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How does a magnetic shield work?

I am not certain what kinds of magnetic shielding is available. The simplest way to exclude the earth's magnetic field and other fields that may be around is to apply a compensating field - since they simply add linearly, you can cancel out all the external fields by tuning the compensators appropriately. The harder way is to surround your sample in a material that expels magnetic field (like some superconductors, and I believe some other materials as well). Usually this requires some kind of foil that is initially placed in a folded up position, and then spread out to a maximum volume in order to reduce the enclosed field by spreading it out. Maybe somebody else has a better explanation though...

Arthur Smith

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