WATCH: Japan Has Created One Of The Most Powerful Magnetically Controlled Fields Ever Recorded

A group of Japanese physicists has managed to create one of the most powerful magnetically controlled fields ever recorded. A field so powerful that it tore the doors off of the laboratory where it was located.

There are magnets in the shape of kittens that some like to stick on their fridges. And then there is the electromagnet at the University of Tokyo. Thanks to this magnet a group of Japanese physicists managed to generate one of the most powerful magnetic fields ever recorded, giving rise to quite the formidable spectacle, a gigantic display of purple sparks and the elimination of two of the Takeyama laboratory doors, torn off by the power of the magnet.

A race to the magnetic field

Since the 1970s, researchers at the Institute of Physics at the University of Tokyo have been conducting extensive research on the generation of magnetic fields, which are used in condensed matter physics (which is the study of the the macroscopic properties of matter), but which also offer interesting prospects when it comes to the field of nanomaterials, semiconductors and superconductors, and even organic matter.

Thanks to their new experiment unveiled in the Scientific Instruments review, Professor Shojiro Takeyama and his team set a new record; the magnetic field generated by the researchers reached a density of 1,200 Tesla (T). To put these results into perspective, imagine that the world's most powerful MRI machines peaks at 3 Tesla. This is the first time such a score has been achieved using the magnetic flux compression method (EMFC).

‘The first reports of a magnetic field of more than 1,000 T, generated by the compression of a magnetic flux using explosives, appeared in the 1960s,’ write the researchers in their study. ‘In 2001, a field of 2,800 T with a diameter of about a 1/4 inch became the absolute record.’ However, these fields must be produced outdoors, which makes them particularly difficult to control.

That is why in February 2018, Professor Takeyama and his team were already celebrating their success with a field which reached up to 985 T using EMFC, a controlled and therefore much more reproducible method. With this new record of 1,200 T, physicists are preparing to open the doors to a mysterious and unknown world.

Journey to the land of electrons

Through these devices, researchers hope to study the hidden physical properties of electrons. In these extreme conditions, the conventional operation of these particles collapses but no one yet knows what happens. Takeyama hopes to be able to observe these unprecedented properties of matter in the seconds that precede the self-destruction of the magnetic coil, which is annihilated by the power of the magnetic field (the rest of the machine fortunately remains largely intact).

Electromagnets of this magnitude could also prove very useful in the field of nuclear fusion, making it possible to maintain the plasma at sufficiently high temperatures far from the walls of the apparatus where the reaction occurs. The next step for the team is to acquire stronger doors for the lab and continue to probe the secrets of the substance.

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