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National High Magnetic Field Laboratory, Pulsed Field Facility

The Pulsed Field Facility at Los Alamos National Laboratory in Los Alamos, New Mexico, is one of three campuses of the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory (NHMFL), the other two being at Florida State University, Tallahassee (continuous fields, magnetic resonance, and general headquarters) and the University of Florida ,Gainesville(ultra-low temperatures at high magnetic fields). The NHMFL is sponsored primarily by the National Science Foundation, Division of Materials Research, with additional support from the State of Florida and the US Department of Energy.

Los Alamos provides unique resources to the Pulsed Magnetic Field Laboratory of the NHMFL in the form of a 1.4 GVA inertial storage motor-generator for high field pulsed magnets. In addition to the 60 Tesla Long Pulse Magnet powered by the motor-generator, the NHMFL features capacitor-driven pulsed magnets.

The NHMFL supports a user facility open to all qualified users, develops magnet technology in association with the private sector, and advances sciences and technology opportunities using high magneticfields. Take a virtual tour of the NHMFL at Los Alamos.at Los Alamos.

Laboratory Sets High Magnetic Field Record

Los Alamos Pulsed Field Facility achieves world record magnetic field in 100 tesla quest

LOS ALAMOS, N.M. - The goal of non-destructively achieving magnetic fields in excess of 100 tesla has long been the Holy Grail of magnetic designers and researchers. Now, scientists at the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory's Pulsed Field Facility (NHMFL-PFF) at Los Alamos National Laboratory have set a pair of worlds records for pulsed magnet performance that puts them in a position to deliver a magnet capable of achieving the elusive 100 tesla goal.

A 100 tesla magnet could have profound impact on a wide range of scientific investigations, from how materials behave under the influence of very high magnetic fields to research into the microcopic behavior of phase transitions.

NHMFL-PFF staff completed commissioning of an outer set of coils for a massive magnet being designed and built at Los Alamos. During the commissioning, the coil produced a peak magnetic field intensity of thirty-five tesla with the coil's 225-millimeter-diameter bore. This achievement is significant because of the record large volume in which the thirty-five tesla field was produced and because man-made fields of this strength have never been produced without the use of highly destructive, explosive-driven, field-generating technologies.

The latest achievement comes on the heels of another record set earlier this summer in which the newly developed pulsed-magnet prototype, in evaluation at the Pulsed Field Facility, was put through a series of tests intended to establish the operational limits of the current generation of pulsed magnet technology. That magnet reached eighty tesla ten times before experiencing a fault.

"The ability to produce a record high field in such a large volumn is an important milestone in delivering a 100 tesla-capable magnet," said Alex Lacerda, Materials, Physics, and Applications-NHMFL center leader and NHMFL Florida State University, associate director of user operations. "Several other laboratories worldwide have attempted to deliver similar magnet systems without success, so the achievement is further evidenced of how NHMFL engineers, scientists, and technicians continue to set the world standard for magnet technology. We look forward to giving our users routine access to pulsed fields that in the past could only be imagined."

Once completed, the entire magnet will be a combination of seven coils sets weighing nearly 18,000 lbs. and powered by jolts from a massive 1,200 megajoules motor generator. When fully commissioned, the magnet will be able to provide never before achieved levels of magnetic field intensity for hundreds of millisecond lengths of time.

The study of materials behavior at the extreme conditions of temperature, pressure, and magnetic fields is a vital component at Los Alamos research aimed at understanding the physics of structurally complex systems at a quantum level. These recent successes were enabled by long-term support from the US Department of Energy's Office of Basic Energy Sciences and the National Science Foundation's 100 Tesla Multi-Shot magnet program.


Dwight Rickel
of the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory's Pulsed Field Facility at Los Alamos National Laboratory checks the 100T multi-shot magnet. Recently commissioned for user operation at 85 tesla, the magnet opens up new frontiers for scientific research.

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