The National High Magnetic Field Laboratory (National MagLab) is known for breaking world records. They enjoyed the title of having the world’s strongest resistive magnet up till 2014. They lost the title but the team reclaimed it once again earlier this year in August with their project 11-magnet. The magnet reached 41.4 teslas.
The lab came back once again earlier this month to set another world record as they created the world’s most powerful superconducting magnet. The superconducting magnet was created in the MagLab Tallahassee facility with a magnetic field of 32 teslas, giving rise to the nickname 32T. This magnet is 33 percent stronger than the magnet that held the record before this. To give you a better idea, this magnet is 3000 times stronger than the magnets we put on refrigerators and marks one of the biggest improvements of the last 40 years.
“This is a transformational step in magnet technology, a true revolution in the making,” said Greg Boebinger, MagLab Director, in a press release. “Not only will this state-of-the-art magnet design allow us to offer new experimental techniques here at the lab, but it will also boost the power of other scientific tools such as X-rays and neutron scattering around the world.”
Superconductors are their applications in all industries including MRI machines, high-speed transportation systems, nuclear fusion reactors, and enormous particle colliders. The new superconducting magnet will advance the research in many fields like physics, chemistry, biology, and quantum matter, as scientists will be able to perform experiments that they could not before.
“We’ve opened up an enormous new realm,” said MagLab engineer Huub Weijers in the press release. “I don’t know what that limit is, but it’s beyond 100 teslas. The required materials exist. It’s just technology and dollars that are between us and 100 teslas.”
The team does not intend to stop with the record and are working to make the superconducting magnet as powerful as the resistive magnet but are hopeful to go even beyond that. If they are successful in their endeavors, we will be seeing a lot of new discoveries in the near future.
You can see what the engineer has to say about it in the video below: