Date of this Version
Information loss due to thermal activation is a major concern in ultrahigh-density magnetic recording media. The usually considered mechanism is thermally activated magnetization reversal over micromagnetic energy barriers. However, micromagnetic approaches ignore local anisotropy fluctuations, which translate into a time-dependent reduction of the remanent magnetization. The effect is negligibly small in macroscopic magnets but becomes important on a scale of a few nanometers.