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


Tag: Chemistry

How Atmospheric Pressure Affects Objects

Watch how changing the atmospheric pressure around objects can change their size.


The magnets here at the lab generate massive amounts of heat. To cool them off, we need massive amounts of water. But first, we have to take the ions out.

Mass Spectra

Mass spectrum reveals how many isotopes of a given element are to be found in a material.

Simple Electrical Cell

The simple electrical cell explained here is the most basic type of "wet" cell and demonstrates the fundamental chemistry behind batteries.

Daniell Cell

English chemist John Frederick Daniell came up with a twist on the simple voltaic cell.

Mass Spectrometry 101

It's hard enough to weigh something as itty bitty as atoms or molecules. Factor in that they're careening by faster than Jeff Gordon on steroids, and you get an idea what scientists are up against. Using comet particles from NASA's Stardust mission as an example, this article explains how scientists measure atoms, and what kind of secrets they can uncover in the process.

What's in an Oil Drop?

It may look like a simple black blob, but an oil drop is in fact a phenomenally complex mix of immense (relatively speaking) molecules called hydrocarbons. Using a type of mass spectrometry called FT-ICR (in which the MagLab is a world leader), scientists can analyze oil and other macromolecules with amazing precision, uncovering important secrets in the process.

The Wonderful World of MOFs

Follow us down this yellow brick road to learn how these deceptively small molecules conceal enormous potential for applications from carbon capture to data storage.

Amazing Haze

Using the world's most accurate molecular scale, a former astronaut wanna-be is studying Titan's hazy atmosphere, which resembles the ancient chemistry that once surrounded our own planet.

André-Marie Ampère

Although he was not the first person to observe a connection between electricity and magnetism, André-Marie Ampère was the first scientist to attempt to theoretically explain and mathematically describe the phenomenon.

Svante Arrhenius

Svante Arrhenius was born in Vik, Sweden, and became the first native of that country to win the Nobel Prize.

J. Georg Bednorz

J. Georg Bednorz jointly revolutionized superconductivity research with K. Alex Müller by discovering an entirely new class of superconductors, often referred to as high-temperature superconductors.

Gerd Binnig

A native of Germany, the physicist Gerd Binnig co-developed the scanning tunneling microscope (STM) with Heinrich Rohrer while the pair worked together at the IBM Research Laboratory in Switzerland.

Felix Bloch

Physicist Felix Bloch developed a non-destructive technique for precisely observing and measuring the magnetic properties of nuclear particles.

Leon Cooper

Leon Cooper shared the 1972 Nobel Prize in Physics with John Bardeen and Robert Schrieffer, with whom he developed the first widely accepted theory of superconductivity.

Eric Cornell

Born in Palo Alto, California, and raised in Cambridge, Massachusetts – homes to Stanford and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, respectively – you could say Eric Cornell was destined to become a renowned scientist.

Charles-Augustin de Coulomb

Charles-Augustin de Coulomb invented a device, dubbed the torsion balance, that allowed him to measure very small charges and experimentally estimate the force of attraction or repulsion between two charged bodies.

William Crookes

English scientist William Crookes was very innovative in his investigations with vacuum tubes and designed a variety of different types to be used in his experimental work.

Humphry Davy

Humphry Davy was a pioneer in the field of electrochemistry who used electrolysis to isolate many elements from the compounds in which they occur naturally.

Peter Debye

Peter Debye carried out pioneering studies of molecular dipole moments, formulated theories of magnetic cooling and of electrolytic dissociation, and developed an X-ray diffraction technique for use with powdered, rather than crystallized, substances.

Michael Faraday

A self-educated man with a brilliant mind, Michael Faraday was born in a hardscrabble neighborhood in London.

Enrico Fermi

Enrico Fermi was a titan of twentieth-century physics.

Murray Gell-Mann

Murray Gell-Mann is a theoretical physicist who won the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1969 for his contributions to elementary particle physics.

James Joule

James Prescott Joule experimented with engines, electricity and heat throughout his life.

Lev Davidovich Landau

While growing up in the Soviet Union, Lev Landau was so far ahead of his classmates that he was ready to begin college at age 13.

Paul Lauterbur

Chemist Paul Lauterbur pioneered the use of nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) for medical imaging.

Robert Millikan

Robert Andrews Millikan was a prominent American physicist who made lasting contributions to both pure science and science education.

Heike Kamerlingh Onnes

Heike Kamerlingh Onnes was a Dutch physicist who first observed the phenomenon of superconductivity while carrying out pioneering work in the field of cryogenics.

Hans Christian Ørsted

A discovery by Hans Christian Ørsted forever changed the way scientists think about electricity and magnetism.

Max Planck

In a career that lasted seven decades, Max Planck achieved an enduring legacy with groundbreaking discoveries involving the relationship between heat and energy, but he is most remembered as the founder of the "quantum theory."

Edward Purcell

Edward Mills Purcell was an American physicist who received half of the 1952 Nobel Prize for Physics for his development of a new method of ascertaining the magnetic properties of atomic nuclei.

Isidor Isaac Rabi

Isidor Isaac Rabi won the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1944 for his development of a technique for measuring the magnetic characteristics of atomic nuclei.

Heinrich Rohrer

Swiss physicist Heinrich Rohrer co-invented the scanning tunneling microscope (STM), a non-optical instrument that allows the observation of individual atoms in three dimensions, with Gerd Binnig.

Joseph John Thomson

Joseph John Thomson, better known as J. J. Thomson, was a British physicist who first theorized and offered experimental evidence that the atom was a divisible entity rather than the basic unit of matter, as was widely believed at the time.

William Thomson, Lord Kelvin

William Thomson, known as Lord Kelvin, was one of the most eminent scientists of the nineteenth century and is best known today for inventing the international system of absolute temperature that bears his name.

Alessandro Volta

Alessandro Volta was an Italian scientist whose skepticism of Luigi Galvani's theory of animal electricity led him to propose that an electrical current is generated by contact between different metals.

Wilhelm Weber

Researching magnetism with the great mathematician and astronomer Karl Friedrich Gauss in the 1830s, German physicist Wilhelm Weber developed and enhanced a variety of devices for sensitively detecting and measuring magnetic fields and electrical currents.

Carl Edwin Wieman

Carl Edwin Wieman is one of three physicists credited with the discovery of a fifth phase of matter, for which he was awarded a share of the prestigious Nobel Prize in 2001.

Leclanché Cell – 1866

With only minor changes to its original 1866 design, the Leclanché cell evolved into modern alkaline batteries and the most popular household battery to date.

1775 - 1799

Scientists take important steps toward a fuller understanding of electricity, as well as some fruitful missteps, including an elaborate but incorrect theory on animal magnetism that sets the stage for a groundbreaking invention.

1800 - 1819

Alessandro Volta invents the first primitive battery, discovering that electricity can be generated through chemical processes; scientists quickly seize on the new tool to invent electric lighting. Meanwhile, a profound insight into the relationship between electricity and magnetism goes largely unnoticed.

1820 - 1829

Hans Christian Ørsted’s accidental discovery that an electrical current moves a compass needle rocks the scientific world; a spate of experiments follows, immediately leading to the first electromagnet and electric motor.


The Industrial Revolution is in full force, Gramme invents his dynamo and James Clerk Maxwell formulates his series of equations on electrodynamics.

1870 - 1879

The telephone and first practical incandescent light bulb are invented while the word "electron" enters the scientific lexicon.

1880 - 1889

Nikola Tesla and Thomas Edison duke it out over the best way to transmit electricity and Heinrich Hertz is the first person (unbeknownst to him) to broadcast and receive radio waves.

1890 - 1899

Scientists discover and probe x-rays and radioactivity, while inventors compete to build the first radio.

1900 - 1909

Albert Einstein publishes his special theory of relativity and his theory on the quantum nature of light, which he identified as both a particle and a wave. With ever new appliances, electricity begins to transform everyday life.

1910 - 1929

Scientists' understanding of the structure of the atom and of its component particles grows, the phone and radio become common, and the modern television is born.

1940 - 1959

Defense-related research leads to the computer, the world enters the atomic age and TV conquers America.

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.

World’s Strongest Human MRI

Pack a sack lunch and load up! We're hitting the road to learn how this massive magnet tracks sodium moving through your brain.

Making Ferrofluids

This iron-packed substance has a dual personality; one second it's a liquid, the next it's a solid. Mix up a batch at home and see how this unique stuff works.

See Iron in Food

Iron is found in magnet, steel beams – and in our food! It tastes better in cashews than in bar magnets!

Crystal Growing

Watch crystals grow in this time lapse footage and learn how to grow your own crystals at home.

Shapeshifting Slime

It’s slime time! Use the recipes below to make your own ooey gooey slime and explore its shapeshifting states of matter.

Across the Tree of Life: Radiation Resistance Gauged by High-Field EPR

This high-field EPR study of the H-Mn2+ content in the bacterium Deinococcus Radiodurans provides the strongest known biological indicator of cellular ionizing radiation resistance between and within the three domains of the tree of life, with potential applications including optimization of radiotherapy.

Strong Magnetic Coupling in Molecular Magnets through Direct Metal-Metal Bonds

An exciting advance of interest to future molecular-scale information storage. By using the uniquely high frequency Electron Magnetic Resonance techniques available at the MagLab, researchers have found single molecule magnets that feature direct metal orbital overlap (instead of weak superexchange interactions), resulting in behavior similar to metallic feromagnets that is far more suitable to future technologies than previous molecular magnets.

Terahertz EPR Spectroscopy in the High-Homogeneity 36T Series-Connected Hybrid Magnet

New instrumentation allows electron magnetic resonance experiments to be performed in the lab’s flagship 36 T Series-Connected Hybrid magnet, unlocking exceptionally high-resolution EMR spectra at the highest magnetic fields.

Ancient porphyrins indicate far earlier date for photosynthesis

Molecular fossils of chlorophyll (called porphyrins) more than 1.1 billion years old find suggest that photosynthesis began 600 million years earlier than previously established.

Functionalizing molecular nanocarbon with fluorine atoms

Researchers have discovered a new method to create encapsulated carbon nanomaterials that contain fluorine. Known as fullerenes, these nanocages are promising candidates for clean energy applications.

Identification of abnormal hemoglobin from human blood

Precise determination of hemoglobin sequence and subunit quantitation from human blood for diagnosis of hemoglobin-based diseases.

Corrosion Analysis on Acidic Crude Oils using FT-ICR

A new method to characterize crude oil corrosion shows that corrosion in acidic crude oils depends on the specific structures of the acid molecules, information that can help improve oil valuation and refining.

More Accurate Diagnosis for Multiple Myeloma

New technique could lead to precise, personalized cancer diagnosis and monitoring.

Mapping the KRAS Proteoform in Colorectal Cancer

Researchers used the MagLab to produce the first clarified map of KRAS proteins in colon cancer tumors. Twenty-eight additional forms of the KRAS protein were discovered, including a new form of the protein (called clipped-KRAS) that does not bind to the cell membrane, instead serving as a kind of on-off switch to regulate cell growth. These findings may help yield future cancer treatments. 

Highest-Magnetic-Field Ion Cyclotron Resonance Reveals Hidden Complexity of Natural Organic Matter

The 21 T FT-ICR mass spectrometer identified four times the number of species in natural organic matter than lower magnetic field systems, providing a molecular catalogue to a widely-used standard reference material.

Liquid State Dynamic Nuclear Polarization at High Magnetic Field

This finding demonstrates a path forward to dramatically enhance sensitivity for molecule concentration measurement by magnetic resonance using Overhauser DNP.

Solid-State 17O NMR for Studies of Organic and Biological Molecules

Chemists are rarely able to use oxygen NMR to determine molecular structures, since 17O is an extremely challenging nucleus to observe. This work provides a mechanism for obtaining a complete set of 17O NMR parameters for a glucose molecule, paving the way for researchers to consider 17O NMR as a new spectroscopic tool. 

Integration of 17O into the Biomolecular Toolkit

Combining high magnetic fields, specialized probes, and measurement techniques, this work adds the crucial 17O nucleus into the study of biomolecules like peptides, proteins, and enzymes. 

ICR FAIR Data: Improves Understanding of Protein Fragmentation

Reuse of the MagLab's Ion Cyclotron Resonance facility data improved understanding of protein fragmentation and aided the design and release of new algorithms and software tools. This is representative of a new type of MagLab user: A Data User – who accesses MagLab data from public data repositories to advance independent research goals. 

National MagLab Racks up New Record with Hybrid Magnet

Combining tremendous strength with a high-quality field, the MagLab’s newest instrument promises big advances in interdisciplinary research.

MagLab’s Newest World-Record Magnet Open for Science

State-of-the-art ion cyclotron resonance magnet system offers researchers significantly more power and accuracy than ever before.

Researchers Develop New Technique to Build Monolayer Electronic Devices

A unique way to bond together single-layer semiconductors opens a door to new nanotechnologies.

Scientists Discover Cheap Fluid That Could Lead to Cheap MRIs

Finding could make pricey, massive scanners a thing of the past.

MagLab Chemist Wins Prestigious Career Award

Martha Chacón-Patiño to jump-start collaboration that could advance both the treatment of cancer and the study of petroleum.

Ancient Chlorophyll Was Pretty in Pink

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

MagLab Chemist Receives High Honor From Florida State

Lab veteran Tim Cross has been named 2019-2020 Lawton Distinguished Professor by his peers.

Two MagLab Scientists Recognized With Prestigious NSF Awards

Physicist Christianne Beekman and chemist Yan-Yan Hu have been recognized as outstanding early-career researchers by the National Science Foundation.

MagLab Scientists Capture Molecular Maps of Animal Tissue With Unprecedented Detail

Enabled by a world-record instrument, the images convey vast amounts of data that could be useful in health and pharmaceutical research.

New NMR Director Takes the Helm

As head of nuclear magnetic resonance at the MagLab's Tallahassee headquarters, Rob Schurko hopes to expand capabilities and build new magnets.

Sun, Rain Transform Asphalt Binder Into Potentially Toxic Compounds

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

$1M Department of Energy Grant to Explore Clean Energy Materials

New funding will explore the mysteries of the Platinum group elements to investigate possible alternatives to rare and expensive materials used in an array of clean energy applications.

FT-ICR Facility Gets New World-Record Magnet

The MagLab and the Bruker Corporation have installed the world’s first 21 tesla magnet for Fourier Transform Ion Cyclotron Resonance (FT-ICR) mass spectrometry.

Ancient Meteorite Offers Glimpse at the Origins of our Solar System

MagLab analysis finds the space rock is among the most complex materials.

NIH Invests in MagLab Biomedical Advances

Improving technology for research of biomolecules and advancing our understanding of health and disease.

Cracking the Chemical Code of the "Silly String of Death"

MagLab analysis provides new insight about the molecular composition of velvet worm slime, which has long fascinated scientists because of its remarkable qualities.

MagLab Scientist Honored for Contributions to Nuclear Magnetic Resonance

MagLab NMR Facility Director Rob Schurko was awarded the Vold Prize for his contributions to the field of solid-state NMR over the past 25 years.

Cicada Swarm Leads to New Insight on Insect Wings

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

Getting to the Bottom of Deepwater Horizon’s Impact

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

What's in the Water?

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

Esprit de Char

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

Poison in the Pavement

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

'Til Death Do They Part?

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

Ocean's Four: A Science Heist

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

Can a Witch’s Hat Help Solve the Spell of Tuberculosis Super Bugs?

New research is a first step toward understanding how a certain protein may help tuberculosis bacteria survive.

MagLab Tests a New Way to Look at the Lungs

MagLab researchers and doctors at the University of Florida are testing a new MRI technique that can deliver images of the lungs like never before

Meet the 21 Tesla ICR Magnet

Used to perform complex chemical analysis, this magnet offers researchers the world's highest field for ion cyclotron resonance mass spectrometry.

Meet Jenna Luek

A young chemist studying fracking fluid talks about what it's like when science hits close to home.

Meet Nur Gueneli

Paleobiogeochemist (no, that's not a typo) Nur Gueneli put some ancient dirt into our magnets to learn more about the Earth's earliest inhabitants.


ICR technology helps identify new kinds of hemoglobin abnormalities.

Amy McKenna's Science Story

Chemist Amy McKenna describes her path to science and to the MagLab

Ryan Rodgers Makes it Happen

With determination, confidence and a top-notch team, this MagLab chemist exposed the complex secrets of crude oil, busting open a vast, new field.

Last modified on 10 August 2022