All electronic devices and many other things around you have magnets. There are actually some toys made around the principles of magnetism and you may think that they have some pretty strong magnets. But nothing compares to a new magnet developed in at the Florida State University.
Team of engineers and scientists has just completed building world’s strongest resistive magnet, putting out 41.4 teslas. For comparison, Earth’s magnetic field is 0.00005 of a tesla. It beat the previous record from China by about 8 %, which is a considerable leap in magnet technology. Scientists were wishing for a stronger resistive magnet for some time now, because it is needed in a variety of fields, and now engineers at the Florida State University delivered. However, not everyone is happy about the world’s strongest magnet in the neighbourhood.
Some locals were afraid that this device is going to alter weather patterns in the area. This, of course, could not be further from the truth. In fact, scientists say that magnetic field put out by this device is virtually undetectable from outside of the building and is completely safe. On the other hand, they are using non-magnetic tools while working with this magnet.
Now back to the record. There are stronger magnets in the world – pulse magnets can reach higher than 45 teslas. Even a magnet this exact laboratory has a hybrid magnet, which is a combination of a resistive and superconducting magnets, puts out a magnetic field worth 45 teslas. However, a purely resistive magnet is easier to use, although typically a little bit weaker. It is expected that scientists are going to come from all over the world to use this new machine, which will be useful in such fields and Alzheimer’s drug development, oil molecule structure analysis, checking materials for quantum computers and much more.
Popularmechanics.com says that the new magnet cost 3.5 million USD to build, but this price could actually be much higher. Engineers managed to keep the cost low by reusing some parts from retiring magnets, but the work still took two and a half years until scientists managed to reach the desired electrical current density. Jack Toth, who oversaw the team, said: “This larger magnet allows us to use 50 percent more coils. That enabled power to be distributed more efficiently within the magnet and reach a new record with the same materials”.
Strong magnets are essential devices for science. They help research move forward quite a bit faster in many different fields. This magnet being completely new has a lot to accomplish and we hope to hear about it in the future.
Source: Florida State University