3 October 2013

MagLab to celebrate significant milestone in large-scale magnet project

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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — MagLab engineers and visiting Berlin scientists are celebrating a major accomplishment as they prepare to ship a critical section of a new record-breaking magnet to Germany.

7.2 ton “cold-mass” of the series connected hybrid magnetThe 7.2 ton “cold-mass” of the series connected hybrid magnet begins its journey from Tallahassee to Berlin.Working under a six-year, $11.6 million agreement with Helmholtz Zentrum Berlin (HZB), a national lab in Germany, the MagLab is building a custom magnet that will help scientists learn more than ever about magnetic phenomena in different materials ranging from magnetic storage to high-temperature superconductors. They have completed a critical component of the system, a 7.2 ton “cold-mass” featuring a powerful superconducting magnet, and are celebrating their success Oct. 4 at the MagLab’s headquarters in Tallahassee.

“This is a critical collaboration that allows us a new way to explore the atomic structure of cutting-edge materials,” said HZB physicist Peter Smeibidl. “The completion of this component is very exciting and we know it will open up a new world of structural research.”

MagLab Director of MS&T Mark Bird with the Berlin-bound “cold-mass.”MagLab Director of MS&T Mark Bird with the Berlin-bound “cold-mass.”HZB leaders considered potential partners in Germany, France and Japan before coming to MagLab engineers to build their unique magnet. The planet’s premiere magnet-makers, MagLab’s engineers have previously built magnets for labs in Japan, France, The Netherlands, Australia, Germany and elsewhere.

When complete, this 25-tesla series connected hybrid will be the highest field magnet for neutron scattering in the world, reaching fields 47 percent higher than what is currently available. Built on the framework of the 45-tesla world record magnet housed in Tallahassee, the new magnet is horizontal as opposed to the traditional vertical orientation of most high-field magnets, and offers a cone-shaped bore to allow neutrons to be scattered at large angles.

Current leaders from HZB and former HZB-director Michael Steiner will join FSU Vice President for Research Gary K. Ostrander, MagLab Director Greg Boebinger and Mark Bird, the lab’s director of Magnet Science and Technology, at the celebration. The event will take place at 11 a.m. at 1800 East Paul Dirac Drive in Tallahassee.


The National High Magnetic Field Laboratory is the world’s largest and highest-powered magnet facility. Located at Florida State University, the University of Florida and Los Alamos National Laboratory, the interdisciplinary National MagLab hosts scientists from around the world to perform basic research in high magnetic fields, advancing our understanding of materials, energy and life. The lab is funded by the National Science Foundation (DMR-1157490) and the state of Florida. For more information, visit us online at nationalmaglab.org or follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest at NationalMagLab.

Last modified on 21 August 2014