Tesla (unit)

From HandWiki
Short description: SI unit of magnetic field strength
Unit systemSI derived unit
Unit ofMagnetic B-field
Magnetic flux density
Named afterNikola Tesla
Derivation:1 T = 1 Wb/m2
1 T in ...... is equal to ...
   SI base units   1 kgs−2A−1
   Gaussian units   1×104 G

The tesla (symbol: T) is a derived unit of the magnetic B-field strength (also, magnetic flux density) in the International System of Units.

One tesla is equal to one weber per square metre. The unit was announced during the General Conference on Weights and Measures in 1960 and is named[1] in honour of Nikola Tesla, upon the proposal of the Slovenian electrical engineer France Avčin.

The strongest fields encountered from permanent magnets on Earth are from Halbach spheres and can be over 4.5 T. The record for the highest sustained pulsed magnetic field has been produced by scientists at the Los Alamos National Laboratory campus of the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory, the world's first 100-tesla non-destructive magnetic field.[2] In September 2018, researchers at the University of Tokyo generated a field of 1200 T which lasted in the order of 100 microseconds using the electromagnetic flux-compression technique.[3]


A particle, carrying a charge of one coulomb, and moving perpendicularly through a magnetic field of one tesla, at a speed of one metre per second, experiences a force with magnitude one newton, according to the Lorentz force law. As an SI derived unit, the tesla can also be expressed as

[math]\displaystyle{ \text{T} = \dfrac{\text{V}{\cdot}{\text{s}}}{\text{m}^2} = \dfrac{\text{N}}{\text{A}{\cdot}\text{m}} = \dfrac{\text{J}}{\text{A}{\cdot}\text{m}^2} = \dfrac{\text{H}{\cdot}\text{A}}{\text{m}^2} = \dfrac{\text{Wb}}{\text{m}^2} = \dfrac{\text{kg}}{\text{C}{\cdot}\text{s}} = \dfrac{\text{N}{\cdot}\text{s}}{\text{C}{\cdot}\text{m}} = \dfrac{\text{kg}}{\text{A}{\cdot}\text{s}^2} }[/math]

(The last equivalent is in SI base units).[4]

Where A = ampere, C = coulomb, kg = kilogram, m = metre, N = newton, s = second, H = henry, V = volt, J = joule, and Wb = weber

Electric vs. magnetic field

In the production of the Lorentz force, the difference between electric fields and magnetic fields is that a force from a magnetic field on a charged particle is generally due to the charged particle's movement,[5] while the force imparted by an electric field on a charged particle is not due to the charged particle's movement. This may be appreciated by looking at the units for each. The unit of electric field in the MKS system of units is newtons per coulomb, N/C, while the magnetic field (in teslas) can be written as N/(C⋅m/s). The dividing factor between the two types of field is metres per second (m/s), which is velocity. This relationship immediately highlights the fact that whether a static electromagnetic field is seen as purely magnetic, or purely electric, or some combination of these, is dependent upon one's reference frame (that is, one's velocity relative to the field).[6][7]

In ferromagnets, the movement creating the magnetic field is the electron spin[8] (and to a lesser extent electron orbital angular momentum). In a current-carrying wire (electromagnets) the movement is due to electrons moving through the wire (whether the wire is straight or circular).


One tesla is equivalent to:[9]

10,000 (or 104) G (Gauss), used in the CGS system. Thus, 10 kG = 1 T (tesla), and 1 G = 10−4 T = 100 μT (microtesla).
1,000,000,000 (or 109) γ (gamma), used in geophysics.[10] Thus, 1 γ = 1 nT (nanotesla).
42.6 MHz of the 1H nucleus frequency, in NMR. Thus, the magnetic field associated with NMR at 1 GHz is 23.5 T.

One tesla is equal to 1 V⋅s/m2. This can be shown by starting with the speed of light in vacuum,[11] c = (ε0μ0)−1/2, and inserting the SI values and units for c (2.998×108 m/s), the vacuum permittivity ε0 (8.85×10−12 A⋅s/(V⋅m)), and the vacuum permeability μ0 (12.566×10−7 T⋅m/A). Cancellation of numbers and units then produces this relation.

For the relation to the units of the magnetising field (ampere per metre or Oersted), see the article on permeability.


The following examples are listed in ascending order of field strength.

  • 3.2 × 10−5 T (31.869 μT) – strength of Earth's magnetic field at 0° latitude, 0° longitude
  • 4 × 10−5 T (40 μT) – walking under a high-voltage power line or 5 cm from a vacuum cleaner[12]
  • 5 × 10−3 T (5 mT) – the strength of a typical refrigerator magnet
  • 0.3 T – the strength of solar sunspots
  • 1.25 T – magnetic flux density at the surface of a neodymium magnet
  • 1 T to 2.4 T – coil gap of a typical loudspeaker magnet
  • 1.5 T to 3 T – strength of medical magnetic resonance imaging systems in practice, experimentally up to 17 T[13]
  • 4 T – strength of the superconducting magnet built around the CMS detector at CERN[14]
  • 5.16 T – the strength of a specially designed room temperature Halbach array[15]
  • 8 T – the strength of LHC magnets
  • 11.75 T – the strength of INUMAC magnets, largest MRI scanner[16]
  • 13 T – strength of the superconducting ITER magnet system[17]
  • 14.5 T – highest magnetic field strength ever recorded for an accelerator steering magnet at Fermilab[18]
  • 16 T – magnetic field strength required to levitate a frog[19] (by diamagnetic levitation of the water in its body tissues) according to the 2000 Ig Nobel Prize in Physics[20]
  • 17.6 T – strongest field trapped in a superconductor in a lab as of July 2014[21]
  • 27 T – maximal field strengths of superconducting electromagnets at cryogenic temperatures
  • 35.4 T – the current (2009) world record for a superconducting electromagnet in a background magnetic field[22]
  • 45 T – the current (2015) world record for continuous field magnets[22]
  • 97.4 T - strongest magnetic field produced by a “non-destructive” magnet [23]
  • 100 T – approximate magnetic field strength of a typical white dwarf star
  • 108 – 1011 T (100 MT – 100 GT) – magnetic strength range of magnetar neutron stars

Notes and references

  1. "Details of SI units". sizes.com. 2011-07-01. http://www.sizes.com/units/SI.htm. 
  2. "Strongest non-destructive magnetic field: world record set at 100-tesla level". Los Alamos National Laboratory. https://www.lanl.gov/science-innovation/features/science-digests/world-record-set-magnetic-field.php. 
  3. D. Nakamura, A. Ikeda, H. Sawabe, Y. H. Matsuda, and S. Takeyama (2018), Magnetic field milestone
  4. The International System of Units (SI), 8th edition, BIPM, eds. (2006), ISBN:92-822-2213-6, Table 3. Coherent derived units in the SI with special names and symbols
  5. Gregory, Frederick (2003). History of Science 1700 to Present. The Teaching Company. 
  6. Parker, Eugene (2007). Conversations on electric and magnetic fields in the cosmos. Princeton University press. p. 65. ISBN 978-0691128412. https://books.google.com/books?id=7gJ_i3CTcpQC&pg=PA65. 
  7. Kurt, Oughstun (2006). Electromagnetic and optical pulse propagation. Springer. p. 81. ISBN 9780387345994. https://books.google.com/books?id=behRnNRiueAC&pg=PA81. 
  8. Herman, Stephen (2003). Delmar's standard textbook of electricity. Delmar Publishers. p. 97. ISBN 978-1401825652. https://books.google.com/books?id=kddgHk0P3NcC&pg=PA97. 
  9. McGraw Hill Encyclopaedia of Physics (2nd Edition), C.B. Parker, 1994, ISBN:0-07-051400-3
  10. "Geomagnetism Frequently Asked Questions". National Geophysical Data Center. http://www.ngdc.noaa.gov/geomag/faqgeom.shtml. 
  11. Panofsky, W. K. H.; Phillips, M. (1962). Classical Electricity and Magnetism. Addison-Wesley. p. 182. ISBN:978-0-201-05702-7.
  12. "EMF: 7. Extremely low frequency fields like those from power lines and household appliances". https://ec.europa.eu/health/scientific_committees/opinions_layman/en/electromagnetic-fields07/l-2/7-power-lines-elf.htm. 
  13. "Ultra-High Field". Bruker BioSpin. http://www.bruker-biospin.com/uhf-mri.html. 
  14. "Superconducting Magnet in CMS". http://cms.web.cern.ch/news/superconducting-magnet. 
  15. "The Strongest Permanent Dipole Magnet". https://accelconf.web.cern.ch/p03/PAPERS/WPAE024.PDF. 
  16. "ISEULT – INUMAC". http://irfu.cea.fr/en/Phocea/Vie_des_labos/Ast/ast_technique.php?id_ast=2305. 
  17. "ITER – the way to new energy". http://www.iter.org/mach/magnets. 
  18. Hesla, Leah (13 July 2020). "Fermilab achieves 14.5-tesla field for accelerator magnet, setting new world record". https://news.fnal.gov/2020/07/fermilab-achieves-14-5-tesla-field-for-accelerator-magnet-setting-new-world-record/. 
  19. Berry, M. V.; Geim, A. K. (1997). "Of Flying Frogs and Levitrons" by M. V. Berry and A. K. Geim, European Journal of Physics, v. 18, 1997, p. 307–13". European Journal of Physics 18 (4): 307–313. doi:10.1088/0143-0807/18/4/012. https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/0f3f/3d33ea070d441e51de7d4ab4dc89af267edd.pdf. Retrieved 4 October 2020. 
  20. "The 2000 Ig Nobel Prize Winners". August 2006. http://www.improbable.com/ig/winners/#ig2000. )
  21. "Superconductor Traps The Strongest Magnetic Field Yet". http://www.popsci.com/article/technology/superconductor-traps-strongest-magnetic-field-yet. 
  22. 22.0 22.1 "Mag Lab World Records". National High Magnetic Field Laboratory, USA. 2008. https://nationalmaglab.org/about/facts-figures/world-records. 
  23. "World record pulsed magnetic field". 31 August 2011. https://physicsworld.com/a/world-record-pulsed-magnetic-f/#:~:text=Last%20week%20saw%20researchers%20at%20the%20Los%20Alamos,following%20day%20with%20an%20impressive%2097.4%20T%20field.. )

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