The newly designed magnetic shell can either expel or concentrate magnetic energy. In the left panels, a small dipole magnet in (a) is surrounded by a magnetic shell in (b), which expels its magnetic energy further outward. In (c), a second shell harvests the energy and concentrates it into its center hole; in this way, magnetic energy is transferred through empty space. In the right panels, two dipole magnets in (d) are surrounded by shells in (e) that expel their magnetic energy. As shown in (f), the result is magnetic coupling between the two dipoles. Credit: Carles Navau, et al. ©2012 American Physical Society

Magnetic shell provides unprecedented control of magnetic fields

January 4, 2013 by Lisa Zyga

(—A general property of magnetic fields is that they decay with the distance from their magnetic source. But in a new study, physicists have shown that surrounding a magnetic source with a magnetic shell can enhance the magnetic field as it moves away from the source, allowing magnetic energy to be transferred to a distant location through empty space. By reversing this technique, the scientists showed that the transferred magnetic energy can be captured by a second magnetic shell located some distance away from the first shell. The second shell can then concentrate the captured magnetic energy into a small interior region. The achievement represents an unprecedented ability to transport and concentrate magnetic energy, and could have applications in the wireless transmission of energy, medical techniques, and other areas.

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