Science

1,400,000 Times Stronger Than Earth’s: New Record for Strongest Steady Magnetic Field

Earth's Magnetic Field Illustration

Earth’s magnetic field shields our planet from cosmic radiation and charged particles from our Sun.

China has set a new world record for the strongest steady magnetic field.

On August 12, the hybrid magnet of the Steady High Magnetic Field Facility (SHMFF) in Hefei, China, generated the world’s highest steady magnetic field by a working magnet measuring 45.22 teslas (T). In comparison, Earth’s magnetic field at 0° latitude and 0° longitude only has a strength of 0.000032 teslas.

It surpassed the 45-tesla prior world record set by a hybrid magnet in 1999 at the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory of the United States.

The new world record of 45.22-tesla steady-state high magnetic field. Credit: SHMFF team

This 45.22-tesla hybrid magnet consists of a resistive insert nested within a superconducting outsert with a bore of 32mm.

Despite facing many obstacles, the team successfully constructed the hybrid magnet in 2016, which produced a central magnetic field of 40 teslas at the time, making it the second 40-tesla level magnet worldwide.

Evidently, 40 teslas was not the end. The team has since continued its pursuit of stronger magnetic fields.

The team had a group photo to celebrate the new record. Credit: SHMFF team

“To achieve a higher magnetic field, we innovated the structure of the magnet, and developed new materials,” said Professor KUANG Guangli, the academic director of the High Magnetic Field Laboratory of Hefei Institutes of Physical Science, Chinese Academy of Sciences (CHMFL) where SHMFF is based. “The manufacturing process of the bitter discs was also optimized,” added KUANG in a statement made on an on-site verification by seven academicians.

The success of the 45.22-tesla magnet represents an important milestone in the development of magnetic technology in China and the world as well.

This magnet is one of the ten magnets developed and operated by CHMFL.

The hybrid magnet at the Steady High Magnetic Field Facility (SHMFF) in Hefei, China. Credit: SHMFF team

The Hefei lab has already broken three world records with its resistive magnets.

SHMFF, a user facility, which currently provides scientists worldwide with the strongest steady-state magnetic field, has operated for more than 500,000 machine hours since its operation, providing over 170 institutes or universities at home and abroad with experimental conditions for cutting-edge research of multi-disciplines.

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  • I'm going to call bulls*** on this one. China does not have the expertise to pull this off. Even if they stole the plans, its upside down to them.

  • What, if anything, do strong fields like this do to the local geomagnetic field? Is there any risk of disrupting the migration patterns of birds?

  • I've been playing with the idea of space propulsion with magnesium and calculated it to be around 47 tesla. But its just a theory.

  • Question could the testing of this new steady magnetic field system be what cauesing the crazy weather we are seeing this year

  • We are far too ignorant of the consequences of such wizardry to accept the risks which are unknow to us. Could this be turned into a weapon of mass destruction? After all, there are universities in China that teach that particular field of concentration....

  • Wizardry is and will go back thousands of yrs. Not only has it captivated the whole. May as well throw engineering a broomstick.

  • Hmm... I'm an amateur, so CMIIW, but... Magnetic fields are what is responsible for how atoms are held together, correct?

    An electro-magnetic field is produced by anything that is charged, including our very own planet Earth.

    If the magnetic field is stronger than the Earth's it would absolutely effect the charges on the poles and possibly affect the gravitational force it has on surrounding bodies.

    Obviously, there are astronomers who are tracking celestial movement relative to our rotation, and I'm sure they already have thought of all that.

    My concern is, if the magnetic field can attract enough static charge it would become the larger electro-magnetic field between itself and the Earth, would it not?

By
Hefei Institutes of Physical Science, Chinese Academy of Sciences

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