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The National MagLab is funded by the National Science Foundation and the State of Florida.

1960 - 1979

Computers evolve into PCs, researchers discover one new subatomic particle after another and the space age gives our psyches and science a new context.


  • Quasars
  • Quasars, extremely distant and luminous sources of strong radio waves and other forms of energy, are discovered.


  • Quarks
  • Murray Gell-Mann theorizes that subatomic particles he termed quarks are the fundamental units of matter that make up protons and neutrons. Another American physicist, George Zweig, develops a theory similar to Gell-Mann's, but terms his basic particles aces rather than quarks.


  • Charting polarity
  • American geophysicists Richard Doell, Allan Cox and Brent Dalrymple chart the irregular schedule of the Earth’s polarity changes based on extensive studies of the magnetic properties of rocks from different periods of time.


  • Rare-earth magnets
  • Karl Strnat discovers the first generation of rare-earth permanent magnets.


  • Electroweak theory
  • The electroweak theory is developed to unify quantum electrodynamics with the theory of weak interactions (also known as weak nuclear force).


  • Maglev trains
  • James Powell and Gordon Danby patent the first design for superconducting magnetically levitated trains, becoming pioneers in maglev technology.


  • Magnetic energy storage
  • The first superconducting magnetic energy storage (SMES) system, designed to store energy in the magnetic field created by the flow of direct current in a coil of cryogenically cooled superconducting material, is proposed in France, though it is deemed too expensive to build.



  • Rare-earth magnets 2.0
  • Americans Karl Strnat and Alden Ray develop the second generation of rare-earth magnets.


  • MRI
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is first demonstrated in the United States by Paul Lauterbar. The concepts that made MRI possible were discovered a few years earlier by Raymond Damadian.


  • Standard Model
  • Greek physicist John Iliopoulos presents, for the first time in a single report, the view of physics now called the Standard Model, a theory which describes the strong, weak and electromagnetic fundamental forces as well as the fundamental particles that make up all matter.


  • Apple II debuts
  • Apple comes out with the Apple II computer, the first popular personal computer using microprocessors. The improved Apple II Plus follows in 1979.


  • Magsat launched
  • The magnetic satellite known as Magsat is launched as a joint venture of NASA and the U.S. Geological Survey to undertake the first precision mapping of the near-Earth magnetic fields.