How to separately flip the spin and angular momenta of a single atom

In a publication in njp Quantum Materials, Rasa Rejali demonstrates the ability to make independent rotations of the spin and angular momenta of a single iron atom. This was made possible by positioning that atom on a highly symmetric binding site of a copper-nitride surface. In theory, this should make it possible to store two (quantum) bits of information on one atom. But for now we focus on the more fundamental question how a single tunnelling electron can completely invert the orbital angular momentum without violating conservation of angular momentum. This apparent contradiction can be explained in the framework of the Einstein-de Haas effect.

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