Scientists from the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona designed a magnetic cloak that'll both shield an object from an outside magnetic field and prevent an internal one from leaking out. It's an antimagnet and it'll have various military and medical applications.
The antimagnet uses a superconducting material that blocks the internal magnetic field of an object and several dampening layers to block the effect of the superconductor on the external magnetic field. Sounds complicated, and it is, but it could save your life some day.
Take, for example, a person with a pacemaker who needs an MRI. The magnetic field of the MRI would damage the pacemaker and potentially harm the patient. Likewise, the pacemaker's metal would interfere with the MRI's magnetic field and throw off the machine's results. A magnetic cloak could potentially negate these effects and let patients with a pacemaker receive a successful MRI scan.
It would also work to protect military ships from mines that detonate when they detect a magnetic field. If the magnetic field is cloaked, then the mines can't detect it and there's no devastating explosion.
The cloaking technology is in the design stage and will move into production so it can be tested in the real world. [New Journal of Physics]
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