Magnetic Science Project

We live in a dazzling times, friends. Right now, scientists are working on , not only the world’s largest magnet, but also one that is about two million times more powerful than the one on MamaSue’s refrigerator.

Surprisingly enough, it’s not all that gigantic, considering all that power. This is actually an electromagnet that comes in two parts. It weighs 18,000 pounds for all that, however.

The electromagnet consists of two parts. The outer section, or outsert, is a cylinder, 1.5 by 1.5 meter. It is cylindrically shaped. Except for a small hole about 8 inches straight down the middle of it, this cylinder is solid.

The second part is the coil that rests inside the cylinder. Silver wire as thin as 100 atoms across strengthens the nine copper coils within. Together, the copper and silver create the strongest material known to man, according to Greg Boebinger, Director of the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory in Florida. The magnet is being built here. When it’s finished it will be placed at the Los Alamos National Laboratory, in Texas.

Resistance makes magnets stronger. Here, scientists have applied this concept to such an extent that they are acutely aware of the dangers involved. The pressure the insert is not only as great as 200 sticks of dynamite going off. If you can image your ears popping when you go up or down a hill, image how they’d pop if you were down at the bottom of the ocean. That’s pressure. You would of course be dead. Well the pressure inside the insert is 30 times greater than that at the bottom of the bottom of the ocean.

Scientists expect that this $20,000 insert to last, under that in of pressure, only through 100 pulses. They expect the $8 million outsert to last through 10,000 pulses.

Electromagnets use energy, and currently this one uses 7% of Tallahassee’s to produce 90 teslas. Teslas is the measurement of a magnetic field. The magnetic field of the earth we walk on is about 50 microteslas. A MRI machine uses between 0.5 to 1.5 teslas. Scientists are amping up this electromagnet to eventually reach 100 teslas.

What makes this magnet different from other 100 teslas magnets is that this one is built to be reusable. The previous ones were not.

For anyone unfamiliar with magnets of high power, they are loud. If an MRI requires the patient to wear earphones, you can believe that turning this 5 foot by 5 foot electromagnet on does require the evacuation of the entire building!

How do I know that the earth really has a magnetic field?

Step 1. Gather some sand or buy some at the hardware store.

Step 2. Find your own iron filings by running a magnet through the sand.

Step 3. Put a light dusting of filings on a sheet of paper and place the paper over a magnet.

Step 4. Tap the paper lightly and the filings will align with the magnetic field, letting you see its shape!

What about solenoids?

A solenoid is another form of electromagnet. It is an electromagnetic tube generally used to move a piece of metal linearly.

Step 1. Find an old pen. Remove the inside so you only have the tube.

Step 2. Find a small nail that will fit inside the tube easily.

Step 3. Wrap Coil wire 100 times around the pen tube.

Step 5. Put the nail at the end of the coil and then connect the coil to the battery.

See how the nail moves? You’ve probably heard of solenoids in relation to cars. If your car has power locks, they might be using a sing a solenoid.