The proliferation in recent years of the number of techniques for studying surface magnetism is partly attributable to the increasing importance of surface magnetism in the multibillion‐dollar recording industry—in the design of ultrahigh‐density storage devices and possible applications of giant and colossal magneto resistance in metallic thin film multilayers, for example. To many physicists, however, surface magnetism has a more fundamental importance: Bulk magnetism is the quintessential example of long‐range ordering, and crystalline symmetry—on which theories of bulk magnetism depend—is broken at the surface. As such, surface magnetism provides physicists with an opportunity to investigate the mechanisms of magnetic ordering between the well‐understood limits of atomic and bulk‐matter magnetism.

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