World's strongest magnet unveiled in Germany

24th November 2006, Comments 0 comments

24 November 2006, Dresden, Germany (dpa) - An electromagnet, which German scientists say is the world's most powerful magnet, was switched on for the first time Friday and will be used to improve medical scanners. Friday's inaugural tug from the coil, which weighs 1 ton, was just a gentle test, with engineers hoping to tune the machine by the end of next month to generate an 80-tesla magnetic field in a short pulse. Tesla is a measure of magnetic flux density. Ultimately the machine should manage 100 tesla

24 November 2006

Dresden, Germany (dpa) - An electromagnet, which German scientists say is the world's most powerful magnet, was switched on for the first time Friday and will be used to improve medical scanners.

Friday's inaugural tug from the coil, which weighs 1 ton, was just a gentle test, with engineers hoping to tune the machine by the end of next month to generate an 80-tesla magnetic field in a short pulse. Tesla is a measure of magnetic flux density.

Ultimately the machine should manage 100 teslas, which scientists said is 2.5 million times as strong as the Earth's magnetic field and is believed to mark the limit for magnets that can operate without damage. The current world record is 71 teslas.

The device at the Dresden High Magnetic Field Laboratory near the eastern German city of Dresden will be used for materials science including nanotechnology and the physics of semiconduction.

Eva-Maria Stange, science minister of the state of Saxony, said the only other laboratory capable of such experiments was in the United States.

Joachim Wosnitza, head of the laboratory, which is part of the Rossendorf Research Centre, said the research would also benefit applied science, for example magnetic-resonance imaging, a medical scanning technology used to detect and treat tumours.

Wosnitza said the pulse of power to vitalize the magnet came from the world's biggest array of condensers, capable of 5,000 megawatts. That is enough power to operate all the electric lights and appliances of a small town for an instant.

Scientists from laboratories and universities worldwide will be welcome to use the giant magnet without charge.

Internet: www.fz-rossendorf.de

DPA

Subject: German news

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