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I read an article about the CERN large hadron collider in which it talks about the magnetic field that is generated while the LHC is operating. A magnetic field more than 100,000 times more powerful than the magnetic field of the centre of the earth is generated. Could this greater magnetic field effect the equilibrium of our atmosphere , and what effects , if any, could occur ?

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The magnetic field at the center of an LHC magnet may be very strong, but the strength of the field drops very rapidly as you move away from it. By the time you're more than about a meter away from the magnet, the field is undetectable. These magnets don't have any effect on the surrounding environment. The worst thing these magnets could do is damage electronic devices that get too close.

I work for a company that builds similar magnets. Below is a graph of the strength of one of the magnets we've built.

Dipole graph

The horizontal axis is the distance from the center of the magnet. The vertical axis is the magnetic field in a unit called Gauss. Earth's field is about 0.5 Gauss, so the center of this magnet produces a field over 10,000 times as strong as Earth's. But, at 30 cm (1 ft) from the center, the field is already 10 times weaker. By the time you're a few feet away, the magnetic field is undetectable.

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  • $\begingroup$ So it doesn't create a larger centre of mass like the centre of the earth. Just a controlled magnetosphere within the magnetosphere of the earth? How are the magnets controlled like that to keep such an awesome magnetic field localized to such a confined space? Great work too by the way the strength of those magnets is amazing and fascinating. $\endgroup$ – user96257 Oct 22 '15 at 7:19
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    $\begingroup$ @Joel These magnets are electromagnets. They are made from coils of wire. When electricity runs through the coils, a magnetic field is created. $\endgroup$ – Mark H Oct 22 '15 at 7:37
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    $\begingroup$ @Joel As for confinement, it's similar to the way gravity gets weaker the farther away you get from a planet. Magnetic fields naturally get weaker as you move away from the source. In fact, magnetic fields get weaker faster than gravity or electric fields. If you double your distance from the center of the Earth, gravity goes down to 1/4 its strength. If you double your distance from a magnet, the field goes down to about 1/8 the original strength. $\endgroup$ – Mark H Oct 22 '15 at 7:38
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    $\begingroup$ @Joel You can make your own electromagnet with a nail, some electrical wire, and a 9-volt battery. Wrap the wire around the nail and connect the two wire ends to the battery terminals. The magnetic field comes out of the ends of the nail and can be used to pick up other nails or paper clips. The magnets in particle accelerators like the LHC are not much different, just larger and with a lot more electric current. $\endgroup$ – Mark H Oct 22 '15 at 7:42
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    $\begingroup$ @Joel symmetrymagazine.org/article/august-2006/… There's enough superconducting wire to circle the Earth more than six times. $\endgroup$ – Mark H Oct 22 '15 at 23:49