BEIJING, Oct. 10 (Xinhua) — Scientists should be able to create a “supermagnetic field” on Earth, comparable to the magnetic field strength of black holes and neutre stars, according tomedia reports. According to a new study by Masakatsu Murakami, an engineer at Osaka University in Japan, and colleagues, the use of lasers to bombard microcontrods produces very strong magnetic fields, which will be important for basic physics, materials science and astronomy research. The research paper was published in the open access journal Scientific Reports on October 6.
Most of the earth’s magnetic fields, even man-made ones, are not particularly strong. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) used in hospitals typically produces 1 Tesla (equivalent to 10,000 Gauss), compared with 0.3-0.5 Gaussus for the compass’s pointer northwards, and up to 10.5 Teslas (105,000 Gauss) for some magnetic resonance imaging devices. In 2018, scientists used lasers in the lab to create up to 1,200 Tesla’s magnetic fields, and they never exceeded that “extreme magnetic field.”
The latest simulations show that it should be possible to create a magnetic field of 1 million Teslas, and Masakatsu Murakami and his team have discovered through computer simulation and modeling experiments that shooting ultra-strong laser pulses in hollow tubes with a diameter of just a few microns activates the electrons of the tube walls, causing electrons to jump into cavities in the center of the hollow tubes, creating centric bursts in the hollow tubes. The interaction of these ultrathermal electrons and the centring of the hollow tubes cause the current to flow, which forms a magnetic field in which the researchers found that the current amplifies the existing magnetic field by two to three orders of magnitude.
This supermagnetic field does not last long and will disappear after about 10 nanconds. But this is enough time for modern physics experiments, which often study particles and conditions that disappear instantaneously.
Masakatsu Murakami and the team will further use supercomputer simulations to prove that these supermagnetic fields can be achieved using modern technology, calculating that generating supermassors under real-world conditions requires pulsed energy of 0.1-1 joules and a total power of 10-100 gigawatts of laser systems (1 gigawatt equals 1 trillion watts). According to a 2018 report in the journal Science, Europe’s extreme light infrastructure has deployed 10 trillion watts of lasers, and Chinese scientists plan to build 100 trillion watts of lasers, known as “super-strong laser stations.”
Ultra-strong magnetic fields are used in a variety of applications in basic physics, including the search for dark matter. U.S. scientific media have reported that supermagnetic magnets can also limit plasma in fusion reactors to smaller areas, laying the foundation for future achievable fusion energy. (Ye Tingcheng)