A team of University of Cambridge researchers broke a superconductor world record that was more than a decade old by harnessing a magnetic field with a strength of 17.6 Tesla in a superconductor. The previous record was 17.24 Tesla, set in 2003 by a team of researchers from the Shibaura Institute of Technology.
The Cambridge researchers were able to achieve this new record using 25 mm diameter samples of gadolinium barium copper oxide (GdBCO) high temperature superconductor to form a large, single grain that was able to trap the magnetic field. The new record is approximately 100 times stronger than a field generated by a typical refrigerator magnet. The potential use of these high-temperature superconductors can be applied to a variety of applications including energy storage flywheels, mineral refinement and pollution control, and levitating monorail trains.