Dreams of exploiting the spin of the electron in solid‐state devices underlie the nascent field of “spintronics.” Aspirations for semiconductors have been spurred by the development, in metals, of giant magneto‐resistance devices—as found in the read heads of current high‐density computer hard drives—and nonvolatile magnetic memory (see the PHYSICS TODAY special issue on magnetoelectronics, April 1995).

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