A group of researchers at the University of Tokyo blew up their own lab after creating the strongest controllable indoor magnetic field setting a new record in the process. The whole event happened in the blink of an eye but they were still able to catch the whole thing on camera for our enjoyment. Their lab that was specifically designed for the generator used a method called electromagnetic flux compression to test its material properties.

Not what they expected

The team in Tokyo was expecting the field to reach around 700 Teslas (the standard unit for measuring magnetic field strength) but ended up getting up to 1,200.

Michael Osadciw/University of Rochester

This means that the magnetic field produced was 400 times higher than those generated by MRI machines. What is more impressive is that it was 50 million times stronger than the Earth’s own magnetic field.

Not the largest among the magnetic fields

People may find this magnetic field impressive but it’s not the largest field ever produced. In fact, Russian researchers in 2001 created a magnetic field using explosives that reached 2,800 Teslas.

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Their field was so strong and uncontrollable that it also blew up their equipment but couldn’t be tamed enough for study.

Why does this matter?

According to physicists at the university, this magnetic field will help further our understanding of how to reach the “quantum limit” necessary for nuclear fusion. Nuclear fusion is a theoretical power generator that uses nuclear energy to produce heat for electricity, it’s seen a new step towards clean energy.

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Tokyo physicist Shojiro Takeyama stated that “with magnetic fields about 1,000 Teslas, you open up some interesting possibilities. You can observe the motion of electrons outside material environments.” It’s a promising step into creating nuclear fusion once we stop blowing up our own labs in the process.