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Science in need of space: Festive inauguration of Dresden record lab

Press Release published on December 13, 2013

On December 13, 2013, the new building extension to the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf’s (HZDR) High Magnetic Field Laboratory (HLD) was formally inaugurated by Saxony’s Minister of Science, Prof. Sabine von Schorlemer. The lab is an internationally renowned user center with capacities to generate the highest pulsed magnetic fields in all of Europe.

The extension building, a 20 million Euro investment largely funded by the Free State of Saxony, is a direct add-on to the existing HLD building, that opened its doors to users back in 2007. The new building houses a second capacitor bank as well as six additional pulse cells, which has effectively doubled the lab’s size. “We’re proud that the demand of scientists from all around the World for measuring time at our Dresden lab has been going up steadily for several years now,” says State Minister Prof. Sabine von Schorlemer. “It’s a testament to the high quality of the HZDR’s experimental capabilities and to our researchers’ and technicians’ expertise. The magnetic lab’s appeal is an integral part of the level of excellence and breadth of Saxony’s scientific landscape.”

Currently, the HLD is able to accommodate some 200 external users each year; with the new extension, it will be twice that in the future. International researchers are using the high magnetic fields and the HLD’s various experimental stations to study the structure and function of materials. Says HLD director Prof. Joachim Wosnitza: “At such high magnetic fields and low temperatures available here, we’re able to shed light on hidden material properties. Only then are we able to fully understand fundamental physical properties and to modify materials.” In the end, many users’ main goal is to continue to develop promising candidate materials such as high-temperature superconductors or new kinds of magnets and semiconductors.

In the future, the pulsed current modules and magnet coils developed and manufactured at the HLD are potential candidates for use in the fight against cancer. Working closely with their international colleagues, HZDR researchers are in the process of exploring to what extent pulsed magnets may reduce costs and size of proton-therapy facilities.

Competitive edge as part of European network

For years now, a European network has been in charge of assigning measuring time. To this end, the Dresden High Magnetic Field Lab has teamed up with its Nijmegen (Netherlands), Grenoble (France), and Toulouse (France) counterparts to form the European Magnetic Field Laboratory (EMFL). The goal is to establish the EMFL as a foundation under Belgian law by 2014 at the latest. “This way, we will be more clearly perceived as a single unit, which will help strengthen our competitive edge,” says HLD director Wosnitza. Outside Europe, important high-field laboratories also exist in the US and Japan, although in China labs are also currently starting operations.

For more Information, please contact

Prof. Joachim Wosnitza
Director Dresden High Magnetic Field Laboratory
Phone: +49 351 260-3524

Press Contact
Dr. Christine Bohnet
Press Officer
Phone: +49 351 260-2450 or +49 160 969 288 56