MagLab Timeline

An overview of the MagLab's history, from 1989 to the present.

July 2020

Asphalt ICR Research

MagLab researchers show that exposure to sun and water causes thousands of chemicals to leach from roads into the environment.
October 2019

Lazarus Superconductivity

In a uranium-based compound once dismissed as boring, scientists watched superconductivity arise, perish, then return to life under the influence of high magnetic fields.
October 2019

25th anniversary of the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory

25th anniversary infographic In October 2019, the MagLab celebrated 25 years since our dedication event. In honor of our silver anniversary, we've gathered facts and figures that reflect more than two dozen years of the MagLab's scientific impact.
June 2019

With mini magnet, National MagLab creates world-record magnetic field

The compact coil could lead to a new generation of magnets for biomedical research, nuclear fusion reactors and many applications in between.
May 2019


In a hydrogen-packed compound squeezed to ultra-high pressures, scientists have observed electrical current with zero resistance tantalizingly close to room temperature.
January 2019

Unlocking graphene's superconducting powers

With a twist and a squeeze, researchers discover a new method to manipulate the electrical conductivity of this game-changing "wonder material."
September 2018

Next-generation superconducting magnet funding

With funding from the National Science Foundation, scientists and engineers will explore the best way to build a new class of record-breaking instruments.
July 2018

Ancient chlorophyll pretty in pink

Using tools at the MagLab, scientists pinpoint pigments that are the oldest on record.
December 2017

Record Superconducting Magnet

Made with high-temperature superconductors, the 32-tesla all-superconducting magnet shatters a world record and opens new frontiers in science.
October 2017

Even-denominator fractional quantum Hall (FQH) state

Physicists prove a 30-year-old theory — the even-denominator fractional quantum Hall state — and establish bilayer graphene as a promising platform that could lead to quantum computation.
August 2017

Strongest Resistive Magnet

The new 41.4-tesla instrument reclaimed a title for the lab and paved the way for breakthroughs in physics and materials research.
January 2017

Novel Magnet Hits Record

A compact "no-insulation" magnet made of high-temperature superconducting (HTS) tape claimed a new world record by reaching a field of 11.3 teslas while inside a larger, 31.2-T resistive magnet. The resulting 42.5-tesla field became the highest field in which a superconducting magnet had ever operated and a new record for an HTS magnet operating within a background field.
November 2016

Record NMR Magnet

The 36-tesla series connected hybrid reached full field, combining tremendous strength with a high-quality field for health-related, nuclear magnetic resonance research.
December 2015

New kind of quantum Hall state observed

In graphene superlattices, researchers observed a fractional Bloch band quantum Hall effect (FBQHE).
August 2015

New chief scientist

National Academy of Science member Laura Greene started as the MagLab's chief scientist on August 17, bringing more than 20 years of scientific expertise and teaching experience to the world's largest and highest powered magnet lab.
June 2014

21 T for ICR

World’s first 21 tesla magnet for Fourier Transform Ion Cyclotron Resonance (FT-ICR) mass spectrometry installed at MagLab.
January 2014

Largest Theory Winter School

A record 77 students from across the world attended the workshop on topological phases of condensed matter. This weeklong workshop was started in 2012 and explores a different subject in condensed matter and materials research theory each January.
May 2013

Hofstadter’s Butterfly

Working with graphene, two teams of researchers observed a never-before-seen energy pattern first theorized in 1976.
September 2012

First deputy director

Physicist Eric Palm becomes the MagLab's first Deputy Lab Director.
July 2012

Buckyball mystery solved

  • The National Science Board awards a 5-year renewal grant to the MagLab.
  • A team led by MagLab scientists and FSU researchers solves the mystery of how buckyballs form.
March 2012

Hitting 100 T

MagLab researchers at the Pulsed Field Facility set a new world record of 100.75 tesla using a multi-shot magnet.
October 2011

Record superconducting insert

The MagLab sets another world record by creating a 35.4 tesla magnetic field using a superconducting-insert magnet.
August 2011

Highest non-destructive field

MagLab researchers at the Pulsed Field Facility create the highest non-destructive magnetic field in the world at 97.4 tesla.
July 2011

Record tesla system

MagLab debuts its new world-record setting 25 tesla split magnet.
June 2011

Largest wildfire evacutes LANL

The largest wildfire in New Mexico's history causes staff at the MagLab's Pulsed Field Facility to evacuate. The lab reopens a few weeks later.
May 2010

Breakthrough research at AMRIS

At the MagLab's AMRIS Facility, researchers identify a new benefit of the vitamin folate. Their findings represent the first new role for folate in more than a decade.
February 2010

Another great Open House

Open House attendance tops 5,700 visitors, a new record.
January 2010

Reclaiming a record

MagLab reclaims world record for highest field resistive magnet by improving the stacking pattern of bitter plates to reach 36.2 T.
December 2009

Funding for ICR at 21 T

NSF awards $15 million to purchase a state-of-the-art, 21-T superconducting magnet system for the lab's ICR user program.
October 2009

$3 million superconductor

NSF and FSU award the lab $3 million to build a 32-T, all superconducting magnet made with YBCO superconductor.
July 2009

First experiments at 85 T

  • The first two experiments are completed in the 85-T multi-shot magnet, providing users 110 pulses at 85 T.
  • YBCO test coil reaches 27.4 T, another record for magnetic field strength generated by a superconductor.
June 2009

Public tours launched

MagLab launches standing public tours the third Wednesday of each month.
May 2009

User Summer School

MagLab launches User Summer School, a weeklong learning opportunity featuring tutorials on measurement techniques, practical exercises and plenary talks from experts in the field of condensed matter physics. This first one hosts 28 students.
February 2009

Record Open House

More than 5,500 people attend the annual Open House, setting a new record for attendance.
October 2008


MagLab engineers construct a bismuth strontium calcium copper oxide (BSCCO) 2212 round wire test coil that achieves 32 tesla, demonstrating that there is a second superconductor capable of reaching fields higher than 30 tesla.
September 2008

YBCO record

A small test coil made from the superconducting material yttrium barium copper oxide (YBCO) achieves 33.8 tesla at a current of 325 amps, setting a new record for field strength and current density.
July 2008

Software for petroleum studies

Scientists with the lab's ICR program license petroleum analysis software to Sierra Analytics, advancing the emerging field of petroleomics.
December 2007

Topping 1,000

MagLab tops 1,000 users for the year. More than 1,000 visiting scientists from around the world performed research at the MagLab.
July 2007

Superconducting record

The MagLab and industry partner SuperPower collaborate to set a new world record for magnetic field created by a superconducting magnet: 26.8 tesla. The world-record magnet's test coil is wound with well-known high-temperature superconductor yttrium barium copper oxide (YBCO).
April 2007

Helmholtz contract

The Helmholtz Centre Berlin contracts with the MagLab to build an $8.7 million high-field magnet for neutron scattering.
October 2006

Pulsed fields at 85 T

The Pulsed Field Facility's 100-tesla multi-shot magnet is commissioned for user operation at 85 tesla.
September 2006

Next generation hybrid

The NSF awards the MagLab $11.7 million to build the next-generation Series Connected Hybrid magnet.
August 2006

Another record tumbles

MagLab engineers complete a new high-homogeneity magnet providing 28 tesla, eclipsing their previous mark of 25 tesla.
February 2006

Five more years

The National Science Board says it will accept a renewal proposal from the MagLab rather than compete the award.
December 2005

Record continuous field

A MagLab-engineered 35-tesla resistive magnet is commissioned, setting a new world record for a continuous field electromagnet.
October 2005

Welcome ASC

The Applied Superconductivity Center at the University of Wisconsin moves to the MagLab at FSU.
August 2005

Free electron laser light source grant

The Magnet Lab is awarded a $1.8 million grant for concept and engineering design of a free electron laser light source for high magnetic field research.
July 2005

Ultra-wide bore commissioned

  • A 900 MHz ultra-wide-bore magnet for nuclear magnetic resonance, engineered and built at the MagLab, is commissioned.
  • The world-record 600 MHz triple resonance 1-mm high temperature superconducting NMR probe is installed at UF's AMRIS facility.
April 2005

Wide bore + strong magnet = new record

Tests are completed on a 31-tesla magnet with a 50-mm experimental space – the highest field resistive magnet with a bore of its size in the world.
September 2004

Strongest ICR magnet

  • A 14.5-tesla ICR magnet system – the highest field ICR system in the world – is commissioned for research.
  • Jack Crow passes away.
June 2004

Grant for revolutionary magnet

The Magnet Lab is awarded a $1.8 million NSF grant for conceptual and engineering design of a revolutionary c magnet system.
April 2004

Upgrades for Florida facilities

The Florida Legislature allocates $10 million for infrastructure upgrades at the FSU and UF branches of the lab.
February 2004

Boebinger takes the helm

Greg Boebinger becomes the second director of the MagLab.
April 2003

Highest field resistive magnet

The highest field resistive magnet in Europe is completed in collaboration with Radboud University (Nijmegen, Netherlands). Its field: 33 tesla.
October 2001

NMR grant awarded

The lab's Nuclear Magnetic Resonance program is awarded an $8 million National Institutes of Health grant.
May 2001

NIH grant

AMRIS is awarded a $5.2 million National Institutes of Health grant to develop new radio frequency coils for nuclear magnetic resonance and magnetic resonance imaging.
April 2001

Third operation grant

A third operating grant is awarded, $171 million over seven years, extending the original five-year grant by two years.
July 2000

Magnet rupture

  • The Pulsed Field Facility's 60-tesla long-pulse magnet ruptures 15 months after its research debut due to unusually low fracture toughness in construction material. It is later rebuilt.
  • The Center for Advanced Power Systems – a collaborative effort among FSU, the FAMU-FSU College of Engineering, the Magnet Lab, and industrial partners – is established with a $10.9 million grant from the Office of Naval Research.
December 1999

World's strongest magnet

The world's strongest magnet – the 45-tesla hybrid – reaches full field and is commissioned for user service, earning a certification from the Guinness Book of World Records.
October 1999

New Pulsed Field space

The new Experiment Hall opens at the Pulsed Field Facility.
August 1999

ICR renewed

The FT-ICR Facility grant is renewed at $5.8 million through 2004.
June 1999

Research for teachers

  • The Research Experiences for Teachers program debuts.
  • MagLab engineers complete the highest field 50-mm bore magnet in the world withcompletion of the 27-tesla system.
October 1998

AMRIS debuts

The Advanced Magnetic Resonance Imaging and Spectroscopy (AMRIS) user program debuts at the University of Florida McKnight Brain Institute.
August 1998

New long-pulse magnet

A powerful 60-tesla, long-pulse magnet is dedicated at the Pulsed Field Facility.
June 1998

New wide-bore magnet

MagLab engineers complete a 20-tesla magnet with the largest bore in the world: 195 mm.
February 1998

Beating our own records

MagLab engineers complete a 25-tesla magnet with 12 parts per million (ppm) homogeneity over a 10-mm diameter spherical volume, surpassing their own 24-tesla mark in both field intensity and uniformity.
November 1997

Magnet for Japan

MagLab engineers install a 30-tesla magnet in Tsukuba, Japan – the highest field resistive magnet in Asia.
June 1997

Magnets in space

MagLab engineers complete a resistive magnet for use on the International Space Station.
March 1996

Funding renewed

The second operating grant is awarded: $87.8 million over five years.
February 1996

Reaching the 33 T mark

MagLab engineers complete a 33-tesla resistive magnet, breaking their own record.
September 1995

Record ICR and EMR magnets

The MagLab installs a world-record 9.4-tesla ion cyclotron resonance magnet system and a world-record high resolution electron magnetic resonance spectrometer of 17 tesla.
July 1995

High homogeneity record

MagLab engineers produce 24-tesla high-homogeneity magnet, eclipsing the mark previously held by the Grenoble, France magnet lab.
March 1995

New 30 T magnet

MagLab engineers produce a 30-tesla resistive magnet – breaking the lab's previous record with the invention of new "Florida Bitter" magnet technology and tying the world record for highest magnetic fields set at MIT.
October 1994

Lab is dedicated

  • The lab is dedicated; Vice President Al Gore delivers the keynote speech and the lab holds its first Open House, which becomes a popular annual event.
  • High B/T Facility at the University of Florida is completed for user operation.
September 1994

ICR Facility launched

NSF's Chemistry Research Instrumentation and Facilities Program awards $5 million to the Magnet Lab to develop an FT-ICR-Mass Spectrometry Facility. FSU chemistry professor Alan Marshall is named director. The state of Florida matches with $2 million to acquire high-field superconducting magnets.
June 1994

First home-built magnet

The first MagLab-engineered and -built resistive magnet is installed and successfully tested. At 27 tesla, it sets a new world record. First to do research in the magnet is FSU physics professor Bill Moulton.
September 1993

Renovation complete

Final construction and renovation is completed.
May 1993

Pulsed Field Facility launches

  • The Pulsed Field Facility at Los Alamos launches its scientific user program.
  • The first two superconducting magnets are commissioned at the FSU branch; James Brooks (then of Boston University and now a professor at FSU and member of the lab's Condensed Matter Science group) is the first user.
June 1992

Training for undergrads

The first class of undergraduates participates in Minority Scholars Program, which eventually becomes Research Experiences for Undergraduates program.
April 1992

Our first magnet

The Pulsed Field Facility at Los Alamos acquires its first magnet: a 50-tesla short-pulse magnet.
September 1990

Money for magnets

NSF awards the first operating grant, $60 million over five years. Magnets and infrastructure are put in place the first four years.
August 1990

NSF sends MagLab south

The National Science Board awards the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory to the consortium, shocking the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), which had operated the National Science Foundation (NSF)-funded Francis Bitter National Magnet Lab for 25 years.

Proposing a new lab

Jack CrowFlorida State University hires Jack Crow to direct its Center for Materials Research and Technology. Crow, Don Parkin of Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico and Neil Sullivan of the University of Florida in Gainesville collaborate on a proposal for a new national magnet lab to be operated collaboratively by the three institutions and headquartered at FSU.
Last modified on 10 March 2017