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

Feature Stories

We’ve got something for everyone here in Features — people stories, off-the-beaten-path kind of stories, science-in-action sagas. Take your pick!

Looking for more fun stories about science? Explore the basics of electricity and magnetism and the exciting discoveries that magnets enable in easy-to-understand language at Magnet Academy. 

Cicada

Thin, flexible, strong: MagLab research on the marvel of insect wings


Qubit Q&A

Chemist Danna Freedman explains superposition, decoherence and how they all add up to the most fun you could have with science.


Elan Eisenmesser

Researcher digs below the coronavirus's membrane in search of another layer of infection-causing proteins. 


Illustration of S.O.S sign

Step No. 1 of the scientific process is: Ask a question. Sometimes, when things gets rocky, that means asking for support.


Four people are standing in front of the ocean

A team of researchers pulls off a daring data caper in Delaware Bay, swiping secrets about the movement of molecules between air and water.


COVID has messed with Tim Cross's retirement plans big time.

For membrane protein expert Tim Cross, solving the structure of a misunderstood protein put retirement on hold.


Lucio Frydman is part of a global team of science detectives leaving no stone unturned in their hunt for a weakness in the virus that causes COVID-19.

The virus that causes COVID-19 has thousands of potential drug targets. A global team is on a hunt for the best candidates.


MagLab biomedical engineer Sam Grant is studying how stem cell therapies could be aimed against COVID-19

A team of experts believes stem cells could be a route to a fast, effective therapy.


A globe with signs

Researchers talk about what they're doing outside the lab to protect our planet and how their training as scientists informs those efforts.


asphalt

A deeper understanding of petroleum molecules is shedding a harsh light on how some of them behave in our environment.


Tushar Bhomwick celebrates his "Phew" moment.

A team tackling some gnarly physics using tricky techniques rounds a critical corner. Joy ensues. Then, back to work.


Recycled neodymium iron boride magnet blocks from Urban Mining Company.

Researchers put little permanent magnets into large electromagnets to find out how to make them better.


MRI images of the perivascular networks in the brains of four rats. Vessels with perivascular spaces (PVS) that appear to be common in different rats are highlighted using colored arrows.

Using advanced MRI, a mechanical engineer tackles the question: "Why do you have these big fluid spaces in your head?"


A “kicker” magnet is tested for use in the high-luminosity upgrade to CERN’s Large Hadron Collider.

The world's largest particle collider is getting even larger, and magnet labs are helping lay the foundation.


female symbols

An understanding ear, a shot of confidence and emergency babysitting services: For underrepresented women in science, that's what friends are for.


Representation of perfluorooctanesulfonate (or PFOS), one kind of PFAS molecule commonly used in fire-fighting foams. PFAS are known as “forever chemicals” due to the very strong bonds behind fluorine atoms (depicted in blue) and carbon atoms (depicted in white).

Some manmade chemicals feature bonds so strong they could last forever. And that's a life-threatening problem.


Combatting cancer banner

Scientists are using powerful magnets to learn how to better detect, treat and track the second leading cause of death worldwide.


data

What hides behind the elegantly simple line that describes the relationship between temperature and electrical resistance in certain materials? For so…


Fish and coral reefs

Florida scientists are helping coral protect itself against nitrogen overload.


A Super (Lattice) Surprise

When physicists studied a superconducting material at very high fields, they were pleasantly amazed by what they saw.


National MagLab physicist Christianne Beekman has been awarded a prestigious CAREER Award from the National Science Foundation that will support research into new quantum materials.

Can thin films be designed for future quantum technologies? With a prestigious prize from the National Science Foundation, MagLab physicist Christiann…


National MagLab chemist Yan-Yan Hu has been awarded a prestigious CAREER Award from the National Science Foundation to study defects in materials.

With a prestigious prize from the National Science Foundation, MagLab chemist Yan-Yan Hu hopes to boost the performance of materials used in batteries…


Engineers install the resistive coils of the Series Connected Hybrid magnet inside its superconducting coils. Together, the coils generate a 36-tesla magnetic field.

Two MagLab teams tried marrying vastly different technologies to build a new type of magnet: the Series Connected Hybrid. Decades later, has the oddba…


Hurricane graphic

Located in a region prone to hurricanes, the National MagLab is ready to weather any storm.


Organic geochemist Isabel Romero (left) tapped the expertise of MagLab chemist Amy McKenna (seated) to run her experiments on ocean sediments impacted by the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

Thanks to the MagLab’s expertise and unique instruments, a geochemist finds a treasure trove of oil-spill data buried beneath the sea.


Banner

Researchers talk about their favorite mentors and how they made a difference.


Twisted Physics

Scientists probing the exotic, 2D realm are discovering astonishing behaviors that could revolutionize our 3D world.


Cathy Levenson runs experiments with National MagLab physicist Victor Schepkin (left) and Florida State University undergraduate Nicholas Kynast on the MagLab' s 21.1-tesla MRI magnet. Cathy Levenson runs experiments with National MagLab physicist Victor Schepkin (left) and Florida State University undergraduate Nicholas Kynast on the MagLab's 21.1-tesla MRI magnet.

What happens when a kid with ADHD sustains a concussion? Using high-field magnets, researchers are working to find out.


magnetic north pole

Keeping track of where on earth our poles are is practically a full-time job.


Area residents watch as Florida State University graduate student Travis Drake collects water samples from a stream in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Water samples collected from the heart of Africa contain clues about carbon cycling worldwide.


Fields of Dreams

If engineers build stronger magnets, scientists promise they will come … and that discoveries will follow.


Illustration of The Long Winding Road

Several materials are in the running to build the next generation of superconducting magnets. Which will emerge the victor?


DNP is Having a Moment banner

A technique called dynamic nuclear polarization is hitting its stride, using electrons to shine a light on complex molecules.


The magma-like environment inside this furnace is just what the superconductor Bismuth-2212 needs.

MagLab experts fine-tuned a furnace for pressure-cooking a novel superconducting magnet. Now they're about to build its big brother.


Team captain of the MagLab, Director Greg Boebinger (far left) with fellow team members from across the lab in front of the world-record 900 MHz NMR magnet.

How is science like a team sport? From physics to chemistry to biology, it takes a squad to make progress in an increasingly interdisciplinary world.…


CellBert isn't afraid to get a little dirty in his mission to keep our magnet areas clean as a whistle.

How do you keep the world's largest magnet lab clean? With a super-sized cyborg, of course! 


The demands of competitive swimming prepared lab assistant Christopher Reis well for a science career.

Looking for something to give you the edge in your research? Join the team.


A world map in a jigsaw format

Members of a sprawling science team piece together the puzzle of biochar, a promising tool in the fight against global warming.


MagLab materials scientist Ke Han with tiny samples of manganese gallium, which has shown promise for magnetic applications.

Using high-field electromagnets, scientists explore a promising alternative to the increasingly expensive rare earth element - neodymium - widely used…


Illustration of calcium iron arsenide

For great research to spread through the world, it takes a lattice.


Illustration of a living room

How do science innovations make it from the laboratory into your life?


Going Nano - Magnetism for miniaturization  banner

In physics, researchers are probing different kinds of super small nano-molecules for properties that will lead to the next generation of electronics.


Nanocages may hold key to advances in health, energy banner

Scientists are working to understand the complex reactions that create nanocages, work that could help uncage new drug delivery and energy options.  


Drug delivery is rocket science banner

How is nano science advancing door-to-door drug delivery, but on the cellular level?


Julia Smith (left) and Abbey Centers (right) are testing the application on iPad.

Undergrad streamlines maintenance routine with touch-screen technology


Charlie Sanabria checks on samples in the furnace.

Looking for ways to make better superconductors for the next-generation particle accelerators, a young scientist homed in on how they were heat-treate…


MagLab scientist  Komalavalli Thirunavukkuarasu (second from left) shares stories over lunch with a group of postdocs.

Young scientists learning the ropes find they get by better with a little help from their fellow students, postdocs and colleagues.


A world map

Studying dissolved organic matter helps us better understand our diverse and changing planet.


Surprise under the surface banner

Why do electrons behave bizarrely near the surface of some materials? At the dividing line between two things, there’s often no hard line at all. Rath…


Bursting the Oil/Water Bubble banner

How can the barrier between oil and water in emulsions be broken down? When things overlap, you often get more than the sum of those parts. Or as one …


Safer Lithium Batteries banner

Which adjoining ingredients can yield a better lithium ion battery? Learn about a scientist who is pushing the boundaries of knowledge by exploring th…


Border Patrol banner

Borderline biology? Crossover chemistry? Scientists are working on the edge of their fields to learn how proteins police the walls of cells. 


Joana Paulino defends her Ph.D. thesis as her advisor, Tim Cross, listens in the foreground

The culmination of years of hard work, the dissertation defense is as much an ordeal as it is a ritual.


Research on topological materials done at the MagLab.

At the National MagLab, scientists have been experimenting for years on materials first dreamed up by the newest physics Nobel laureates decades ago.


A cow skull

How do you measure the bite force of a prehistoric megabeast? At the National MagLab.


Ryan Baumbach monitors a crystal growth..

Deep in their beautiful lattices, crystals hold secrets about the future of technology and science. Ryan Baumbach aims to find them.


Charlie Sanabria in the Andes Mountains

Time off from the lab can recharge batteries, inspire new insights and give the brain a break — even when a little science sneaks in.


Dorsa Komijani and mentor Steve Hill with their Nature publication.

When a grad student's first publication lands in the top-tier journal Nature, you can bet it's not beginner's luck.


Illustration

When it comes to science, is there a pot of golden data waiting to be discovered at the end of the rainbow?


A piece of the meteorite Gujba.

At research conducted at the MagLab, a young geochemist uncovers the surprisingly violent origins of a meteorite.


Collabetition graphic

How do you strike a balance between competition and collaboration in science? 


The 36 tesla series connected, shown here under construction in July 2015, is the most homogeneous resistive magnet in the world.

What is homogeneity and why is it so important to scientists? Learn how homogeneous magnets make data clearer by milking the magnetic field strength f…


Postdoc Audrey Grockowiak

Postdocs face big challenges as they learn the ropes of real-life science. The MagLab and other institutions are doing more to help them make the most…


Science teacher Jorge Natal has done two summer research projects at the MagLab

When a Florida teacher had the chance to spend a second summer doing research at the MagLab, he didn’t have to think twice.


A material that you may never have heard of could be paving the way for a new electronic revolution.


900 MHz ultra-wide-bore nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) magnet

What are the ten coolest (and most surprising) things about the world's strongest MRI magnet? 


SciGirls overcame their fears to handle a variety of non-venomous snakes.

Fun, hands-on, field trips to learn more about science is what SciGirls Summer Camp is all about.


Stephanie Reynolds

Ten years and 260 girls later, we look back at the impact of SciGirls, a unique, hands-on summer camp for girls who dig science, by talking to two for…


Shermane Benjamin

Getting a PhD in science is an arduous feat; for some minority students, it can be especially challenging. The MagLab is working to give these student…


Many scientists and engineers at the MagLab moonlight as moms and dads. What can they teach the layperson about raising scientists — or better kids?


MagLab at night

With just a week to use a magnet, researchers work around the clock to eek out as much data as possible.


 Using liquid nitrogen, Kyle precools the test specimens to -320 degrees Fahrenheit (-195 degrees Celsius).

High school intern Kyle Buchholz uses his time at the MagLab to learn science hands-first, rather than head-first.


Paul Rigel with his MagLab researcher and mentor, Rongmei Niu.

Paul Rigel, a Florida middle school teacher, talks about his six weeks working at the MagLab's microanalysis lab.


Jeremy Weiss, a young MagLab materials scientist and mentor, points to some of the data plotted by MagLab intern Gerardo Nazario.

Gerardo A. Nazario, a Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) intern, talks about his eight weeks working at the MagLab and at the MagLab's Appl…


Alicia Calero, foreground, aboard a deepwater oil-and-gas plant in the Gulf of Mexico.

Petroleum engineer Alicia Calero, a former participant in the lab's Research Experiences for Undergraduates program, talks about two MagLab scientists…


Scientist Bob Goddard (center) and two of the teachers he mentored use 3-D glasses to examine images outside his lab.

MagLab scientist Bob Goddard talks about his 17 years as a mentor.


 The dilution fridge

After a series of frustrating failures, a team of MagLab scientists realized they were tackling the wrong problem.


Celebrity scientist Neil deGrasse Tyson poses for a picture with MagLab and Florida State University staff and an FSU student.

The halls of the MagLab are filled with world-class scientists and sometimes even celebrities! 


MagLab scientists

Sodium MRI techniques point to better cancer treatments.


Middle schoolers with their certificates

Teenagers spent Fridays at the MagLab this fall working on a research project. 


Teachers in Research Experiences for Teachers program

These teachers went from their classroom to the lab to spend their summer break learning science skills.


SciGirls at animal shelter

Students take field trips designed to inspire girls to pursue careers in science.


Transfer of helium from helium plant to backyard storage.

A helium-recovery project means major savings — and more focus on science.


Lee Marks' conceptual drawing led to Scott Bole's AutoCAD design (above) of a money- and time-saving machine that winds tape around superconducting cable.

Two scientists put their heads together and created a machine that speeds along magnet production.


Illustration

Anyone can have a career in science. Here are some tips and MagLab programs that will help you hone science skills for students of every age and stage…


Illustration

From Superman materials to tree-bark gasoline, the MagLab is on the front line of energy research.


Physicist Irinel Chiorescu and his student

A scientist taps the sun's ancient power for cutting-edge research.


Control room

Our magnets are like world-class athletes: powerful, but to stay in scientific shape, they need to eat and drink – a lot.


MRI research at the MagLab

With the most powerful MRI machine in the world, you can do cutting-edge studies on neurodegenerative diseases, cancer, tobacco use, muscles and more.


Bitter Plates Stack

Building the world's best resistive magnets requires clever engineering, top-notch science, superior materials and an obsession with quality control.


Metal shop

MagLab machinists collaborate closely with scientists to create one-of-a-kind magnet parts that make possible experiments done nowhere else in the wor…