Technology: Ceramic Sandwich

Using new techniques and novel materials, scientists have learned to construct permanent magnets of astonishing power. Into a small hunk of fancy alloy, or a little bit of fragile ceramic, they have built all the pulling power of a hefty electromagnet without its awkward current-carrying coils. But in spite of their handiness. the new magnets have a built-in flaw: their pull is permanent. They lack practical versatility because their fierce attraction for iron-bearing metal cannot be turned off at will, unlike the clumsiest electromagnet, which can be controlled by the flick of...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!