Researchers at the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory's Pulsed Field Facility at Los Alamos National Laboratory have set a new world record for the strongest magnetic field produced by a nondestructive magnet.
The scientists achieved a field of 92.5 tesla on Thursday, August 18, taking back a record that had been held by a team of German scientists and then, the following day, surpassed their achievement with a whopping 97.4-tesla field. For perspective, Earth's magnetic field is 0.0004 tesla, while a junk-yard magnet is 1 tesla and a medical MRI scan has a magnetic field of 3 tesla.
The ability to create pulses of extremely high magnetic fields nondestructively (high-power magnets routinely rip themselves to pieces due to the large forces involved) provides researchers with an unprecedented tool for studying fundamental properties of materials, from metals and superconductors to semiconductors and insulators. The interaction of high magnetic fields with electrons within these materials provides valuable clues for scientists about the properties of materials. With the recent record-breaking achievement, the Pulsed Field Facility at LANL, a national user facility, will routinely provide scientists with magnetic pulses of 95 tesla, enticing the worldwide user community to Los Alamos for a chance to use this one-of-a-kind capability.
The record puts the Los Alamos team within reach of delivering a magnet capable of achieving 100 tesla, a goal long sought by researchers from around the world, including scientists working at competing magnet labs in Germany, China, France, and Japan.
Such a powerful nondestructive magnet could have a profound impact on a wide range of scientific investigations, from how to design and control material functionality to research into the microscopic behavior of phase transitions. This type of magnet allows researchers to carefully tune material parameters while perfectly reproducing the non-invasive magnetic field. Such high magnetic fields confine electrons to nanometer scale orbits, thereby helping to reveal the fundamental quantum nature of a material.
Thursday's experiment was met with as much excitement as trepidation by the group of condensed matter scientists, high-field magnet technicians, technologists, and pulsed-magnet engineers who gathered to witness the NHMFL-PFF retake the world record. Crammed into the tight confines of the Magnet Lab's control room, they gathered, lab notebooks or caffeine of choice in hand. Their conversation reflected a giddy sense of anticipation tempered with nervousness.
With Mike Gordon commanding the controls that draw power off of a massive 1.4-gigawatt generator system and directs it to the magnet, all eyes and ears were keyed to video monitors showing the massive 100 tesla Multishot Magnet and the capacitor bank located in the now eerily empty Large Magnet Hall next door. The building had been emptied as a standard safety protocol.
Scientists heard a low warping hum, followed by a spine-tingling metallic screech signaling that the magnet was spiking with a precisely distributed electric current of more than 100 megajoules of energy. As the sound dissipated and the monitors confirmed that the magnet performed perfectly, attention turned to data acquired during the shot through two in-situ measurements—proof positive that the magnet had achieved 92.5 tesla, thus yanking back from a team of German scientists a record that Los Alamos had previously held for five years.
The next day's even higher 97.4-tesla achievement was met with high-fives and congratulatory pats on the back. Later, researchers Charles Mielke, Neil Harrison, Susan Seestrom, and Albert Migliori certified with their signatures the data that would be sent to the Guiness Book of World Records.
The NHMFL is sponsored primarily by the National Science Foundation, Division of Materials Research, with additional support from the State of Florida and the DOE. These recent successes were enabled by long-term support from the U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Basic Energy Sciences, and the National Science Foundation's 100 Tesla Multi-Shot magnet program.
About Los Alamos National Laboratory (www.lanl.gov)
Los Alamos National Laboratory, a multidisciplinary research institution engaged in strategic science on behalf of national security, is operated by Los Alamos National Security, LLC, a team composed of Bechtel National, the University of California, The Babcock & Wilcox Company, and URS for the Department of Energy's National Nuclear Security Administration.
Los Alamos enhances national security by ensuring the safety and reliability of the U.S. nuclear stockpile, developing technologies to reduce threats from weapons of mass destruction, and solving problems related to energy, environment, infrastructure, health, and global security concerns.
James E. Rickman | EurekAlert!
SF State astronomer searches for signs of life on Wolf 1061 exoplanet
20.01.2017 | San Francisco State University
Molecule flash mob
19.01.2017 | Technische Universität Wien
An important step towards a completely new experimental access to quantum physics has been made at University of Konstanz. The team of scientists headed by...
Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...
Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.
While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...
Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales
Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...
Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.
As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...
19.01.2017 | Event News
10.01.2017 | Event News
09.01.2017 | Event News
20.01.2017 | Awards Funding
20.01.2017 | Materials Sciences
20.01.2017 | Life Sciences