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Whirls in magnets: from skyrmions to magnetic monopoles

Rosch Magnetic skyrmions are tiny, topologically quantized magnetic whirls stabilized by spin-orbit interactions. They couple extremely efficiently to charge-, spin- and heat currents and can be manipulated by ultra small forces. They are therefore promising candidates for, e.g., future magnetic memories. The coupling of skyrmions to electrons arises from Berry phases, which can efficiently be described by an artifical electromagnetic field. We investigate how the topology of skyrmion phase can be changed by singular magnetic defects which can be identified as emergent magnetic monopoles.