Urban magnetic fields reveal clues about energy efficiency and pollution

Urban magnetic fields reveal clues about energy efficiency and pollution

Five magnetic field time series samples at five different locations in Brooklyn. From left to right: (1) elevator measurements were taken on the twelfth floor of the transit building; (2) Subway measurements were obtained from the Jay Street Metro Tech station; (3) Brooklyn Bridge measurements were taken under the bridge; (4) Street measurements were obtained on the sidewalk in front of the Transit Building in downtown Brooklyn; and (5) the measurements of the Manhattan Bridge on top of the bridge were taken from the middle of the walkway. Credit: Vincent Dumont, Trevor Bowen, Roger Roglans, Gregory Doppler, Mohit S Sharma, Andreas Karpf, Stuart De Bell, Arne Wickenbrook, Elena Jevon, Thomas Whitmore Cornack, Jonathan S.

A city’s magnetic fingerprint scan can be used to monitor the health of that city, including as an early warning system for potential pollution problems and as a tool to improve energy conservation.

in Journal of Applied PhysicsResearchers from the United States and Germany have presented a comparative analysis of urban magnetic fields between two American cities: Berkeley, California, and the Brooklyn area of ​​New York City. They explore the types of information that can be extracted using data Magnetic Field Sensors To understand the functioning of cities and provide insights that may be critical to preventive studies.

Cities are known for their very bustling features and are a fertile ground for learning about urban science. Magnetic field activity from different sources in city It can provide insight into what is going on over a 24 hour period.

“The city is viewed as a physical system similar to a distant astronomical object that can be studied using a variety of multispectral techniques,” said Vincent Dumont, of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. In short, our project was inspired by our desire to put into practice what we learned in practice Basic Physics Research for the study of cities.

To do this, the researchers collected magnetic field data continuously over a four-week period, using simultaneous measurements with a network of sensitive magnetometers. The data was processed and analyzed using modern data analysis techniques.

In their current work comparing two completely different cities, Brooklyn and Berkeley, they discover that Berkeley reaches nearly zero magnetic field activity during the night, while Brooklyn’s magnetic activity continues day and night.

“Again, not very surprising, we discovered that ‘New York never sleeps’, or more importantly, that there are actually a number of magnetic cues specific to each city,” he said.

The researchers hope that their combination of network magnetometry and intelligent data analysis will become valuable tool Interdisciplinary Urban Sciences.

“This work builds on our previous experiments conducted around the city of Berkeley, in the San Francisco Bay Area,” Dumont said. “We identified the dominant sources of magnetic signals – which, not too surprisingly, would be the Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) system trains, and learned to extract weaker signals from this dominant background.”

“We hope that this type of research will be picked up and developed by members of our team and others alike, and hopefully within cities around the world,” he said.


High school students measure the Earth’s magnetic field from the International Space Station


more information:
V. Dumont et al, Do cities possess a unique magnetic pulse?, Journal of Applied Physics (2022). doi: 10.1063/5.0088264

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