flame front through a flammable chemical substance (combustion).