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Record high magnetic fields produced in UK.

Using a new technique, researchers from Imperial College, London, and the Rutherford Appleton lab in the United Kingdom have created super-strong magnetic fields that are more intense than previous magnetic fields created on Earth and up to a billion times stronger than Earth's natural magnetic field. Such intense magnetic fields may enable researchers to recreate extreme astrophysical conditions, such as the atmospheres of neutron stars and white dwarfs.

At the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory near Oxford in the UK, researchers at the VULCAN facility aimed intense laser pulses, lasting only picoseconds at a dense plasma. The resulting magnetic fields in the plasma were on the order of 400 MegaGauss. To determine the magnitude of the fields, the researchers made polarization measurements of high-frequency light emitted during the experiment. Recent measurements suggest that the peak magnetic field in the densest region of the plasma approaches 1 GigaGauss. Due to technological advances, peak laser intensities are likely to increase still further and consequently even higher magnetic fields may soon be possible, the researchers said., making it possible to put models of extreme astrophysical conditions to the test.
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Title Annotation:researchers in United Kingdom created super-strong magnetic fields for research use
Publication:Fusion Power Report
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Nov 1, 2002
Words:184
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