Chinese scientists have generated the strongest steady magnetic field, breaking all previous records. The world's most powerful, steady magnetic field was achieved using a hybrid magnet that produced a magnetic field of 45.22 tesla (T), which is a million times stronger than our planet's own magnetic field. The record was set at the Steady High Magnetic Field Facility (SHMFF) in the Chinese city of Hefei. The hybrid magnet used for the landmark achievement was developed in 2016. Initially, it generated a central magnetic field of 40 T and earned the distinction of being the world's second 40 T-level magnet. Since then, scientists worked on the magnet, gradually making it stronger.
According to Kuang Guangli, academic director of the HFIPS High Magnetic Field Laboratory, they innovated the structure of the hybrid magnet to ramp up the magnetic field. “To achieve a higher magnetic field, we innovated with the structure of the magnet, and developed new materials. The Bitter disc manufacturing process was also optimized,” said Guangli.
He added that the strong magnetic fields of such magnitude help scientists to peer into the internal structures of materials and facilitate the development of modern technologies.
The magnet has a hybrid design that includes a resistive magnet placed in a 32-mm gap in the centre of a superconducting magnet. This allows the two to combine their forces which results in an incredibly strong magnetic field. Here, both the magnets have their own limitations. While the superconducting magnet has low power input needs, the resistive magnet requires a higher power output.
The previous world record for generating the strongest magnetic field was held by a hybrid magnet at the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory of the United States. The magnet had produced a magnetic field of 45 T back in 1999.
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