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Creation of a distributed European Magnetic Field Laboratory

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An unconventional high magnetic field laboratory

Strong magnetic fields are powerful tools for the study and manipulation of the states of matter. A recently created distributed laboratory provides European scientists similar research possibilities as their colleagues in China and the United States of America.

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The European Magnetic Field Laboratory (EMFL) integrates four major highmagnetic field laboratories. The laboratories behind EMFL are the Laboratoire National des Champs Magnétiques Intenses in Grenoble and Toulouse, France, the Hochfeld-Magnetlabor in Dresden, Germany, and the High Field Magnet Laboratory in Nijmegen, the Netherlands. These laboratories had collaborated in the EUROMAGNET and EUROMAGNET II project to encourage and provide transnational access to their facilities. Within the EU-funded project EMFL (Creation of a distributed European magnetic field laboratory), they set out to establish a single legal entity. In January 2015, just after the completion of the project, representatives of the four laboratories signed the final deed towards the foundation of EMFL as a legal entity. EMFL, an international non-profit organisation, now manages access to their facilities for both in-house and external users. A joint transnational access programme gives access to their installations and accompanying scientific infrastructure, together with the necessary support for their technical staff. The laboratories have the framework to exchange experiences on how to create the highest fields and how to conduct experiments in the cramped space of their magnets. The EMFL legal structure has also been defined in a way (Association Internationale Sans But Lucratif, legal structure under Belgian law) that allows new partners to join in the future. Negotiations with interested parties striving for research and development opportunities at the highest possible magnetic fields have already begun. The high demand for access to high field magnets in the EMFL labs reflects the quality and the diversity of the experiments offered. By providing the strongest magnetic field possible, EMFL is expected to serve as a driving force for developments in science as well as industrial innovation. To accommodate the quest for higher magnetic fields needed to study matter under more extreme conditions, programmes for future upgrades to the existing infrastructure have been prepared. Strengthening Europe's magnet technology, EMFL is destined to become a world-class facility, able to compete with China- and United States-based high-magnetic field installations.

Keywords

Strong magnetic fields, states of matter, distributed laboratory, EMFL, high field magnets

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