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Earth’s magnetic field, a familiar directional indicator over long distances, is routinely probed in applications ranging from geology to archaeology.
The work was conducted in the NMR laboratory of Alexander Pines, one of the world’s foremost NMR authorities, as part of a long-standing collaboration with physicist Dmitry Budker at the University of California, Berkeley, along with colleagues at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). The exquisite sensitivity of NMR for detecting chemical composition, and the spatial resolution which it can provide in medical applications, requires large and precise superconducting magnets. But chemical characterization of objects that cannot be placed inside a magnet requires a different approach. Instead of a superconducting magnet, low-field NMR measurements may rely on Earth’s magnetic field, given a sufficiently sensitive magnetometer.
Paul Ganssle is the corresponding author of a paper in Angewandte Chemie describing ultra-low-field NMR using an optical magnetometer. Earth’s magnetic field is indeed very weak, but optical magnetometers can serve as detectors for ultra-low-field NMR measurements in the ambient field alone without any permanent magnets. In high-field NMR, the chemical properties of a sample are determined from their resonance spectrum, but this is not possible without either extremely high fields or extremely long-lived coherent signals (neither of which are possible with permanent magnets). A key difference between this and conventional experiments is that the relaxation and diffusion properties are resolved through optically-detected NMR, which operates sensitively even in low magnetic fields. The design was tested in the lab by measuring relaxation coefficients first for various hydrocarbons and water by themselves, then for a heterogeneous mixture, as well as in two-dimensional correlation experiments, using a magnetometer and an applied magnetic field representative of Earth’s.
This technology could help the oil industry to characterize fluids in rocks, because water relaxes at a different rate from oil.
The next step involves understanding the depth in a geological formation that could be imaged with this technology.
Eventually, probes could be used to characterize entire borehole environments in this way, while current devices can only image inches deep. Other authors on the Angewandte Chemie paper include Hyun Doug Shin, Micah Ledbetter, Dmitry Budker, Svenja Knappe, John Kitching, and Alexander Pines.
For more information about the research in Alex Pines’ Nuclear Magnetic Resonance group, go here.
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory addresses the world’s most urgent scientific challenges by advancing sustainable energy, protecting human health, creating new materials, and revealing the origin and fate of the universe. DOE’s Office of Science is the single largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States, and is working to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time. Magnetism is one of the two components of the electromagnetic field. All materials are influenced in varying degrees by the presence of a magnetic field, since its constituent particles are charged. Magnetism is a physical phenomenon related to the charge of the particles composing the material and its emission of photons, and as a result of these interactions, the objects undergo attraction or repulsion over other materials. The universe is full of light photons with all known radiation in the electromagnetic spectrum through which light travels. Fundamental particles have a charge and a spin that provides the magnetic field and their motion or vibration provides an emission of photons which make up the electromagnetic field of the particle.
Photons are emitted in all directions through this field, similar to a garden sprayer, but following a pattern of polarities.
As the Earth is made of matter, the vast majority of photons emitted by the magnetic core have a spin in the same direction, creating a strong magnetic field. The sum of the photons with the same rotation generate significant electromagnetic force on Earth.
If a small object in space starts a spin or orthogonal rotation of its photons emitting a field and conjugates with other fields, it can create a magnetic interaction. A material with unpaired electrons can emit electromagnetic charge, as their charges do not cancel as when it exists in even numbers. The materials that can have magnetism easily detectable are iron (atomic number 26), cobalt (atomic number 27), nickel (atomic number 28) and its alloys. Differences in electron configuration in the elements determine the nature and magnitude of the atomic magnetic moments. Placing together a north pole of a magnet with a south pole, the photons collide and overlap in spins that are contrary, then the rotation is void or canceled, only allowing a the electric field and gravity in bodies work, uniting them (although but the electric field is maintained and if they are aligned, will generate an electric charge is likely to occur as a row of electron flow). If overlapping photons have the same orientation of its rotation, the spins are then added or are strengthened, causing repulsion between the bodies by the bombardment of photons from the particles of both bodies. If a body is energized with electricity, will increase the density of the payload field, the number of collisions of photons excluding the external field interaction, aligning electrons were not aligned so increase the magnetic field strength. The larger the volume of a body, gravity will act with largely because the photon is relatively smaller, but as we get closer to the body, the electromagnetic field will be stronger.
Larger objects are always moving in orbits trying to strike a balance between electromagnetism and gravity, just as quantum particles. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

Check out our new site currently under development, combining the Biotechnology and Science Learning Hubs with a new look and new functionality. Magnetic flux is the quantity of magnetic field that penetrates an area at right angles to it. A bar magnet has two poles, named north and south due to the way they react to the Earth’s magnetic field, which is aligned roughly north-south. Gauss’s law for magnetism states that, for a closed surface, such as a sphere, a cube or a bar magnet, the magnetic flux is always zero. Faraday’s Law states that a change in magnetic flux will create a voltage, or electromotive force (EMF), within a coil of wire.
This is the principal behind electricity generators, where movement is created by, for example, running water, wind, or an engine powered by fossil fuels. Paramagnetic materials produce a magnetic field in response to an external one, producing a relatively weak attraction that is not persistent. Diamagnetic substances create a magnetic field that is opposed to an external field, producing repulsion. Calculating the flux for a flat surface at right angles to the direction of a magnetic field is straightforward.
The measurement of magnetic flux at various points on the Earth’s surface enables scientists to monitor the planet’s magnetic field.
The strength of a magnetic field, or the magnetic flux density, is measured in Teslas, a unit named after the electrical engineer Nikola Tesla. A true definition of magnetic flux is considered a fairly advanced concept in physics and is often broken down into a simpler explanations. I read a short story the other day what speculated on what would happen if the magnetic poles of Earth switched around. Now it has provided the basis for a technique which might, one day, be used to characterize the chemical composition of fluid mixtures in their native environments.
Department of Energy (DOE)’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) conducted a proof-of-concept NMR experiment in which a mixture of hydrocarbons and water was analyzed using a high-sensitivity magnetometer and a magnetic field comparable to that of the Earth.
The work will be featured on the cover of Angewandte Chemie and is published in a paper titled “Ultra-Low-Field NMR Relaxation and Diffusion Measurements Using an Optical Magnetometer.” The corresponding author is Paul Ganssle,  who was a PhD student in Pines’ lab at the time of the work.
In ex situ NMR measurements, the geometry of a typical high-field experiment is reversed such that the detector probes the sample surface, and the magnetic field is projected into the object.
This means that ex-situ measurements lose chemical sensitivity due to field strength alone. In contrast, relaxation and diffusion measurements in low-field NMR are more than sufficient to determine bulk materials properties. Relaxation refers to the rate at which polarized spin returns to equilibrium, based on chemical and physical characteristics of the system. There were attempts to perform oil well logging starting in the 1950s using the Earth’s ambient field, but insufficient detection sensitivity led to the introduction of magnets, which are now ubiquitous in logging tools. Other applications include measuring the content of water and oil flowing in a pipeline by measuring chemical composition with time, and inspecting the quality of foods and any kind of polymer curing process such as cement curing and drying. The combination of terrestrial magnetism and versatile sensing technology again offers an elegant solution. The current publication presents some of the work for which Berkeley Lab won an R&D 100 award earlierthis year on optically-detected oil well logging by MRI. Founded in 1931, Berkeley Lab’s scientific expertise has been recognized with 13 Nobel prizes. Photons will be released with the same orthogonal spin direction of the particle which emits them, the  displacement vector will form an electrical component while its direction or polarity is the magnetic component.
Not all photons will be affected, because not all collide, but the field will be greatly reduced. If the molecules of this material are aligned, the magnetic charge is consistent with parallel spin photons, maximizing its angular momentum and directing full force of spin together, in contact with other quantum particles.
The bodies are affected by electromagnetism of other bodies such as the sun, stars and galaxies that emit their own payload fields. In a simple situation where the field passes at right angles through a flat surface, this quantity is the strength of the magnetic field multiplied by the area of the surface. It is another way of saying that an object, no matter how small, with a north pole must always have a south pole of equal strength and vice versa.
Simply moving a magnet near a coil of wire will achieve this, as will a change in the strength of the magnetic field. Magnets and coils of wire convert this movement into electrical power, in accordance with Faraday’s Law.

Ferromagnetic substances produce a stronger magnetic field of their own, and this field may persist when the external field is removed, leaving a permanent magnet.
All substances show this effect, but it is normally very weak and always weaker than ferromagnetism or paramagnetism. Often, however, it is necessary to calculate the quantity for a coil of wire, also known as a solenoid. It relies on the fact that a magnetic field will create an electrical current in a wire if the two are moving relative to one another.
This field, thought to be generated by electric currents in the Earth’s iron core, is not static, but shifts over time. I've never been able to really grasp the more advanced (and actually shorter) definition of magnetic flux but this article does a good job at defining it in a simple way.
The magnetic field acts as a shield, protecting the planet from charged particles that stream towards Earth in solar winds. Further, the sample of interest must be placed inside the magnet, such that the entire sample is exposed to a homogeneous magnetic field. A main challenge with this situation is generating a homogeneous magnetic field over a sufficiently large sample area: it is not feasible to generate field strengths necessary to make conventional high-resolution NMR measurements. On the surface of the earth there is a balance between the electromagnetic force and gravity, so that there is a relative stability.
If a person takes the two dimensional rectangular surface at the north end of a bar magnet, it has a magnetic flux, as does the surface at the south pole. The voltage produced can be determined from the rate of change in magnetic flux and the number of turns in the coil. Electric motors demonstrate the same idea in reverse: an alternating electric current in coils of wire interacts with magnets to produce movement.
Iron is the best-known element of this type, but other metallic elements, such as cobalt, nickel, gadolinium, and dysprosium, also demonstrate this effect. Another example is oxygen; in this case, the effect is best demonstrated with the element in liquid form. In a few cases, such as a form of carbon called pyrolytic graphite, the effect is strong enough to allow a small piece of material of this type to float in the air just above an arrangement of strong magnets.
Assuming the field is perpendicular to the wire, the total flux is the magnetic field strength multiplied by the area through which it passes multiplied by the number of turns in the coil.
The magnetic poles have, in fact, reversed many times in the past and will likely do so again in the future.
It happens every so often (as in, every million years or so) and we are getting close to the point where it becomes more likely that it will happen. Magnetic flux is an important concept in many areas of science, with applications relating to electric motors, generators and the study of the Earth’s magnetic field.
The magnet as a whole, however, has no flux, as the north and south ends are equal in strength and the field “flows” from the north pole into the south pole, forming a closed loop. Some scientists have speculated that magnetic monopoles may exist, but none have ever been detected.
Very powerful magnets can be made from alloys of the rare earth metals neodymium and samarium. Where the field is not at right angles to the surface, the angle made by the magnetic field lines to the perpendicular must be taken into account, and the product is multiplied by the cosine of this angle. The effects of a pole reversal may be serious, as during the change, the strength of the field would be reduced over much of the planet.
One of the components of magnetic flux is named after Nikola Tesla, so I wonder if he helped to figure out this scrap of science with his experiments in magnetism. The field is mainly generated deep inside Earth by an ocean of swirling iron that makes up the liquid outer core.
The Earth’s magnetic field protects life on the planet from the solar wind, a stream of electrically charged particles from the Sun that would be harmful. How the magnetic field is generated and how it changes over time is complex and not fully understood. But with a new generation of magnetometers, Swarm will provide greater insight into these natural processes and the 'weather' in space.

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