On Friday (August 12), the People’s Republic of China launched the most powerful magnet ever constructed on Earth with the intention of conducting scientific research in a laboratory.
The diameter of the magnetic field facility is 33 millimeters, making it only slightly larger than a coin.
The High Magnetic Field Laboratory of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, located in the city of Hefei, reports that it can generate a stable magnetic field with a strength of 45.22 tesla, which is more than a million times stronger than the magnetic core of the Earth.
[The Hefei facility] has become the highest steady-state magnetic field that can support scientific research in the world,” the laboratory reported in a statement.
“The original world record was created by the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory in the United States in 1999. Its hybrid magnet generated 450,000 gauss [45 tesla] and it has held the record for 23 years,” it added.
In 2019, scientists working at the US facility did produce a field with a strength of 45.5 tesla, although the achievement was made using a test magnet rather than one that was actively participating in scientific research.
It is extremely difficult to generate a magnetic field that is as powerful as this, in part because it takes a massive amount of energy and the resulting force is powerful enough to move an aircraft carrier.
Professor Kuang Guangli, lead scientist on the magnetic field project, recently revealed that the team had achieved its goal of constructing the most powerful magnet on the entire planet.
According to the report, the group had constructed a 40-tesla magnet in 2016, but they were “not satisfied”with it.
After five years of intense researching how to create the new magnet structure, develop new materials and optimize the production process they “finally made a major technological breakthrough,” Kuang said.
“Although our country’s strong magnetic field laboratory started relatively late, it only took about 10 years to make the big leap from nobody to a leader, creating the ‘China speed’ for the development of strong magnetic technology,” he added.
The new world record of 45.22 tesla steady state high magnetic field. Credit: SHMFF team
Kuang said the team is looking forward to “a great journey” ahead.
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