For the last 70 years, scientists have been searching for magnetic monopoles. Their quest hinged on the work of various scientists, in particular British physicist Paul Dirac who postulated in 1931 that magnetic monopoles could exist at the end of tube-like Dirac strings. Now, four research papers, published almost simultaneously provide evidence for such entities. These monopoles, however, can only exist in a so-called "spin ice" formed from crystals of dysprosium titanate. Nevertheless, the discovery paves the way for improving our understanding of magnetism and may ultimately have applications in the development of novel analytical instrumentation.
You're a cold as spin ice