A $2.5 million split magnet system has the potential to revolutionize research across many fields, according to scientists at the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory (Mag Lab) at Florida State University, where the giant magnet made its debut. The world-record magnet operates at 25 tesla — equal to 500,000 times the Earth's magnetic field — and surpasses the 17.5 tesla French record set in 1991 for this style of magnet. The new magnet is 43% more powerful than the French unit and features 1,500 times as much space at its center, allowing room for a greater range of experiments.

The split magnet features four large elliptical ports that provide scientists with direct horizontal access to the magnet's central experimental space, or bore, while still maintaining a high magnetic field.

“The Mag Lab has developed numerous world-record magnets. However, the split magnet is the largest single step forward in technology over the past 20 years,” says Mark Bird, director of the lab's Magnet Science and Technology division.

For many years, scientists have used high magnetic fields to explore the properties of materials under extreme conditions of heat and pressure. For more information, visit magnet.fsu.edu.