The Earth’s magnetic field is strong enough for some kinds of analyses – this opens up new opportunities for carrying out examinations under difficult conditions
Where x-rays no longer manage to see, magnets allow us to look inside. Patients know what that means: they lay down in the "tube" surrounded by an enormous electromagnet, the so-called MRI scanner. Such large pieces of equipment artificially create strong magnetic fields which enable doctors to take the pictures inside the patient’s body which they need for their diagnosis. Now scientists from the Research Centre Jülich, a Helmholtz Association institution, and the RWTH Aachen University of Technology have extended the spectrum of magnetic field scanning. Because they have discovered that the Earth’s natural magnetic field is strong enough for some examinations. And this closes a gap. Because it makes measurement with magnetic fields outdoors and under difficult conditions possible for the very first time. Although the applications will not initially be used in the field of medicine, they will make chemical analyses possible, such as when examining oil directly at source.
20,000 times weaker
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