Magnetism has always challenged accepted scientific understanding, demonstrating new physical properties and couplings. Our research explores different aspects of magnetism within the chemical context.
Current projects include using representational analysis to characterize the complete set of symmetries of magnetic structures and displacive structural transitions in crystalline solids; developing analysis tools and protocols for the study of magnetic neutron diffraction data; developing neutron scattering techniques to determine structures in powders and nano-particles; the synthesis and study of new and known frustrated magnets using laboratory and neutron scattering techniques.
Our aims follow John Punch (1603–1661) who gave us a formulation commonly attributed to Ockham, in the shape of the Latin phrase:
Non sunt multiplicanda entia sine necessitate
Sometimes symmetry is a great tool to frame understanding and simplify refinements by providing sensible restrictions for degrees-of-freedom, thereby reducing plurality. Other times, we use plurality, in the form of degeneracy, as a tool to create new types of magnetic properties.