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The average person probably doesn’t think much about magnets beyond using them to hang stuff on the refrigerator. But magnets play major roles in scientific endeavors, especially in cleaner energy production.
Scientists from three U.S. Department of Energy national laboratories — Argonne and Fermi in Illinois and Lawrence Berkeley in California — designed, built, and fully tested a huge magnet prototype that helps create powerful X-rays to peer inside materials. When scientists can see inside materials at a molecular level, they can identify areas for improvement and figure out ways to make the materials better. This includes materials for making clean energy technologies.