CSA Mourns Peter Gifford, a Friend, Colleague and Industry Leader

Peter Gifford, longtime leader of Cryomech Inc., has passed away at 69. Gifford was a fixture in the cryogenic community, a dedicated member of CSA and one of the second-generation industry leaders affectionately dubbed the “Cryomafia.” Under Gifford’s leadership, Cryomech has been a longstanding and strong supporter of CSA as a Corporate Sustaining Member. He established and funded the William E. Gifford Award, in honor of his father, which is given every two years by the society.

Chart Industries Acquires Hetsco

Chart Industries, Inc. has acquired Hetsco, Inc. in a $22 million deal made through its subsidiary, Chart Lifecycle, Inc. The move, according to a Chart statement, supplements the company's current offerings by bringing a full suite of welding services for industrial gas and gas processing facilities including mission critical repair, specialty maintenance, construction/fabrication and safety services, with a particular focus on brazed aluminum heat exchangers.

Toward a Standardized ODH Analysis Technique

Standardization of ODH analysis and mitigation policy thus represents an opportunity for the cryogenic community. There are several benefits for industry and government facilities to develop an applicable unified standard for ODH. The number of reviewers would increase, and review projects across different facilities would be simpler. It would also present the opportunity for the community to broaden the development of expertise in modeling complicated flow geometries.

Whole Body Cryotherapy

Interest in low temperature treatment is increasing and whole body cryotherapy (WBC) devices are becoming available not only in medical centers but also in local gyms and spa centers. Many governments and medical professionals have thus turned attention to WBC, evaluating the treatment for its effectiveness and safety. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), for example, issued a statement in July 2016 alerting consumers to both the unproven benefits and risks posed by WBC. I agree with the FDA on many points. Safety of the user is undisputedly a primary issue, and as such users must be fully informed about various WBC devices and associated risks of each. I disagree, however, with the FDA’s blanket warning against WBC, which includes both procedures conducted inside enclosed chambers that don’t expose users to cryogens and cryosaunas where users stand in vapor with only their heads above the tank.

Cryocoolers 19 Proceedings Available Now

"Cryocoolers 19," a 654-page compilation of the proceedings of the 19th International Cryocooler Conference held in San Diego, California, June 20-23, 2016, is now available and has been mailed to registered participants. Published by ICC Press, Boulder, Colorado, and edited by S.D. Miller and R.G. Ross, Jr., the volume features 77 peer-reviewed papers with four-color illustrations. It archives developments and performance measurements in the field of cryocoolers based on the contributions of leading international experts at the conference.

CERN Ramps Up Neutrino Program

In the midst of the verdant French countryside looms a workshop the size of an aircraft hangar. Inside, CERN technicians are busy constructing two 8-meter tall cubes to test prototype detectors for the Deep Underground Neutrino Experiment (DUNE). Each will in time contain 770 metric tons of liquid argon permeated with a strong electric field necessary for neutrino detection.

NIST Physicists Squeeze Light, Cool Microscopic Drum below Quantum Limit

Physicists at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) have cooled a microscopic mechanical drum to less than one-fifth of a single quantum, or packet of energy. The result, according to the research team, is lower than ordinarily predicted by quantum physics and the technique used could theoretically cool objects to absolute zero, the temperature at which matter is devoid of nearly all energy.

Woman Gives Birth from Ovary Frozen in Childhood

The first woman to have an ovary frozen before the onset of puberty has given birth to a baby boy. As a nine-year-old child, Moaza Al Matrooshi, now 24, suffered from a severe blood disorder, beta-thalassemia, and needed chemotherapy in preparation for a bone marrow transplant to treat the condition. The chemotherapy was likely to leave her infertile, so she chose to have her right ovary removed and the tissue from it frozen before she underwent treatment.

New Method Increases Precision of Atom Interferometry

In a paper published in Physical Review Letters, a research team from the MIT-Harvard Center for Ultracold Atoms presents a method to increase the precision of atom interferometry with Bose-Einstein condensates, a result, the group says, that eliminates a source of error endemic to earlier designs. Interferometers using the new concept, for example, could help resolve some fundamental questions in physics, such as the nature of the intermediate states between the quantum description of matter and the Newtonian description upon which everyday engineering depends.

Air Liquide Commissions Cavernous Hydrogen Storage Facility

Air Liquide has commissioned a new hydrogen storage facility housed some 1,500 meters deep in a Texas cavern. The 70-meters in diameter installation is capable of holding enough hydrogen to back up a large-scale steam methane reformer unit for 30 days, according to the company, and will offer hydrogen supply solutions to customers through Air Liquide’s Gulf Coast pipeline system.