Ultrafast magnetic field pulses as short as 2 picoseconds are able to reverse the magnetization in thin, in-plane, magnetized cobalt films. The field pulses are applied in the plane of the film, and their direction encompasses all angles with the magnetization. At a right angle to the magnetization, maximum torque is exerted on the spins. In this geometry, a precessional magnetization reversal can be triggered by fields as small as 184 kiloamperes per meter. Applications in future ultrafast magnetic recording schemes can be foreseen.
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