The World's Most Powerful Non-Destructive Magnet Screams Like A Banshee

You don't normally associate any kind of sound with a magnet. But apparently that's because the ones stuck to your fridge aren't two million times as powerful as the Earth's magnetic field — like the one the Los Alamos Laboratory just created.

For over a decade and a half the lab has been trying to create a magnet with a strength of 100 Tesla that doesn't destroy itself in the process. And when they finally succeeded in hitting that level — at around the 1:36 mark in the video — the magnet emits a haunting scream instead of the electric hum you'd expect. If I worked in that lab I'd have nightmares every night.

While stronger man-made magnets have been created, they usually involve a destructive process, often using explosives, that makes them useless for any kind of actual research. But the 100 Tesla magnet at Los Alamos can be used again and again, making it ideal for scientific research, or ensuring the note you left on the fridge about remembering to buy milk will never, ever fall off. [Los Alamos via Dvice via Slashdot]


Comments

    Kind of sounded like the planet scream from ff7

    This seems like the hare-brained plot of a super-villain reverse the polarity ofthe earth and take over the world.

    I know this is an important development in the field of science, but I kept on thinking when the scientists were jumping around for joy, it reminded me of the episode of big bang when they got all excited when they switched a light on by bouncing a signal all around the world.

    Nerdy..... Yes!

    "You don’t normally associate any kind of sound with a magnet"
    What do you think drives those headphones or speakers you're listening to?

      Thats not the sound of a magnet.
      A speaker driver creating a sound is the result of a magnet attached to a diaphragm being pushed and pulled by an electric current.
      Not the magnet itself.

    This comment responds only to the text of the blog and to the video produced by LANL TV on the achievement of staff at the Pulsed Field Facility (PFF) at LANL of the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory (NHMFL) headquartered in Tallahassee, Florida, in which workers momentarily exceeded a 100 Tesla peak magnetic induction strength (“B”) without destroying or damaging its core equipment, with funding for this “100 T” experiment coming from the U.S. Department of Energy and the National Science Foundation. The video shows a small part of the electronic control board for energizing the magnet system and features LANL staff member and PFF Director (Dr.) Chuck Mielke describing the heart of the facility as a small magnet located within a very much larger magnet. So this comment infers that a combination, respectively, of relatively static and dynamic (viz., 60 Hz and high-frequency pulsed) currents was used to generate a composite “B” consisting also of such components. In accord with general introductory physics principles such as Newton’s second law of motion, mechanical displacements (in units of meters) of electrically conducting media result from Lorentz forces (in units of newtons) or Lorentz force densities (in units of newtons/meters cubed) which can have more than one contribution depending on magnetic field strength. One such term depends only in a linear way on “B” such as in a hi-fi speaker system featuring permanent magnets and moving diaphragms. Another of these terms, however, depends on the square of “B.” This second term, sometimes used in generating ultrasound pulses for nondestructive testing of metal parts, becomes noticeable at high magnetic field strengths and does not require the presence of a separate magnet to produce mechanical motion or displacements such as test equipment or sample vibration. When the induced motions for hardware parts in the overall pulsed field system have a sharp, oscillating time dependence in the high field regime, then they radiate sound into the surrounding air to produce the “banshee” sound mentioned. In magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) machines in use for medical diagnosis and working at about a tenth or less of the peak magnetic field values for the “100 T” experiment, sound is also radiated for basically the same reasons, but is noticed by patients as a less loud rattling rather than, per the blog title, by staff in the PFF control room as banshee screams. In MRI machines, however, the aforementioned linear contribution predominates in producing the rattle.

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