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  National High Magnetic Field Laboratory, NHMFL

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Purpose

The NHMFL mission set forth by the National Science Foundation is to provide the highest magnetic fields and necessary services for scientific research conducted by users from a wide range of discipilines, including physics, chemistry, materials science, engineering, biology, and geology.

The National High Magnetic Field Laboratory (NHMFL) is a general user facility open to all researchers, on a proposal review basis, who wish to perform experiments in high magnetic fields. There is typically no charge for the high magnetic fields, except in the case of proprietary research for which cost recovery would be required. The great majority of experimental research conducted at the NHMFL is in the fields of materials science and condensed matter physics. Pulsed magnets allow the researcher to reach higher magnetic fields than are possible with direct-current (DC) magnets.

Scientists measure magnetic fields in units of teslas and gauss. One tesla is equal to 10,000 gauss. The Earth's magnetic field is 1/4 to 1/2 gauss depending on your location on the Earth's surface. Permanent magnets are limited to about 2 tesla, DC superconducting eletromagnets to about 20 tesla, and water-cooled DC resistive electromagnets to 33 tesla. The world record DC magnetic field will soon be achieved at the NHMFL in Tallahassee, where a 45 tesla hybrid magnet is under construction. A hybrid magnet is a combination of superconducting and resistive DC electromagnets.

Pulsed magnetic fields can be stronger than DC magnetic fields because the magnet is turned on and off before the electromagnet overheats and melts! Currently the NHMFL at Los Alamos routinely provides pulsed magnetic fields of 60 tesla and has collaborated to explosively generate pulsed magnetic fields to 850 tesla.

The purpose of the Pulsed Magnetic Field Laboratory of the NHMFL at Los Alamos is to drive pulsed magnetic field technology and instrumentation to make research using pulsed magnetic fields available to scientists from the United States and around the world.


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