We have studied the development of metastable properties associated with a nearly spin-degenerate two-dimensional electron system. Application of large hydrostatic pressure significantly reduces the g-factor experienced by electrons in GaAs/AlGaAs heterostructure, and various fractional quantum Hall effect (FQHE) states are found to undergo transition to a spin-unpolarized ground state. In case of even numerator FQHE states, the spin transitions are accompanied by hysteresis and nonlinearity in the magnetotransport. These results strongly support a recent theory of quantum Hall magnetism in which competition between spin-polarized and spin-unpolarized ground states leads to an ordered phase that exhibits ferromagnetic correlation.
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