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Committee to Assess the Current Status and Future Direction of High Magnetic Field Science in the United States

Report Release!

The final report of the NRC Committee to Assess the Current Status and Future Direction of High Magnetic Field Science in the United States, High Magnetic Field Science and Its Application in the United States: Current Status and Future Directions, was released in May 2013 in prepublication form.  The report is available to read online and for free download through the National Academies Press web site.

PDF Report: High Magnetic Field Science and Its Application in the United States: Current Status and Future Directions

Other dissemination items:

Summary

The National High Magnetic Field Laboratory (NHMFL) was created by the National Science Foundation (NSF) in 1990.  While the original science drivers for the NHMFL principally rested in physics and materials science, over the course of the past 20 years the state-of-the-art instrumentation available through the NHMFL has become increasingly used by disciplines beyond condensed matter physics and materials science, including biology, chemistry, and geology.  The NHMFL also has found applications beyond basic science, serving many applied fields from medicine to the petroleum industry.  This study will assess the status and trends in high magnetic field research and provide guidance for the future of both magnetic-field research and technology development, including funding responsibilities and the evolving roles of a centralized magnet lab and university-based facilities.  Instrumentation has evolved and new possibilities have opened up, leading to the need for an assessment of future opportunities for these facilities.

Project Information

Statement of Task

The committee will assess the needs of the U.S. research community for high magnetic fields. The committee will determine the status and identify trends in the use of high magnetic fields throughout science and technology.

  1. What are the current science drivers and which scientific opportunities and challenges can be anticipated over the next ten years?
  2. What is the current state of high-field magnet science, engineering, and technology in the United States, and are there any conspicuous needs to be addressed?
  3. What are the principal existing and planned high magnetic field facilities outside of the United States, what roles have U.S. high field magnet development efforts played in developing those facilities, and what potentials exist for further international collaboration in this area?

Based on this assessment, the committee will provide guidance for the future of both magnetic-field research and technology development in the United States.  It will address trends in the disciplinary makeup of the user base and consider how the infrastructure should be optimized to meet the needs of the next decades.

  1. On what areas of magnetic field research and development should the United States focus its efforts over the next decade?
  2. What new capabilities should be provided in the United States (taking into account worldwide capabilities and any potential for international collaborations or cooperative arrangements)? 
  3. What is the best model for the infrastructure supporting high magnetic field science in the United States?  Among the issues the committee might consider addressing are-
    (i) To what extent should facilities be centralized?
    (ii) Would the program benefit from distributing a portion of the high magnetic field capability to other locations?
    (iii) How should the issue of providing magnetic fields to light source and neutron facilities be handled? Conversely, what experimental capabilities should be co-located at high field labs?
    (iv) For facilities that remain centralized, should the programs remain divided among the current three locations or be combined?
    (v) What are the trends in providing support for outside users versus supporting in-house independent research programs and do those trends optimally meet the needs of the user base?
  4. What is the best infrastructure model for supporting high magnetic field technology development and U.S. industrial competitiveness?
  5. How can the operational and financial stewardship of the research and facilities be optimized to address changes in the disciplinary spectrum and user needs? 

In responding to these questions, the committee may make recommendations on organizational structure, program balance, and funding.

Committee Members and NRC Staff

Bertrand I. Halperin, Chair, Harvard University
Gabriel Aeppli, University College of London
Yoichi Ando, Osaka University
Meigan Aronson, Stony Brook University
Dimitri Basov, University of California at San Diego
Thomas F. Budinger, University of California, Berkeley
Robert Dimeo, National Institute of Standards and Technology
John C. Gore, Vanderbilt University
Frank Hunte, North Carolina State University
Chung Ning (Jeanie) Lau, University of California, Riverside
Jan Cornelis Maan, Radboud University Nijmegen
Ann McDermott, Columbia University
Joseph Minervini, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Nai Phuan Ong, Princeton University
Arthur P. Ramirez, University of California, Santa Cruz
Zlatko B. Tesanovic, Johns Hopkins University
Robert Tycko, National Institutes of Health

NRC Staff

James Lancaster, Director
Caryn Knutsen, Associate Program Officer
Teri G. Thorowgood, Administrative Coordinator

Upcoming Events

Meeting 4
September 29-30, 2012
Irvine, CA

Past Events

Meeting 1
March 12-13, 2012
Keck Center of the National Academies
Washington, DC
Agenda and meeting info is availbale on the NAS Current Projects System
Meeting Presentations

Meeting 2
May 17-18, 2012
Keck Center of the National Academies
Washington, DC
Agenda and meeting info is availbale on the NAS Current Projects System
Meeting Presentations

Meeting 3
July 19-20, 2012
Irvine, CA
Agenda and meeting info is availbale on the NAS Current Projects System
This meeting was held entirely in closed session.

Community Input

Dear Colleague,

The National Research Council (NRC) has established a committee called the Committee to Assess the Current Status and Future Direction of High Magnetic Field Science in the United States (MagSci), which will produce a report on the current status and trends in the U.S. research community for high magnetic fields throughout science and technology, and guidance for the future of both the scientific disciplines that use high field magnets and the magnetic-technology development community in the United States.  More information about the study can be found at http://sites.nationalacademies.org/BPA/BPA_067287. With this message, the MagSci committee invites you to send it any information or opinions you feel should be taken into account during its deliberations.

Specifically, how have high magnetic fields had an impact on your research?  What scientific advances might your research lead to?  How have you taken advantage of facilities at the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory (NHMFL) or other high-field magnet centers?  Have you utilized international high magnet field facilities for your research?  What new facilities or new capabilities would be most valuable to you?  In what new areas of research are high magnetic fields likely to have a large impact?  Are the challenges related to the current status of high magnetic field science impacting your research?  Do you have any other comments? How does support for magnetic field research compare with support elsewhere?

By way of background, we note that when the NSF created the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory (NHMFL) in 1990, the original drivers principally resided in physics and materials science.  Since then, the instrumentation available through the NHMFL has become increasingly used by other disciplines, including biology, chemistry, and geology.  The NHMFL also has found applications beyond basic science, serving many applied fields from medicine to the petroleum industry.  Consequently, in 2011, the NSF commissioned the NRC to generate an assessment of the current status and future direction of both high magnetic field science and technology development in the United States.

The MagSci committee is distributing this message to as many members of the high magnetic field community as possible, using several different organizations, because it wants to be sure that all voices have been heard before it issues its report. We apologize if you have received multiple copies of this letter.

If you have information you want to transmit to the MagSci committee, please send it by e-mail to NRCMagSci2012@nas.edu.  It would be helpful to have your comments by June 20, 2012.  Please note that in accord with government regulations for federal advisory committees, all information submitted to the committee will be made available to the public. Thank you for your help.

For MagSci,

Bertrand Halperin, Chair
Committee to Assess the Current Status and Future Direction of High Magnetic Field Science in the United States

*Please feel free to send other comments or suggestions to the committee via e-mail at NRCMagSci2012@nas.edu.  Input will be posted on the public access file, which is available through the NAS Public Access Records Office.

Sponsor

The project is pleased to acknowledge support from the National Science Foundation and the U.S. Department of Energy.

The National Academies' Current Projects System

The National Academies' Current Projects System maintains the public record of committees' activities compliant to Section 15 of the Federal Advisory Committee Act.  Visit the Committee to Assess the Current Status and Future Direction of High Magnetic Field Science in the United States Current Projects page for more information.

 

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