World-record magnet to pull in scientific breakthroughs

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - Members of the news media are invited to attend a special event marking a major technological leap forward for the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory.

On Thursday, July 28, at 9:30 a.m., the laboratory will host a commissioning ceremony to bring online a new, world-record magnet that is expected to yield important discoveries in the fields of chemical and biomedical research. Among those scheduled to speak at the ceremony are Florida State University President T.K. Wetherell; Greg Boebinger, director of the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory; Win Phillips, vice president for research at the University of Florida; and representatives from the National Science Foundation. Also invited to attend are representatives from the U.S. Department of Energy and the National Institutes of Health, as well as members of the Tallahassee City Commission and Leon County Commission.

The superconducting magnet, which stands 16 feet tall and weighs more than 15 tons, was no overnight accomplishment. A team of engineers based at the magnet lab worked for 13 years to develop, design, manufacture and test it at the laboratory. Several outside companies, including Intermagnetics General Corporation, collaborated with the magnet lab.

Now, with its commissioning, scientists from around the world will be able to expand the horizons of scientific investigation using nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) technologies.

At full strength, the magnet has a magnetic field of 21 teslas -- teslas being a scientific measure of magnetic field intensity. By comparison, the Earth's magnetic field is about 0.00005 teslas.

What makes this magnet particularly useful for scientific research, however, is its bore size -- 105 mm, or just over 4 inches. The bore is the space within the magnet that holds the sample being tested. The larger the bore size, the larger the sample -- and the greater the range of scie

Contact: Kathy Hedick or Brian Fairhurst
Florida State University

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