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This new metal box could help take physics beyond the Standard Model

Scientists in Germany have made a shield that can cut magnetic fields more than a million-fold, and they've used it to produce one of the most thrilling metal boxes on the Earth right now. The 4.1-cubic-metre space has the weakest magnetic field in our entire Solar System, and it will let researchers to finally do the high-accuracy experiments that could disclose physics further than the Standard Model. The Standard Model of particle physics, also called as 'The Theory of Almost Everything', is the finest set of equations we have to clarify the behavior and interactions of the fundamental particles in the Cosmos. But even though the model has helped us a lot, there are a whole lot of holes, for example the fact that the Standard Model doesn't describe gravity, or why matter and antimatter from the Big Bang didn't overwhelm each other totally. It also can't analyze the behavior of particles at very high energies.
Image: Technische Universität Müchen

Large-scale experiments for example the Large Hadron Collider are assisting to expand our understanding in these parts, but are limited by the natural and artificial magnetic fields on Earth, which have the unlucky habit of simply penetrating all kinds of matter. But now, scientists from Technische Universität Müchen (TUM) in Germany have achieved to remove magnetic fields to earlier unheard-of levels, opening up an entire new world of experiments. Actually, their box's magnetic field is even feebler than the regular ambient magnetic field experienced in the interstellar medium between galaxies. Tobias Lins, a doctoral student who worked on the magnetic shield, said in apress release "Accuracy experiments are able to probe nature up to energy scales which might not be accessible by current and next generation collider experiments," This is because the presence of exotic new particles could be spotted by minute alterations in the properties of previously known particles, but we presently can't track those variations because of the background 'noise' from magnetic fields.

The shield, which contains several coatings of a specially made, highly magnetic nickel-and-iron alloy, acts like a sponge that engrosses and redirects a magnetic field. The scientists describe its design and performance in the Journal of Applied Physics.

Many exciting experiments can now be conducted inside this small, metal box, and that could take us into a courageous new world of physics, and we can't wait to see some outcomes. We've already said it before, and I’ll say it again: what an unbelievable time to be alive.

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