A group of researchers at the Institute of Laser Engineering of Osaka University, the Graduate School of Engineering of Hiroshima University, the Institute for Laser Technology, the Interdisciplinary Graduate School of Engineering Sciences of Kyushu University, and the National Institute for Fusion Science, succeeded in laboratory generation of a magnetic field of 1.5 kilotesla (about 50 million times that of terrestrial magnetism). They achieved the generation of this strong magnetic field when a capacitor-coil target (invented by Osaka University) was driven by two beams from the high-power neodymium-doped glass laser, the GEKKO XII Laser.
Generating strong magnetic fields in the laboratory has made it possible to easily place materials to be examined in strong magnetic fields. It has also enabled motion control of electron beam traveling at the speed of light necessary for fast ignition laser fusion, enabling great progress in fast ignition laser fusion research. Furthermore, in new laser astro- and solar-physics research, this technology has enabled laboratory simulation of atom behavior in ultra-strong magnetic fields such as those near neutron stars.
This group's achievement will expand the scope of space and astronautical phenomena to be studied.
Laboratory generation of strong magnetic fields opens new frontiers in plasma and beam physics, astro- and solar-physics, materials science, and atomic and molecular physics. Although kilotesla magnetic fields have already been produced by magnetic flux compression using an imploding metal tube or plasma shell, accessibility at multiple points and better controlled shapes of the field are desirable. Here we have generated kilotesla magnetic fields using a capacitor-coil target, in which two nickel disks are connected by a U-turn coil. A magnetic flux density of 1.5 kT was measured using the Faraday effect 650 μm away from the coil, when the capacitor was driven by two beams from the GEKKO-XII laser (at 1 kJ (total), 1.3 ns, 0.53 or 1 μm, and 5 × 1016 W/cm2).
To learn more about this research, please read the full research report entitled "Kilotesla Magnetic Field due to a Capacitor-Coil Target Driven by High Power Laser" at this page of the Scientific Reports website.