Who would you choose to build a better Vibrating Sample Magnetometer? The National High Magnetic Field Laboratory chose a rising 2nd year undergraduate physics major.
By Paul Cottle, Florida State University, July 8, 2014
A vibrating sample magnetometer is a device for studying the magnetic properties of materials that was invented at MIT in 1955 (according to Wikipedia). Such devices, which magnetize samples of materials and then shake them - typically sixty times per second - are available from various high tech companies.
But none of the commercially available devices can operate at extremely cold temperatures - like one degree Kelvin - and very high magnetic fields - like 18 Tesla. That's what the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory needed, so they had to find someone to design and build such a device. And the person they gave the job to was Linsey Rodenbach, a 2013 graduate of Tallahassee's Chiles High School.
Linsey is working on the project with Dr. Stan Tozer, a research faculty member at the Laboratory. The Tozer group also includes two other undergraduate physics majors, Amelia Estry and Michael Woods.