TNB Night Owl – Supermagnet

Magnet. Image by Lenny Ghoul.

Recently we discussed how researchers had discovered that exposure of portions of the brain to strong magnetic fields could disrupt a person’s moral judgments.

How strong would the field need to be to affect a person from a distance?  Researchers in Tokyo may be finding out.

At the Takeyama lab, an electromagnet was recently turned on – “triggered” might be a more appropriate word – that generated 1200 teslas of magnetic energy.

Consider that the strongest MRI machines typically operate at approximately 3 teslas.  This is a level of magnetism that comic book writers just shake their head at and think, “that’s silly”.

Such a magnet will destroy itself within microseconds.  That’s exactly what happened here.  The magnet sparked and compacted almost immediately upon being energized.  During those microseconds of functionality, however, measurements were able to be taken which the scientists hope to use to detail information about electrons.

Oh, and it also buckled the heavily reinforced metal doors of the lab.

If you want to watch it, here’s a video.

After a certain point, nearly all physics experiments are interesting ways for scientists to play with ridiculously expensive toys.  And often, blow them up.

Question of the night: what’s the most interesting or unexpected thing you’ve ever watched blow up?

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About AlienMotives 1991 Articles
Ex-Navy Reactor Operator turned bookseller. Father of an amazing girl and husband to an amazing wife. Tired of willful political blindness, but never tired of politics. Hopeful for the future.