Tesla (unit)


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

Unit systemSI
Unit ofMagnetic B-field
Magnetic flux density
Named afterNikola Tesla
1 T in ...... is equal to ...
   SI base units   1 kgs−2A−1
   Gaussian units   1×104 G

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 Serbian-American electrical and mechanical engineer 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


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

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

Electric vs. magnetic fieldEdit

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][page needed]

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 by definition equal to 1 V⋅s/m2.

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[11]
  • 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[12]
  • 4 T – strength of the superconducting magnet built around the CMS detector at CERN[13]
  • 5.16 T – the strength of a specially designed room temperature Halbach array[14]
  • 8 T – the strength of LHC magnets
  • 11.75 T – the strength of INUMAC magnets, largest MRI scanner[15]
  • 13 T – strength of the superconducting ITER magnet system[16]
  • 14.5 T – highest magnetic field strength ever recorded for an accelerator steering magnet at Fermilab[17]
  • 16 T – magnetic field strength required to levitate a frog[18] (by diamagnetic levitation of the water in its body tissues) according to the 2000 Ig Nobel Prize in Physics[19]
  • 17.6 T – strongest field trapped in a superconductor in a lab as of July 2014[20]
  • 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[21]
  • 45 T – the current (2015) world record for continuous field magnets[21]
  • 97.4 T - strongest magnetic field produced by a “non-destructive” magnet [22]
  • 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 referencesEdit

  1. ^ "Details of SI units". sizes.com. 2011-07-01. Retrieved 2011-10-04.
  2. ^ "Strongest non-destructive magnetic field: world record set at 100-tesla level". Los Alamos National Laboratory. Retrieved 6 November 2014.
  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 Archived 2007-06-18 at the Wayback Machine
  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.
  7. ^ Kurt, Oughstun (2006). Electromagnetic and optical pulse propagation. Springer. p. 81. ISBN 9780387345994.
  8. ^ Herman, Stephen (2003). Delmar's standard textbook of electricity. Delmar Publishers. p. 97. ISBN 978-1401825652.
  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. Retrieved 21 October 2013.
  11. ^ "EMF: 7. Extremely low frequency fields like those from power lines and household appliances". ec.europa.eu. Archived from the original on 2021-02-24. Retrieved 2022-05-13.
  12. ^ "Ultra-High Field". Bruker BioSpin. Archived from the original on 21 July 2012. Retrieved 4 October 2011.
  13. ^ "Superconducting Magnet in CMS". Retrieved 9 February 2013.
  14. ^ "The Strongest Permanent Dipole Magnet" (PDF). Retrieved 2 May 2020.
  15. ^ "ISEULT – INUMAC". Retrieved 17 February 2014.
  16. ^ "ITER – the way to new energy". Retrieved 19 April 2012.
  17. ^ Hesla, Leah (13 July 2020). "Fermilab achieves 14.5-tesla field for accelerator magnet, setting new world record". Retrieved 13 July 2020.
  18. ^ 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" (PDF). European Journal of Physics. 18 (4): 307–313. doi:10.1088/0143-0807/18/4/012. S2CID 1499061. Archived from the original (PDF) on 8 October 2020. Retrieved 4 October 2020.
  19. ^ "The 2000 Ig Nobel Prize Winners". August 2006. Retrieved 12 May 2013.)
  20. ^ "Superconductor Traps The Strongest Magnetic Field Yet". 2 July 2014. Retrieved 2 July 2014.
  21. ^ a b "Mag Lab World Records". Media Center. National High Magnetic Field Laboratory, USA. 2008. Retrieved 24 October 2015.
  22. ^ "World record pulsed magnetic field". Physics World. 31 August 2011. Retrieved 26 January 2022.)

External linksEdit

  • Gauss ↔ Tesla Conversion Tool