How strong is the world's strongest magnet? (man-made)

I was watching ‘Modern Marvels’ on the History channel a little earlier, and it was a show on Magnets. They showed some of the magnetic cranes at junkyards, but nothing much bigger.

From my own memory I remembered a ‘Mythbusters’ episode where they had some magnets that each had like 2500 lbs of force, which if they were brought together they would pinch whatever was in between w/ 5000 lbs of force, or something like that.

So this sparked 3 questions in my head, I’m sure w/ our qualified dope group we can get answers here. :slight_smile:

1.) What the strongest man-made electro-magnet, and what kind of power does it have?

2.) Would magnets work differently on another planet, with a different magnetic field?

3.) Do magnets do anything when they are outside of an planet’s magnetic field?

WAG: Electromagnet for an MRI

Google anyone?

  1. I don’t know what the strongest is, but I’ve personally seen an 8 Tesla electromagnet in operation in a physics lab doing NMR research.
  2. Magnets generate their field, independently from the planet’s.
  3. Yes, magnets function independently from the planet’s field.

The strongest magnets are electromagnets that are fired by discharging a bank of capacitors into them. They are so powerful that even though they are made out of heavy steel bolted together, they get destroyed after one shot. They are used to study materials in high magnetic fields.

Magnets don’t “work” differently in a vacuum or on another planet, although they won’t interact with a non-existent magnetic field on a planet without an iron core.

A 30 tesla magnet along the lines that beowulff talks about is currently being built in Berlin. It will come online in 2011. Florida State University’s National High Magnetic Field Laboratory claims to have a 45 tesla magnet, though. Both institutions claim to be the world’s strongest. (Perhaps the Berlin one isn’t a hybrid magnet?)

Actually, they’re designed to be destroyed, since the process of destruction is part of how they get the field so strong. The basic idea is that you start with a more-or-less conventional strong electromagnet, and then you use high explosives to implode it and squish all of the magnetic field into a much denser concentration.

So, how big a magnet do I need, to pull an ocean liner into my floating island?

I was watching a bit of that too, today. Later in the episode they showed what was then (~2002) the world’s strongest magnet, which they used to magnetically float a frog. I don’t believe they ever gave a specific strength, other than “A million times stronger than the Earth’s magnetic field.”

What’s the biggest, strongest horseshoe-shaped magnet that’s painted red and white like in Wile E Coyote cartoons?

The one in Roger Rabbit, of course.

For the un-asked-for cosmic comparison, magnetars can have field strengths of around 10^10 Teslas.

The biggest Magnetic Horseshoe can be found in Australia. It’s roughly one and one half miles across.

Magnetic Horseshoe

Forgive me for a complete non sequitur, but the fact that a neutron star can have a magnetic field of 10[sup]12[/sup] Gauss just boggles me.

Fierra bought me a (roughly) 1.5 Tesla-strength rare-earth magnet. A giant thing, that is so dangerous I have to store it in a special corner of a downstairs room in a box. And it did injure me, yes, why do you ask…a fireplace poker swung out as I walked by and got me.

not strictly an answer to your question, but I LOVE the ominous and frightening warnings at this supermagnet retailer:

The Large Hadron Collider is 8.33 T.

And so when they turn these magnets on and point them to each other thru the earth, can they dig the first Trans-Atlantic Chunnel?

Okay, please fight my ignorance and tell me what possible uses there are for magnets of the sizes discussed in Capt. Ridley’s post?

Considering how many important scientific discoveries have come about by accident, do we really need those boffins playing about with toys like this?

Convince me these people know exactly what they are doing!

So people should be doing things at random, trying to discover things by accident?