Department of Climate and Space Sciences and Engineering in the College of Engineering at the University of Michigan


Prof. Paul Drake's Recent Work in the News

Posted: January 30, 2012

Prof. Paul Drake's Recent Work in the News

AOSS Professor Paul Drake's recent published collaborative work into how the magnetism of the universe got started, has caught the attention of several prominent news services, including MSNBC, Discovery News,, Cosmos Magazine, and our own U-M News Service.

A galactic magnetic field in a lab bolsters astrophysical theory

(U-M News Service) ANN ARBOR, Mich.—Why is the universe magnetized? It's a question scientists have been asking for decades. Now, an international team of researchers including a University of Michigan professor have demonstrated that it could have happened spontaneously, as the prevailing theory suggests.

The findings are published in the Jan. 26 edition of Nature. Oxford University scientists led the research.

"According to our previous understanding, any magnetic field that had been made ought to have gone away by now," said Paul Drake, the Henry S. Carhart Collegiate Professor of Atmospheric, Oceanic, and Space Sciences and a professor in physics at U-M. "We didn't understand what mechanism might create a magnetic field, and even if it happened, we didn't understand why the magnetic field is still there.

"It has been a very enduring mystery."

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