Researchers at the Los Alamos National Laboratory’s biggest magnet facility succeeded last week in producing the world’s first magnetic field surpassing 100-tesla, an achievement that produced a magnetic field roughly 2,000,000 times stronger than Earth’s magnetic field. The official measure was 100.75 tesla, or T, which was created using a “100-tesla pulsed, multi-shot magnet, a combination of seven coils sets weighing nearly 18,000 pounds and powered by a massive 1,200-megajoule motor generator.” While other stronger magnetic fields have been produced before in other labs, those performances create such force that the magnets blow themselves apart in the process. The team at LANL, however, managed to produce the 100-tesla magnetic field without any destructive repercussions.
Chuck Mielke, director of the Pulsed Field Facility at Los Alamos, said, “This is our moon shot, we’ve worked toward this for a decade and a half.”
Mielke added that, concerning recent experiments, “the new magnet has allowed our users and staff to pin down the upper critical field of a new form of superconductor, discover two new magnetically ordered states in a material that has eluded scientists for nearly 30 years, observe magneto-quantum oscillations in a high temperature superconductor to unprecedented resolution, determine a topological state of a new material, and discover a new form of magnetic ordering in an advanced magnetic material.”
Check out the video below of the researcher’s breakthrough. If you’ve ever seen The Princess Bride (and of course you’ve seen The Princess Bride), you’ll notice that the 100-tesla produces a howl that sounds somewhat similar to the screeching eels of that movie. It kind of makes your dorsal hairs stand up when you think on how that primal howl was emitted from a magnetic field. Screaming magnets.
It’s hard for the laity to really conceive of how powerful a 100+ tesla magnetic field is, but to put it into perspective an MRI machine usually measures a 3-tesla. Above 10T you’d be able to cause small critters to levitate, as seen in the trippy video of a frog below:
So at 100T? We officially become mutant pinball wizards.