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These Giant Magnets Are About to Start the Journey to Absolute Zero

Illustration for article titled These Giant Magnets Are About to Start the Journey to Absolute Zero

Among many other things, General Electric makes the MRI machines that peek inside your body when something’s broke. To do so requires one very cold, very big magnet.

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These magnets are fresh from production at GE’s magnetic resonance facility in Florence, South Carolina. In order to function properly, the magnets inside MRI machines have to be maintained at a very low temperature: they use a vacuum and liquid helium to sit close to absolute zero, or -459 Fahrenheit.

[General Electric]


Contact the author at chris@gizmodo.com.

Image credit: General Electric/Chris New

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DISCUSSION

I suppose I

They use liquid helium to achieve superconducting temperatures and actually use higher pressure, not lower, to maintain helium in its liquid phase.