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


Tag: Energy research

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.

Let’s play SciBall!

This sports and science mash up features new geeky games inspired by the cool things scientists study in high-field magnets. 

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.

High Fields at Home

A lot of the research conducted in powerful magnets ends up having a powerful effect on our day-to-day lives.

Felix Bloch

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

Paul Dirac

Paul Adrien Maurice Dirac was an outstanding twentieth century theoretical physicist whose work was fundamental to the development of quantum mechanics and quantum electrodynamics.

Enrico Fermi

Enrico Fermi was a titan of twentieth-century physics.

Joseph Henry

Joseph Henry was an American scientist who pioneered the construction of strong, practical electromagnets and built one of the first electromagnetic motors.

Heinrich Hertz

The discovery of radio waves, which was widely seen as confirmation of James Clerk Maxwell's electromagnetic theory and paved the way for numerous advances in communication technology, was made by German physicist Heinrich Hertz.

James Joule

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

Klaus von Klitzing

Klaus von Klitzing is a Nobel laureate who won the prestigious award in 1985 for his discovery of the quantized Hall effect, sometimes referred to as the quantum Hall effect.

Heinrich Friedrich Emil Lenz

At the turn of the 19th century, scientists were beginning to gain a rudimentary understanding of electricity and magnetism, but they knew almost nothing about the relationship between the two.

Theodore Maiman

Theodore Maiman built the world's first operable laser, which utilized a small synthetic rod with silvered ends to produce a narrow beam of monochromatic light with a wavelength of approximately 694 nanometers.

Walther Meissner

Walther Meissner discovered while working with Robert Ochsenfeld that superconductors expel relatively weak magnetic fields from their interior and are strongly diamagnetic.

Wolfgang Pauli

Austrian-born scientist Wolfgang Ernst Pauli made numerous important contributions to twentieth-century theoretical physics, including explaining the Zeeman effect, first postulating the existence of the neutrino, and developing what has come to be known as the Pauli exclusion principle.

Jean-Charles-Athanase Peltier

Although he didn't start studying physics until he retired from the clock-making business at age 30, French native Jean Peltier made immense contributions to science that still reverberate today.

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.

Julian Schwinger

Theoretical physicist Julian Schwinger used the mathematical process of renormalization to rid the quantum field theory developed by Paul Dirac of serious incongruities with experimental observations that had nearly prompted the scientific community to abandon it.

Nikola Tesla

Awarded more than 100 patents over the course of his lifetime, Nikola Tesla was a man of considerable genius and vision.

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.

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.

Fluorescent Lamps – 1934

Compared to incandescent lamps, fluorescent lamps last longer, require less energy and produce less heat, advantages resulting from the different way in which they generate light.

Geiger Counter – 1908

Counting alpha particles was tedious and time-consuming work, until Hans Geiger came up with a device that did the job automatically.

Gold Leaf Electroscope – 1787

For centuries, the electroscope was one of the most popular instruments used by scientists to study electricity. Abraham Bennet first described this version in 1787.

Hydroelectric Power Station – 1882

The first hydroelectric power plant, known as the Vulcan Street Plant, was powered by the Fox River in Appleton, Wisconsin.

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.

Planté Battery – 1859

French physicist Gaston Planté invented the first rechargeable battery, leaving an enduring legacy in battery history. To see it, just pop the hood of your car.

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.

1830 - 1839

The first telegraphs are constructed and Michael Faraday produces much of his brilliant and enduring research into electricity and magnetism, inventing the first primitive transformer and generator.

1840 - 1849

The legendary Faraday forges on with his prolific research and the telegraph reaches a milestone when a message is sent between Washington, DC, and Baltimore, MD.

Spin-Charge Interconversion at Near-Terahertz Frequencies

This work reports the first observation of the dynamical generation of a spin polarized current from an antiferromagnetic material into an adjacent non-magnetic material and its subsequent conversion into electrical signals

Magnetoelastic Coupling in the Multiferroic BiFeO3

High-resolution electron magnetic resonance studies of the spin-wave spectrum in the high-field phase of the multiferroic Bismuth ferrite (BiFeO3) reveal direct evidence for the magnetoelastic coupling through a change in lattice symmetry from rhombohedral to monoclinic. This study provides important information for designing future spintronics devices based on BiFeO3.

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.

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.

Sunlight Produces Water-Soluble Chemicals from Asphalt

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.

Pavement Sealant Leaches Environmental Contaminants

New research shows that high concentrations of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) found in coal tar pavement sealants are oxidized into toxic, water-soluble compounds by sunlight and subsequently washed into the environment by rainwater, polluting natural water systems, negatively impacting marine ecosystems and public health. 

ICR Applications

These include biological, environmental and petrochemical applications as well as analytical method development for FT-ICR mass spectrometry.

"Molecular Sieves" Could Lead to Much Cheaper Gas Production

Combining high-field NMR with infrared microscopy, scientists learned more about how gas diffuses in a novel class of molecular sieves that could one day be used for gas separation.

Probing Metal Organic Frameworks with 17O NMR at 35.2 T

Metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) are porous materials with high surface areas that can host a variety of different guest molecules, leading to applications in catalysis, drug delivery, chemical separation, fuel cells, and data storage. In order to design better MOFs, knowledge of their molecular-level structures is crucial. At the MagLab, the highest-field NMR spectrometer in the world was used to probe the complex structures of MOFs both "as built" and as they exist when other "guest" molecules are inserted inside the framework.

Structure of Boron-Based Catalysts from 11B Solid-State NMR at 35.2T

Measurements performed at the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory provide unique insight into molecular structure of next-generation catalysts for the production of the widely used industrial chemical, propene.

A New Method for Understanding Dynamic Nuclear Polarization

A new method to study how the nuclei of atoms “communicate” with one another in the presence of unpaired electron spins has been developed at the MagLab. Known as hyperpolarization resurgence (HypRes), this method benefits and expands the application of a revolutionary technique known as dynamic nuclear polarization (DNP), which provides enormous signal enhancements in nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) experiments.

Smart Non-Linear Transport Technique Expands the Frontier of Superconductor Research

Superconductors conduct large amounts of electricity without losses. They are also used to create very large magnetic fields, for example in MRI machines, to study materials and medicine. Here, researchers developed a fast, new "smart" technique to measure how much current a superconductor can carry using very high pulsed magnetic fields.

Clues About Unconventional Superconductivity From High-Field Hall Data

In everyday life, phase transitions - like when water boils and turns into steam or freezes and becomes ice -  are caused by changes in temperature. Here, very high magnetic fields are used to reveal a quantum phase transition not caused by temperature, but instead driven by quantum mechanics upon changing the concentration of electrons, work that could hold critical clues that explain high-temperature superconductivity.

Hafnium Greatly Improves Nb3Sn Superconductor for High Field Magnets

Small additions of elemental Hafnium boosts current-carrying capability in Nb3Sn superconductor.

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.

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.

Best Research of 2017

35 highlights out of 423 reports representing the best of life sciences, chemistry, magnet science and technology, and condensed matter physics.

New ‘Architecture’ Discovered in Corn

Findings that “go against the textbooks” may improve biofuel production.

Researchers Stabilize Color of Light in Next-Gen Material

Promising technique could be used to turn light into electricity and electricity into light.

Scientists discover thermoelectric properties in promising class of materials

In a crystalline structure that locks a heavy atom in a metal cage, scientists find a key to materials that can turn heat into electricity, and vice versa.

Researchers Team Up to Make Better Batteries

Researchers see promise in a cheaper, safer alternative to lithium batteries.

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.

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.

New Agreement to Bolster Industry Partnerships

Tallahassee Company MagCorp to Partner with National MagLab.

$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.

Chemists Unlock the Key to Improving Biofuel and Biomaterial Production

Researchers reveal how carbohydrates form plant biomass, information that may lead to new biorenewable energy solutions. 

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.

Fueling the Future

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

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.

Bursting the Oil/Water Bubble

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 chemist put it, A plus B isn’t necessarily AB: It's probably something a lot more interesting.

Safer Lithium Batteries

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

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.

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