Director's Colloquium

Analytic theories for magnetic skyrmions

Dr Karen Livesey
Senior Lecturer of Physics, University of Newcastle

Skyrmions are tiny swirls in the local magnetization that can exist in thin films at room temperatures. They were only for the first time in 2009 and are promising candidates for high-density and low-energy data storage. A key to their existence is an asymmetric magnetic exchange interaction known as the “Dzyaloshinskii-Moriya interaction” (DMI). In this talk, I will discuss our analytic models for predicting the size of skyrmions. These analytic tools provide scientists and engineers with an easy way to make predictions about new magnetic materials for data storage applications.

Theoretical physicist Dr Karen Livesey is designing new nano-sized magnets to address technological challenges, such as reducing the energy that computers use, and heating inoperable cancer tumours.

Dr Karen Livesey was the first in her family to finish high school and studied Physics at the University of Western Australia, completing a PhD in 2010. For almost 10 years she worked at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs reaching the rank of Associate Professor. While the covid-19 pandemic was raging, she moved to Newcastle NSW with her family in 2020. She is currently a Senior Lecturer of Physics at the University of Newcastle, and an Associate Investigator at the ARC Centre of Excellence in Future Low Energy Electronic Technologies. Karen has won teaching awards and research grants in the US, Canada, the UK and Australia. In 2023 she is a national Superstar of STEM (Science and Technology Australia) and the AIP Women in Physics lecturer (Australian Institute of Physics).

Date & time

Mon 11 Sep 2023, 11.30am–12.30pm



Physics Auditorium


Staff, students and public welcome