Using an advanced atomic clock to mimic other desirable quantum systems, JILA physicists have caused atoms in a gas to behave as if they possess unusual magnetic properties long sought in harder-to-study solid materials. Representing a novel "off-label" use for atomic clocks, the research could lead to the creation of new materials for applications such as spintronic devices and quantum computers.
Month: December 2016
German Universities Reject Elsevier Offer
In a stand for open access, a consortium of more than 60 major German research institutions has rejected an offer from Elsevier for a nationwide license to access scientific publications. As a consequence, the Alliance of Science Organizations in Germany anticipates that current access to Elsevier journals will end on December 31.
Is Space Hibernation Possible? From Passengers Movie to NASA Research
The new sci-fi film “Passengers” is filled with action, romance and—like many a good space yarn—hibernation or sleep pods. A malfunction in the devices results in a 90-years too early wake-up call for the film's protagonists and re-awakens in the audience the notion of decades-long deep-space missions truncated through peaceful bliss. The sleep system director Morten Tyldum presents in the movie is necessarily the stuff of movie magic, but researchers working with NASA to study the possibility of hibernation on manned missions to Mars say the approach has some scientific underpinnings.
New Theoretical Framework for Improved Particle Accelerators
Physicists at the US Department of Energy's (DOE) Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL), in collaboration with researchers in South Korea and Germany, have developed a theoretical framework for improving the stability and intensity of particle accelerator beams. Accelerator beams consist of billions of charged particles that zip through tunnels or tubes before colliding with targets. Scientists use the high-energy beams, which must be stable and intense to work effectively, to unlock the ultimate structure of matter, while physicians use medical accelerators to produce beams that can zap cancer cells.
Researchers to Open SESAME in 2017
Scientists and engineers at the first synchrotron radiation source in the Middle East have begun commissioning the machine, a significant milestone before officially starting operations in 2017. When fully operational, the SESAME facility in Allan, Jordan, will mark a major victory for science in the region.
NASA’s Cryogenics Test Lab Shares Expertise
When companies around the world want to understand the energy efficiency of a particular system or material, they often call on Kennedy Space Center’s Cryogenics Test Laboratory (CSA CSM). For the past 20 years, the lab has worked with industry partners to not only test materials but to help establish international standards for such tests. Breakthroughs gained through such partnerships can be applied to the space program and vice versa, and are important because fire, corrosion and cryogenic spills are all hazards that can jeopardize all sorts of projects, from rocket launches to LNG vessels.
DOE Funds HTS Manufacturing Projects for Next Generation Machines
In late November, the US Department of Energy allocated $25 million to support 13 projects designed to advance technology used in industrial electric motors. The devices, according to the DOE, account for approximately 70 percent of the electricity consumed by US manufacturers and nearly a quarter of all electricity consumed nationally.
Superconductivity of Bismuth Observed at .5 mK
Scientists from India report that pure Bismuth (Bi) is superconducting at ultralow temperatures, a discovery that cannot be explained by standard models of superconductivity.
New Method Produces Hydrogen at Lower Temperatures
Waseda University (Tokyo) scientists have developed a new fast and irreversible method for producing hydrogen that requires less energy and takes place at lower temperatures. The innovation, according to the research team, is expected to contribute to the spread of fuel cell systems for automobiles and homes.
Strong Signs of Quantum Spin Observed in Ytterbium Compound
Inside a new exotic crystal cooled to near absolute zero, physicist Martin Mourigal has observed strong indications of quantum entanglement, a theory so weird Albert Einstein lampooned it as "spooky action at a distance." Entanglement occurs when two particles, such as electrons, become intimately linked to one another even when separated by many miles. Actions applied to one particle then instantaneously impact the other.
BESSY II Experiment Cools 10 Million Ions to 7.4 K
Scientists at BESSY II in Berlin have developed an experimental method that cooled 10 million ions to 7.4 K for the first time. The new ion trap they created provides an opportunity to use cryogenic X-ray spectroscopy to study the magnetism and ground states of molecular ions. It is also, according to the research team, the foundation needed to develop new materials for energy-efficient information technologies.
Brooks Automation Acquires Cool Lab, LLC
Brooks Automation, Inc. (CSA CSM) announced on Nov. 29 that it has acquired Cool Lab, LLC, a subsidiary of BioCision, LLC. Cool Lab provides a range of innovative, patented and patent-pending applications for sample cooling and freezing, controlled rate freezing, portable cryogenic transport and archival storage solutions for temperature sensitive workflows. The offerings address and assist in managing the temperature stability of therapeutics, biological samples and related biomaterials in ultracold and cryogenic environments.
New MRI Magnet Requires only 20 Liters of Helium
GE Healthcare has announced Freelium, a magnet technology that operates with 20 liters of liquid helium compared to the 2,000 liters needed by conventional MRI magnets. Hospitals using the technology, according to GE, would no longer require the extensive venting that often necessitates siting a magnet in a separate building or newly constructed room.