The list of topics for ESM 2020 is in its final form. A detailed timetable is to be added as well.


Introduction to the School (1h)

  • Opening
  • Motivation for the School: Leon Abelmann, Saarland University ― Chair

I. Basic concepts (4h30)

  • Fields, magnetostatics, units: Stephen Blundell, Oxford
  • Induction, magnetic energy: Johan Paulides, Advanced Electromagnetics
  • Magnetic scalar potential (magnetic charge, demagnetisation, generating fields by permanent magnets): Oksana Chubykalo-Fesenko, Madrid

II. Magnetism of matter (4h30)

  • Origin of magnetism (spin, atoms and ions, diamagnetism, superconductors, generation of high fields): Stephen Blundell, Oxford
  • Exchange interactions (interactions, ordering, mean-field theory, paramagnetism, magnetisation, experimental techniques): Julie Staunton, Warwick
  • Anisotropy (theory, magnetometry and torque magnetometry): Julie Staunton, Warwick

III. Magnetization processes (6h)

  • Magnetic Domains (Domain theory, Modelling, observation techniques): Jeffrey McCord, Kiel
  • Magnetic Circuits (Yokes, vector scalar potential, modelling): Johan Paulides, Advanced Electromagnetics
  • Magnetic reversal processes (reversible, irreversible, Barkhausen noise): Oksana Chubykalo-Fesenko, Madrid
  • Magnetization dynamics (including experimental techniques): Jeffrey McCord, Kiel

IV. Specialized topics and industrial perspectives (10h30)

A series of focused lectures is scheduled, in addition to the general topics mentioned above. The exact list of topics will be decided in relation with the societal challenges chosen by the final participants, as disclosed on May 15th. A tentative list is provided below. Some contributions will be given be members of the industry. These also allow to promote thinking about economical, ethical or societal issues, and provide an opportunity to discuss and debate about career opportunities for PhD scientists beyond their defense.

  • Permanent magnets (including magnetic recording media)
  • Superconductivity, motors, levitation
  • Spintronics and magnetic sensors (including hard disk heads)
  • Micromagnetic modelling (FEM, Solvers, Dynamics)
  • Biomagnetism, medical imaging
  • Neural networks
  • Magnetocalorics
  • Magnetic MEMS

Other activities

Student projects

Students work in teams of 8, with teams formed by self organisation during a match-making event on the first day of the school. Each team is coached by a mentor (an ESM lecturer). Each team will tackle a problem involving a societal challenge, to be solved by Magnetism. We will use the 7-step method to organize the work. The activities employed can range from literature studies to practical implementation. The output can be a presentation, poster, video etc.

The question to the students is how magnetism can be used to solve key societal challenges. A good starting point is the list of societal challenges formulated by the EU:
• Health, demographic change and wellbeing;
• Food security, sustainable agriculture and forestry, marine and maritime and inland water research, and the Bioeconomy;
• Secure, clean and efficient energy;
• Smart, green and integrated transport;
• Climate action, environment, resource efficiency and raw materials;
• Europe in a changing world - inclusive, innovative and reflective societies;
• Secure societies - protecting freedom and security of Europe and its citizens.

More details on the projects, including the list of topics proposed.

Practicals (4-6h)

Practical are organized to practice the use of numerical, analytical or experimental techniques, related to topics covered by the lectures. Computers will be provided on-site and readily setup for the practicals.
Each practical is typically 2h. Attendees will be asked on-site for their wishes to attend such or such practicals, however it is not possible to attend all of them. On the average, three to four practicals may be attended by each participant. The list of practicals will be updated on a regular basis.


A library consisting of a large set of books dedicated to various aspects of Magnetism is on display during the entire School. Its purpose is first to get students aware of the existing books, get acquainted with their use, and also serve as a support for activities during the School. See the list of books on display at ESM2017.

Question-Answer sessions (5-10h)

The purpose of a research School is to provide young scientists with the basics in a working field. With this respect interactivity between students and lecturers should be promoted. Like in the previous editions, a key aspect of this interactivity is the possibility to raise questions at the end as well as during the course of the lectures. Besides, several sessions of questions take place, during which the lecturers or voluntary students present in more detail issues raised by the students during the lectures or anonymously through a question-box. See the list of questions raised in 2018.


We encourage participants to bring posters to present their work. Students are asked to present their poster in a one-slide-two-minutes presentation as an exercice to summarize their work.