Latest in Science

Image credit:

Record-breaking magnet crams three tons of force into the size of a golf ball

Steve Dent, @stevetdent
June 30, 2014
Share
Tweet
Share

Sponsored Links

University of Cambridge scientists have broken a decade-old superconducting record by packing a 17.6 Tesla magnetic field into a golf ball-sized hunk of crystal -- equivalent to about three tons of force. The team used high-temperature superconductors that work at minus 320 degrees F or so -- not exactly balmy, but less frigid than the minus 460 degrees F needed for regular superconductors. With zero resistance, superconducting materials can carry up to 100 times more current than copper wires, but the resulting magnetic fields create huge internal forces. Since the cuprate materials used for the record are as fragile as dried pasta, they can actually explode under the strain. To get around it, the team modified the material's microstructure and "shrink-wrapped" it in stainless steel. That produced the largest magnetic field ever trapped in a standalone material at any temperature, according to the team. The research might eventually lead to more secure and efficient power transmission, better scanners and yes, levitating monorails.

[Image credit: University of Cambridge]

All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.
Comment
Comments
Share
Tweet
Share

Popular on Engadget

The 2020 Engadget Holiday Gift Guide

The 2020 Engadget Holiday Gift Guide

View
The best Cyber Week tech deals you can still get today

The best Cyber Week tech deals you can still get today

View
The first phone with an under-display camera goes on sale December 21st

The first phone with an under-display camera goes on sale December 21st

View
Amazon’s free news app on Fire TV now features local stations

Amazon’s free news app on Fire TV now features local stations

View
Razer Tomahawk modular gaming PC is now available for $2,400

Razer Tomahawk modular gaming PC is now available for $2,400

View

From around the web

Page 1Page 1ear iconeye iconFill 23text filevr