Fermilab powers up electromagnet dormant for a decade

Fermilab announced September 23 that scientists there have successfully brought a fragile, expensive and complex 17-ton electromagnet back to life, cooling it down to -450°F and then powering it up. The ring is the centerpiece of an experiment to probe the mysteries of the universe with subatomic particles called muons. The experiment will trap muons in the magnetic field and use them to detect theoretical phantom particles that might be present, impacting the properties of the muons.


A vital technology in the refrigerators and liquefiers described in Cold Facts Volume 31 Number 3 is that of turboexpanders. These devices are rotating machines in which the process fluid (e.g., helium) does work against the turboexpander while moving from high pressure to a lower pressure and thus is cooled. Such a process approximates an … Continue reading Turboexpanders

DOE posts new Women@Energy profiles

The Department of Energy recently updated its Women@Energy webpage to include new profiles on researchers working at its national laboratories. There are now over 250 profiles on the page, each celebrating a woman who works in a STEM field. The new profiles include female scientists working at Jefferson Lab (CSM) and Fermilab (CSM).

New test using cryogenic sapphire oscillators confirms speed of light

Researchers from the University of Western Australia and Humboldt University of Berlin used cryogenic temperatures to optimize frequency stability in a test designed to measure the spatial consistency of the speed of light with a precision ten times greater than ever before. The experiment compared the extremely pure microwave frequency signals from two cryogenic sapphire oscillators against each other over the course of a year.

Young Faces: The Next Generation in Cryogenics

We're pleased to present a new installment of Young Faces, a feature story we debuted in the Summer 2006 issue of Cold Facts introducing outstanding young professionals (under 40 years of age) who are doing interesting things in cryogenics and superconductivity and who show promise of making a difference in their fields. Here is our fourth installment of Young Faces.

The 26th Space Cryogenics Workshop

This column presents a topical summary of the 2015 Space Cryogenics Workshop that was held June 24-26 in Phoenix AZ. The workshop was organized by David Plachta and Jason Hartwig of NASA/Glenn Research Center, and continued the tradition of bringing together specialists in the field of space cryogenics to discuss upcoming and potential space missions, and the development of technologies that support, or more often enable, the science and exploration goals of the world’s space agencies.

An Introduction to LNG as a Cryofuel

Technological advances in the US have unlocked massive quantities of natural gas, resulting in an abundant supply that should easily last many decades. This sustained situation has created two important consequences: the price of pipeline natural gas is low and stable, and, more significantly, the price of pipeline natural gas is decoupled from the price of crude oil. The convergence of these factors has created a paradigm shift, causing the US to change from importing this fuel to exporting it. As a result, cheap domestic natural gas has given us real, sustainable fuel choices in the transportation sector. This short article presents an introduction to the cryogenic fuel LNG.

Improving the Efficiency of Helium Transfer Tubes

One must, on a daily basis, transfer liquefied gases, most notably helium from large static tanks or dewars to smaller transportable vessels. This process can become costly due to the losses sustained during transfer, which must be compensated for by reliquefying helium, requiring between 2 and 5 kW per liquid liter. CryoVac low temperature technologies (CSA CSM), in strong collaboration with the Technical University of Dresden, has been extensively measuring, modeling, optimizing and developing liquid helium transfer tubes.

MiniCLEAN detector begins search for dark matter

Researchers at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, after eight years of designing and building, have begun commissioning and cooling the MiniCLEAN detector, a small experiment with the big goal of detecting dark matter. CLEAN stands for Cryogenic Low-Energy Astrophysics with Nobles. Scientists will use the detector to search for weakly interacting massive particles, or WIMPs, as they interact with atoms in the detector.

Air Liquide expands its business in Turkey

Air Liquide advanced Technologies expanded its foothold in Turkey on September 15 with the acquisition of Messer Aligaz Sanayi Gazlari, a subsidiary of industrial gas company Messer Group GmbH. Messer Aligaz provides industrial, medical and specialty gases to a range of industries in Turkey. The company owns and operates an air separation unit (ASU) for the production of liquid oxygen, nitrogen and argon, and three cylinder filling centers.

Researchers observe dynamic Mott transition in superconductors

An international team of researchers, including the MESA+ Institute for Nanotechnology at the University of Twente in The Netherlands and the US Department of Energy’s Argonne National Laboratory (CSA CSM), has announced the first observation of a dynamic Mott transition in a superconductor. The discovery experimentally connects the worlds of classical and quantum mechanics and illuminates the mysterious nature of the Mott transition.

Study shows economics impact of cryogenics in UK

A study by Warwick Economics & Development (WECD) that was commissioned by the Science & Technology Facilities Council shows that the UK's strong cryogenics community delivers substantial economic impact to the country's economy. Based on supply chain analysis, WECD estimates that sectors broadly associated with cryogenics represent 17 percent of the UK economy, and that the total (direct and indirect) GVA contribution of cryogenics-related activities to the UK economy is £324 million per year.

Researchers create first superconducting graphene

Physicists at the University of British Columbia have created the first-ever superconducting graphene sample by coating it with lithium atoms. Although superconductivity has already been observed in intercalated bulk graphite—3-D crystals layered with alkali metal atoms, based on the graphite used in pencils—inducing superconductivity in single-layer graphene has until now eluded scientists.

ATLAS and CMS experiments shed light on Higgs properties

Three years after the announcement of the discovery of a new particle, the so-called Higgs boson, the ATLAS and CMS collaborations at CERN have combined their analyses of the data collected in 2011 and 2012 to draw the sharpest picture yet of this novel boson. ATLAS and CMS presented their combined measurements of many of the Higgs boson's properties for the first time at the third annual Large Hadron Collider Physics Conference.