National High Magnetic Field Laboratory

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National High Magnetic Field Laboratory
National MagLab At Night.jpg
National MagLab At Night
EstablishedOctober 1, 1994 (1994-10-01)
Budget $48.4 million
Director Gregory S. Boebinger
Address1800 E. Paul Dirac Drive Tallahassee, Florida 32310
LocationTallahassee, Florida
Campus Florida State University
NicknameNational MagLab
Affiliations Florida State University, University of Florida, Los Alamos National Laboratory
Operating agency
Florida State University

The National High Magnetic Field Laboratory (MagLab) is a facility at Florida State University, the University of Florida, and Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico, that performs magnetic field research in physics, biology, bioengineering, chemistry, geochemistry, biochemistry. It is the only such facility in the US, [1] and is among twelve [2] high magnetic facilities worldwide. The lab is supported by the National Science Foundation and the state of Florida, and works in collaboration with private industry.


Currently the lab holds a world record of possessing the world's strongest magnet for nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy experiments. The 33-short-ton (29-long-ton; 30 t) series connected hybrid (SCH) magnet broke the record during a series of tests conducted by MagLab engineers and scientists. The instrument reached its full field of 36 Tesla on 15 November 2016. [3]


Proposal and award

In 1989 Florida State University (FSU), Los Alamos National Laboratory, and the University of Florida submitted a proposal to the National Science Foundation (NSF) for a new national laboratory supporting interdisciplinary research in high magnetic fields. The plan proposed a federal-state partnership serving magnet-related research, science and technology education, and partnering industry. The goal was to maintain the competitive position of the US in magnet-related research and development. Following a peer-review competition, the NSF approved the FSU-led consortium's proposal.

Competing proposal by MIT

In a competing proposal to the NSF, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), with the University of Iowa, the University of Wisconsin–Madison, Brookhaven National Laboratory, and Argonne National Laboratory, had suggested improving the existing world-class Francis Bitter Magnet Laboratory at MIT. On September 5, 1990, MIT researchers asked the 21 members of the National Science Board (NSB) to "review and reconsider" its decision. [4] With $60 million at stake in the NSF grant, MIT stated it would phase out the Francis Bitter Lab if it lost its appeal, the first of its kind in NSF history. The request was turned down September 18, 1990. [5]

Early years

The laboratory's early years were spent establishing infrastructure, building the facility, and recruiting faculty. The Tallahassee complex was dedicated on October 1, 1994, to a large crowd, with keynote speaker Vice President Al Gore.


The lab's mission, as set forth by the NSF, is: "To provide the highest magnetic fields and necessary services for scientific research conducted by users from a wide range of disciplines, including physics, chemistry, materials science, engineering, biology and geology."

The lab focuses on four objectives:

Education and public outreach

The National MagLab promotes science education and supports science, engineering, and science teachers through its Center for Integrating Research and Learning. Programs include mentorships in an interdisciplinary learning environment. Through the Magnet Academy, [6] the lab's website provides educational content on electricity and magnetism.

The National MagLab also conducts monthly tours open to the public, and hosts an annual open house with about 10,000 attendees. Special tour and outreach opportunities are also available to local schools. In an interview on Skepticality, Dr. Scott Hannahs said, "If you come by on the third Saturday in February I believe we have an open house and we have Tesla coils shooting sparks and we melt rocks in the geochemistry group and we measure the speed of sound and we have lasers and potato launchers and we just have all sorts of things showing little scientific principles and stuff. We get together and we have about 5,000 people show up to come and tour a physics lab which is a pretty amazing group of people." [7]


Diagram of the 45 Tesla hybrid magnet National High Magnetic Field Lab00.png
Diagram of the 45 Tesla hybrid magnet

Florida State University programs

The Tallahassee laboratory at Florida State University is a 370,000 sq ft (34,000 m2) complex and has approximately 300 faculty, staff, graduate, and postdoctoral students. Its director is physicist Gregory Scott Boebinger. Its chief scientist is Laura Greene.

DC field program

The facility contains 14 resistive magnet cells connected to a 48 megawatt DC power supply and 15,000 square feet (1,400 m2) of cooling equipment to remove the heat generated by the magnets. The facility houses several magnets, including a 45 Tesla hybrid magnet, which combines resistive and superconducting magnets. The lab's 41.4 Tesla resistive magnet is the strongest DC (continuous-field) resistive magnet in the world, [8] and the 25 Tesla Keck magnet has the highest homogeneity of any resistive magnet. [9]

NMR spectroscopy and imaging

This program serves a broad user base in solution and solid state NMR spectroscopy and MRI and diffusion measurements at high magnetic field strengths. The lab develops technology, methodology, and applications at high magnetic fields through both in-house and external user activities. An in-house made 900 MHz (21.1 Tesla) NMR magnet has an ultra-wide bore measuring 105 mm (about 4 inches) in diameter, this superconducting magnet has the highest field for MRI study of a living animals. [10]

Ion cyclotron resonance

The Fourier transform ion cyclotron resonance mass spectrometry program is involved in instrument and technique development and applications of FT-ICR mass spectrometry. Under the leadership of director Alan G. Marshall, the program continuously develops techniques and instruments and applications of FT-ICR mass spectrometry. The program has several instruments, including a 14.5 Tesla, 104 mm bore system.

Electron magnetic resonance

The most common form of EMR is electron paramagnetic/spin resonance (EPR/ESR). In EPR experiments, transitions are observed between the mS sublevels of an electronic spin state S that are split by the applied magnetic field as well as by the fine structure interactions and the electron-nuclear hyperfine interactions. This technique has applications in chemistry, biochemistry, biology, physics and materials research.

Magnet science and technology

The Magnet Science and Technology division is charged with developing the technology and expertise for magnet systems. These magnet projects include building advanced magnet systems for the Tallahassee and Los Alamos sites, working with industry to develop the technology to improve high-field magnet manufacturing capabilities, and improving high field magnet systems through research and development.

Also at the lab's FSU headquarters, the Applied Superconductivity Center advances the science and technology of superconductivity for both the low temperature niobium-based and the high temperature cuprate or MgB2-based materials. The ASC pursues the superconductors for magnets for fusion, high energy physics, MRI, and electric power transmission lines and transformers.

In-house research

The in-house research program utilizes MagLab facilities to pursue high field research in science and engineering, while advancing the lab's user programs through development of new techniques and equipment.

Condensed matter group

The condensed matter group scientists concentrate on various aspects of condensed matter physics, including studies and experiments involving magnetism, the quantum hall effect, quantum oscillations, high temperature superconductivity, and heavy fermion systems.

Geochemistry program

The geochemistry research program is centered around the use of trace elements and isotopes to understand the Earth processes and environment. The research interests range from the chemical evolution of Earth and Solar System through time to local scale problems on the sources and transport of environmentally significant substances. The studies conducted by the geochemistry division concern terrestrial and extraterrestrial questions and involve land-based and seagoing expeditions and spacecraft missions. Together with FSU's Chemistry and Oceanography departments, Geochemistry has started a program in Biogeochemical Dynamics.

Other programs

Other programs include cryogenics, optical microscopy, quantum materials and resonant ultrasound spectroscopy.

The lab also has a materials research team that researches new ways to make high strength magnetic materials using more common and cheaper elements. [7]

Los Alamos National Laboratory Pulsed Field Facility

Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico hosts the Pulsed Field Facility, which provides researchers with experimental capabilities for a wide range of measurements in non-destructive pulsed fields to 101 Tesla (75 T currently and 101 T under repair). Pulsed field magnets create high magnetic fields, but only for fractions of a second. The laboratory is located at the center of Los Alamos. In 1999–2000, the facility was relocated into a new specially designed Experimental Hall to better accommodate user operations and support. The program is the first and only high pulsed field user facility in the United States.

The facility provides a wide variety of experimental capabilities to 100 Tesla, using short and long pulse magnets. Power comes from a pulsed power infrastructure which includes a 1.43 gigawatt motor generator and five 64-megawatt power supplies. The 1200-ton motor generator sits on a 4800-short ton (4350 t) inertia block which rests on 60 springs to minimize earth tremors and is the centerpiece of the Pulsed Field Laboratory.

The facility's magnets include a 60 Tesla long-pulse magnet (under repair) that is the most powerful controlled-pulse magnet in the world.

University of Florida

The University of Florida is home to user facilities in magnetic resonance imaging or (MRI) with an ultra-low temperature, ultra-quiet environment for experimental studies in the High B/T (high magnetic field/low temperature) Facility. Facilities are also available for the fabrication and characterization of nanostructures at a new nanoscale research facility operated in conjunction with the university's Major Analytical and Instrumentation Center.

High B/T Facility

The High B/T Facility is part of the Microkelvin Laboratory of the Physics Department and conducts experiments in high magnetic fields up to 15.2 Tesla and at temperatures as low as 0.4 mK simultaneously for studies of magnetization, thermodynamic quantities, transport measurements, magnetic resonance, viscosity, diffusion, and pressure.

The facility holds world records for high B/T in Bay 1 for short term low field capabilities and world records for high field long time (> 1 week) experiments. [11] The research group leads the world in collective studies of quantum fluids and solids in terms of breadth and low temperature techniques (thermometry, NMR, ultrasound, heat capacity, sample cooling.)

Advanced Magnetic Resonance Imaging and Spectroscopy

The Advanced Magnetic Resonance Imaging and Spectroscopy program contains facilities for the Mag Lab's NMR and MRIProgram that complement the facilities at the lab's headquarters in Tallahassee. The program is located at the University of Florida's McKnight Brain Institute. Their instruments include a 600 MHz NMR magnet with 1.5 mm triple-resonance, high-temperature superconducting probe, which delivers the highest 13C-optimized mass sensitivity of any probe in the world. [12]

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<span class="mw-page-title-main">Los Alamos National Laboratory</span> Laboratory near Santa Fe, New Mexico

Los Alamos National Laboratory is one of the sixteen research and development laboratories of the United States Department of Energy (DOE), located a short distance northwest of Santa Fe, New Mexico, in the American southwest. Best known for its central role in helping develop the first atomic bomb, LANL is one of the world's largest and most advanced scientific institutions.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Superconducting magnet</span> Electromagnet made from coils of superconducting wire

A superconducting magnet is an electromagnet made from coils of superconducting wire. They must be cooled to cryogenic temperatures during operation. In its superconducting state the wire has no electrical resistance and therefore can conduct much larger electric currents than ordinary wire, creating intense magnetic fields. Superconducting magnets can produce stronger magnetic fields than all but the strongest non-superconducting electromagnets, and large superconducting magnets can be cheaper to operate because no energy is dissipated as heat in the windings. They are used in MRI instruments in hospitals, and in scientific equipment such as NMR spectrometers, mass spectrometers, fusion reactors and particle accelerators. They are also used for levitation, guidance and propulsion in a magnetic levitation (maglev) railway system being constructed in Japan.

In nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy, the chemical shift is the resonant frequency of an atomic nucleus relative to a standard in a magnetic field. Often the position and number of chemical shifts are diagnostic of the structure of a molecule. Chemical shifts are also used to describe signals in other forms of spectroscopy such as photoemission spectroscopy.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy</span> Laboratory technique

Nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy, most commonly known as NMR spectroscopy or magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS), is a spectroscopic technique to observe local magnetic fields around atomic nuclei. This spectroscopy is based on the measurement of absorption of electromagnetic radiations in the radio frequency region from roughly 4 to 900 MHz.Absortion of radio waves in the presence of magnetic field is accompanied by a special type of nuclear transition, and for this reason, such type of spectroscopy is known as Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy. The sample is placed in a magnetic field and the NMR signal is produced by excitation of the nuclei sample with radio waves into nuclear magnetic resonance, which is detected with sensitive radio receivers. The intramolecular magnetic field around an atom in a molecule changes the resonance frequency, thus giving access to details of the electronic structure of a molecule and its individual functional groups. As the fields are unique or highly characteristic to individual compounds, in modern organic chemistry practice, NMR spectroscopy is the definitive method to identify monomolecular organic compounds.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Nuclear magnetic resonance quantum computer</span> Proposed spin-based quantum computer implementation

Nuclear magnetic resonance quantum computing (NMRQC) is one of the several proposed approaches for constructing a quantum computer, that uses the spin states of nuclei within molecules as qubits. The quantum states are probed through the nuclear magnetic resonances, allowing the system to be implemented as a variation of nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy. NMR differs from other implementations of quantum computers in that it uses an ensemble of systems, in this case molecules, rather than a single pure state.

Gregory Scott Boebinger is the director of the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory in Tallahassee, Florida, and a professor of physics at Florida State University.

Naresh Dalal is a physical chemist who specializes in materials science. He is the Dirac Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry at Florida State University, where he is affiliated with the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory. Dalal has synthesized Fe8, one of the strongest magnets known, which has allowed new kinds of medical imaging to be possible.

This page lists examples of magnetic induction B in teslas and gauss produced by various sources, grouped by orders of magnitude.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Nuclear magnetic resonance</span> Spectroscopic technique based on change of nuclear spin state

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A Split Magnet is a resistive electromagnet that is separated into two halves, with the small gap that divides the two sides allowing access to a strong magnetic field. The combination of an accessible gap and strong magnetic field allows for the research of how far-infrared particles scatter. In addition, the magnet can also rotate up to 90°, allowing for the magnet to become parallel to the floor. The magnet uses a combination of 28 MW, a current of 160,000 amps and 13380 liters of water per minute used. The strongest split helix magnet in the world is currently located in Florida State University at the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory, and can generate a field of 25 Tesla.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Dresden High Magnetic Field Laboratory</span> German research facility

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Robert Guy Griffin is a Professor of Chemistry and director of the Francis Bitter Magnet Laboratory at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). He is known for his work in nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) and developing high-field dynamic nuclear polarisation (DNP) for the study of biological solids. He has contributed many different methods and approaches now widely used in solid-state NMR spectroscopy, in particular in context of magic-angle-spinning NMR. For example, this extends to methods for resolution enhancement via heteronuclear decoupling, as well as techniques for polarisation transfer between nuclei.

A Benchtop nuclear magnetic resonance spectrometer refers to a Fourier transform nuclear magnetic resonance (FT-NMR) spectrometer that is significantly more compact and portable than the conventional equivalents, such that it is portable and can reside on a laboratory benchtop. This convenience comes from using permanent magnets, which have a lower magnetic field and decreased sensitivity compared to the much larger and more expensive cryogen cooled superconducting NMR magnets. Instead of requiring dedicated infrastructure, rooms and extensive installations these benchtop instruments can be placed directly on the bench in a lab and moved as necessary. These spectrometers offer improved workflow, even for novice users, as they are simpler and easy to use. They differ from relaxometers in that they can be used to measure high resolution NMR spectra and are not limited to the determination of relaxation or diffusion parameters.

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<span class="mw-page-title-main">Geoffrey Bodenhausen</span> French chemist

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Benjamin Lax was a solid-state and plasma physicist.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Lucio Frydman</span> Israeli researcher

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Malcolm Harris Levitt is a British physical chemist and nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopist. He is Professor in Physical Chemistry at the University of Southampton and was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 2007.

Vivien Zapf is a research scientist at the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory pulsed field facility at Los Alamos National Laboratory. She received her bachelor's degree in physics with computer science from Harvey Mudd College in 1997 and a Ph.D. in physics from the University of California, San Diego in 2003. Zapf studies Multiferrics and Quantum Magnetism. She served as a Millikan post-doctoral fellow at the California Institute of Technology from 2004-2005 and as a Director's fellow at Los Alamos National Laboratory from 2005-2006. She received a Los Alamos National Laboratory Distinguished Performance Award and a Lee-Osheroff-Richardson prize. In 2017, she was elected as a Fellow of the American Physical Society for "seminal contributions to the understanding of quantum mechanical properties of superconductors, quantum magnets, and multiferroic systems at low temperatures and in extreme magnetic fields to 100T." and an outstanding referee award from the American Physical Society in 2019. She serves as the deputy director of the Quantum Science Center, a United States Department of Energy-funded research effort encompassing approx. 17 institutions solving problems in the field of Quantum Information Science. She also serves as a thrust leader and on the management committee at the Center for Molecular Magnetic Quantum Materials, a United States Department of Energy-funded Energy Frontier Research Center lead out of the University of Florida. She serves in the chair line of the executive committee of the American Physical Society Division of Materials Physics.

Scott Crooker is a research scientist at the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory pulsed field facility at Los Alamos National Laboratory. He received his Ph.D. in physics from the University of California, Santa Barbara and his B.A. in physics from Cornell University. He is a Fellow of the Optical Society of America, a fellow of Los Alamos National Laboratory, a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and a fellow of the American Physical Society. He received a Los Alamos National Laboratory Fellow's Prize in 2007 for his outstanding research in the development of novel magneto-optical spectroscopies and their application to problems in solid state and atomic physics systems. In 2007 he also received a Los Alamos National Laboratory Outstanding Innovation Technology Transfer Award for a patent on multifunctional nanocrystals.


  1. "National Science Foundation Supported Research Infrastructure" (PDF). National Science Foundation. p. 66.
  2. Council, National Research (2005-01-17). Opportunities in High Magnetic Field Science. ISBN   978-0-309-09582-2.
  3. "National MagLab racks up new world record with hybrid magnet". Phys.Org, November 10, 2016.
  4. "MIT Asks National Science Board To Reconsider Magnet Lab Vote". MIT Tech Talk (Press release). MIT News Office. Archived from the original on March 11, 2005.
  5. Mehta, Prabhat (September 18, 1990). "NSB denies MIT magnet appeal". The Tech (Online Edition). Retrieved 2009-08-26.
  6. Magnet Academy
  7. 1 2 Derek Colanduno (13 December 2011). "Magnetic Force" (Podcast). Skeptic . Retrieved 5 December 2014.
  8. "MagLab reclaims record for strongest resistive magnet". 2017-08-22. Retrieved 2020-03-03.
  9. "The World's Strongest Magnet". Retrieved 2018-08-15.
  10. "Meet the 900 MHz NMR Magnet - MagLab". Retrieved 2021-08-04.
  11. "World Records - MagLab". Retrieved 2021-08-04.
  12. "2019 Annual Report" (PDF). National MagLab.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)

Coordinates: 30°25′31″N84°19′15″W / 30.425215°N 84.320915°W / 30.425215; -84.320915