Imperial College London

Matthew Foulkes

Faculty of Natural SciencesDepartment of Physics

Professor of Physics



+44 (0)20 7594 7607wmc.foulkes Website




Mrs Carolyn Dale +44 (0)20 7594 7579




810Blackett LaboratorySouth Kensington Campus






BibTex format

author = {Wells, T and Horsfield, A and Foulkes, WMC and Dudarev, S},
doi = {10.1063/1.5092223},
journal = {Journal of Chemical Physics},
title = {The microscopic Einstein-de Haas effect},
url = {},
volume = {150},
year = {2019}

RIS format (EndNote, RefMan)

AB - The Einstein-de Haas (EdH) effect, where the spin angular momentum of electrons is transferred to the mechanical angular momentum of atoms, was established experimentally in 1915. While a semiclassical explanation of the effect exists, modern electronic structure methods have not yet been applied to model the phenomenon. In this paper, we investigate its microscopic origins by means of a noncollinear tight-binding model of an O2 dimer, which includes the effects of spin-orbit coupling, coupling to an external magnetic field, and vector Stoner exchange. By varying an external magnetic field in the presence of spin-orbit coupling, a torque can be generated on the dimer, validating the presence of the EdH effect. The avoided energy level crossings and the rate of change of magnetic field determine the evolution of the spin. We also find that the torque exerted on the nuclei by the electrons in a time-varying B field is not only due to the EdH effect. The other contributions arise from field-induced changes in the electronic orbital angular momentum and from the direct action of the Faraday electric field associated with the time-varying magnetic field.
AU - Wells,T
AU - Horsfield,A
AU - Foulkes,WMC
AU - Dudarev,S
DO - 10.1063/1.5092223
PY - 2019///
SN - 0021-9606
TI - The microscopic Einstein-de Haas effect
T2 - Journal of Chemical Physics
UR -
UR -
UR -
VL - 150
ER -