Researchers at the University of Tokyo set a new record when they created the strongest controllable indoor magnetic field ever – and subsequently blew up their lab in the process. Both incredible events may have happened in less time than it takes for you to blink your eye, but the entire thing was caught on camera for our repeated viewing pleasure.
The generator was built in a specially designed lab produced to test its material properties, which uses a method known as electromagnetic flux compression. The team was expecting the magnetic field to peak at around 700 Teslas (the standard unit for measuring magnetic field strength, not Elon’s), but wound up at around 1,200. That means it’s some 400 times higher than the fields generated by the powerful magnets used in MRI machines and about 50 million times stronger than the Earth’s own magnetic field. As Motherboard points out, a fridge magnet has a strength of just 0.01 Tesla.
Let’s be clear here: It’s not the largest magnetic field ever produced. In 2001, Russian researchers created a magnetic field using explosives that reached 2,800 Teslas, which was so strong and uncontrollable it also blew up their equipment, but it couldn’t be tamed. (read more)