magnet set world record
8] TALLAHASSEE, Fla-- A collaboration between the National High
Magnetic Field Laboratory at Florida State University and industry
partner SuperPower Inc. has led to a new world record for magnetic
field created by a superconducting magnet.
new record – 26.8 tesla – was reached
with a test coil in late July at the Magnet Lab’s High Field
Test Facility and brings engineers closer to realizing the National
Research Council goal of creating a 30-tesla superconducting magnet.
The development of such a magnet could lead to great advances in
physics, biology and chemistry research, as well as significant
reductions in the operating costs of many high-field magnets.
world-record magnet’s test coil was wound by Schenectady,
with a well-known high-temperature superconductor called yttrium
barium copper oxide, or YBCO. SuperPower develops superconductors
such as YBCO and related technologies for the electric power industry.
The lab’s Applied
Superconductivity Center has worked with the company to determine
the superconducting and mechanical properties of YBCO, as well as
test demonstrates what we had long hoped – that YBCO high-temperature
superconductors being made now for electric utility applications
also have great potential for high-magnetic-field technology," said
David Larbalestier, director of the Applied Superconductivity Center
and chief materials scientist at the Magnet Lab. "It seems likely
that this conductor technology can be used to make all-superconducting
magnets with fields that will soon exceed 30 tesla. This far exceeds
the 22- to 23-tesla limit of all previous niobium-based superconducting
magnets." (Niobium is the material used to build most superconducting
What – The Magnet Lab and SuperPower
Inc. achieved a new world record of 26.8 tesla for a field created
by a superconducting magnet using a test coil wound from YBCO-coated
& Where –Tests were conducted July 20, 2007,
at the lab’s High Field Test Facility.
– The Magnet Lab has been trying to assess the
suitability of a material known as bismuth-2212, or Bi-2212, in
round wire form, and YBCO-coated conductors to develop a 30-tesla
How – Magnet Lab researchers
tested a small coil (20-millimeter bore) in the lab’s unique,
19-tesla, 20-centimeter, wide-bore, 20-megawatt Bitter magnet.
The coil’s world-record field was more than 1.8 tesla higher
than the previous
– Key personnel at SuperPower were Drew Hazelton,
Venkat Selvamanickam and Yi-Yuan Xie; and at the Magnet Lab, David
Larbalestier, Denis Markiewicz, Ulf Trociewitz and Huub Weijers.
Selvamanickam, vice president and chief technology officer at SuperPower,
said the YBCO wire’s potential for application outside the
electric power industry beyond has long been in the company’s
are encouraged by the results of these tests at the Magnet Lab and
look forward to continuing our collaboration to more completely
explore the additional possibilities in high field applications,"
have been aware of the amazing properties of YBCO and its potential
for magnet technology for 20 years, but only in the past two years
has the material become commercially available in the long lengths
needed for magnets. Scientists at the Magnet Lab are interested
in the material because at very low temperatures, the conductor
is capable of generating very high magnetic fields.
principle, YBCO is capable of producing the highest-field superconducting
magnets ever possible," said Denis Markiewicz, a scientist in the
Science & Technology division. Based on the potential of
the material, he said, it’s even possible that it could one
day produce magnetic fields as high as 50 tesla.
we learned from this test really opens the door to imagining that
one day, we could use superconducting magnets in place of our resistive
magnets,” he said.
Resistive magnets, primarily used for physics research,
are more costly to operate because they are powered by tremendous
amounts of electricity, while superconducting magnets require little
or no electrical power to run once they are brought up to full field.
The Magnet Lab’s annual utility costs to
run the magnets are close to $4 million a year, and the lab consumes
10 percent of the city of Tallahassee’s generating capacity.