New research increases understanding of Earth's magnetic field

Mar 09, 2007

Research recently conducted at Delft University of Technology, Netherlands, marks an important step forward in understanding the origins of the Earth's magnetic field. The research findings are published this week in the scientific journal Physical Review Letters.

Science attributes the creation of the Earth's magnetic field to the movement of electricity conducting liquids in the molten core of the Earth. Researchers have recently conducted experiments to replicate and study this mechanism.

Experiments conducted in Riga (1999) revealed for the first time that a cylindrical-shaped fluid flow of metal moving in a spiralling motion can generate a slowly growing magnetic field. This was followed by the EU research project MAGDYN (2001-2005), which aimed to show how the generated magnetic field itself is capable of persisting.

The design of these experiments and the theoretical interpretation of the data relied heavily on the statistical simulation models developed by Dr. Sasa Kenjeres and Prof. Kemal Hanjalic of Delft University of Technology's Multi Scale Physics department. Moreover, their theoretical and statistical model was the first to explain and predict the observable effects in Riga.

Based on the findings of Kenjeres and Hanjalic, a new generation of experimental facilities have now been developed in the US (Los Alamos and Maryland, among other places), Grenoble and Russia (Perm). These facilities will allow the Earth's magnetic core to be replicated more realistically than ever before. The new experiments are expected to provide valuable new insights into the Earth's magnetic field.

Source: Delft University of Technology

Explore further: Mist-collecting plants may bioinspire technology to help alleviate global water shortages

Related Stories

Dazzled by the bright Southern Lights

Mar 20, 2015

The past week saw a fantastic treat for aurora watchers. Generally it is the southern part of the country, Tasmania in particular, that sees the most impressive displays. But this aurora has been so intense ...

How particle accelerator maths helped me fix my Wi-Fi

Mar 25, 2015

Electromagnetic radiation – it might sound like something that you'd be better off avoiding, but electromagnetic waves of various kinds underpin our senses and how we interact with the world – from the ...

A new spin on Saturn's peculiar rotation

23 hours ago

Tracking the rotation speed of solid planets, like the Earth and Mars, is a relatively simple task: Just measure the time it takes for a surface feature to roll into view again. But giant gas planets Jupiter ...

Protecting Earth from space weather

Mar 20, 2015

This week's spectacular glowing auroras in the night sky further south than usual highlighted the effect that 'space weather' can have on Earth.

Recommended for you

Soft, energy-efficient robotic wings

11 hours ago

Dielectric elastomers are novel materials for making actuators or motors with soft and lightweight properties that can undergo large active deformations with high-energy conversion efficiencies. This has ...

Super sensitive measurement of magnetic fields

Mar 30, 2015

There are electrical signals in the nervous system, the brain and throughout the human body and there are tiny magnetic fields associated with these signals that could be important for medical science. Researchers ...

New idea for Dyson sphere proposed

Mar 30, 2015

(Phys.org)—A pair of Turkish space scientists with Bogazici University has proposed that researchers looking for the existence of Dyson spheres might be looking at the wrong objects. İbrahim Semiz and ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.