Physics is indeed the most difficult branch of science to approach. This is mostly due to the never-ending amount of theoretical information which needs to be learned to have a grasp on the basics. Several efforts have been made, and work has been done to form different branches of physics which fit together. These branches, in the end, help us to understand why the development of methods to test the theories is still so important. Physicists at the University of Tokyo-based Institute for Solid State Physics (ISSP) have created the largest magnetic field that ever existed indoors. The magnetic field which was created was of 1200 Teslas.
One T represents 100 microseconds, which is a huge leap from the nanosecond lengths which are generally created. It would have been remarkable to surpass 1000 T by any number, so the team is more than happy with the results of their experiment. Physicist Professor Shojiro Takeyama, from the University of Tokyo, led a team which was unrestrained in discussing the impact of the work. He said, “Decades of work, dozens of iterations and a long line of researchers who came before me all contributed towards our achievement. I felt humbled when I was personally congratulated by directors of magnetic field research institutions around the world.”
The team used a technique called electromagnetic flux-compression to pull off this experiment. A special device that uses compression to generate electromagnetic pulses was used. The whole process is controlled inside a powerful megagauss generator. Shojiro Takeyama said, “With magnetic fields above 1000 T, you open up some interesting possibilities. You can observe the motion of electrons outside the material environments they are normally within, so we can study them in a whole new light. This research could also be useful to those working on fusion power generation by confining the plasma in a large ring called a tokamak to extract energy from it. This requires a strong magnetic field in the order of thousands of Tesla for a duration of several microseconds. This is tantalizingly similar to what our device can produce.”
This indicates that the team’s work has opened up the possibilities for physicists to achieve direct observation of a whole range of processes. There are also some energy implications which must be considered. Takeyama further explained about the experiment saying, “One way to produce fusion power is to confine plasma – a sea of charged particles – in a large ring called a tokamak to extract energy from it. This requires a strong magnetic field in the order of thousands of teslas for a duration of several microseconds. This is tantalizingly similar to what our device can produce.” The details about the study are published in a paper titled Record indoor magnetic field of 1200 T generated by electromagnetic flux-compression.