From transportation breakthroughs, medical innovations to even cleaning on a global scale: magnets are changing the world. We might not think that the decorative pieces we put on our fridge is all that special, but when you harness the power of magnetic fields and put a creative spin on things, it can do just about anything!
When we think speed, one of the top transportations that come to mind is the bullet train. Since 1969, Japan has continuously tried to perfect this technology and in 2015, the maglev train broke a world speed record by running at a whopping 603km/hr.! Maglev uses magnets in place of wheels, eliminating friction for a smoother, quieter, faster ride as the train hovers above the rails guided by electromagnets.
How amazing would it be to have a tiny pill sniff out cancer cells in your body before it has time to spread? Google is working on creating magnetic nanoparticles that can attach themselves onto cancerous cells in your blood stream, helping doctors track and find cancer early in patients. Existing medical equipment like the MRI have also been using magnets for years. Magnetic resonance imaging takes the body’s natural magnetic properties to create images of our internal body parts, also known as x-rays!
The world watched for 87 days as workers attempted to clean up the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill near Mississippi River Delta with much difficulty. The solution to “the worst environmental disaster the U.S. has faced” was created when Arden Warner, a physicist at Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory in Illinois, brought magnets into the equation. By mixing magnetic materials into oil, the liquid could be magnetized and moved much more easily. Apply that in a larger scale and magnets are cleaning globally!
Berger, Abi. "Magnetic Resonance Imaging." BMJ : British Medical Journal. BMJ, 5 Jan. 2002. Web. 12 Jan. 2016.
Griffiths, Sarah. "Could We Use Magnets to Clean up Oil Spills? Tiny Magnetic Particles Could Separate Pollutant from Beaches and Birds ." Mail Online. Associated Newspapers, 13 Aug. 2014. Web. 7 Jan. 2016.
"Japan Maglev Train Breaks World Speed Record Again." BBC News. 21 Apr. 2015. Web. 6 Jan. 2016. <http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-32391020>.
Levitt, Tom. "Cleaning up Oil Spills with Magnets and Nanotechnology." CNN. Cable News Network, 21 Sept. 2012. Web. 7 Jan. 2016.
Mercola, Joseph. "Powerful Demonstrations of How Magnets Can Affect Your Brain." Mercola.com. 27 Apr. 2011. Web. 6 Jan. 2016.
Metz, Cade. "Why Google’s Cancer-Detecting Pill Is More Than Just Hype." Wired.com. Conde Nast Digital, 5 Nov. 2014. Web. 6 Jan. 2016.