Normal metals have an equal number of electrons with spin "up" and spin "down". However, when there are more spins pointing up than down, or vice versa, the metal becomes a ferromagnet. Furthermore, the unpaired electrons responsible for the magnetism are pinned by the metal lattice and cannot move. This is what happens in iron. In lanthanum-doped calcium hexaboride, however, the unpaired electrons responsible for the magnetism are free to move. "We don't know what the practical implications of this are yet, " said team member Roy Goodrich of Louisiana State University, "but a lot of people will be looking at this."