Commissioning of 100 Tesla Multi-Shot Pushes Boundaries of Science Beyond 80 Tesla
October 19, 2006
Alex Lacerda, (505) 665-6504
Dwight Rickel of the Magnet Lab's Pulsed Field Facility checks the 100 tesla multi-shot magnet. Photo: LeRoy N. Sanchez.
The National High Magnetic Field Laboratory's eagerly awaited 100 Tesla Multi-Shot magnet is now commissioned for user operation at 85 tesla. Located at the Magnet Lab's Pulsed Field Facility at Los Alamos National Laboratory, the magnet opens up new frontiers for scientific research.
Achieving fields above 85 tesla repetitively marks a major milestone in magnet design and materials engineering, as man-made fields of this strength have never before been produced without the use of highly destructive, explosives-driven, magnetic field-generating technologies. This is the culmination of 10 years of major instrument development and construction, jointly supported by the U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Basic Energy Sciences and the National Science Foundation's 100 Tesla Multi-Shot magnet program.
The magnet is now part of the Magnet Lab science user program supported by the NSF. Scientists and engineers from academia, government laboratories and industry will have access on a competitive basis to the highest magnetic fields ever produced non-destructively on a repetitive basis.
With this new Magnet Lab capability, researchers can explore uncharted regimes of low temperature and high magnetic field, central to understanding the mechanism of superconductivity, magnetic-field-induced phase transitions, and so-called quantum critical points, in which small changes in materials properties at very low temperature have dramatic effects on physical behavior.
Continuous improvements in the magnet's performance are underway, and peak field will be gradually increased up to 100 tesla as materials development and operating experience is gained.
"The NHMFL 100-T project is an excellent example of team work among scientists, engineers and government agencies," said Alex Lacerda, associate director for user operations at all thee sites of the Magnet Lab and director of the Magnet Lab Pulsed Field Facility. "Achieving 100 T non-destructively has been goal for many years world-wide.
"The scientific environment at Los Alamos was of paramount importance positioning the NHMFL to achieve that goal. I'm particularly pleased by the continuing support from DOE-BES and NSF to this long and exciting project," Lacerda added.
The National High Magnetic Field Laboratory (www.magnet.fsu.edu) develops and operates state-of-the-art high-magnetic-field facilities that faculty and visiting scientists and engineers use for research in physics, biology, bioengineering, chemistry, geochemistry, biochemistry, and materials science. Sponsored by the National Science Foundation and the state of Florida, the lab is operated by Florida State University, and its 330,000-square-foot main facility is located in Tallahassee's Innovation Park. The magnet lab also has facilities at the University of Florida and at Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico.