Researchers at the MagLab are making discoveries today that will lead to the technologies of tomorrow. Whether a member of one of our robust in-house research groups or one of the nearly 1,400 outside scientists who do experiments here annually, MagLab researchers understand how high magnetic fields lead to making big discoveries.
Seeking the most powerful magnetic fields on Earth, scientists and engineers from across the world come to the MagLab to explore promising new materials, solve energy challenges and grow our understanding of living things. This kind of research has played a critical role in developing new technologies used every day – from electric lights and computers to motors, plastics, high-speed trains and MRI. Find out more by exploring our research initiatives, learning about our interdisciplinary research, or digging deeper into the hundreds of publications generated annually by MagLab researchers.
Scientists use our magnets to explore semiconductors, superconductors, newly-grown crystals, buckyballs and materials from the natural world — research that reveals the secret workings of materials and empowers us to develop new technologies.
Scientists here are working to optimize petroleum refining, advance potential bio-fuels such as pine needles and algae, and fundamentally change the way we store and deliver energy by developing better batteries.
Latest Science Highlight
Sunlight Produces Water-Soluble Chemicals from Asphalt
29 March 2021
Road asphalt is made from aggregate (rocks) mixed with a "binder” from the residue remaining after extraction of gasoline and oils from petroleum crude oil. Until recently, this binder was thought to be chemically unreactive. Maglab scientists subjected a thin film of asphalt binder to simulated sunlight in the laboratory and used ultrahigh resolution mass spectrometry to reveal thousands of new, water-soluble chemicals that could be released into the environment by rainfall.
Tracking the Potential for Damage in Nb3Sn Superconducting Coils from the Hardness of Surrounding Copper
26 March 2021
High field superconductor magnets greater than 10 T made from brittle Nb3Sn superconducting wires need special attention to their assembly, strength and endurance. This new study of damage in Nb3Sn superconducting wire from prototype accelerator coils built at CERN provides a path to designing better superconductor cables for the next generation of higher field accelerator magnets.
Broadening Participation in DC Field Facility by Bridging a Research Infrastructure Gap
26 March 2021
Researchers based at four-year colleges and universities outside of the Research-1 (R1) tier face more obstacles to performing research than their colleagues from R1 universities or national laboratories with robust research infrastructures. Recognizing the need to bridge this infrastructure gap, the MagLab's DC Field Facility expanded access by adding two low-field magnet systems. These "on-ramp" systems facilitate critical access to materials research instrumentation by faculty and students from non-R1 institutions.
Tracking the Potential for Damage in Nb3Sn Superconducting Coils from the Hardness of Surrounding Copper, S. Balachandran, et al., Superconductor Science and Technology, 34, 025001 (2021) See Science Highlight or Read online
Inducing Magnetic Ring Currents in Non-Magnetic Aromatic Molecules: A Finding From the 25 T Split-Florida Helix , B. Kudisch, et al., Proceedings of the National Academies of Science, 117 (21), 11289-11298 (2020) See Science Highlight or Read online