The Importance of the Magnetometer in Today’s Scientific and Technological Advancements

The Importance of the Magnetometer in Today’s Scientific and Technological Advancements

This very important instrument of measurement is generally used for one of two purposes: measuring the magnetization of magnetic material, or for measuring the strength and/or direction of a magnetic field at a particular point in space.

Various Types

There are several different types of magnetometer used for measurement today:

* Vector magnetometers are used in measuring a magnetic field’s vector components.
* Total field magnetometers, also known as scalar magnetometers, are used to measure the vector magnetic field’s magnitude.
* Absolute magnetometers use an internal calibration to measure the vector magnetic field, or absolute magnitude.
* Relative magnetometers, also called variometers, measure variations in a magnetic field by measuring the vector magnetic field, or magnitude, relative to an uncalibrated, fixed baseline.
* Stationary magnetometers take measurements while the magnetometer is stationary by being installed to a fixed position.
* Portable magnetometers, also called mobile magnetometers can be carried or transported manually in a moving vehicle and are used while in motion.
* Laboratory magnetometers are typically stationary and are used to measure a magnetic field of material placed inside of them.
* Survey magnetometers may be fixed stations or mobile. They are designed to measure magnetic fields in geomagnetic surveys.

There have been many various sub types of magnetometer designed to use in each of these fields. All of them serve different purposes and are designed to take accurate measurements of every kind of magnetic field known.

Wide Range of Uses

Magnetometers are most widely used in measuring the Earth’s magnetic field as well as in different geological surveys used in detecting various kinds of magnetic anomalies.

Some of the most sensitive magnetometers produced are classified as military technology and distribution of them is controlled by the government. These magnetometers are generally used to detect submarines.

Some of the less sensitive magnetometers can be used as high quality metal detectors. This type of metal detector is able to detect ferrous metals at a much larger depth or distance than a conventional metal detector. They are capable of detecting larger objects, such as vehicles, at a distance of tens of meters as compared with the 2 meter average of a conventional metal detector.

As technological advancements have been made in more recent years, the design of the magnetometer has been made on a small enough scale as to incorporate them into integrated circuits for a low cost. They are quickly becoming an indispensable part of digital compasses on electronic devices such as smartphones and tablet computers.

The Importance of the Magnetometer

Magnetometers serve many important purposes in the world today. Archaeology, coal and oil exploration, directional drilling, the mobile phone industry all utilize magnetometers. Virtually every scientific and technological advancement made in our world today too relies on the use of the magnetometer. It is one of the most important pieces of technology in use today.

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