Articles on Magnetic fields

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ESA’s Swarm constellation reveals new rapid changes of our magnetic field, tied directly to the heart of our planet’s molten iron core. ESA/ATG Medialab

Earth’s magnetic heartbeat, a thinner past and new alien worlds

Space research never stops and it seems neither do the surprises. On ABC Breakfast News I covered some huge results from the last few weeks. Be still my beating (magnetic) heart Earth’s magnetic field…
An artist’s illustration of Kappa Ceti whose stellar winds are 50 times stronger than our sun’s. Any Earth-like planet would need a magnetic field to protect its atmosphere if it was to stand a chance of hosting life. M. Weiss/CfA

What the ‘weather’ is like on a star can help in the search for life

In the search for life on other planets in the universe we need to find the right kind of star, and it needs to have the right kind of space weather.
The invisible force and visible effects of magnetism. Hans Splinter

I’m stuck like glue: why I love magnets and you should too

I have a confession: I’m obsessed with magnets. We rely on magnets every day, but seldom give them a second thought. There are magnets in your credit card, your cellphone, your car, microwave oven and…
Magnets have mysterious powers – now shown to influence heat and sound. Magnet image via www.shutterstock.com.

Magnetic fields can control heat and sound

Sound waves are made of particles called phonons. New research shows they're affected by magnetic fields, with researchers able to steer heat magnetically.
Magnetic traces suggest iron crystals in the innermost core are aligned east-west, rather than north-south. Lachina Publishing Services

Our view of Earth’s inner core is flipped on its side

The planet Earth’s inner core is not a single solid mass but comprised of two layers, and new evidence about the core’s composition from a team of US and Chinese geophysicists suggests that the innermost…
The many colours of visible light just part of what James Clerk Maxwell’s theory was to explain. Flickr/laura peta

Let there be light! Celebrating the theory of electromagnetism

It’s hard to imagine life without mobile phones, radio and television. Yet the discovery of the electromagnetic waves that underpin such technologies grew out of an abstract theory that’s 150 years old…
Faster than a plane? Alex Needham

Can magnetically levitating trains run at 3,000km/h?

Trains that use magnets to levitate above the tracks might sound like something from Back to the Future, but the concept of magnetic levitation has been around for many years. Maglev trains, which use…

Monarch butterflies navigate using magnetism

Monarch butterflies navigate using a light-dependent magnetic compass. Patrick Guerra from University of Massachusetts Medical…
Baby salmon: TomTom not required. Tom Quinn and Richard Bell

Magnetic maps guide young salmon from river to sea

How does a young animal find its way to an unfamiliar location hundreds or thousands of kilometres from where it was born? A reasonable idea might be to find an older, experienced migrant and follow. This…
How will Earth weather solar storms while the sun flips its magnetic field? NASA Goddard Photo and Video

A solar magnetic reversal means there’s no need to flip out – yet

You may have read the sun’s magnetic field is heading for a change in field polarity - meaning it will flip upside down - and could have ripple effects throughout the entire solar system. So what does…

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