The physicists said they could do the impossible. Namely: create and destroy magnetic fields at a great distance. Thus, the new achievement refutes the theory that is 178 years old. The new method, which the physicists invented, is based on passing an electric current through a special arrangement of wires. It creates a magnetic field. It looks like it is being shaped by another source.
The illusion is capable of real-world applications. That method will help in the treatment of cancer, when the drug is introduced directly into the tumor using capsules made of magnetic nanoparticles.
Depending on the distance from the magnet, the magnetic field decreases. Earnshaw's theorem that was proven in 1842, states that it is impossible to create a point of maximum magnetic field strength in empty space. Rosa Mach-Batl, a physicist at the Center for Biomolecular Nanotechnology in Italy, believes that if there can be no maxima of the magnetic field in empty space, you cannot create a magnetic field remotely without placing the source in a certain place.
The scientists took inspiration from metamaterials. They have properties that are not inherent in any natural materials. And they believed that hypothetical magnetic materials could do the impossible in the world of magnetic fields.
The new method of creating magnetic fields on non-existent materials has not been recognized as useful. But if this hypothetical material has negative permeability, or if it does not exist at all, then the physicists could create a so-called temporary material using an electric current as a basis that passes through a certain arrangement of wires.
To do that, the scientists used a cylinder, states of 20 wires, which was surrounded by one inner wire. When current passes through them, a magnetic field is generated. And it has the same properties as if it originated outside the device. But it is impossible to distinguish between such fields.
Thus, the physicists managed to create the illusion of a source at a distance. How that method can work in real conditions the physicists do not know. Further research will reveal new information about the properties of such magnetic fields.