New world record magnetic field

September 17, 2018, American Institute of Physics
(a) Schematic view of the EMFC megagauss generator. (b) Cross section of (a). (c) Copper-lined primary coil and a pair of seed field coils. [Reproduced with permission from Nakamura et al., Rev. Sci. Instrum. 84, 044702 (2013). Copyright 2013 AIP Publishing LLC.] In (a), one of the initial seed field coils is presented in the displaced position, for more visible view of the primary coil. The primary coil is covered by an anti-explosive block made of bulk iron-steel, which is omitted in the drawing (a). Credit: American Institute of Physics, Review of Scientific Instruments (2018). DOI: 10.1063/1.5044557

A group of scientists at the University of Tokyo has recorded the largest magnetic field ever generated indoors—a whopping 1,200 tesla, as measured in the standard units of magnetic field strength.

By comparison, this is a field strength about 400 times higher than those generated by the huge, powerful magnets used in modern hospital MRI machines, and it is about 50 million times stronger than the Earth's own magnetic field.

Stronger magnetic fields have previously been achieved in outdoor experiments using chemical explosives, but this is a world record for magnetic fields generated indoors in a controlled manner. That greater control means the discovery could open new frontiers in solid-state physics, perhaps allowing scientists to reach what is known as the "," a condition where all the electrons in a material are confined to the lowest ground state, where exotic quantum phenomena may appear.

The also has implications for nuclear fusion reactors, a tantalizing if unrealized potential future source of abundant clean energy. To reach the quantum limit or sustain nuclear fusion, scientists believe magnetic field strengths of 1,000 tesla or more may be needed.

The experiments that set the new are described in an article appearing this week in the journal Review of Scientific Instruments, from AIP Publishing.

The megagauss generator just before it's switched on. Some parts for the device are exceedingly rare and very few companies around the world are capable of producing them. Credit: Copyright 2018 Shojiro Takeyama

The work opens up a new scientific horizon, said Daisuke Nakamura, first author on the paper, and "has pushed the envelope for ultrahigh magnetic fields."

Earth's own magnetic field is 25 to 65 microteslas. The megagauss generator system creates a field of 1,200 teslas, about 20 million to 50 million times stronger. Credit: Copyright 2018 Shojiro Takeyama

The article "Record indoor of 1200 T generated by electromagnetic flux-compression" by D. Nakamura, A. Ikeda, H. Sawabe, Y.H. Matsuda and S. Takeyama appears in the journal Review of Scientific Instruments (2018).

Explore further: Juno shows Jupiter's magnetic field is very different from Earth's

More information: D. Nakamura et al, Record indoor magnetic field of 1200 T generated by electromagnetic flux-compression, Review of Scientific Instruments (2018). DOI: 10.1063/1.5044557

Related Stories

Scoping magnetic fields out for prevention

July 11, 2018

Concerns about the effects of magnetic fields on human health require careful monitoring of our exposure to them. Mandatory exposure limits have been defined for electric and hybrid vehicle architectures, in domestic and ...

Recommended for you

New insights into magnetic quantum effects in solids

January 23, 2019

Using a new computational method, an international collaboration has succeeded for the first time in systematically investigating magnetic quantum effects in the well-known 3-D pyrochlore Heisenberg model. The surprising ...

Rapid and continuous 3-D printing with light

January 22, 2019

Three-dimensional (3-D) printing, also known as additive manufacturing (AM), can transform a material layer by layer to build an object of interest. 3-D printing is not a new concept, since stereolithography printers have ...

Scientists discover new quantum spin liquid

January 22, 2019

An international research team led by the University of Liverpool and McMaster University has made a significant breakthrough in the search for new states of matter.

Researchers capture an image of negative capacitance in action

January 21, 2019

For the first time ever, an international team of researchers imaged the microscopic state of negative capacitance. This novel result provides researchers with fundamental, atomistic insight into the physics of negative capacitance, ...

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.