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  • richardmitnick 9:04 am on May 22, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Australian researchers record world's fastest internet speed from a single optical chip", A research team from Monash Swinburne and RMIT universities has recorded the world’s fastest internet speed from a single optical chip of 44.2 Terabits per second., Laser Technology, Micro-comb – an optical chip replacing 80 separate infrared lasers., , Telecommunications capacity, They used a new device that replaces 80 lasers with one single piece of equipment known as a micro-comb which is smaller and lighter than existing telecommunications hardware.   

    From Monash University: “Australian researchers record world’s fastest internet speed from a single optical chip” 

    Monash Univrsity bloc

    From Monash University

    22 May 2020

    A research team from Monash, Swinburne and RMIT universities has recorded the world’s fastest internet speed from a single optical chip of 44.2 Terabits per second. At this speed, users can download 1000 HD movies in a split second.
    This is achieved through the use of a micro-comb – an optical chip replacing 80 separate infrared lasers, capable of carrying communication signals.
    Researchers were able to load-test the network using 76.6km of ‘dark’ optical fibres installed across Melbourne.

    1
    Researchers from Monash, Swinburne and RMIT universities have recorded the world’s fastest internet speed from a single optical chip of 44.2 Terabits per second.

    Researchers from Monash, Swinburne and RMIT universities have successfully tested and recorded Australia’s fastest internet data speed, and that of the world, from a single optical chip – capable of downloading 1000 high definition movies in a split second.

    Published in the prestigious journal Nature Communications, these findings have the potential to not only fast-track the next 25 years of Australia’s telecommunications capacity, but also the possibility for this home-grown technology to be rolled out across the world.

    In light of the pressures being placed on the world’s internet infrastructure, recently highlighted by isolation policies as a result of COVID-19, the research team led by Dr Bill Corcoran (Monash), Distinguished Professor Arnan Mitchell (RMIT) and Professor David Moss (Swinburne) were able to achieve a data speed of 44.2 Terabits per second (Tbps) from a single light source.

    This technology has the capacity to support the high-speed internet connections of 1.8 million households in Melbourne, Australia, at the same time, and billions across the world during peak periods.

    Demonstrations of this magnitude are usually confined to a laboratory. But, for this study, researchers achieved these quick speeds using existing communications infrastructure where they were able to efficiently load-test the network.

    They used a new device that replaces 80 lasers with one single piece of equipment known as a micro-comb, which is smaller and lighter than existing telecommunications hardware. It was planted into and load-tested using existing infrastructure, which mirrors that used by the NBN.

    It is the first time any micro-comb has been used in a field trial and possesses the highest amount of data produced from a single optical chip.

    “We’re currently getting a sneak-peak of how the infrastructure for the internet will hold up in two to three years’ time, due to the unprecedented number of people using the internet for remote work, socialising and streaming. It’s really showing us that we need to be able to scale the capacity of our internet connections,” said Dr Bill Corcoran, co-lead author of the study and Lecturer in Electrical and Computer Systems Engineering at Monash University.

    “What our research demonstrates is the ability for fibres that we already have in the ground, thanks to the NBN project, to be the backbone of communications networks now and in the future. We’ve developed something that is scalable to meet future needs.

    “And it’s not just Netflix we’re talking about here – it’s the broader scale of what we use our communication networks for. This data can be used for self-driving cars and future transportation and it can help the medicine, education, finance and e-commerce industries, as well as enable us to read with our grandchildren from kilometres away.”

    To illustrate the impact optical micro-combs have on optimising communication systems, researchers installed 76.6km of ‘dark’ optical fibres between RMIT’s Melbourne City Campus and Monash University’s Clayton Campus. The optical fibres were provided by Australia’s Academic Research Network.

    Within these fibres, researchers placed the micro-comb – contributed by Swinburne University, as part of a broad international collaboration – which acts like a rainbow made up of hundreds of high quality infrared lasers from a single chip. Each ‘laser’ has the capacity to be used as a separate communications channel.

    Researchers were able to send maximum data down each channel, simulating peak internet usage, across 4THz of bandwidth.

    Distinguished Professor Mitchell said reaching the optimum data speed of 44.2 Tbps showed the potential of existing Australian infrastructure. The future ambition of the project is to scale up the current transmitters from hundreds of gigabytes per second towards tens of terabytes per second without increasing size, weight or cost.

    “Long-term, we hope to create integrated photonic chips that could enable this sort of data rate to be achieved across existing optical fibre links with minimal cost,” Distinguished Professor Mitchell said.

    “Initially, these would be attractive for ultra-high speed communications between data centres. However, we could imagine this technology becoming sufficiently low cost and compact that it could be deployed for commercial use by the general public in cities across the world.”

    Professor Moss, Director of the Optical Sciences Centre at Swinburne University, said: “In the 10 years since I co-invented micro-comb chips, they have become an enormously important field of research.

    “It is truly exciting to see their capability in ultra-high bandwidth fibre optic telecommunications coming to fruition. This work represents a world-record for bandwidth down a single optical fibre from a single chip source, and represents an enormous breakthrough for part of the network which does the heaviest lifting. Micro-combs offer enormous promise for us to meet the world’s insatiable demand for bandwidth.”

    See the full article here .

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    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    Monash U campus

    Monash University is an Australian public research university based in Melbourne, Australia. Founded in 1958, it is the second oldest university in the State of Victoria. Monash is a member of Australia’s Group of Eight and the ASAIHL, and is the only Australian member of the influential M8 Alliance of Academic Health Centers, Universities and National Academies. Monash is one of two Australian universities to be ranked in the The École des Mines de Paris (Mines ParisTech) ranking on the basis of the number of alumni listed among CEOs in the 500 largest worldwide companies. Monash is in the top 20% in teaching, top 10% in international outlook, top 20% in industry income and top 10% in research in the world in 2016.

    Monash enrolls approximately 47,000 undergraduate and 20,000 graduate students, It also has more applicants than any university in the state of Victoria.

    Monash is home to major research facilities, including the Australian Synchrotron, the Monash Science Technology Research and Innovation Precinct (STRIP), the Australian Stem Cell Centre, 100 research centres and 17 co-operative research centres. In 2011, its total revenue was over $2.1 billion, with external research income around $282 million.

    The university has a number of centres, five of which are in Victoria (Clayton, Caulfield, Berwick, Peninsula, and Parkville), one in Malaysia. Monash also has a research and teaching centre in Prato, Italy, a graduate research school in Mumbai, India and a graduate school in Jiangsu Province, China. Since December 2011, Monash has had a global alliance with the University of Warwick in the United Kingdom. Monash University courses are also delivered at other locations, including South Africa.

    The Clayton campus contains the Robert Blackwood Hall, named after the university’s founding Chancellor Sir Robert Blackwood and designed by Sir Roy Grounds.

    In 2014, the University ceded its Gippsland campus to Federation University. On 7 March 2016, Monash announced that it would be closing the Berwick campus by 2018.

     
  • richardmitnick 8:47 am on May 4, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Prismatic Primer: MTU Photonics and Optics Harness the Light", (NIRS)-near-infrared spectroscopy, , Laser Technology,   

    From Michigan Technical University- “Prismatic Primer: MTU Photonics and Optics Harness the Light” 

    Michigan Tech bloc

    From Michigan Technical University

    May 4, 2020
    Allison Mills

    1
    MTU

    Photonics and optics — the fields of light — are like the colors of the rainbow. There are measurable differences, but no one draws a heavy black line between them.

    Through studying the behavior and uses of light particles, photonics and optics focus on the movement of photons. Photonics looks at fundamental questions and creates the tools that are applied in optics. Researchers in both fields study how light scatters, illuminates, refocuses and transcends the everyday workings of our eyes, screens, lasers and medical devices.

    One such medical device could help with screening COVID-19 patients.

    Kosar Khaksari is a PhD graduate in biomedical engineering from Michigan Technological University. She now works for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) on a team developing a biosensing device for screening and monitoring respiratory health using optics.

    “When COVID-19 came about, since we have the knowledge and we have a flexible modality, we thought about developing a multi-modal biosensor to look at oxygenation, respiratory rate and temperature,” Khaksari said, explaining that before the pandemic, the NIH team worked on using near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) to non-invasively peer into the health of brains and placentas. “I was introduced to photonics and optics at Michigan Tech — and I started falling in love with light and how it interacts with tissue. Studying this is important because it helps us look at human tissue without surgery or other invasive methods.”

    Lighting Up Michigan Tech

    Assisting health care workers with COVID-19 treatments is only one of the many uses for photonic and optical devices. Much like light itself, photonics and optics reach far and wide across traditional academic disciplines.

    At Michigan Tech, engineers and scientists work on using laser-light scatter to detect changes in skin, turning ceramic resonators invisible with photonic crystals, making a perfect lens to detect infectious diseases with cellphones, and ensuring self-driving cars see the road even during a Keweenaw blizzard.

    “These teams are even better able to share collegial conversations that enhance the inherently interdisciplinary nature of many photonics and optics projects,” said Christopher Middlebrook, associate professor of electrical and computer engineering, who also advises student organizations in optics and photonics. “Many of us are experimentalists. That means we’re in the labs working on devices, but we work alongside our campus colleagues who are theoretical physicists, mathematicians and others in chemical engineering or materials science to move the field forward.”

    Sean Kirkpatrick, a professor and the chair of the Department of Biomedical Engineering, was Khaksari’s advisor. His research is rooted in optical devices for medical imaging.

    “We’re talking about high-resolution, detailed measurements of motion in dynamic systems,” Kirkpatrick said, explaining that the tools of the trade can be applied in many different ways. “At Michigan Tech, we’re not doing sci-fi. We’re meeting the challenges in software and hardware to measure, analyze and understand many real-world phenomena.”

    Those challenges are twofold. On one hand, fast motion requires fast cameras. Fast cameras mean more images and more data — and image processing in the era of Big Data requires keen tools and perspective to cut through the noise and preserve a true signal.

    “It’s like the CSI fallacy: The guy comes in to view the tape and asks to zoom in and sharpen the image — that doesn’t happen,” Middlebrook said. “What does happen: Like sports photographers and the Hubble telescope, we look at light through the right equipment for the job, which often means a long lens. It’s a matter of focusing and getting rid of aberrations.”

    The Future of Photonics and Optics

    The efforts to expand by the photonics and optics researchers at Michigan Tech focus on building human capital. They’re seeking out alumni in the field to share their stories, working with companies to attend Michigan Tech’s Career Fair, establishing more scholarships for undergraduate research and opening more opportunities for graduate research.

    That’s what initially brought Khaksari to Michigan Tech, after all. It’s here where her NIH work to help solve one of the world’s greatest challenges started.

    “I learned about NIRS at Michigan Tech. And now I’m using it for the purpose of COVID-19,” Khaksari said. “Along the way learning about biomedical engineering and optics, I recognized I do it because I’m helping human health. I am an engineer, not a physician, but as a biomedical engineer it still matters to me to make a difference in people’s health.”

    In its many forms, Michigan Tech research does just that. Photonics and optics light up the end of the tunnel and harness the light for better medical devices and imaging, self-driving cars, cellphone signals, invisibility cloaks and other technology glimmering at the edges of imagination.

    2
    Understanding how lasers work is one small piece of the field of photonics and optics. MTU

    See the full article here .

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    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    Michigan Tech Campus
    Michigan Technological University (http://www.mtu.edu) is a leading public research university developing new technologies and preparing students to create the future for a prosperous and sustainable world. Michigan Tech offers more than 130 undergraduate and graduate degree programs in engineering; forest resources; computing; technology; business; economics; natural, physical and environmental sciences; arts; humanities; and social sciences.
    The College of Sciences and Arts (CSA) fills one of the most important roles on the Michigan Tech campus. We play a part in the education of every student who comes through our doors. We take pride in offering essential foundational courses in the natural sciences and mathematics, as well as the social sciences and humanities—courses that underpin every major on campus. With twelve departments, 28 majors, 30-or-so specializations, and more than 50 minors, CSA has carefully developed programs to suit many interests and skill sets. From sound design and audio technology to actuarial science, applied cognitive science and human factors to rhetoric and technical communication, the college offers many unique programs.

     
  • richardmitnick 1:58 pm on April 26, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Laser Technology, Researchers at the University of Arizona have developed a method for enhancing the performance of optical fiber lasers., Startup CMLaser Technologies Inc., Tech Launch Arizona- the commercialization arm of U Arizona,   

    From University of Arizona: “Inventors Formulate Material for More Powerful Lasers” 

    From University of Arizona

    April 24, 2020
    Paul Tumarkin
    Tech Launch Arizona
    520-626-8770
    pault@tla.arizona.edu

    Startup CMLaser Technologies Inc. has licensed the technology, which was developed in the James C. Wyant College of Optical Sciences.

    1

    Researchers at the University of Arizona have developed a method for enhancing the performance of optical fiber lasers.

    Optical fiber – which is made of silica glass or other multi-component glass – provides a conduit for transmitting light, including lasers. By adding different elements to that fiber, a process called “doping,” inventors can change the properties of how such fiber transmits light.

    A team of five inventors led by Nasser Peyghambarian, a professor in the James C. Wyant College of Optical Sciences, created a formulation for phosphate-doped fiber and tellurite-doped fiber, enhancing their performance and allowing for the building of more powerful fiber lasers and optical amplifiers.

    With the help of Tech Launch Arizona, the commercialization arm of UArizona, the university has patented the technology and licensed it to startup CMLaser Technologies Inc.

    Such lasers, which have direct applications in laser-based countermeasures for military and non-military aircraft, are enabling the development of aircraft-based technologies for detecting and defeating missile attacks. Heat-seeking missiles, invented in the 1970s, work by targeting the heat of jet engines. To foil these missiles, aircraft would deploy bright thermal flares to fool the missles and draw them away. As technologies have advanced, engineers have turned to laser-based innovations for such countermeasures.

    “We have been doing this research for more than 10 years, working with students and research faculty to create a technology that is defensive in nature and will save lives,” said Peyghambarian, also a professor of materials science and engineering.

    Led by Peyghambarian in the early 2000s, the inventing team included then-adjunct professors Axel Schulzgen and Seppo Honkanen; Jacques Albert, now a professor of electrical engineering at Carleton University; and then-doctoral student Li Li.

    UArizona President Robert C. Robbins praised Peygambarian’s dedication to his students, his field and the idea of creating impact through research.

    “Dr. Peyghambarian is a true superstar, and the Wyant College of Optical Sciences has an incredibly strong tradition of innovation in technologies that contribute to our national security and public safety,” he said.

    Peyghambarian has a long history of educating students and developing and commercializing cutting-edge technologies. He is an inventor on more than 40 patents, and this is the fifth startup in which he has been involved to bring inventions he has developed to the marketplace.

    In 2016, the National Academy of Inventors named Peyghambarian a fellow, the organization’s highest honor.

    CMLaser Technologies has already secured investment from UAVenture Capital, led by UArizona alumnus and CEO Fletcher McCusker. McCusker said the funds will be used to advance the technology and better prepare it for application in practical settings.

    See the full article here .


    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings
    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    The University of Arizona (UA) is a place without limits-where teaching, research, service and innovation merge to improve lives in Arizona and beyond. We aren’t afraid to ask big questions, and find even better answers.

    In 1885, establishing Arizona’s first university in the middle of the Sonoran Desert was a bold move. But our founders were fearless, and we have never lost that spirit. To this day, we’re revolutionizing the fields of space sciences, optics, biosciences, medicine, arts and humanities, business, technology transfer and many others. Since it was founded, the UA has grown to cover more than 380 acres in central Tucson, a rich breeding ground for discovery.

    U Arizona mirror lab-Where else in the world can you find an astronomical observatory mirror lab under a football stadium?

    University of Arizona’s Biosphere 2, located in the Sonoran desert. An entire ecosystem under a glass dome? Visit our campus, just once, and you’ll quickly understand why the UA is a university unlike any other.

     
  • richardmitnick 3:51 pm on April 24, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Research provides new insights into the evolution of stars", , , , , HEDP-High Energy Density Physics, Laser Technology, ,   

    From University of Rochester: “Research provides new insights into the evolution of stars” 

    From University of Rochester

    April 24, 2020

    Lindsey Valich
    lvalich@ur.rochester.edu

    1
    Scientists at the Laboratory for Laser Energetics studied how matter under high-pressure conditions—such as the conditions in the deep interiors of planets and stars—might emit or absorb radiation. The research enhances an understanding of high-energy-density science and could lead to more information about how stars evolve. (NASA photo)

    Atoms and molecules behave very differently at extreme temperatures and pressures. Although such extreme matter doesn’t exist naturally on the earth, it exists in abundance in the universe, especially in the deep interiors of planets and stars. Understanding how atoms react under high-pressure conditions—a field known as high-energy-density physics (HEDP)—gives scientists valuable insights into the fields of planetary science, astrophysics, fusion energy, and national security.

    One important question in the field of HED science is how matter under high-pressure conditions might emit or absorb radiation in ways that are different from our traditional understanding.

    In a paper published in Nature Communications, Suxing Hu, a distinguished scientist and group leader of the HEDP Theory Group at the University of Rochester’s Laboratory for Laser Energetics (LLE), together with colleagues from the LLE and France, has applied theory and calculations to predict the presence of two new phenomena—interspecies radiative transition (IRT) and the breakdown of dipole selection rule—in the transport of radiation in atoms and molecules under HED conditions. The research enhances an understanding of HED science and could lead to more information about how stars and other astrophysical objects evolve in the universe.

    2
    Suxing Hu is group leader of the High-Energy-Density Physics Theory Group at the Laboratory for Laser Energetics, (University of Rochester photo / Eugene Kowaluk)

    What is interspecies radiative transition (IRT)?

    Radiative transition is a physical process happening inside atoms and molecules, in which their electron or electrons can “jump” from different energy levels by either radiating (emitting) or absorbing a photon. Scientists find that, for matter in our everyday life, such radiative transitions mostly happen within each individual atom or molecule; the electron does its jumping between energy levels belonging to the single atom or molecule, and the jumping does not typically occur between different atoms and molecules. However, Hu and his colleagues predict that when atoms and molecules are placed under HED conditions, and are squeezed so tightly that they become very close to each other, radiative transitions can involve neighboring atoms and molecules.

    “Namely, the electrons can now jump from one atom’s energy levels to those of other neighboring atoms,” Hu says.

    What is the dipole selection rule?

    Electrons inside an atom have specific symmetries. For example, “s-wave electrons” are always spherically symmetric, meaning they look like a ball, with the nucleus located in the atomic center; “p-wave electrons,” on the other hand, look like dumbbells. D-waves and other electron states have more complicated shapes. Radiative transitions will mostly occur when the electron jumping follows the so-called dipole selection rule, in which the jumping electron changes its shape from s-wave to p-wave, from p-wave to d-wave, and so forth.

    Under normal, non-extreme conditions, Hu says, “one hardly sees electrons jumping among the same shapes, from s-wave to s-wave and from p-wave to p-wave, by emitting or absorbing photons.”

    However, as Hu and his colleagues found, when materials are squeezed so tightly into the exotic HED state, the dipole selection rule is often broken down.

    “Under such extreme conditions found in the center of stars and classes of laboratory fusion experiments, non-dipole x-ray emissions and absorptions can occur, which was never imagined before,” Hu says.

    Using supercomputers to conduct calculations

    The researchers used supercomputers at both the University of Rochester’s Center for Integrated Research Computing (CIRC) and at the LLE to conduct their calculations.

    4
    University of Rochester’s Center for Integrated Research Computing (CIRC)

    U Rochester Laboratory for Laser Energetics

    “Thanks to the tremendous advances in high-energy laser and pulsed-power technologies, ‘bringing stars to the earth’ has become reality for the past decade or two,” Hu says.

    Hu and his colleagues performed their research using the density-functional theory (DFT) calculation, which offers a quantum mechanical description of the bonds between atoms and molecules in complex systems. The DFT method was first described in the 1960s, and was the subject of the 1998 Nobel Prize in Chemistry. DFT calculations have been continually improved since. One such improvement to enable DFT calculations to involve core electrons was made by Valentin Karasev, a scientist at the LLE and a co-author of the paper.

    The results indicate there are new emission/absorption lines appearing in the x-ray spectra of these extreme matter systems, which are from the previously unknown channels of IRT and the breakdown of dipole selection rule.

    Hu and Philip Nilson, a senior scientist at the LLE and coauthor of the paper, are currently planning future experiments that will involve testing these new theoretical predictions at the OMEGA laser facility at the LLE.

    U Rochester Omega Laser facility

    The facility lets users create exotic HED conditions in nanosecond timescales, allowing scientists to probe the unique behaviors of matter at extreme conditions.

    “If proved to be true by experiments, these new discoveries will profoundly change how radiation transport is currently treated in exotic HED materials,” Hu says. “These DFT-predicted new emission and absorption channels have never been considered so far in textbooks.”

    This research is based upon work supported by the United States Department of Energy (DOE) National Nuclear Security Administration and the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority. The work is partially supported by the National Science Foundation.

    The LLE was established at the University in 1970 and is the largest DOE university-based research program in the nation. As a nationally funded facility, supported by the National Nuclear Security Administration as part of its Stockpile Stewardship Program, the LLE conducts implosion and other experiments to explore fusion as a future source of energy, to develop new laser and materials technologies, and to conduct research and develop technology related to HED phenomena.

    See the full article here .

    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    U Rochester

    The University of Rochester is one of the country’s top-tier research universities. Our 158 buildings house more than 200 academic majors, more than 2,000 faculty and instructional staff, and some 10,500 students—approximately half of whom are women.

    Learning at the University of Rochester is also on a very personal scale. Rochester remains one of the smallest and most collegiate among top research universities, with smaller classes, a low 10:1 student to teacher ratio, and increased interactions with faculty.

     
  • richardmitnick 12:52 pm on March 25, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "A new idea for rapid generation of strong magnetic fields using laser pulses", Laser Technology,   

    From phys.org: “A new idea for rapid generation of strong magnetic fields using laser pulses” 


    From phys.org

    March 25, 2020
    Bob Yirka

    1
    Numerical simulations of strong field coherent control in atomic hydrogen using azimuthal vector beams. Credit: Physical Review X (2020). DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevX.10.011063

    A combined team of researchers from the University of Ottawa and National Research Council Canada has developed a new way to generate rapid strong magnetic fields using laser pulses. In their paper published in the journal Physical Review Letters, the researchers describe their new technique and the ways it might be used.

    Over the past several years, magnetic fields have become more important in a variety of research areas, including medicine. But a means for generating strong magnetic fields rapidly has been lagging. In this new effort, the researchers have found a way to overcome problems associated with prior attempts to speed up magnetic field generation.

    The new work builds on prior attempts to use lasers to speed up the process—these experiments have typically been used to push electrons in plasma around a loop, but such devices require very strong lasers that are only available at a few research sites. Also, in prior attempts to use lasers, researchers have aimed their lasers configured as an optical vortex in a gas. The researchers with this new effort instead propose an azimuthal-vector laser beam. In such a system, the electric field lines should take the shape of circles around a central beam axis. The system is most intense in the ring-shaped part of the region. That should allow for sending an electron around the ring, generating a magnetic field in the direction of the beam. The researchers’ idea also introduces a second laser with a frequency tuned to twice that of the first beam. This changes the timing of the process, allowing electrons to move when the field is at its peak.

    Simulations of their idea showed that if an 11.3-microjoule main laser pulse was used and a 1.9-microjoule frequency-doubled pulse was added as the second laser, the system would be able to turn on an 8-Tesla field in just 50 femtoseconds. Such a setup, the researchers note, could be used in typical lab settings, though they note it would likely destroy magnetic samples under study. They suggest these problems could be reduced by moving samples farther away from the magnetic field. They further suggest that devices built using their ideas could be used for optoelectronics requiring speedy switches.

    See the full article here .

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    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    About Science X in 100 words
    Science X™ is a leading web-based science, research and technology news service which covers a full range of topics. These include physics, earth science, medicine, nanotechnology, electronics, space, biology, chemistry, computer sciences, engineering, mathematics and other sciences and technologies. Launched in 2004 (Physorg.com), Science X’s readership has grown steadily to include 5 million scientists, researchers, and engineers every month. Science X publishes approximately 200 quality articles every day, offering some of the most comprehensive coverage of sci-tech developments world-wide. Science X community members enjoy access to many personalized features such as social networking, a personal home page set-up, article comments and ranking, the ability to save favorite articles, a daily newsletter, and other options.
    Mission 12 reasons for reading daily news on Science X Organization Key editors and writersinclude 1.75 million scientists, researchers, and engineers every month. Phys.org publishes approximately 100 quality articles every day, offering some of the most comprehensive coverage of sci-tech developments world-wide. Quancast 2009 includes Phys.org in its list of the Global Top 2,000 Websites. Phys.org community members enjoy access to many personalized features such as social networking, a personal home page set-up, RSS/XML feeds, article comments and ranking, the ability to save favorite articles, a daily newsletter, and other options.

     
  • richardmitnick 11:03 am on March 21, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Super laser developed in the UK will help scientists create the conditions found inside planets", , , Laser Technology, , Scientists have already discovered more than 3000 planets outside our own solar system., Simulating the interior of Earth-type planets., What these planets are composed of- their mass; pressure; and temperature conditions found in and on these planets is not yet known.,   

    From Science and Technology Facilities Council: “Super laser developed in the UK will help scientists create the conditions found inside planets” 


    From Science and Technology Facilities Council

    19 March 2020

    1
    Central Laser Facility’s DiPOLE 100 X laser in the lab before delivery to the European XFEL facility in Germany. (Credit: STFC.)

    STFC DiPOLE 100-X Laser for European XFEL

    A unique laser developed at the UK’s Central Laser Facility will allow scientists working at European XFEL to create conditions simulating the interior of Earth-type planets for the first time.

    European XFEL campus

    The UK is a core partner in the European X-Ray Free Electron Laser (European XFEL) facility in Germany. XFEL is the largest, most powerful X-Ray laser in existence, with a brilliance that is a billion times higher than any other conventional X-ray radiation source. By using this new laser, DiPOLE 100-X, in combination with the extremely bright, intense X-ray beam produced by the XFEL, scientists will be able to probe the atomic structure and dynamics of materials under the extreme conditions found within the core of a planet where temperatures can be up to 10,000°C and pressures can be up to 10,000 tonnes per square centimetre.

    Scientists have already discovered more than 3,000 planets outside our own solar system. What these planets are composed of, their mass, pressure and temperature conditions found in and on these planets is not yet known. The experimental set-up being developed at XFEL will allow X-ray diffraction and spectroscopy techniques that could simulate these conditions on Earth.

    “It is thought that the form of elements such as carbon and iron found on some of these exoplanets does not exist elsewhere” says Ulf Zastrau, group leader at the instrument for High-Energy Density science at European XFEL. “Until now, it has not been technically possible to study these fascinating worlds before, because we could not create such extreme temperatures and pressures in the lab. Now, with the arrival of the new DiPOLE 100-X laser at European XFEL we are a step closer to being able to study the behavior, composition and conditions of these planets. This really opens up an entirely new field of scientific exploration.”

    A joint XFEL and the Science and Technology Facilities Council CLF team of scientists and engineers is already busy installing the DiPOLE 100-X laser in the underground laser “hutch” and commissioning experiments will begin in the summer. Integration and synchronisation with the XFEL beam will follow, with experimental time available from next year.

    Professor John Collier, CLF Director, said: “I am delighted that CLF’s latest generation of DiPOLE laser technology is being installed on the European XFEL. The unique combination of DiPOLE laser radiation with the XFEL beam will transform laboratory astrophysics and the study of matter in extreme conditions. DiPOLE’s high repetition rate will deliver a step-change in the speed of data collection, producing orders of magnitude improvements in the accuracy of our measurements and the ability to detect previously unobservable effects.”

    In addition to developing and building the DiPOLE laser for XFEL UK scientists at STFC also played a major role in the design and development of a cutting edge X-ray camera for the facility. The Large Pixel Detector (LPD) was installed at XFEL in 2017 and records images at a rate of 4.5 million frames per second – fast enough to keep up with the European XFEL’s 27,000 pulses per second, which are arranged into short high speed bursts. The LPD enables users to take clear snapshots of ultrafast processes such as chemical reactions as they take place.

    Further information

    Construction of the DiPOLE 100-X laser was funded by joint equipment grants from the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), both part of UK Research and Innovation.

    The UK was European XFEL’s twelfth member state. The UK is represented in European XFEL by the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) as shareholder.

    About STFC’s Central Laser Facility

    The Central Laser Facility (CLF) at the STFC Rutherford Appleton Laboratory is one of the world’s leading laser facilities providing scientists from the UK and Europe with an unparalleled range of state of the art technology. CLF’s facilities range from advanced, compact tuneable lasers which can pinpoint individual particles to high power laser installations that recreate the conditions inside stars.

    What is an X-ray Free Electron Laser anyway?

    Free Electron Lasers (FEL) are at the cutting edge of scientific research, with the huge potential to tackle global challenges, from drug development to producing hydrogen powered fuels. FELs allow us to look at things on a much closer scale. Like other lasers, they rely on light, and to do this they use electrons. These electrons are driven by a particle accelerator to incredibly high speeds. They are then passed through series of magnets in such a way that creates bunches of electrons, and during this process induced to emit ultrashort bursts of the light.

    This light can then be aimed at a target within a sample station. This interaction between the light and the sample is captured using a detector. Unlike standard lasers and synchrotron light sources, FELs can produce light at a range of frequencies. They are the most flexible, high power and efficient generators of tuneable coherent light from infra-red to X-rays. European XFEL, the worlds’ largest, most powerful laser, can generate 27,000 X-ray flashes per second.

    This power allows scientists to observe reactions that are happening on the atomic and molecular scales, opening up totally new avenues of research, beyond reach of other types of X-ray or laser facility.

    Further information about European XFEL

    See the full article here .

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    STFC-Science and Technology Facilities Council

    STFC Rutherford Appleton Laboratory at Harwell in Oxfordshire, UK


    STFC Hartree Centre

    Helping build a globally competitive, knowledge-based UK economy

    We are a world-leading multi-disciplinary science organisation, and our goal is to deliver economic, societal, scientific and international benefits to the UK and its people – and more broadly to the world. Our strength comes from our distinct but interrelated functions:

    Universities: we support university-based research, innovation and skills development in astronomy, particle physics, nuclear physics, and space science
    Scientific Facilities: we provide access to world-leading, large-scale facilities across a range of physical and life sciences, enabling research, innovation and skills training in these areas
    National Campuses: we work with partners to build National Science and Innovation Campuses based around our National Laboratories to promote academic and industrial collaboration and translation of our research to market through direct interaction with industry
    Inspiring and Involving: we help ensure a future pipeline of skilled and enthusiastic young people by using the excitement of our sciences to encourage wider take-up of STEM subjects in school and future life (science, technology, engineering and mathematics)

    We support an academic community of around 1,700 in particle physics, nuclear physics, and astronomy including space science, who work at more than 50 universities and research institutes in the UK, Europe, Japan and the United States, including a rolling cohort of more than 900 PhD students.

    STFC-funded universities produce physics postgraduates with outstanding high-end scientific, analytic and technical skills who on graduation enjoy almost full employment. Roughly half of our PhD students continue in research, sustaining national capability and creating the bedrock of the UK’s scientific excellence. The remainder – much valued for their numerical, problem solving and project management skills – choose equally important industrial, commercial or government careers.

    Our large-scale scientific facilities in the UK and Europe are used by more than 3,500 users each year, carrying out more than 2,000 experiments and generating around 900 publications. The facilities provide a range of research techniques using neutrons, muons, lasers and x-rays, and high performance computing and complex analysis of large data sets.

    They are used by scientists across a huge variety of science disciplines ranging from the physical and heritage sciences to medicine, biosciences, the environment, energy, and more. These facilities provide a massive productivity boost for UK science, as well as unique capabilities for UK industry.

    Our two Campuses are based around our Rutherford Appleton Laboratory at Harwell in Oxfordshire, and our Daresbury Laboratory in Cheshire – each of which offers a different cluster of technological expertise that underpins and ties together diverse research fields.

    Daresbury Laboratory at Sci-Tech Daresbury in the Liverpool City Region,

    The combination of access to world-class research facilities and scientists, office and laboratory space, business support, and an environment which encourages innovation has proven a compelling combination, attracting start-ups, SMEs and large blue chips such as IBM and Unilever.

    We think our science is awesome – and we know students, teachers and parents think so too. That’s why we run an extensive Public Engagement and science communication programme, ranging from loans to schools of Moon Rocks, funding support for academics to inspire more young people, embedding public engagement in our funded grant programme, and running a series of lectures, travelling exhibitions and visits to our sites across the year.

    Ninety per cent of physics undergraduates say that they were attracted to the course by our sciences, and applications for physics courses are up – despite an overall decline in university enrolment.

     
  • richardmitnick 12:48 pm on March 12, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Laser Technology, Magnetite as an insulator via Verwey transition., , , The researchers suggest that the larger significance of this finding will impact the field of fundamental condensed matter physics., This discovery is significant because no frozen waves of any kind had ever been found in magnetite., This work led by MIT professor of physics Nuh Gedik was made possible by the use of “ultrafast terahertz spectroscopy.   

    From MIT News: “Dancing electrons solve a longstanding puzzle in the oldest magnetic material” 

    MIT News

    From MIT News

    March 11, 2020
    Sandi Miller | Department of Physics

    1
    Researchers confirmed the existence of electronic waves that are frozen at a transition temperature of 125 kelvins and start “dancing together” in a collective oscillating motion as the temperature is lowered. In this illustration, a red laser beam triggers the dance of the newly discovered electronic waves in magnetite. Image: Ambra Garlaschelli.

    2
    Edoardo Baldini (left) and Carina Belvin work in the Gedik lab at MIT. The researchers used ultrafast lasers in the extreme infrared for their magnetite discovery. Photo courtesy of the Department of Physics.

    Physicists use extreme infrared laser pulses to reveal frozen electron waves in magnetite.

    Magnetite is the oldest magnetic material known to humans, yet researchers are still mystified by certain aspects of its properties.

    For example, when the temperature is lowered below 125 kelvins, magnetite changes from a metal to an insulator, its atoms shift to a new lattice structure, and its charges form a complicated ordered pattern. This extraordinarily complex phase transformation, which was discovered in the 1940s and is known as the Verwey transition, was the first metal-insulator transition ever observed. For decades, researchers have not understood exactly how this phase transformation was happening.

    According to a paper published March 9 in Nature Physics, an international team of experimental and theoretical researchers discovered fingerprints of the quasiparticles that drive the Verwey transition in magnetite. Using an ultrashort laser pulse, the researchers were able to confirm the existence of peculiar electronic waves that are frozen at the transition temperature and start “dancing together” in a collective oscillating motion as the temperature is lowered.

    “We were investigating the mechanism behind the Verwey transition and we suddenly found anomalous waves freezing at the transition temperature” said MIT physics postdoc Edoardo Baldini, one of the lead authors on the paper. “They are waves made of electrons that displace the surrounding atoms and move collectively as fluctuations in space and time.”

    This discovery is significant because no frozen waves of any kind had ever been found in magnetite. “We immediately understood that these were interesting objects that conspire in triggering this very complex phase transition,” says MIT physics PhD student Carina Belvin, the paper’s other lead author.

    These objects that form the low-temperature charge order in magnetite are “trimerons,” three-atom building blocks. “By performing an advanced theoretical analysis, we were able to determine that the waves we observed correspond to the trimerons sliding back and forth,” explains Belvin.

    “The understanding of quantum materials such as magnetite is still in its infancy because of the extremely complex nature of the interactions that create exotic ordered phases,” adds Baldini.

    The researchers suggest that the larger significance of this finding will impact the field of fundamental condensed matter physics, advancing the comprehension of a conceptual puzzle that has been open since the early 1940s. This work, led by MIT professor of physics Nuh Gedik, was made possible by the use of “ultrafast terahertz spectroscopy,” an advanced laser apparatus based on ultrashort pulses in the extreme infrared. Gedik says, “These laser pulses are as short as one millionth of one millionth of a second and allow us to take fast photographs of the microscopic world. Our goal now is to apply this approach to discover new classes of collective waves in other quantum materials.”

    See the full article here .


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    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.


    Stem Education Coalition

    MIT Seal

    The mission of MIT is to advance knowledge and educate students in science, technology, and other areas of scholarship that will best serve the nation and the world in the twenty-first century. We seek to develop in each member of the MIT community the ability and passion to work wisely, creatively, and effectively for the betterment of humankind.

    MIT Campus

     
  • richardmitnick 3:21 pm on March 11, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "ORNL team builds portable diagnostic for fusion experiments from off-the-shelf items", DARPA needs a way to tell whether the plasma in the prototypes is hot enough and dense enough and contained well enough in the magnetic field to produce fusion., DARPA solicited additional proposals to build portable diagnostic systems to measure key parameters in these new machines., DOE’s Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) is funding these efforts., Laser Technology, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Off the shelf items for portable plasma imaging diagnostic device., ORNL's device will be transported to PPPL and U Washington for testing., Thomson scattering uses lasers to measure electron density and temperature by the scattering of the laser light off of the electrons in the plasma.   

    From Oak Ridge National Laboratory: “ORNL team builds portable diagnostic for fusion experiments from off-the-shelf items” 

    i1

    From Oak Ridge National Laboratory

    March 11, 2020
    Kristi L Bumpus
    bumpuskl@ornl.gov
    865.341.0504

    1
    Off the shelf items for portable plasma imaging diagnostic device.

    The techniques Theodore Biewer and his colleagues are using to measure whether plasma has the right conditions to create fusion have been around awhile.

    The specialized lasers and off-the-shelf components they’re working with are nothing new, either.

    But assembling them into a portable diagnostic system that can be loaded in a cargo van and driven on a cross-country tour of experimental fusion reactor prototypes?

    Biewer thinks his team will be the first to successfully do that—this summer.

    Measuring plasma parameters

    For about a year, Biewer, a researcher in the Fusion Energy Division at the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory, has been thinking of a way to build a portable system, using only commercially available components, that can accurately measure electron temperature, ion temperature, and electron density in fusion prototypes funded by DOE’s Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E).

    ARPA-E is funding nine projects under its 2015 ALPHA program—which, if successful, could serve as a technological basis for new reactor designs. But the agency needed a way to tell whether the plasma in the prototypes is hot enough, dense enough, and contained well enough in the magnetic field to produce fusion. In January 2019, the agency solicited additional proposals to build portable diagnostic systems to measure key parameters in these new machines. Biewer’s team’s proposal was selected last summer and received a little more than $1 million in funding in November 2019.

    By that time, Biewer, who is principal investigator, had already researched the commercially available components for optical emission spectroscopy, a technique that uses light to measure which types of ions are present in what concentrations and at what temperatures, and Thomson scattering, which uses lasers to measure electron density and temperature by the scattering of the laser light off of the electrons in the plasma.

    Six months to results

    Biewer said Thomson scattering is the gold standard for measuring those parameters, in part because it produces data that are useful without needing a lot of interpretation. Thomson scattering is generally performed with high-end lasers that have been adapted and built into permanent systems housed in dedicated climate-controlled buildings adjacent to the plasma reactors.

    “They’re very complicated systems that really do the job well,” Biewer said. “But ARPA-E wanted to be able to move the system from machine to machine. So we proposed using some lasers that aren’t as powerful as the ones used in these permanent systems but that still have enough energy to get the job done.”

    R&D staff member Drew Elliott, postdoctoral researcher Nischal Kafle, and University of Tennessee graduate student Zichen “Horus” He have been building the system on a rolling cart, assisted by instrumentation specialist Wayne Garren and He’s adviser, UT professor Zhili Zhang.

    Turnaround is quick. By March, Biewer hopes they will have tested the system on a plasma source in ORNL’s Engineering Technology Center. By May, he hopes to have data to present at the 23rd Topical Conference on High-Temperature Plasma Diagnostics in New Mexico.

    And by June, he hopes the system will be on its way to Princeton Plasma Physics Lab (PPPL) in New Jersey, boxed up in a cargo van from ORNL’s motor pool, driven by his team.

    ‘Have laser, will travel’

    After 4–6 months testing the system on a fusion device at PPPL, the team will take it to another fusion device at the University of Washington in Seattle and test it for about the same amount of time. A trip to measure a third device is possible—“Have laser, will travel,” Biewer said.

    ORNL’s history as a leader in fusion energy made it a prime location for a project of this sort—even amid skepticism that a portable device could produce measurements accurate enough to be useful.

    “We have experience from systems built here,” Biewer said. “We know what it takes, and we’re in a convenient time in technology development to bring all this together in a package that we can shepherd around to these different fusion devices to measure whether they can do what we say they can.

    “We have enough know-how that even if we do encounter some pitfalls, we know how to get ourselves out. You can’t know everything in advance, but you can adjust to events on the fly.”

    Biewer’s then-Group Leader, Jeff Harris, nicknamed the system “suitcase Thomson scattering,” but all the systems ARPA-E is funding for this project are portable, Biewer said. What makes his team’s design unique is the use of off-the-shelf components instead of custom-built or extensively adapted parts.

    If it works as expected, the design ultimately could lead to a mass-produced system, or ARPA-E may continue to fund the team’s research to improve the concept.

    “The next design might be even better: more compact, more accurate,” Biewer said.

    UT-Battelle LLC manages ORNL for the Department of Energy’s Office of Science, the single largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States. The Office of Science is working to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time. For more information, please visit https://energy.gov/science.

    See the full article here .


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    ORNL is managed by UT-Battelle for the Department of Energy’s Office of Science. DOE’s Office of Science is the single largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States, and is working to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time.

    i2

     
  • richardmitnick 2:25 pm on March 7, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Terahertz radiation technique opens a new door for studying atomic behavior", A key innovation for this work the researchers say was creating a particle accelerator cavity called the compressor., , Laser Technology, , , SLAC's "electron camera" or ultrafast electron diffraction (MeV-UED) instrument,   

    From SLAC National Accelerator Lab via phys.org: “Terahertz radiation technique opens a new door for studying atomic behavior” 

    From SLAC National Accelerator Lab

    via


    phys.org

    March 6, 2020
    Erika K. Carlson, SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory

    1
    A compressor using terahertz radiation to shorten electron bunches is small enough to fit into the palm of a hand. Credit: Dawn Harmer/SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory.

    Researchers from the Department of Energy’s SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory have made a promising new advance for the lab’s high-speed “electron camera” that could allow them to “film” tiny, ultrafast motions of protons and electrons in chemical reactions that have never been seen before. Such “movies” could eventually help scientists design more efficient chemical processes, invent next-generation materials with new properties, develop drugs to fight disease and more.

    The new technique takes advantage of a form of light called terahertz radiation, instead of the usual radio-frequency radiation, to manipulate the beams of electrons the instrument uses. This lets researchers control how fast the camera takes snapshots and, at the same time, reduces a pesky effect called timing jitter, which prevents researchers from accurately recording the timeline of how atoms or molecules change.

    The method could also lead to smaller particle accelerators: Because the wavelengths of terahertz radiation are about a hundred times smaller than those of radio waves, instruments using terahertz radiation could be more compact.

    The researchers published the findings in Physical Review Letters on February 4.

    A Speedy Camera

    SLAC’s “electron camera,” or ultrafast electron diffraction (MeV-UED) instrument, uses high-energy beams of electrons traveling near the speed of light to take a series of snapshots—essentially a movie—of action between and within molecules. This has been used, for example, to shoot a movie of how a ring-shaped molecule breaks when exposed to light and to study atom-level processes in melting tungsten that could inform nuclear reactor designs.

    The technique works by shooting bunches of electrons at a target object and recording how electrons scatter when they interact with the target’s atoms. The electron bunches define the shutter speed of the electron camera. The shorter the bunches, the faster the motions they can capture in a crisp image.

    “It’s as if the target is frozen in time for a moment,” says SLAC’s Emma Snively, who spearheaded the new study.

    2
    SLAC’s Emma Snively and Mohamed Othman at the lab’s high-speed “electron camera,” an instrument for ultrafast electron diffraction (MeV-UED). Credit: Jacqueline Orrell/SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory.

    For that reason, scientists want to make all the electrons in a bunch hit a target as close to simultaneously as possible. They do this by giving the electrons at the back a little boost in energy, to help them catch up to the ones in the lead.

    So far, researchers have used radio waves to deliver this energy. But the new technique developed by the SLAC team at the MeV-UED facility uses light at terahertz frequencies instead.

    Why terahertz?

    A key advantage of using terahertz radiation lies in how the experiment shortens the electron bunches. In the MeV-UED facility, scientists shoot a laser at a copper electrode to knock off electrons and create beams of electron bunches. And until recently, they typically used radio waves to make these bunches shorter.

    However, the radio waves also boost each electron bunch to a slightly different energy, so individual bunches vary in how quickly they reach their target. This timing variance is called jitter, and it reduces researchers’ abilities to study fast processes and accurately timestamp how a target changes with time.

    The terahertz method gets around this by splitting the laser beam into two. One beam hits the copper electrode and creates electron bunches as before, and the other generates the terahertz radiation pulses for shortening the electron bunches. Since they were produced by the same laser beam, electron bunches and terahertz pulses are now synchronized with each other, reducing the timing jitter between bunches.

    Down to the femtosecond

    A key innovation for this work, the researchers say, was creating a particle accelerator cavity, called the compressor. This carefully machined hunk of metal is small enough to sit in the palm of a hand. Inside the device, terahertz pulses shorten electron bunches and give them a targeted and effective push.

    3
    From left: SLAC’s Emma Snively, Michael Kozina and Mohamed Othman at the lab’s MeV-UED instrument. Credit: Jacqueline Orrell/SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory.

    As a result, the team could compress electron bunches so they last just a few tens of femtoseconds, or quadrillionths of a second. That’s not as much compression as conventional radio-frequency methods can achieve now, but the researchers say the ability to simultaneously lower jitter makes the terahertz method promising. The smaller compressors made possible by the terahertz method would also mean lower cost compared to radio-frequency technology.

    “Typical radio-frequency compression schemes produce shorter bunches but very high jitter,” says Mohamed Othman, another SLAC researcher on the team. “If you produce a compressed bunch and also reduce the jitter, then you’ll be able to catch very fast processes that we’ve never been able to observe before.”

    Eventually, the team says, the goal is to compress electron bunches down to about a femtosecond. Scientists could then observe the incredibly fast timescales of atomic behavior in fundamental chemical reactions like hydrogen bonds breaking and individual protons transferring between atoms, for example, that aren’t fully understood.

    “At the same time that we are investigating the physics of how these electron beams interact with these intense terahertz waves, we’re also really building a tool that other scientists can use immediately to explore materials and molecules in a way that wasn’t possible before,” says SLAC’s Emilio Nanni, who led the project with Renkai Li, another SLAC researcher. “I think that’s one of the most rewarding aspects of this research.”

    See the full article here .


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    About Science X in 100 words
    Science X™ is a leading web-based science, research and technology news service which covers a full range of topics. These include physics, earth science, medicine, nanotechnology, electronics, space, biology, chemistry, computer sciences, engineering, mathematics and other sciences and technologies. Launched in 2004 (Physorg.com), Science X’s readership has grown steadily to include 5 million scientists, researchers, and engineers every month. Science X publishes approximately 200 quality articles every day, offering some of the most comprehensive coverage of sci-tech developments world-wide. Science X community members enjoy access to many personalized features such as social networking, a personal home page set-up, article comments and ranking, the ability to save favorite articles, a daily newsletter, and other options.
    Mission 12 reasons for reading daily news on Science X Organization Key editors and writersinclude 1.75 million scientists, researchers, and engineers every month. Phys.org publishes approximately 100 quality articles every day, offering some of the most comprehensive coverage of sci-tech developments world-wide. Quancast 2009 includes Phys.org in its list of the Global Top 2,000 Websites. Phys.org community members enjoy access to many personalized features such as social networking, a personal home page set-up, RSS/XML feeds, article comments and ranking, the ability to save favorite articles, a daily newsletter, and other options.

    SLAC/LCLS


    SLAC/LCLS II projected view


    SLAC is a multi-program laboratory exploring frontier questions in photon science, astrophysics, particle physics and accelerator research. Located in Menlo Park, California, SLAC is operated by Stanford University for the DOE’s Office of Science.

    SSRL and LCLS are DOE Office of Science user facilities.

     
  • richardmitnick 1:47 pm on February 21, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Otago physicists grab individual atoms in ground-breaking experiment", , , Laser Technology, , , The experiment improves on current knowledge by offering a previously unseen view into the microscopic world surprising researchers with the results., The University of Otago, Trapping and cooling of three atoms to a temperature of about a millionth of a Kelvin using highly focused laser beams in a hyper-evacuated (vacuum) chamber.   

    From The University of Otago, NZ: “Otago physicists grab individual atoms in ground-breaking experiment” 

    1

    From The University of Otago

    20 February 2020

    Associate Professor Mikkel Andersen
    Department of Physics
    University of Otago
    Tel +64 3 479 7805
    Email mikkel.andersen@otago.ac.nz

    Mark Hathaway
    Senior Communications Adviser
    University of Otago
    Mob +64 21 279 5016
    Email mark.hathaway@otago.ac.nz

    1
    LASER-cooled atom cloud viewed through microscope camera.

    In a first for quantum physics, University of Otago researchers have “held” individual atoms in place and observed previously unseen complex atomic interactions.

    A myriad of equipment including lasers, mirrors, a vacuum chamber, and microscopes assembled in Otago’s Department of Physics, plus a lot of time, energy, and expertise, have provided the ingredients to investigate this quantum process, which until now was only understood through statistical averaging from experiments involving large numbers of atoms.

    The experiment improves on current knowledge by offering a previously unseen view into the microscopic world, surprising researchers with the results.

    “Our method involves the individual trapping and cooling of three atoms to a temperature of about a millionth of a Kelvin using highly focused laser beams in a hyper-evacuated (vacuum) chamber, around the size of a toaster. We slowly combine the traps containing the atoms to produce controlled interactions that we measure,” says Associate Professor Mikkel F. Andersen of Otago’s Department of Physics.

    1
    Mikkel Andersen (left) and Marvin Weyland in the physics lab.

    When the three atoms approach each other, two form a molecule, and all receive a kick from the energy released in the process. A microscope camera allows the process to be magnified and viewed.

    “Two atoms alone can’t form a molecule, it takes at least three to do chemistry. Our work is the first time this basic process has been studied in isolation, and it turns out that it gave several surprising results that were not expected from previous measurement in large clouds of atoms,” says Postdoctoral Researcher Marvin Weyland, who spearheaded the experiment.

    For example, the researchers were able to see the exact outcome of individual processes, and observed a new process where two of the atoms leave the experiment together. Until now, this level of detail has been impossible to observe in experiments with many atoms.

    “By working at this molecular level, we now know more about how atoms collide and react with one another. With development, this technique could provide a way to build and control single molecules of particular chemicals,” Weyland adds.

    Associate Professor Andersen admits the technique and level of detail can be difficult to comprehend to those outside the world of quantum physics, however he believes the applications of this science will be useful in development of future quantum technologies that might impact society as much as earlier quantum technologies that enabled modern computers and the Internet.

    “Research on being able to build on a smaller and smaller scale has powered much of the technological development over the past decades. For example, it is the sole reason that today’s cellphones have more computing power than the supercomputers of the 1980s. Our research tries to pave the way for being able to build at the very smallest scale possible, namely the atomic scale, and I am thrilled to see how our discoveries will influence technological advancements in the future,” Associate Professor Andersen says.

    The experiment findings [Physical Review Letters] showed that it took much longer than expected to form a molecule compared with other experiments and theoretical calculations, which currently are insufficient to explain this phenomenon. While the researchers suggest mechanisms which may explain the discrepancy, they highlight a need for further theoretical developments in this area of experimental quantum mechanics.

    This completely New Zealand-based research was primarily carried out by members of the University of Otago’s Department of Physics, with assistance from theoretical physicists at Massey University.

    See the full article here.

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    The University of Otago, founded in 1869 by an ordinance of the Otago Provincial Council, is New Zealand’s oldest university. The new University was given 100,000 acres of pastoral land as an endowment and authorised to grant degrees in Arts, Medicine, Law and Music.

    The University opened in July 1871 with a staff of just three Professors, one to teach Classics and English Language and Literature, another having responsibility for Mathematics and Natural Philosophy, and the third to cover Mental and Moral Philosophy and Political Economy. The following year a Professor of Natural Science joined the staff. With a further endowment provided in 1872, the syllabus was widened and new lectureships established: lectures in Law started in 1873, and in 1875 courses began in Medicine. Lectures in Mining were given from 1872, and in 1878 a School of Mines was established.

    The University was originally housed in a building (later the Stock Exchange) on the site of John Wickliffe House in Princes Street but it moved to its present site with the completion of the northern parts of the Clocktower and Geology buildings in 1878 and 1879.

    The School of Dentistry was founded in 1907 and the School of Home Science (later Consumer and Applied Sciences) in 1911. Teaching in Accountancy and Commerce subjects began in 1912. Various new chairs and lectureships were established in the years between the two world wars, and in 1946 teaching began in the Faculty of Theology. The School of Physical Education was opened in 1947.

    A federal University of New Zealand was established by statute in 1870 and became the examining and degree-granting body for all New Zealand university institutions until 1961. The University of Otago had conferred just one Bachelor of Arts degree, on Mr Alexander Watt Williamson, when in 1874 it became an affiliated college of the University of New Zealand.

    In 1961 the University of New Zealand was disestablished, and the power to confer degrees was restored to the University of Otago by the University of Otago Amendment Act 1961.

    Since 1961, when its roll was about 3,000, the University has expanded considerably (in 2016 there were over 20,000 students enrolled) and has broadened its range of qualifications to include undergraduate programmes in Surveying, Pharmacy, Medical Laboratory Science, Teacher Education, Physiotherapy, Applied Science, Dental Technology, Radiation Therapy, Dental Hygiene and Dental Therapy (now combined in an Oral Health programme), Biomedical Sciences, Social Work, and Performing Arts, as well as specialised postgraduate programmes in a variety of disciplines.

    Although the University’s main campus is in Dunedin, it also has Health Sciences campuses in Christchurch (University of Otago, Christchurch) and Wellington (University of Otago, Wellington) (established in 1972 and 1977 respectively), an information and teaching centre in central Auckland (1996), and an information office in Wellington (2001).

    The Dunedin College of Education merged with the University on 1 January 2007, and this added a further campus in Invercargill.

     
    • alexa 3:13 pm on April 2, 2020 Permalink | Reply

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