New research increases understanding of Earth's magnetic field

March 9, 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: Using electricity to switch magnetism

Related Stories

Using electricity to switch magnetism

January 17, 2018

At TU Wien, researchers have taken a major step toward linking electrical and magnetic material properties, which is crucial for possible applications in electronics.

Nanoparticle gel controls twisted light with magnetism

January 22, 2018

"Help me, Obi Wan Kenobi. You're my only hope." For many of those around at the release of Star Wars in 1977, that scene was a first introduction to holograms—a real technology that had been around for roughly 15 years.

E-skin for manipulating virtual objects without touching them

January 22, 2018

A team of researchers from Germany and Austria has developed a type of e-skin that allows a wearer to control virtual objects without touching them. In their paper published on the open access site Science Advances, the group ...

Looking at the universe through very different 'eyes'

January 22, 2018

We are bathed in starlight. During the day we see the Sun, light reflected off the surface of the Earth and blue sunlight scattered by the air. At night we see the stars, as well as sunlight reflected off the Moon and the ...

New research challenges existing models of black holes

January 19, 2018

Chris Packham, associate professor of physics and astronomy at The University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA), has collaborated on a new study that expands the scientific community's understanding of black holes in our galaxy ...

Recommended for you

On the rebound

January 22, 2018

Our bodies have a remarkable ability to heal from broken ankles or dislocated wrists. Now, a new study has shown that some nanoparticles can also "self-heal" after experiencing intense strain, once that strain is removed.

Information engine operates with nearly perfect efficiency

January 19, 2018

Physicists have experimentally demonstrated an information engine—a device that converts information into work—with an efficiency that exceeds the conventional second law of thermodynamics. Instead, the engine's efficiency ...

Team takes a deep look at memristors

January 19, 2018

In the race to build a computer that mimics the massive computational power of the human brain, researchers are increasingly turning to memristors, which can vary their electrical resistance based on the memory of past activity. ...

0 comments

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.