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Love in the lab: Close collaborators

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Romance often sparks between colleagues, and scientists are no different. Nature profiles four super-couples who have combined love and the lab.

When physicists Claudia Felser and Stuart Parkin were introduced at a conference on applied magnetics, they felt an immediate attraction. But then, standing outside the Amsterdam conference centre, they started talking shop. It did not go well.

Parkin was interested in finding materials he could use to make miniature data-storage devices. Felser espoused the benefits of her pet topic: Heusler compounds, alloys with modifiable magnetic properties. “But he was not interested!” she laughs. Parkin thought that the compounds sounded as though they would be too difficult to interface with other materials. “So this was not a successful introduction,” Felser says.

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