There is a new most powerful magnet of the world
The new superconductor has broken the record after a good two decades.
Magnets attract not only magnetic substances, but also our imagination. The magic of the magnet has attracted scientists as well. That’s led to magnets being used in various situations, from generating electricity to uses in biochemical research.
Magnets are found in nature, but have also been created artificially. The problem with artificial magnets is that with increase in power they increase in size as well.
For instance, the world's most powerful magnet which produces 45 Tesla (the measure of the intensity of magnet field) weighs a whopping 30 tonnes. The giant MRI machines found in hospitals produce a magnetic field of about 2 or 3 Tesla.
But the key challenge is to make artificial magnets small. That will make them portable and more useful too.
Scientists at the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory in Florida have create the most powerful magnet the size of an empty toilet tissue roll. The superconducting magnet produced 45.5 T magnetic field under test conditions, surpassing 45-T, the most powerful magnet so far, with a magnetic field of 45 T.
The new superconductor has broken the record after a good two decades. 45-T weighs 35-tons and is considered the most powerful magnet since 1999. The new superconductor magnet weighs a mere 390 grams (0.86 pounds), it briefly surpassed the magnetic field of 45-T by half a Tesla.
How did scientists make a magnet so small break the world record?
That’s because they used a special superconductor. Superconductors have to ability to carry electricity with perfect efficiency. Both magnets use superconductors.
The 45-T uses niobium-based alloys, which are now being used for decades.
Scientists used a newer compound called REBCO (short for rare earth barium copper oxide). REBCO can carry more than twice the current as compared to the niobium-based superconductor installed in 45-T.
Since, the amount of electricity that passes through an electromagnet generates the magnetic field, the greater the amount of electricity the more will be the power of the magnetic field. REBCO, formed into tapes and wound into a coil, was critical to the new magnet's world-record performance.