Magnetism Group

This is an IOP special interest group, which is a community of IOP members focused on a particular discipline, application or area of interest. Special interest groups allow members to connect and share knowledge and ideas. The IOP funds groups to deliver a range of activities including events, prizes and bursaries. All of our groups are driven by members.

About the group

As a special interest, member-driven group, we promote and support physics research in:

  • magnetism
  • spintronics
  • magnetic materials 

Research in magnetism ranges from theoretical and experimental work in fundamental physics to applications of magnetic materials.

What the group does

We support:

  • early career physicists
  • established researchers in academia
  • industrial enterprises from small start-ups to large multinationals

We represent the magnetism research physics community in the Institute and contribute to raising its profile.

We welcome suggestions for new ways to support physicists working in magnetism. Email with your ideas. 

Would you like to join this group?

Group physics prizes and competitions

Professor Erich Peter Wohlfarth and the Wohlfarth Lecture Series

The Wohlfarth annual lecture at the Magnetism Conference recognises the outstanding contribution made by Professor Peter Wohlfarth to the field of magnetism. It is jointly sponsored by our group and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers  (IEEE) UK and Ireland Magnetics Chapter.

It also promotes Professor Wohlfarth’s areas of technical interest and his commitment to international collaboration in scientific research.

It is chosen in alternate years by the Magnetism Group and the UK and Ireland Magnetics Chapter.

The organisation of the lecture reflects the interests of Professor Wohlfarth in theoretical and experimental research, and his personal commitment to:

  • other learned bodies
  • the Institute of Physics
  • IEEE Magnetics Society


The lecture takes place annually at a national meeting organised by the Institute or at an international conference on magnetism in the UK. It is a plenary lecture.

It is co-organised and co-sponsored by the Institute of Physics Magnetism Group and the Magnetics Society of the UK and Ireland Chapter of the IEEE Magnetics Society.

The lecturer is acknowledged by the award of a certificate.

The lecturer is introduced by the chair of the nominating society or their representative and a vote of thanks is made at the end of the lecture by the chair or their nominee of the non-nominating society.


The lecture is on one of Professor Wohlfarth’s broad areas of interest. These are:

  • ferromagnetism
  • fine particle magnetism
  • magnetic recording technology
  • magnetism of itinerant electrons
  • magnetism of thin films, surfaces and interfaces
  • permanent magnets and soft magnetic materials
  • the magnetic properties of correlated electron systems
  • structure and properties of magnetic materials including transport properties

The lecture can be on theory and experiment associated with these topics.


Members are asked to nominate candidates for the Wohlfarth lecture by email or other method suggested by the committees of both organisations. 

Lecture nomination is decided by discussion between or ballot of committee members and committee chairs.

A nomination in one year can be carried over for consideration in following years, but is not automatic.

Over a four-year period the nominating bodies will try to ensure a balance between theory and experiment.

Over a four-year period nominations will comprise approximately:

  • two UK lecturers
  • two overseas lecturers

The nominated lecturer will usually be mid-career and approaching the peak of their scientific career.

Previous Wohlfarth Lecturers


Julie Grollier

CNRS/Thales, France
For Neuromorphic computing with spintronic nano-oscillators


Gino Hrkac

University of Exeter, UK
For ATOMs - Atomistic to Micromagnetic modelling: from permanent magnets to magnetic hybrid materials.


Andre Thiaville

University of Paris-Sud, France
For New Magnetic Materials Exploiting Chiral Interactions.


Jöerg Wunderlich

Hitachi Cambridge Laboratory and Institute of Physics ASCR
For Antiferromagnetic Spintronics: Large Magnitude Magneto-Resistance Effects and Current Controlled Switching.


Laura Heyderman

ETH Zurich/PSI, Switzerland
For Shedding light on artificial ferroic systems.


Atsufumi Hirohata

For Nano-Spintronic Devices.

About Professor Erich Peter Wohlfarth

Professor Wohlfarth was a rare theoretical physicist with a real interest in materials science and an experimental pragmatism. His work remains important today because of its outstanding quality over a wide spectrum of activities, from the most intricate theoretical physics of ferromagnetism via magnetic hysteresis and anhysteresis, to the materials and engineering problems of magnetic recording, which remains the key technology in data storage.

He was born in Germany in 1924 and emigrated to England with his family in 1933 where he attended Bingley Grammar School in Yorkshire. He gained his BSc in Physics from the University of Leeds in 1946 and his PhD in 1948 under EC Stoner. After his studies, he became a lecturer in the Department of Mathematics at Imperial College where he remained until his death in 1988.

Particle magnetism

He is best known for his theory of fine particle magnetism. This model has formed the basis of many contributions to the understanding magnetisation reversal processes and their application in magnetic recording and permanent magnets. 

Professor Wohlfarth made an important contribution to understanding the origin of ferromagnetism in metals such as iron, and the variation of magnetic properties with temperature. This work, based on the band model of ferromagnetism, is often called the Stoner-Wohlfarth itinerant electron model. It remains the simplest model which explains ferromagnetism in metals.

He was a great researcher and teacher with a brilliant intellect, intuition, and refreshing common sense. His ingenious way of thinking, and untiring devotion to work, left an indelible mark on a generation of scientists and engineers.

Physics resources 

Postgraduate funding for events

We can help fund the cost of postgraduate students presenting research work at international conferences. Learn more about the Research Student Conference Fund.  

Travel Bursary Reports 



Group events 

Find group events on the IOP events site.

Magnetism Group conference

Magnetism is the conference organised by the UK and Republic of Ireland magnetism community. It encourages participation from Europe and further afield, and from industry. It is a highly successful conference held annually since 2014.

Learn more about the Magnetism conference in April 2019.

Interested in hosting Magnetism 2021?

We are inviting expressions of interest to host Magnetism Group conferences. 

We don’t want to restrict the organisation to committee members and welcome expressions of interest from all members of the magnetism community.

Key criteria

  1. An appropriate venue with consideration of cost.
    The venue should have two lecture theatres.
    The minimum capacities are 200 and 100 theatre style. 
    There should be an area for posters, exhibition and catering. It must comfortably accommodate 90 posters, up to 15 exhibitors (table top stands) and catering for 200 attendees.
  2. Travel. This includes time, cost and convenience for attendees.
  3. Availability of suitable accommodation at a reasonable cost.
  4. Local organisation on the ground.

Conference co-chair

Magnetism 2021 is organised by the IOP Magnetism Group. A committee member will be included as conference co-chair to provide support and a link to the committee.


Discuss expression of interests with the committee chair Thomas Moore

Submit proposals to Claire Garland 31 March 2020.


Committee and contacts 

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