MRI Machines Have Super-Strong Magnets

Standard MRI machines produce magnetic fields with strengths between 1.5 and 3 Tesla. One Tesla is equivalent to 10,000 gauss, and the Earth's magnetic field has a strength of about 0.5 gauss. Some specialized MRI machines utilize magnetic fields that are far stronger, from 7 to 9.4 Tesla, allowing for much greater image clarity. What's more, an MRI machine under development, called INUMAC, will have a magnetic field that tops out at 11.75 Tesla. That's enough strength to lift a tank!

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Key Facts In This Video

  1. MRI stands for magnetic resonance imaging. 01:04

  2. The base magnetic field of an MRI machine aligns all of the Hydrogen nuclei in your body. 02:09

  3. MRI machines don't use ionizing radiation, unlike x-rays and CT scans. 05:53

Written by Curiosity Staff January 5, 2016