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The general understanding of how the outer 5f electrons behave when actinide atoms are brought together to form a compound has been improved by recent advances in the calculation of the ground-state properties. The main theoretical predictions have been verified by measuring the momentum dependence of neutrons scattered by the unpaired electrons. Both theory and experiment have uncovered a new form of band magnetism in which the orbital moments are large. This has interesting consequences, such as the large magnetic anisotropy found in actinide compounds, which may result in practical applications.

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Authors: BROOKS M S S, JRC Karlsruhe (DE);LANDER G H, JRC Karlsruhe (DE);JOHANSSON B, University of Uppsala, Institute of Physics (SE)
Bibliographic Reference: Article: Europhysics News, Vol. 22 (1991) pp. 87-89
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