The University of Houston is helping to develop technology for DarkSide, a dark matter experiment at Italy's Gran Sasso National Laboratory. The UH team is both upgrading the DarkSide program’s first physics detector and working on an upgrade that will hold 3,800 gallons of liquid argon.
Month: March 2018
IARPA Moving Forward with SuperTools Project
The Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA) has announced research contracts for its “SuperTools” program, a multi-year research effort to develop comprehensive software tools for designing and analyzing superconducting electronics circuits.
Physicists Build New Molecules in Ultracold Soup
Using lasers, a team of US and Austrian physicists have coaxed ultracold strontium atoms into complex “Rydberg polarons." The molecules are only stable near absolute zero, where the millikelvin temperatures keep the constituent atoms still long enough to become “glued together” in new, complex structures.
Global Physics Photowalk 2018
Major science laboratories from around the world have announced the 2018 Global Physics Photowalk, a competition open to amateur and professional photographers. For the event, physics facilities in Asia, Australia, Europe and North America will open their doors for a rare opportunity to see behind the scenes of some of the world’s most exciting and ground-breaking science.
White Graphene Shows Promise for Unlimited Hydrogen Storage
Rice University engineers have zeroed in on the optimal architecture for storing hydrogen in "white graphene" nanomaterials, using a design resembling a skyscraper with "floors" of boron nitride sitting one atop another and held precisely 5.2 angstroms apart by boron nitride pillars.
Stephen Hawking Dies at 76, Cosmos Pauses to Welcome Its Brightest Star
Stephen Hawking died in the early hours of March 14 at age 76. His insights helped shape modern cosmology and he is widely credited with inspiring millions worldwide to look to the stars and challenge conventional thought. "He was a great scientist and an extraordinary man whose work and legacy will live on for many years," his family said in a statement, a sentiment shared by many, including his friend and collaborator Roger Penrose. "He enjoyed his work, the company of other scientists, the arts, the fruits of his fame, his travels," Penrose said in a lengthy obit. "Social issues concerned him. He promoted scientific understanding. He could be generous and was very often witty. On occasion, he could display something of the arrogance that is not uncommon among physicists working at the cutting edge, and he had an autocratic streak. Yet he could also show a true humility that is the mark of greatness."
Wunderkind Material is Both Superconductor and Insulator
Physicists at MIT and Harvard University report that graphene can exhibit a curious electronic property, behaving both as an insulator—where electrons are completely blocked from flowing—and as a superconductor—where electrical current can stream through without resistance.
Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG)
A significant commercial application of cryogenics is the liquefaction, transport and storage of natural gas. Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) is generally 95 percent methane with a few percent ethane and much lower concentrations of propane and butane. LNG liquefies at 111.6 K. Unlike many applications of cryogenics, the motivation for using LNG is not the … Continue reading Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG)
Stability refers to the ability of a device employing superconductors to remain in its superconducting state after part of the superconductor transitions back to its normal conducting state due to a disturbance. While the concept can apply to many superconducting devices—transmission lines, generators, motors, etc.—it is most commonly considered in the context of superconducting magnets. … Continue reading Stability
Book Review: Thermodynamic Properties of Cryogenic Fluids
An accurate knowledge of the thermodynamic properties of fluids is one of the cornerstones of cryogenic engineering. These properties, which vary greatly with temperature and pressure, drive refrigeration cycle design, safety analysis and overall cryogenic system design. Having access to these properties and knowing the accuracy of their values is vital.
US Jury Sides with AMSC, Convicts Chinese Company for Intellectual Property Theft
A federal jury in Madison WI deliberated a mere three hours before convicting a manufacturer and exporter of wind turbines based in the People’s Republic of China of stealing trade secrets from AMSC, a US-based company formerly known as American Superconductor Inc.
Superconducting Magnet Sets 32-T World Record
The National High Magnetic Field Laboratory (CSA CSM) chalked up another world record in December when a new superconducting magnet at the facility reached a magnetic field of 32 teslas, a third stronger than the previous record and more than 3,000 times stronger than a common refrigerator magnet.
Fermilab Delivers First Cryomodule for Ultrapowerful X-ray Laser at SLAC
Scientists and engineers worldwide celebrated the delivery of a massive 40-foot-long cryomodule to SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory in January, the first of 37 units to be included in the facility’s planned Linac Coherent Light Source upgrade.