Air Separation and Liquefaction

by Nils Tellier, PE, President, EPSIM Corporation (CSA CSM) All illustrations courtesy EPSIM Corporation Background History of Air Separation and Liquefaction This section builds on a rich history of methods to develop deep refrigeration and cryogenic liquefaction during the 19th Century. You are encouraged to read Cryo Central’s History of Cryogenics for more information. … Continue reading Air Separation and Liquefaction

CERN Researchers Create, Study New Exotic Atom at Paul Scherrer Institute

A team of researchers from CERN’s Atomic Spectroscopy and Collisions Using Slow Antiprotons (ASACUSA) collaboration have taken experimental equipment from CERN to the Paul Scherrer Institute near Zurich to create a theoretically predicted, but never before verified, exotic atom and made first measurements of how it absorbs and resonates with light. The results, published May 6 in the journal Nature, mark the first time such spectroscopic measurements have been made on an exotic atom containing a meson, a particle consisting of two fundamental particles called quarks.

Coldest Material in the Cosmos Could Help Scientists Find Dark Matter Particles

Researchers suggest the coldest material in the universe could reveal the presence of dark matter particles. In a new paper published early May in the journal Physical Review Letters, a group of Spanish scientists suggests magnetometers made using Bose-Einstein Condensates could be used to detect exotic spin-dependent forces. Bose-Einstein Condensates consist of gases cooled to nearly absolute zero. Atoms inside the superfluids are able to rotate for several seconds without experiencing friction, thus amplifying the effects of spin-dependent forces.

Mactac Unveils New Cryogenic Labels

Mactac, a North American adhesives, label and packaging company, has launched new cryogenic labelstocks for temperatures as low as -320º F. Mactac’s cryogenic labelstocks are intended for harsh environment applications where labels must withstand exposure to liquid nitrogen or ultralow temperature freezers, thaw cycles, chemicals and solvents.

VTT to Build Finland’s First Quantum Computer, Seeks to Bolster Finland’s and Europe’s Quantum Competitiveness

VTT Technical Research Center in Espoo, Finland, has launched a project to acquire Finland’s first quantum computer. The first phase of this three-phase project seeks to bolster Finland’s ability to design and build quantum computers and to create a competence base for future applications. The design and construction of the quantum computer will be carried out as one of the center's "innovation partnerships."

Coregas Supporting Coal-to-Hydrogen Project in Australia

A world-first project in Victoria, Australia, that will convert brown coal to hydrogen for export to Japan is being supported by the only Australian-owned industrial gas company, Coregas. The Hydrogen Energy Supply Chain (HESC) project will see liquefied hydrogen produced from Latrobe Valley brown coal transported to Japan for use in fuel cell electric vehicles and power generation, in one of the world’s first efforts to commercialize technology to liquefy and transport hydrogen.

Scientists Use Light to Accelerate Supercurrents, Access ‘Forbidden’ Light, Quantum Properties

Scientists at Iowa State University are using light waves to accelerate supercurrents and access the unique properties of the quantum world, including "forbidden" light emissions that one day could be applied to high speed quantum computers, communications and other technologies. The scientists have seen unexpected things in supercurrents—electricity that moves through materials without resistance, usually at super cold temperatures—that break symmetry and are supposed to be forbidden by the conventional laws of physics, said Jigang Wang, a professor of physics and astronomy at Iowa State, a senior scientist at the US Department of Energy’s Ames Laboratory and the leader of the project.

They Are There and They Are Gone: ICARUS Chases a Fourth Neutrino

On February 21, scientists at Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (Fermilab) (CSA CSM) began cooling down ICARUS—the largest particle detector in the lab’s Short-Baseline Neutrino Program—and filling it with 760 tons of liquid argon. This moves ICARUS closer to operation and the search for a fourth type of neutrino. “The Short-Baseline Neutrino Program is amazing because it will finally resolve longstanding anomalous results in neutrino measurements,” said Robert Wilson, deputy spokesperson of ICARUS and professor of physics at Colorado State University.

Best Practices for Handling and Monitoring LN2 Containers Containing Reproductive Materials

Last year, after the 2018 loss of cryogenically stored human embryos at two plants in California and Ohio in 2018, experts were forced to reconsider the standards by which these facilities maintained their cryogenic systems. Eggschain, an Austin TX-based startup using blockchain technology to provide fertility clinic users and facilities secure tracking and record keeping, investigated the current procedures considered to be routine. Their report, “Best Practices and Policies for Handling and Monitoring Liquid Nitrogen Containers Containing Human Reproductive Specimens,” identifies imperative guidelines for facilities to ensure the safety of users’ samples via proper cryogenic equipment, alarm-monitoring systems and personnel training.

MR Solutions Makes Imaging More Accessible outside Clinical Health Applications

MR Solutions, a Guildford, UK-based manufacturer, produces superconducting, cryogen-free, “benchtop” magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) systems. The company, founded by Dr. David Taylor in 1999, specializes in machines built for use outside traditional healthcare applications and has developed a range of preclinical imaging systems with innumerable applications. In the past, this technology has seen limited adoption due to its size, operating costs and needed expertise, but that’s quickly changing. Cold Facts spoke with Dr. Taylor on March 5 to learn about some of the unexpected applications of these machines and how cryogenics enables the technology.

Energy Gap Modulations Observed in a Cuprate Superconductor

A team studying high temperature superconductors at the US Department of Energy’s Brookhaven National Laboratory has discovered definitive evidence for the existence of a state of matter known as a pair density wave, first predicted by theorists some 50 years ago. Their results, published in the journal Nature on April 1, show that this phase coexists with superconductivity in a well-known bismuth-based copper-oxide superconductor.

Researchers Observe Ultrafast Processes of Single Molecules in Liquid Helium for the First Time

A team at the Femtosecond Dynamics research group at the Institute of Experimental Physics at TU Graz, in Graz, Austria, has visualized the movement of single, isolated molecules inside a helium droplet for the first time. The findings, which have implications for future experiments in visualizing processes within excited molecules, were published in Physical Review Letters on March 23.