James Webb “Telescope” Documentary Available to Stream

Discovery's "Telescope" documentary, highlighting the high-stakes mission to build NASA's James Webb Space Telescope, premiered on Feb. 20 and is now available for streaming on the TV channel's website. The Webb telescope, which is the scientific successor to—and 100 times more powerful than—Hubble, will peer back over 13.5 billion years into the past when it is launched by NASA in 2018. The film, from Oscar-nominated filmmaker Nathaniel Kahn, provides viewers with behind the scenes access to Northrop Grumman Corporation's Space Park facility in Redondo Beach CA, where a substantial amount of the design engineering, assembly and testing of the Webb telescope is taking place. Kahn was able to film testing on the telescope's tennis court sized-sunshield, its optical class spacecraft structure and the telescope structure responsible for holding the Webb 18 hexagonal primary mirror segments stably in space.

Jefferson Lab Invites Public to Open House on April 30

The US Department of Energy’s Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility, or Jefferson Lab, will hold an open house for the public on Saturday, April 30, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. It is an opportunity for people of all ages to spend the day exploring this world-class research facility. Visitors will be able to take part in tours, hands-on activities and interactive displays and demonstrations, such as the popular Liquid Nitrogen Show. Guests will also be able to see much of the lab and learn about its research program and technological advances.

Fermilab Scientists Discover New Four-Flavor Particle

Scientists on the DZero collaboration at the US Department of Energy’s Fermilab have discovered a new particle—the latest member to be added to the exotic species of particle known as tetraquarks. Quarks are point-like particles that typically come in packages of two or three, the most familiar of which are the proton and neutron (each is made of three quarks). There are six types (or “flavors”) of quark to choose from: up, down, strange, charm, bottom and top. Each of these also has an antimatter counterpart.

Chart Ferox and PPS Win Contract for LNG Reloading Station in Lithuania

Chart Industries, Inc. announced on February 25 that its Czech subsidiary Chart Ferox and EPC consortium partner PPS Pipeline Systems Germany have been selected to provide an LNG reloading station for AB Klaipėdos nafta at the Port of Klaipeda, Lithuania. The project's aim is to develop Klaipeda as a Baltic hub and virtual pipeline to fuel ships and deliver LNG by truck to reduce the traditional dependence on imported pipeline gas. The €27.7 million agreement calls for the consortium to construct the associated infrastructure and to deliver the equipment engineering, production, installation and commissioning necessary to provide 6000 Nm3 of natural gas per hour.

New RF-SQUID Material Invisible to Microwave Radiation

University of Maryland (UMD) physicists and engineers from HYPRES (CSA CSM) have developed a new RF-SQUID cloaking material that can become transparent to microwave radiation with the flip of a switch. The new material could be used to design more efficient communications networks since many wireless communication devices rely on microwaves, and it additionally has unique properties that could help bridge the gap between modern digital computers and next-generation quantum computers.

DESY Research Points to Liquid Oxygen in Earth’s Core

Using a special high-pressure chamber, scientists have discovered two new iron oxides in experiments at DESY's X-ray light source PETRA III and other facilities. The discovery points to a huge, hitherto unknown liquid oxygen source in the lower mantle of the Earth. The team, led by Dr. Elena Bykova from the University of Bayreuth, reported its results in the journal Nature Communications.

Japanese Researchers Superconduct Graphene

Scientists in Japan have developed superconductive graphene, according to research published in ACS Nano. Graphene is a single-atomic carbon sheet with a hexagonal honeycomb network. Electrons in graphene take on a special electronic state called the Dirac-cone, where the electrons behave as if they have no mass. This allows the electrons to flow at very high speed, giving graphene a very high level of electrical conductivity, and is significant because electrons with no mass flowing with no resistance in graphene could lead to the realization of a high-speed nanoelectronic device.

NASA Introduces WFIRST, a “Wider Set of Eyes” on the Universe

After years of preparatory studies, NASA is formally starting an astrophysics mission designed to help unlock the secrets of the universe—the Wide Field Infrared Survey Telescope (WFIRST). With a view 100 times bigger than that of NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope, WFIRST will survey large regions of the sky in near-infrared light to answer fundamental questions about the structure and evolution of the universe, and expand our knowledge of planets beyond our solar system—known as exoplanets.

Gravitational Waves Detected 100 Years after Einstein’s Prediction

Scientists have for the first time observed ripples in the fabric of spacetime called gravitational waves, confirming a major prediction of Albert Einstein’s 1915 general theory of relativity and opening an unprecedented new window onto the cosmos. The discovery was made possible by the enhanced capabilities of Advanced LIGO, a major upgrade that increased the sensitivity of the instruments compared to the first generation LIGO detectors, enabling a large increase in the volume of the universe probed—and the discovery of gravitational waves during its first observation run.

1st Asian ICMC and CSSJ 50th Anniversary Conference

ICMC (International Cryogenic Materials Conference) and CSSJ (Cryogenics and Superconductivity Society of Japan) have announced a new joint conference to be held during November 2016 in Kanazawa, Japan. Contributed, invited and plenary papers on a wide range of topics will be presented, including superconducting materials, wire, tapes and electronics; low-temperature magnets; power devices and systems; cryocoolers and cooling systems; and structural, insulation and special cryogenic materials.

Neutrinos on a Seesaw

Mass is a fundamental property of matter, but there’s still a lot about it we don’t understand—especially when it comes to the tiny masses of neutrinos. An idea called the seesaw mechanism proposes a way to explain the masses of these curious particles. If shown to be correct, it could help us understand a great deal about the nature of fundamental forces and—maybe—why there’s more matter than antimatter in the universe today.

Phosphine as a Superconductor?

Phosphine is one of the newest materials to be named a superconductor, a material through which electricity can flow with zero resistance. Scientists first liquefied phosphine in 2015, squeezing it under high pressure in a diamond vice to achieve superconductivity, and now a group of researchers from the University of Buffalo (UB) is providing insight into what may have happened to the chemical as it underwent this intense compression.

LHC Art Exhibition Opens at the National Academy of Sciences

While the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) is technically tucked away in Geneva, visitors to a new art exhibition in Washington DC may have just been afforded the most unique view available of the facility. “Jonathan Feldschuh: Large Hadron Collider” is a collection of seven paintings inspired by the world’s largest and most powerful particle collider. The Cultural Programs of the National Academy of Sciences (CPNAS) opened the installation on February 1. It will remain on view through July 18 at the National Academy of Sciences.

Argonne Scientists Inspire the Next Generation of Computational Thinkers

The City of Chicago and the US Department of Energy's (DOE's) Argonne National Laboratory (CSA CSM) came together this winter for a "My Brother's Keeper" event, a one-day hands-on workshop connecting the dots between computational thinking and science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) careers for 8th grade students attending the Laura S. Ward STEM School. "My Brother's Keeper" is a White House commitment to shrink the advancement gap faced by many young men of color by calling on the private and public sectors to identify evidence-based approaches and provide equal access to those students most underrepresented in STEM fields.

Brooks introduces p-Chip Technology for More Reliable Sample Tracking and Security

Brooks Automation (CSA CSM), a global provider of automated sample storage systems and consumables for compound management and biorepositories, has introduced its first commercial sample storage tube incorporating p-Chip® tracking technology. The p-Chip, a unique electronic microtransponder ID tagging technology, is 100 times smaller, far less expensive and more reliable than RFID technology.