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How a skyrmion can appear both massive and massless

Xiaofan Wu, Oleg Tchernyshyov

SciPost Phys. 12, 159 (2022) · published 12 May 2022


When a magnetic skyrmion is modeled as a point particle, its dynamics depends on the precise definition of the skyrmion center. The guiding-center position, defined as the first moment of the skyrmion density, exhibits Thiele's massless dynamics; position based on the first moment of magnetization component $m_z$ shows Larmor oscillations characteristic of a massive particle. We show that, even with the latter definition, the Larmor oscillations may be absent for certain types of external forces such as adiabatic spin torque. We offer an alternative mechanical model of a skyrmion featuring two coupled massless particles.

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