China launched the world’s most powerful magnet on Friday at a facility in Hefei, Anhui province’s southeastern city, South China Morning Post reported.
The largest stable magnetic field ever produced on Earth measured 45.22 Tesla (T), over a million times stronger than the planet’s own.
The record was accomplished at Hefei’s Steady High Magnetic Field Facility (SHMFF), utilizing a hybrid magnet operating since 2016. A resistive magnet sits in a 33-mm gap in the centre of a superconducting magnet, allowing the two to combine forces to produce a powerful magnetic field.
With a power input of 26.9 MW, the magnet produced a record-breaking steady-state magnetic field of 45.22 T on August 12. The resistive magnet contributed 34.22 T, with the remaining 11 T coming from the superconducting ring. This smashes the previous world record of 45 T set by MagLab in the United States in 1999.
“To achieve higher magnetic fields, we innovated the structure of the magnet and developed new materials,” said Professor Kuang Guangli, academic director of the High Magnetic Field Laboratory at SHMFF.
“The manufacturing process for the Bitter discs [the magnets in the centre] was also optimized.”
This new record is for a constant magnetic field, while other types have achieved more incredible strengths. A similar hybrid configuration peaked at 45.5 T in 2019, but only briefly. In 2018, a Japanese team created a magnetic field of 1,200 T for roughly 40 microseconds before part of the experiment exploded. Needless to say, that one isn’t quite ready for the big leagues.
However, the new stable magnetic field facility is far more workable, according to scientists. It is ready for use in various scientific activities, offering worldwide access to institutes and universities.
Source: South China Morning Post