He magnetic field of the Earth protects the planet from the solar wind, guaranteeing life. But an institute in the United States created a resistive magnet that is several times more powerful than the Earth’s field.
It is the magnet National MagLab, at Florida State University. It has a capacity of 45 Tesla (magnetic field strength unit), being powered by 32 megawatts of direct current power.
Comparatively, the magnitude of the Earth’s field is from 25 to 65 microteslas, being greater at the poles and less at the equator.
An electromagnet is made of coils of wire, with copper as the main conductor, producing a magnetic field when an electric current is passed through it. The more coils and the higher the current, the stronger the field.
In the case of the National MagLab magnet, it provides flexibility to adjust the field and polarity during science experiments. The institution has more instruments of lower power, which at the time were the most resistive magnets in the laboratory.
The importance of the MagLab magnet for science
Greg Boebinger, director of the MagLab, explained on the portal TechEBlog: “Resistive magnets are the bread and butter of our field facility, and demand from scientists sometimes exceeds supply by a factor of three.”
“With the Project 11 magnet, we asked our engineers to ‘raise the bar’ and see what they could achieve,” continues Boebinger.
The MagLab’s magnets are magnified using specialized copper and silver disks, rather than simple copper wire. Electricity is driven 30 thousand times more than what you need, for example, a toaster.
“This new magnet delivers and will allow scientists to make discoveries that lead to better materials and technologies that deepen our understanding of how our world works,” says the MagLab director.