Skip to main content

Thank you for visiting You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript.

Magnetic monopoles

Magnetricity near the speed of light

Faraday and Dirac constructed magnetic monopoles using the practical and mathematical tools available to them. Now physicists have engineered effective monopoles by combining modern optics with nanotechnology. Part matter and part light, these magnetic monopoles travel at unprecedented speeds.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution

Access options

Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.


All prices are NET prices.

Figure 1: Magnetic monopoles.


  1. Dirac, P. A. M. Proc. R. Soc. Lond. A 133, 60–72 (1931).

    ADS  Article  Google Scholar 

  2. Rajantie, A. Preprint at (2012).

  3. Castelnovo, C., Moessner, R. & Sondhi, S. L. Nature 451, 42–45 (2008).

    ADS  Article  Google Scholar 

  4. Ryzhkin, I. A. JETP 101, 481–486 (2005).

    ADS  Article  Google Scholar 

  5. Hivet, R. et al. Nature Phys. 8, 724–728 (2012).

    ADS  Article  Google Scholar 

  6. Blaha, S. Phys. Rev. Lett. 36, 874–876 (1976).

    ADS  Article  Google Scholar 

  7. Deng, H., Haug, H. & Yamamoto, Y. Rev. Mod. Phys. 82, 1489–1537 (2010).

    ADS  Article  Google Scholar 

  8. Allwood, D. A. et al. Science 296, 2003–2006 (2002).

    ADS  Article  Google Scholar 

  9. Beach, G. S. D., Nistor, C., Knutson, C., Tsoi, M. & Erskine, J. L. Nature Mater. 4, 741–744 (2005).

    ADS  Article  Google Scholar 

  10. Giblin, S. R., Bramwell, S. T., Holdsworth, P. C. W., Prabhakaran, D. & Terry, I. Nature Phys. 7, 252–258 (2011).

    ADS  Article  Google Scholar 

  11. Ladak, S., Read, D. E., Perkins, G. K., Cohen, L. F. & Branford, W. R. Nature Phys. 6, 359–363 (2010).

    ADS  Article  Google Scholar 

  12. Braun, H. B. Adv. Phys. 61, 1–116 (2012).

    ADS  Article  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Corresponding author

Correspondence to Steven T. Bramwell.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Bramwell, S. Magnetricity near the speed of light. Nature Phys 8, 703–704 (2012).

Download citation

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI:


Quick links

Nature Briefing

Sign up for the Nature Briefing newsletter — what matters in science, free to your inbox daily.

Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing