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Meet the Magnets

ArrowThe 45 Tesla Hybrid

Vital Statistics

Hybrid Magnet Strength 45 tesla
Type Hybrid
Bore size 32 mm (~1.25 inches)
Online since December 1999
Cost $14.4 million
Weight 31,752 kg (35 tons)
Height 6.7 meters (22 feet)
Operating temperature -271 ° C (-456 ° F)
Water used per minute 15,142 liters
(4,000 gallons)
Power required 33 MW

Photo Credit: Larry Gordon


This magnet combines a superconducting magnet of 11.5 tesla with a resistive magnet of 33.5 tesla. It is in wide demand among scientists across the globe. Although we operate several world-record magnets, this is the only one featured in the Guinness Book of World Records.

Most of the space in this two-story instrument is taken up by the parts required to keep the superconducting magnet very cold (it's kept at 1.8 Kelvin, a scientific measure equivalent to -271 degrees Celsius or -456 degrees Fahrenheit). The magnet is connected to a closed system of pipes and machines that continually make and recycle 2,800 liters of liquid helium, pumping it around the magnet to keep it running. Even when not in use this magnet is kept cold: If it warms up to room temperature, it takes at least six weeks to cool it back down to operating temperature. Cold water is also needed – about 15,142 liters (4,000 gallons) every minute – to keep the resistive part from overheating, as it would otherwise do with the 33 megawatts of power it uses.

Diagram of the Hybrid Magnet

One of only a handful of hybrids in the world, this mighty marvel uses in its superconducting portion enough copper wiring for 80 average homes – stretched out, it would go for 6.4 kilometers (4 miles). Not surprisingly, our biggest magnet costs the most to operate: about $4,000 an hour when at full field.


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