|| Checking for direct PDF access through Ovid
Spintronics emerged very recently as a quickly developing interdisciplinary field in the framework of solid-state physics with tempting technological perspectives. This promise is based on the active involvement of the electron spin, side by side with its charge, in the operation of nanometer scale electronic devices. It is a remarkable feature of spintronics that it is growing coherently from several different fields of solid-state physics (semiconductor physics, magnetism, superconductivity, etc.) and involves a multiplicity of rather diversified phenomena. This unique property of spintronics makes it a fascinating field for research and applications but also creates a challenge for researchers. In this short note, I concentrate on the physical background of spintronics and some historical roots of it but avoid making specific prognosis about technological applications.