An international team of scientists led by researchers from the Department of Physics of the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona has developed a material which guides and transports a magnetic field from one location to the other, similar to how an optical fibre transports light or a hose transports water.
The magnetic hose designed by the researchers consists of a ferromagnetic cylinder covered by a superconductor material, a surprisingly simple design given the complicated theoretical calculations and numerous lab tests it had to undergo. A 14-centimeter prototype was built, which transports the magnetic field from one extreme to the other with a efficiency of 400% in comparison to current methods used to transport these fields.
Even with the efficiency of the prototype, researchers theoretically demonstrated that the magnetic hose can be even more efficient if the ferromagnetic tube is covered with thin layers of alternating superconductor and ferromagnetic material.
The device designed by the researchers can be implemented at any scale, even at nanometre scale. Thus, a magnetic nanohose capable of individually controlling quantum systems could help to solve some of the current technological problems existing in quantum computing.
C. Navau, J. Prat-Camps, O. Romero-Isart, J. I. Cirac, and A. Sanchez. “Long-distance transfer and routing of static magnetic fields”. Phys. Rev. Lett. 112, 253901 (2014).