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One-million euro magnet

One-million euro magnet

Photographer:Fotograaf: Joey Roberts

Four trucks transported Heeren’s appliances from Amsterdam

MAASTRICHT. Tuesday morning, just before 9 o’clock, the truck from Amsterdam arrives at the grounds of UNS 50. It has a 9.4 Tesla magnet on board, the showpiece in professor Ron Heeren’s lab. The magnet, which cost a million euro, was transported ‘cold’, says Heeren, an expert in molecular imaging.

“It is in a kind of thermos container filled with nitrogen and helium, which keeps it at -270 degrees. The magnet with the accompanying mass spectrometer works like a weighing scale. We analyse molecules by weighing them. Sensitivity is so great that we can discover a mosquito on a freight train with twenty carriages. The magnet weighs three tons, which is the reason why it has to be on the ground floor. It will be at UNS 50 across from the MUMC mortuary. No no, there is no special reason for this proximity.”

It is the last of a total of four trucks that transported van Heeren’s appliances from his previous research institute Amolf to the UM. A total of seven large mass spectrometers have made their way down the A2.

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