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  • richardmitnick 4:17 pm on January 21, 2023 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , X-ray Technology, , , "New spectrometer for extreme UV and soft X-ray light enables novel research", Probe new and exciting processes on the atomic scale., The spectrometer will give scientists the ability to look at XUV light emitted from atoms and molecules.   

    From The European XFEL(DE): “New spectrometer for extreme UV and soft X-ray light enables novel research” 

    XFEL bloc

    From The European XFEL(DE)

    1.18.23

    Science contact:

    Michael Meyer
    Tel: +49-40-8998-5614
    E-mail: michael.meyer@xfel.eu

    Press contact:

    Bernd Ebeling
    Tel: +49-40-8998-6921
    E-mail: pr@xfel.eu 

    1
    Researchers from European XFEL and Uppsala University standing behind the new 1D-imaging XUV spectrometer at SQS. Left to right: T. Baumann (EuXFEL), J.-E. Rubensson (U. Uppsala), M. Meyer (EuXFEL), and M. Agåkar (U. Uppsala).

    A new spectrometer at the European XFEL’s small quantum systems (SQS) instrument will measure soft x-ray radiation and extreme ultraviolet (XUV) light generated by gaseous samples after interaction with intense XFEL pulses. This enables fresh avenues of research for the instrument. The spectrometer was built by a collaboration involving scientists from European XFEL and Uppsala University in Sweden, and will allow scientists at SQS to probe new and exciting processes on the atomic scale.

    “The spectrometer will give us the ability to look at XUV light emitted from atoms and molecules. Its unique capability to image along the interaction zone enables us to study the effect of European XFEL’s intense X-ray radiation as it travels through dense gases,” says Michael Meyer, leading scientist of the SQS instrument. “It will offer new possibilities to study fundamental processes in the interaction of x-ray radiation with matter.”

    Radiation with wavelengths in the extreme ultraviolet (XUV) range is emitted upon excitation or ionization of a sample by the European XFEL pulses. Spectroscopy of these emitted XUV photons is an ideal tool for studying the quantum mechanical properties of the sample in its interaction with the intense X-ray pulses. This is particularly useful in comparison with other techniques based on electron or ion spectroscopy as the photons are not severely impacted by the charged particles created during the interaction.

    “At SQS we study fundamental properties of atomic and molecular systems, predominantly looking at electrons and ions. The new spectrometer complements these techniques and helps us to better understand physics on the very small scale,” says Thomas Baumann, scientist at SQS.

    2
    The new XUV spectrometer at the SQS instrument station.

    Find out more about the SQS instrument at: https://www.xfel.eu/facility/instruments/sqs/index_eng.html 

    See the full article here .

    Comments are invited and will be appreciated, especially if the reader finds any errors which I can correct. Use “Reply”.

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    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    XFEL Campus

    The European XFEL(DE) is an X-ray research laser facility commissioned during 2017. The first laser pulses were produced in May 2017 and the facility started user operation in September 2017. The international project with twelve participating countries; nine shareholders at the time of commissioning (Denmark, France, Germany, Hungary, Poland, Russia, Slovakia, Sweden and Switzerland), later joined by three other partners (Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom), is located in the German federal states of Hamburg and Schleswig-Holstein. A free-electron laser generates high-intensity electromagnetic radiation by accelerating electrons to relativistic speeds and directing them through special magnetic structures. The European XFEL is constructed such that the electrons produce X-ray light in synchronization, resulting in high-intensity X-ray pulses with the properties of laser light and at intensities much brighter than those produced by conventional synchrotron light sources.


    The Hamburg area will soon boast a research facility of superlatives: The European XFEL (DE)) will generate ultrashort X-ray flashes—27 000 times per second and with a brilliance that is a billion times higher than that of the best conventional X-ray radiation sources.

    The outstanding characteristics of the facility are unique worldwide. Started in 2017, it will open up completely new research opportunities for scientists and industrial users.

     
  • richardmitnick 10:26 pm on January 18, 2023 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , X-ray Technology, , , "A new and better technique for X-ray laser pulses", The decisive trick is that the light is then sent through a gas in order to change its properties in a targeted manner., "High Harmonic Generation", A more powerful method: an ytterbium laser.   

    From The Vienna University of Technology [Technische Universität Wien](AT) : “A new and better technique for X-ray laser pulses” 

    From The Vienna University of Technology [Technische Universität Wien](AT)

    1.18.23

    Text
    Florian Aigner
     

    Contact

    Paolo Carpeggiani, PhD
    Institute of Photonics
    Vienna University of Technology
    paolo.carpeggiani@tuwien.ac.at

    Significantly simpler and at the same time much more efficient than before: TU Wien has developed a new technology for the production of X-ray laser pulses.

    1
    Edgar Kaksis (left) and Paolo Carpeggiani

    The X-rays used to examine a broken leg in the hospital are easy to produce. In industry, however, X-rays of a completely different kind are also needed – namely the shortest, high-energy X-ray laser pulses possible. They are used, for example, in the production of nanostructures and electronic components, but also to monitor the course of chemical reactions in real time.

    Strong, extremely short-wave X-ray pulses in the wavelength range of nanometers are difficult to produce, but now a new, simpler method has been developed at TU Wien: The starting point is not a titanium-sapphire laser, as before, but an ytterbium laser. The decisive trick is that the light is then sent through a gas in order to change its properties in a targeted manner.

    With long wavelengths to short wavelengths

    The wavelength of a laser beam depends on the material in which it is generated: in the atoms or molecules involved, electrons change from a state to a state with lower energy. A photon is emitted – its wavelength (and thus its color) depends on how much energy the electron has lost during its change of state. This allows you to create different laser colors – from red to violet.

    However, if you want to produce laser beams with a much smaller wavelength, then you have to use special tricks: You first generate laser beams with a large wavelength and shoot them at atoms. An electron is snatched from the atoms, it is accelerated in the electric field of the laser, then reverses and collides again with the atom from which it came – and short-wave X-rays can then be produced. This technique is called “High Harmonic Generation”.

    “At first glance, the situation seems somewhat counter-intuititive,” says Paolo Carpeggiani from the Institute of Photonics at TU Wien. “It turns out that the longer the wavelength of the original laser beam, the smaller wavelengths can be achieved in the end.” However, the efficiency of X-ray radiation production also decreases: If you want to generate very short-wave radiation, then its intensity becomes very low.

    Ytterbium instead of titanium sapphire, gas instead of crystal

    Until now, this technology has almost always used titanium-sapphire lasers and then increased the wavelength of its radiation with special crystals in order to generate X-rays that are as short-wave as possible by high-harmonic generation. However, the team at TU Wien has now developed a simpler and at the same time more powerful method: an ytterbium laser was used. Such a laser is simpler, cheaper and more powerful than a titanium-sapphire laser, but so far it has not come close to the results of titanium-sapphire lasers in the production of X-ray pulses.

    At TU Wien, the wavelength of the laser radiation was first increased by sending this radiation not through a crystal as usual, but through a molecular gas. “This increases efficiency dramatically,” says Paolo Carpeggiani. “Instead of the usual 20%, we come to around 80%.”

    The resulting laser light can then be used as before for high-harmonic generation to generate X-ray laser pulses. “We were able to show that the new technique of ytterbium lasers, combined with gas-based wavelength conversion, is not only able to generate X-ray laser pulses, but also achieves this with significantly higher efficiency than before.” This makes it easier and more cost-effective to use X-ray lasers for industrial applications or scientific investigations.

    ACS Photonics
    See the science paper for instructive material with images.

    See the full article here.

    Comments are invited and will be appreciated, especially if the reader finds any errors which I can correct. Use “Reply”.

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

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    The Vienna University of Technology [Technische Universität Wien](AT) is one of the major universities in Vienna, Austria. The university finds high international and domestic recognition in teaching as well as in research, and it is a highly esteemed partner of innovation-oriented enterprises. It currently has about 28,100 students (29% women), eight faculties and about 5,000 staff members (3,800 academics).

    The university’s teaching and research is focused on engineering, computer science, and natural sciences.

    The Vienna University of Technology [Technische Universität Wien](AT), has been conducting research, teaching and learning under the motto “Technology for people” for over 200 years. “TU Wien” has evolved into an open academic institution where discussions can happen, opinions can be voiced and arguments will be heard. Although everyone may have different individual philosophies and approaches to life, the staff, management personnel and students at TU Wien all promote open-mindedness and tolerance.

    The institution was founded in 1815 by Emperor Francis I of Austria as the k.k. Polytechnische Institut (Imperial-Royal Polytechnic Institute). The first rector was Johann Joseph von Prechtl. It was renamed the Technische Hochschule (College of Technology) in 1872. When it began granting doctoral and higher degrees in 1975, it was renamed the Technische Universität Wien (Vienna University of Technology).

    As a university of technology, TU Wien covers a wide spectrum of scientific concepts from abstract pure research and the fundamental principles of science to applied technological research and partnership with industry.

    TU Wien is ranked #192 by the QS World University Ranking, #406 by the Center of World University Rankings, and it is positioned among the best 401-500 higher education institutions globally by the Times Higher Education World University Rankings. The computer science department has been consistently ranked among the top 100 in the world by the QS World University Ranking and The Times Higher Education World University Rankings respectively.

    TU Wien has eight faculties led by deans: Architecture and Planning, Chemistry, Civil Engineering, Computer Sciences, Electrical Engineering and Information Technology, Mathematics and Geoinformation, Mechanical and Industrial Engineering, and Physics.

    The University is led by the Rector and four Vice Rectors (responsible for Research, Academic Affairs, Finance as well as Human Resources and Gender). The Senate has 26 members. The University Council, consisting of seven members, acts as a supervisory board.

    Development work in almost all areas of technology is encouraged by the interaction between basic research and the different fields of engineering sciences at TU Wien. Also, the framework of cooperative projects with other universities, research institutes and business sector partners is established by the research section of TU Wien. TU Wien has sharpened its research profile by defining competence fields and setting up interdisciplinary collaboration centres, and clearer outlines will be developed.

    Research focus points of TU Wien are introduced as computational science and engineering, quantum physics and quantum technologies, materials and matter, information and communication technology and energy and environment.

    The EU Research Support (EURS) provides services at TU Wien and informs both researchers and administrative staff in preparing and carrying out EU research projects.

     
  • richardmitnick 5:30 pm on January 11, 2023 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "FROM DREAMS TO BEAMS SESAME’S 30 YEAR-LONG JOURNEY IN SCIENCE DIPLOMACY", , , , CERN is a very appropriate venue for the inception of such a project. It was built after World War II to help heal Europe and European science in particular., Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak had made a decision to take politics out of scientific collaborations with Israel., For CERN it took less than 10 years to set up the original construct; for SESAME it took about 25 years., Founder Eliezer Rabinovici describes the story behind this beacon for peaceful international collaboration and what its achievements have been and what the future holds., , However SESAME’s story ends we have proved that the people of the Middle East have within them the capability to work together for a common cause., In 2019 AAAS awarded five SESAME founders (Chris Llewellyn Smith; Eliezer Rabinovici; Zehra Sayers; Herwig Schopper and Khaled Toukan) its 2019 Award for Science Diplomacy., In many ways SESAME is a very special child of CERN., In the Middle East the conflicts are not over and there are different narratives on who is winning and who is losing., It brings immense happiness that for the first time ever Israeli scientists have carried out high-quality research at a facility established on the soil of an Arab country., , , , SESAME (Synchrotron-light for Experimental Science and Applications in the Middle East) is the Middle East’s first major international research centre., SESAME continues to operate on a shoe-string budget., SESAME is a regional third-generation synchrotron X-ray source situated in Allan in Jordan., Thanks to the help of the EU SESAME has also become the world’s first “green” light source-its energy entirely generated by solar power., The first SESAME Cultural Heritage Day took place online on 16 February 2022 with more than 240 registrants in 39 countries (CERN Courier July/August 2022 p19)., The story of SESAME started at CERN 30 years ago., X-ray Technology   

    From “CERN (CH) Courier” : “FROM DREAMS TO BEAMS SESAME’S 30 YEAR-LONG JOURNEY IN SCIENCE DIPLOMACY” 

    From CERN (CH) Courier

    FROM DREAMS TO BEAMS
    SESAME’S 30 YEAR-LONG JOURNEY IN SCIENCE DIPLOMACY

    Scientists in the Middle East broke ground for the SESAME light source in January 2003.
    Founder Eliezer Rabinovici describes the story behind this beacon for peaceful international collaboration, what its achievements have been, and what the future holds.

    “SESAME” (Synchrotron-light for Experimental Science and Applications in the Middle East) is the Middle East’s first major international research centre.

    It is a regional third-generation synchrotron X-ray source situated in Allan, Jordan, which broke ground on 6 January
    2003 and officially opened on 16 May 2017. The current members of SESAME are Cyprus, Egypt, Iran, Israel, Jordan, Pakistan, Palestine and Turkey. Active current observers include, among others: the European Union, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Japan, Kuwait, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the UK and the US. The common vision driving SESAME is the belief that human beings can work together for a cause that furthers the interests of their own nations and that of humanity as a whole.

    The story of SESAME started at CERN 30 years ago. One day in 1993, shortly after the signature of the Oslo Accords
    by Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization, the late Sergio Fubini, an outstanding scientist and a close friend and collaborator, approached me in the corridor of the CERN theory group. He told me that now was the time to test what he called “your idealism”, referring to future joint Arab–Israeli scientific projects.

    CERN is a very appropriate venue for the inception of such a project. It was built after World War II to help heal Europe
    and European science in particular. Abdus Salam, as far back as the 1950s, identified the light source as a tool that
    could help thrust what were then considered “third-world” countries directly to the forefront of scientific research. The
    very same Salam joined our efforts in 1993 as a member of the Middle Eastern Science Committee (MESC), founded by Sergio, myself and many others to forge meaningful scientific contacts in the region.

    By joining our scientific committee, Salam made public his belief in the value of
    Arab–Israeli scientific collaborations, something the Nobel laureate had expressed several times in private.

    To focus our vision, that year I gave a talk on the status of Arab–Israeli collaborations at a meeting in Torino held on
    the occasion of Sergio’s 65th birthday. Afterwards we traveled to Cairo to meet Venice Gouda, the Egyptian minister
    for higher education, and other Egyptian officials. At that stage we were just self-appointed entrepreneurs. We were
    told that president Hosni Mubarak had made a decision to take politics out of scientific collaborations with Israel, so
    together we organized a high-quality scientific meeting in Dahab, in the Sinai desert. The meeting, held in a large
    Bedouin tent on 19-26 November 1995, brought together about 100 young and senior scientists from the region and beyond.

    It took place in the weeks after the murder of the Israeli prime minister Yitzhak Rabin, for whom, at the request
    of Venice Gouda, all of us stood for a moment of silence in respect. The silence echoes in my ears to this day.

    The first day of the meeting was attended by Jacob Ziv, president of the Israeli Academy of Sciences and Humanities, which had been supporting such efforts in general. It was thanks to additional financial help of MiguelVirasoro, director-general of ICTP at the time, and also Daniele Amati, director of SISSA, that the meeting was held. All three decisions of support were made at watershed moments and on the spur of the moment. The meeting was followed by a very successful effort to identify concrete projects in which Arab–Israeli collaboration could be beneficial to both sides.

    But attempts to continue the project were blocked by a turn for the worse in the political situation. MESC decided
    to retreat to Torino, where, during a meeting in November 1996, there was a session devoted to studying the possibilities of cooperation via experimental activities in high-energy physics and light-source science. During that session, the late German scientist Gus Voss suggested (on behalf of himself and Hermann Winnick from SLAC) to bring the parts of a German light source situated in Berlin, called BESSY, which was about to be dismantled, to the Middle East. Former Director-General of CERN Herwig Schopper also attended the workshop. MESC had built sufficient trust among the parties to provide an appropriateinfrastructure to turn such an idea into something concrete.

    Targeting excellent science

    A light source was very attractive thanks to the rich diversity of fields that can make use of such a facility, from biology through chemistry, physics and many more to archaeology and environmental sciences. Such a diversity would also allow the formation of a critical mass of real users in the region. The major drawback of the BESSY-based proposal was that there was no way a reconstructed dismantled “old” machine would be able to attract first-class scientists and science.

    Around that time, Fubini asked Schopper, who had a rich experience in managing complex experimental projects, to take a
    leadership position. The focus of possible collaborations was narrowed down to the construction of a large light source, and it was decided to use the German machine as a nucleus around which to build the administrative structure of the project. The non-relations among several of the members presented a serious challenge. At the suggestion of Schopper, following the example of the way CERN was assembled in the 1950s, the impasse was overcome by using the auspices of UNESCO to deposit the instruments for joining the project. The statutes of SESAME were to a large extent copied from those of CERN.

    A band of self-appointed entrepreneurs had evolved into a self-declared interim Council of SESAME, with Schopper as
    its president.

    The next major challenge was to choose a site.

    On 15 March 2000 I flew to Amman for a meeting on the subject. I met Khaled Toukan (the current director-general
    of SESAME) and, after studying a map sold at the hotel where we met, we discussed which site Israel would support.
    We also asked that a Palestinian be the director general.

    Due to various developments, none of which depended on Israel, this was not to happen. The decision on the site
    venue was taken at a meeting at CERN on 11 April 2000. Jordan, which had and has diplomatic relations with all the parties involved, was selected as the host state.

    BESSY was dismantled by Russian scientists, placed in boxes and shipped with assembly instructions to the Jordanian
    desert to be kept until the appropriate moment would arise. This was made possible thanks to a direct contribution
    by Koichiro Matsuura, director-general of UNESCO at the time, and to the efforts of Khaled Toukan who has served
    in several ministerial capacities in Jordan.

    With the administrative structure in place, it was time to address the engineering and scientific aspects of the project.
    Technical committees had designed a totally new machine, with BESSY serving as a boosting component. Many scientists in the region were introduced via workshops to the scientific possibilities that SESAME could offer. Scientific committees considered appropriate “day-one” beamlines, yet that day seemed very far in the future. Technical andscientific directors from abroad helped define the parameters of a new machine and identified appropriate beamlines to be constructed.

    Administrators and civil servants from the members started meeting regularly in the finance committee. Jordan began to build the facility to host the light source and made major additional financial contribution.

    Transformative agreements

    At this stage it was time for the SESAME interim council to transform into a permanent body and in the process cut its umbilical cord from UNESCO. This transformation presented new hurdles because it was required of every member that wished to become a member of the permanentcouncil that its head of state, or someone authorized by the head of state, sign an official document sent to UNESCO stating this wish.

    By 2008 the host building had been constructed. But it remained essentially empty. SESAME had received support from leading light-source labs all over the world – a spiritual source of strength to members to continue with the project.

    However, attempts to get significant funding failed time and again. It was agreed that the running costs of the
    project should be borne by the members, but the one-time large cost needed to construct a new machine was outside the budget parameters of most of the members, many of whom did not have a tradition of significant support for basic science.

    The European Union (EU) supported us in that stage only through its bilateral agreement with Jordan. In the end, several million Euros from those projects did find their way to SESAME, but the coffers of SESAME and its infrastructure remained skeletal.

    changing perceptions

    In 2008 Herwig Schopper was succeeded by Chris Llewellyn Smith, another former Director-General of CERN, as president of the SESAME Council. His main challenge was to get the funding needed to construct a new light source and to remove from SESAME the perception that it was simply a reassembled old light source of little potential attraction to top scientists.

    In addition to searching for sources of significant financial support, there was an enormous amount of work still to be done in formulating detailed and realistic plans for the following years. A grinding systematic effort began to endow SESAME with the structure needed for a modern working accelerator, and to create associated information materials.

    Llewellyn Smith, like his predecessor, also needed to deal with political issues. For the most part the meetings of the
    SESAME Council were totally devoid of politics. In fact, they felt to me like a parallel universe where administrators and scientists from the region get to work together in a common project, each bringing her or his own scars and prejudices and each willing to learn. That said, there were moments when politics did contaminate the spirit forming in SESAME. In some cases, this was isolated and removed from the agenda and in others a bitter taste remains. But these
    are just at the very margins of the main thrust of SESAME.

    The empty SESAME building started to be filled with radiation shields, giving the appearance of a full building.
    But the absence of the light-source itself created a void. The morale of the local staff was in steady decline, and
    it seemed to me that the project was in some danger. I decided to approach the ministry of finance in Israel. When
    I asked if Israel would make a voluntary contribution to SESAME of $5 million, I was not shown the door. Instead
    they requested to come and see SESAME, after which they discussed the proposal with Israel’s budget and planning
    committee and agreed to contribute the requested funds on the condition that others join them.

    Each member of the unlikely coalition – consisting of Iran, Israel, Jordan and Turkey – pledged an extra $5 mil-
    lion for the project in an agreement signed in Amman.

    Since then, Israel, Jordan and Turkey have stood up to their commitment, and Iran claims that it recognizes its
    commitment but is obstructed by sanctions. The support from members encouraged the EU to dedicate $5 million to the project, in addition to the approximately $3 million directed earlier from a bilateral EU–Jordan agreement.

    In 2015 the INFN, under director Fernando Ferroni, gave almost $2 million. This made it possible to build a hos-
    tel, as offered by most light sources, which was named appropriately after Sergio Fubini. Many leading world labs,
    in a heartwarming expression of support, have donated equipment for future beam lines as well as fellowships for
    the training of young people.

    Point of no return

    With their help, SESAME crossed the point of no return. The undefined stuff dreams are made of turned into magnets
    and girdles made of real hard steel, which I was able to touch as they were being assembled at CERN. The pace of
    events had finally accelerated, and a star-studded inauguration including attendance by the king of Jordan took
    place on 16 May 2017. During the ceremony, amazingly, the political delegates of different member states listened
    to each other without leaving the room (as is the standard practice in other international organizations). Even more
    unique was that each member-state delegate taking the podium gave essentially the same speech: “We are trying
    here to achieve understanding via collaboration.”

    At that moment the SESAME Council presidency passed from Chris Llewellyn Smith to a third former CERN Director-General, Rolf Heuer. The high-quality 2.5 GeV electron storage ring at the heart of SESAME started operation later that year, driving two X-ray beamlines: one dedicated to X-ray absorption fine structure/X-ray fluorescence (XAFS/XRF) spectroscopy, and another to infrared spectro-microscopy. A third powder-diffraction beamline is presently being added, while a soft X-ray beamline “HESEB” designed and constructed by five Helmholtz research centres is being commissioned. In 2023 the BEAmline for Tomography at SESAME (BEATS) will also be completed, with the construction and commissioning of a beamline for hard X-ray full-field tomography.

    The unique SESAME facility started operating with uncanny normality. Well over 100 proposals for experiments were submitted and refereed, and beam time was allocated to the chosen experiments. Data was gathered, analyzed and the results were and are being published in first-rate journals. Given the richness of archaeological and cultural heritage in the region, SESAME’s beamlines offer a highly versatile tool for researchers, conservators and cultural-heritage specialists to work together on common projects.

    The first SESAME Cultural Heritage Day took place online on 16 February 2022 with more than 240 registrants in 39 countries (CERN Courier July/August 2022 p19).

    Thanks to the help of the EU, SESAME has also become the world’s first “green” light source, its energy entirely
    generated by solar power, which also has the bonus of stabilizing the energy bill of the machine. There is, however, concern that the only component used from BESSY, the “Microtron” radio-frequency system, may eventually break down, thus endangering the operation of the whole machine.

    SESAME continues to operate on a shoe-string budget. The current approved 2022 budget is about $5.3 million, much smaller than that of any modern light source. I marvel at the ingenuity of the SESAME staff allowing the facility to operate, and am sad to sense indifference to the budget among many of the parties involved. The world’s media has been less indifferent: the BBC, The New York Times, LeMonde, The Washington Post, Brussels Libre, The Arab Weekly, as well as regional newspapers and TV stations, have all covered various aspects of SESAME.

    In 2019 the AAAS highlighted the significance of SESAME by awarding five of its founders (Chris Llewellyn Smith, Eliezer Rabinovici, Zehra Sayers, Herwig Schopper and Khaled Toukan) with its 2019 Award for Science Diplomacy.

    SESAME was inspired by CERN, yet it was a much more challenging task to construct. CERN was built after the Second World War was over, and it was clear who had won and who had lost. In the Middle East the conflicts are not over, and there are different narratives on who is winning and who is losing, as well as what win or lose means. For CERN it took less than 10 years to set up the original construct; for SESAME it took about 25 years. Thus, SESAME now should be thought of as CERN was in around 1960.

    On a personal note, it brings immense happiness that for the first time ever, Israeli scientists have carried out
    high-quality research at a facility established on the soil of an Arab country, Jordan. Many in the region and beyond
    have taken their people to a place their governments most likely never dreamed of or planned to reach. It is impossi-
    ble to give due credit to the many people without whom SESAME would not be the success it is today.

    In many ways SESAME is a very special child of CERN, and often our children can teach us important lessons. As
    president of the CERN Council, I can say that the way in which the member states of SESAME conducted themselves
    during the decades of storms that affect our region serves as a benchmark for how to keep bridges for understand-
    ing under the most trying of circumstances. The SESAME spirit has so far been a lighthouse even to the CERN Council,
    in particular in light of the invasion of Ukraine (an associate member state of CERN) by the Russian Federation.
    Maintaining this attitude in a stormy political environment is very difficult.

    However SESAME’s story ends, we have proved that the people of the Middle East have within them the capability to work together for a common cause. Thus, the very process of building SESAME has become a beacon of hope to many in our region.

    The responsibility of SESAME in the next years is to match this achievement with high-quality scientific research, but it requires appropriate funding and help. SESAME is continuing very successfully with its mission to train hundreds of engineers and scientists in the region. Requests for beam time continue to rise, as do the number of publications in top journals.

    If one wants to embark on a scientific project to promote peaceful understanding, SESAME offers at least three
    important lessons: it should be one to which every country can contribute, learn and profit significantly from; its
    science should be of the highest quality; and it requires an unbounded optimism and an infinite amount of enthusi-
    asm. My dream is that in the not-so-distant future, people will be able to point to a significant discovery and say “this
    happened at SESAME”.

    See the full article here .

    Comments are invited and will be appreciated, especially if the reader finds any errors which I can correct. Use “Reply”.


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


    Stem Education Coalition

     
  • richardmitnick 10:56 am on January 9, 2023 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Visualizing the inside of cells at previously impossible resolutions provides vivid insights into how they work", All life is made up of cells several magnitudes smaller than a grain of salt., , , , , , Cryo-electron tomography, Microsopy, Researchers are beginning to be able to visualize this complex molecular activity to a level of detail they haven’t been able to before., , , There has been a resolution gap between a cell’s smallest structures e.g. the cytoskeleton that supports the cell’s shape and its largest structures e.g. the ribosomes that make proteins in cells., Understanding how biological structures fit together in a cell is key to understanding how organisms function., X-ray Technology   

    From The University of Pittsburgh Via “The Conversation (AU)” : “Visualizing the inside of cells at previously impossible resolutions provides vivid insights into how they work” 

    U Pitt bloc

    From The University of Pittsburgh

    Via

    “The Conversation (AU)”

    1.6.23
    Jeremy Berg

    1
    Cryo-electron tomography shows what molecules look like in high-resolution – in this case, the virus that causes COVID-19. Nanographics, CC BY-SA.

    “All life is made up of cells several magnitudes smaller than a grain of salt. Their seemingly simple-looking structures mask the intricate and complex molecular activity that enables them to carry out the functions that sustain life. Researchers are beginning to be able to visualize this activity to a level of detail they haven’t been able to before.

    Biological structures can be visualized by either starting at the level of the whole organism and working down, or starting at the level of single atoms and working up. However, there has been a resolution gap between a cell’s smallest structures, such as the cytoskeleton that supports the cell’s shape, and its largest structures, such as the ribosomes that make proteins in cells.

    By analogy of Google Maps, while scientists have been able to see entire cities and individual houses, they did not have the tools to see how the houses came together to make up neighborhoods. Seeing these neighborhood-level details is essential to being able to understand how individual components work together in the environment of a cell.

    New tools are steadily bridging this gap. And ongoing development of one particular technique, cryo-electron tomography, or cryo-ET, has the potential to deepen how researchers study and understand how cells function in health and disease.


    Cryo-EM won the 2017 Nobel Prize in chemistry: Cryo-electron microscopy explained.

    As the former editor-in-chief of Science magazine and as a researcher who has studied hard-to-visualize large protein structures for decades, I have witnessed astounding progress in the development of tools that can determine biological structures in detail. Just as it becomes easier to understand how complicated systems work when you know what they look like, understanding how biological structures fit together in a cell is key to understanding how organisms function.

    A brief history of Microscopy

    In the 17th century, “light microscopy” first revealed the existence of cells. In the 20th century, “electron microscopy” offered even greater detail, revealing the elaborate structures within cells, including organelles like the endoplasmic reticulum, a complex network of membranes that play key roles in protein synthesis and transport.

    From the 1940s to 1960s, biochemists worked to separate cells into their molecular components and learn how to determine the 3D structures of proteins and other macromolecules at or near atomic resolution. This was first done using “X-ray crystallography” to visualize the structure of myoglobin, a protein that supplies oxygen to muscles.

    Over the past decade, techniques based on nuclear magnetic resonance, which produces images based on how atoms interact in a magnetic field, and cryo-electron microscopy have rapidly increased the number and complexity of the structures scientists can visualize.

    What is cryo-EM and cryo-ET?

    Cryo-electron microscopy, or cryo-EM, uses a camera to detect how a beam of electrons is deflected as the electrons pass through a sample to visualize structures at the molecular level. Samples are rapidly frozen to protect them from radiation damage. Detailed models of the structure of interest are made by taking multiple images of individual molecules and averaging them into a 3D structure.

    Cryo-ET shares similar components with cryo-EM but uses different methods. Because most cells are too thick to be imaged clearly, a region of interest in a cell is first thinned by using an ion beam. The sample is then tilted to take multiple pictures of it at different angles, analogous to a CT scan of a body part – although in this case the imaging system itself is tilted, rather than the patient. These images are then combined by a computer to produce a 3D image of a portion of the cell.

    1
    This is a cryo-ET image of the chloroplast of an algal cell. Engel et al. (2015), CC BY.

    The resolution of this image is high enough that researchers – or computer programs – can identify the individual components of different structures in a cell. Researchers have used this approach, for example, to show how proteins move and are degraded inside an algal cell.

    Many of the steps researchers once had to do manually to determine the structures of cells are becoming automated, allowing scientists to identify new structures at vastly higher speeds. For example, combining cryo-EM with artificial intelligence programs like AlphaFold [see Nature paper below] [Nature (below)] can facilitate image interpretation by predicting protein structures that have not yet been characterized.

    Understanding cell structure and function

    As imaging methods and workflows improve, researchers will be able to tackle some key questions in cell biology with different strategies.

    The first step is to decide what cells and which regions within those cells to study. Another visualization technique called correlated light and electron microscopy, or CLEM [FEBSLetters (below)], uses fluorescent tags to help locate regions where interesting processes are taking place in living cells.

    1
    This is a cryo-EM image of a human T-cell leukemia virus type-1 (HTLV-1). vdvornyk/iStock via Getty Images Plus.

    Comparing the genetic difference between cells [iScience (below)] can provide additional insight. Scientists can look at cells that are unable to carry out particular functions and see how this is reflected in their structure. This approach can also help researchers study how cells interact with each other.

    Cryo-ET is likely to remain a specialized tool for some time. But further technological developments and increasing accessibility will allow the scientific community to examine the link between cellular structure and function at previously inaccessible levels of detail. I anticipate seeing new theories on how we understand cells, moving from disorganized bags of molecules to intricately organized and dynamic systems.”

    Science papers:
    Nature 2021
    FEBSLetters 2022
    iScience 2018
    See the science papers for instructive material with images.

    See the full article here .

    Comments are invited and will be appreciated, especially if the reader finds any errors which I can correct. Use “Reply”.

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

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    U Pitt campus

    The University of Pittsburgh is a state-related research university, founded as the Pittsburgh Academy in 1787. Pitt is a member of The Association of American Universities, which comprises 62 preeminent doctorate-granting research institutions in North America.

    From research achievements to the quality of its academic programs, the University of Pittsburgh ranks among the best in higher education.

    Faculty members have expanded knowledge in the humanities and sciences, earning such prestigious honors as the National Medal of Science, the MacArthur Foundation’s “genius” grant, the Lasker-DeBakey Clinical Medical Research Award, and election to The National Academy of Sciences and The Institute of Medicine.
    Pitt students have earned Rhodes, Goldwater, Marshall, and Truman Scholarships, among other highly competitive national and international scholarship

    Alumni have pioneered MRI and TV, won Nobels and Pulitzers, led corporations and universities, served in government and the military, conquered Hollywood and The New York Times bestsellers list, and won Super Bowls and NBA championships.

     
  • richardmitnick 11:10 am on January 6, 2023 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "New Type of Entanglement Lets Scientists 'See' Inside Nuclei", A new type of quantum entanglement that’s never been seen before., , First-ever observation of "quantum interference" between dissimilar particles offers new approach for mapping distribution of gluons in atomic nuclei—and potentially more., , Keep in mind that all the particles we are talking about exist not just as physical objects but also as waves., Mapping out features on the scale of femtometers—quadrillionths of a meter—the size of an individual proton., Mapping out the arrangement of gluons within the nucleus with higher precision than ever before., Nuclear physicists have found a new way to use the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider (RHIC) to see the shape and details inside atomic nuclei., Nuclear physicists want to know how quarks and gluons behave within atomic nuclei as they exist today—to better understand the force that holds these building blocks together., , Observation of an entirely new kind of quantum interference that makes their measurements possible., , , RHIC’s STAR detector, Scientists are seeking to harness entanglement—a kind of “awareness” and interaction of physically separated particles., Scientists see interference patterns that indicate these different particles are entangled-in sync with one another even though they are distinguishable particles., , The new measurements show that the momentum and energy of the photons themselves gets convoluted with that of the gluons., The quantum interference observed between the π+ and π- in the newly analyzed data makes it possible to measure the photons’ polarization direction very precisely., , This is the first-ever experimental observation of entanglement between dissimilar particles., Through a series of quantum fluctuations the particles of light (a.k.a. photons) interact with gluons—gluelike particles that hold quarks together within the protons and neutrons of nuclei., X-ray Technology   

    From The Relative Heavy Ion Collider (RHIC) At The DOE’s Brookhaven National Laboratory: “New Type of Entanglement Lets Scientists ‘See’ Inside Nuclei” 

    From The Relative Heavy Ion Collider (RHIC)

    At

    The DOE’s Brookhaven National Laboratory

    1.4.23
    Karen McNulty Walsh
    kmcnulty@bnl.gov
    (631) 344-8350

    Peter Genzer
    genzer@bnl.gov
    (631) 344-3174

    First-ever observation of “quantum interference” between dissimilar particles offers new approach for mapping distribution of gluons in atomic nuclei—and potentially more.

    1
    Daniel Brandenburg and Zhangbu Xu at the STAR detector of the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider (RHIC). Credit: BNL.

    Nuclear physicists have found a new way to use the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider (RHIC)—a particle collider at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Brookhaven National Laboratory—to see the shape and details inside atomic nuclei. The method relies on particles of light that surround gold ions as they speed around the collider and a new type of quantum entanglement that’s never been seen before.

    Through a series of quantum fluctuations the particles of light (a.k.a. photons) interact with gluons—gluelike particles that hold quarks together within the protons and neutrons of nuclei. Those interactions produce an intermediate particle that quickly decays into two differently charged “pions” (π). By measuring the velocity and angles at which these π+ and π- particles strike RHIC’s STAR detector, the scientists can backtrack to get crucial information about the photon—and use that to map out the arrangement of gluons within the nucleus with higher precision than ever before.

    “This technique is similar to the way doctors use positron emission tomography (PET scans) to see what’s happening inside the brain and other body parts,” said former Brookhaven Lab physicist James Daniel Brandenburg, a member of the STAR collaboration who joined The Ohio State University as an assistant professor in January 2023. “But in this case, we’re talking about mapping out features on the scale of femtometers—quadrillionths of a meter—the size of an individual proton.”

    Even more amazing, the STAR physicists say, is the observation of an entirely new kind of quantum interference that makes their measurements possible.

    “We measure two outgoing particles and clearly their charges are different—they are different particles—but we see interference patterns that indicate these particles are entangled, or in sync with one another, even though they are distinguishable particles,” said Brookhaven physicist and STAR collaborator Zhangbu Xu.

    That discovery may have applications well beyond the lofty goal of mapping out the building blocks of matter.

    For example, many scientists, including those awarded the 2022 Nobel Prize in Physics, are seeking to harness entanglement—a kind of “awareness” and interaction of physically separated particles. One goal is to create significantly more powerful communication tools and computers than exist today. But most other observations of entanglement to date, including a recent demonstration of interference of lasers with different wavelengths, have been between photons or identical electrons.

    “This is the first-ever experimental observation of entanglement between dissimilar particles,” Brandenburg said.

    The work is described in a paper just published in Science Advances [below].

    Shining a light on gluons

    RHIC operates as a DOE Office of Science user facility where physicists can study the innermost building blocks of nuclear matter—the quarks and gluons that make up protons and neutrons. They do this by smashing together the nuclei of heavy atoms such as gold traveling in opposite directions around the collider at close to the speed of light. The intensity of these collisions between nuclei (also called ions) can “melt” the boundaries between individual protons and neutrons so scientists can study the quarks and gluons as they existed in the very early universe—before protons and neutrons formed.

    But nuclear physicists also want to know how quarks and gluons behave within atomic nuclei as they exist today—to better understand the force that holds these building blocks together.

    A recent discovery [Physical Review Letters (below)] using “clouds” of photons that surround RHIC’s speeding ions suggests a way to use these particles of light to get a glimpse inside the nuclei. If two gold ions pass one another very closely without colliding, the photons surrounding one ion can probe the internal structure of the other.

    3
    Brandenburg (front) and Xu stand beside STAR. Credit: BNL.

    “In that earlier work, we demonstrated that those photons are polarized, with their electric field radiating outward from the center of the ion. And now we use that tool, the polarized light, to effectively image the nuclei at high energy,” Xu said.

    The quantum interference observed between the π+ and π- in the newly analyzed data makes it possible to measure the photons’ polarization direction very precisely. That in turn lets physicists look at the gluon distribution both along the direction of the photon’s motion and perpendicular to it.

    That two-dimensional imaging turns out to be very important.

    “All past measurements, where we didn’t know the polarization direction, measured the density of gluons as an average—as a function of the distance from the center of the nucleus,” Brandenburg said. “That’s a one-dimensional image.”

    Those measurements all came out making the nucleus look too big when compared with what was predicted by theoretical models and measurements of the distribution of charge in the nucleus.

    “With this 2D imaging technique, we were able to solve the 20-year mystery of why this happens,” Brandenburg said.

    The new measurements show that the momentum and energy of the photons themselves gets convoluted with that of the gluons. Measuring just along the photon’s direction (or not knowing what that direction is) results in a picture distorted by these photon effects. But measuring in the transverse direction avoids the photon blurring.

    “Now we can take a picture where we can really distinguish the density of gluons at a given angle and radius,” Brandenburg said. “The images are so precise that we can even start to see the difference between where the protons are and where the neutrons are laid out inside these big nuclei.”

    The new pictures match up qualitatively with the theoretical predictions using gluon distribution, as well as the measurements of electric charge distribution within the nuclei, the scientists say.

    Details of the measurements

    To understand how the physicists make these 2D measurements, let’s step back to the particle generated by the photon-gluon interaction. It’s called a rho, and it decays very quickly—in less than four septillionths of a second—into the π+ and π-. The sum of the momenta of those two pions gives physicists the momentum of the parent rho particle—and information that includes the gluon distribution and the photon blurring effect.

    To extract just the gluon distribution, the scientists measure the angle between the path of either the π+ or π- and the rho’s trajectory. The closer that angle is to 90 degrees, the less blurring you get from the photon probe. By tracking pions that come from rho particles moving at a range of angles and energies, the scientists can map out the gluon distribution across the entire nucleus.

    Now for the quantum quirkiness that makes the measurements possible—the evidence that the π+ and π- particles striking the STAR detector result from interference patterns produced by the entanglement of these two dissimilar oppositely charged particles.

    5
    Left: Scientists use the STAR detector to study gluon distributions by tracking pairs of positive (blue) and negative (magenta) pions (π). These π pairs come from the decay of a rho particle (purple, ρ0) — generated by interactions between photons surrounding one speeding gold ion and the gluons within another passing by very closely without colliding. The closer the angle (Φ) between either π and the rho’s trajectory is to 90 degrees, the clearer the view scientists get of the gluon distribution. 

    Right/inset: The measured π+ and π- particles experience a new type of quantum entanglement. Here’s the evidence: When the nuclei pass one another, it’s as if two rho particles (purple) are generated, one in each nucleus (gold) at a distance of 20 femtometers. As each rho decays, the wavefunctions of the negative pions from each rho decay interfere and reinforce one another, while the wavefunctions of the positive pions from each decay do the same, resulting in one π+ and one π- wavefunction (a.k.a. particle) striking the detector. These reinforcing patterns would not be possible if the π+ and π- were not entangled.

    Keep in mind that all the particles we are talking about exist not just as physical objects but also as waves. Like ripples on the surface of a pond radiating outward when they strike a rock, the mathematical “wavefunctions” that describe the crests and troughs of particle waves can interfere to reinforce or cancel one another out.

    When the photons surrounding two near-miss speeding ions interact with gluons inside the nuclei, it’s as if those interactions actually generate two rho particles, one in each nucleus. As each rho decays into a π+ and π-, the wavefunction of the negative pion from one rho decay interferes with the wavefunction of the negative pion from the other. When the reinforced wavefunction strikes the STAR detector, the detector sees one π-. The same thing happens with the wavefunctions of the two positively charged pions, and the detector sees one π+.

    “The interference is between two wavefunctions of the identical particles, but without the entanglement between the two dissimilar particles—the π+ and π-—this interference would not materialize,” said Wangmei Zha, a STAR collaborator at the University of Science and Technology of China, and one of the original proponents of this explanation. “This is the weirdness of quantum mechanics!”

    Could the rhos simply be entangled? The scientists say no. The rho particle wavefunctions originate at a distance 20 times the distance they could travel within their short lifetime, so they cannot interact with each other before they decay to π+ and π-. But the wavefunctions of the π+ and π- from each rho decay retain the quantum information of their parent particles; their crests and troughs are in phase, “aware of each other,” despite striking the detector meters apart.

    “If the π+ and π- were not entangled, the two π+ (or π-) wavefunctions would have a random phase, without any detectable interference effect,” said Chi Yang, a STAR collaborator from Shandong University in China, who also helped lead the analysis for this result. “We wouldn’t see any orientation related to the photon polarization—or be able to make these precision measurements.”

    Future measurements at RHIC with heavier particles and different lifetimes—and at an Electron-Ion Collider (EIC) being built at Brookhaven—will probe more detailed distributions of gluons inside nuclei and test other possible quantum interference scenarios.

    This work was funded by the DOE Office of Science, the U.S. National Science Foundation, and a range of international agencies spelled out in the published paper. The STAR team used computational resources at the RHIC and ATLAS Computing Facility/Scientific Data and Computing Center at Brookhaven Lab, the National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center (NERSC)—a DOE Office of Science user facility at The DOE’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory—and the Open Science Grid consortium.

    Science papers:
    Science Advances
    See the above science paper for instructive material with images.
    Physical Review Letters

    See the full article here .

    Comments are invited and will be appreciated, especially if the reader finds any errors which I can correct. Use “Reply”.


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

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    The Physics of RHIC
    Physicists from around the world are using the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider to explore some of Nature’s most basic — and intriguing — ingredients and phenomena. Here’s a look at the physics of RHIC in plain English.

    Heavy Ion Collisions

    RHIC is the first machine in the world capable of colliding heavy ions, which are atoms which have had their outer cloud of electrons removed. RHIC primarily uses ions of gold, one of the heaviest common elements, because its nucleus is densely packed with particles.

    RHIC collides two beams of gold ions head-on when they’re traveling at nearly the speed of light (what physicists call relativistic speeds). The beams travel in opposite directions around RHIC’s 2.4-mile, two-lane “racetrack.” At six intersections, the lanes cross, leading to an intersection. When ions collide at such high speeds fascinating things happen.

    If conditions are right, the collision “melts” the protons and neutrons and, for a brief instant, liberates their constituent quarks and gluons. Just after the collision, thousands more particles form as the area cools off. Each of these particles provides a clue as to what occurred inside the collision zone. Physicists sift through those clues for interesting information.

    Brookhaven Campus

    One of ten national laboratories overseen and primarily funded by the The DOE Office of Science, The DOE’s Brookhaven National Laboratory conducts research in the physical, biomedical, and environmental sciences, as well as in energy technologies and national security. Brookhaven Lab also builds and operates major scientific facilities available to university, industry and government researchers. The Laboratory’s almost 3,000 scientists, engineers, and support staff are joined each year by more than 5,000 visiting researchers from around the world. Brookhaven is operated and managed for DOE’s Office of Science by Brookhaven Science Associates, a limited-liability company founded by Stony Brook University-SUNY the largest academic user of Laboratory facilities, and Battelle, a nonprofit, applied science and technology organization.

    Research at BNL specializes in nuclear and high energy physics, energy science and technology, environmental and bioscience, nanoscience and national security. The 5,300 acre campus contains several large research facilities, including the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider [below] and National Synchrotron Light Source II [below]. Seven Nobel prizes have been awarded for work conducted at Brookhaven lab.

    BNL is staffed by approximately 2,750 scientists, engineers, technicians, and support personnel, and hosts 4,000 guest investigators every year. The laboratory has its own police station, fire department, and ZIP code (11973). In total, the lab spans a 5,265-acre (21 km^2) area that is mostly coterminous with the hamlet of Upton, New York. BNL is served by a rail spur operated as-needed by the New York and Atlantic Railway. Co-located with the laboratory is the Upton, New York, forecast office of the National Weather Service.

    Major programs

    Although originally conceived as a nuclear research facility, Brookhaven Lab’s mission has greatly expanded. Its foci are now:

    Nuclear and high-energy physics
    Physics and chemistry of materials
    Environmental and climate research
    Nanomaterials
    Energy research
    Nonproliferation
    Structural biology
    Accelerator physics

    Operation

    Brookhaven National Lab was originally owned by the Atomic Energy Commission and is now owned by that agency’s successor, the United States Department of Energy (DOE). DOE subcontracts the research and operation to universities and research organizations. It is currently operated by Brookhaven Science Associates LLC, which is an equal partnership of Stony Brook University and Battelle Memorial Institute. From 1947 to 1998, it was operated by Associated Universities, Inc., but AUI lost its contract in the wake of two incidents: a 1994 fire at the facility’s high-beam flux reactor that exposed several workers to radiation and reports in 1997 of a tritium leak into the groundwater of the Long Island Central Pine Barrens on which the facility sits.

    Foundations

    Following World War II, the US Atomic Energy Commission was created to support government-sponsored peacetime research on atomic energy. The effort to build a nuclear reactor in the American northeast was fostered largely by physicists Isidor Isaac Rabi and Norman Foster Ramsey Jr., who during the war witnessed many of their colleagues at Columbia University leave for new remote research sites following the departure of the Manhattan Project from its campus. Their effort to house this reactor near New York City was rivalled by a similar effort at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to have a facility near Boston, Massachusetts. Involvement was quickly solicited from representatives of northeastern universities to the south and west of New York City such that this city would be at their geographic center. In March 1946 a nonprofit corporation was established that consisted of representatives from nine major research universities — Columbia University, Cornell University, Harvard University, Johns Hopkins University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Princeton University, University of Pennsylvania, University of Rochester, and Yale University.

    Out of 17 considered sites in the Boston-Washington corridor, Camp Upton on Long Island was eventually chosen as the most suitable in consideration of space, transportation, and availability. The camp had been a training center from the US Army during both World War I and World War II. After the latter war, Camp Upton was deemed no longer necessary and became available for reuse. A plan was conceived to convert the military camp into a research facility.

    On March 21, 1947, the Camp Upton site was officially transferred from the U.S. War Department to the new U.S. Atomic Energy Commission (AEC), predecessor to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE).

    Research and facilities

    Reactor history

    In 1947 construction began on the first nuclear reactor at Brookhaven, the Brookhaven Graphite Research Reactor. This reactor, which opened in 1950, was the first reactor to be constructed in the United States after World War II. The High Flux Beam Reactor operated from 1965 to 1999. In 1959 Brookhaven built the first US reactor specifically tailored to medical research, the Brookhaven Medical Research Reactor, which operated until 2000.

    Accelerator history

    In 1952 Brookhaven began using its first particle accelerator, the Cosmotron. At the time the Cosmotron was the world’s highest energy accelerator, being the first to impart more than 1 GeV of energy to a particle.

    BNL Cosmotron 1952-1966.

    The Cosmotron was retired in 1966, after it was superseded in 1960 by the new Alternating Gradient Synchrotron (AGS).

    BNL Alternating Gradient Synchrotron (AGS).

    The AGS was used in research that resulted in 3 Nobel prizes, including the discovery of the muon neutrino, the charm quark, and CP violation.

    In 1970 in BNL started the ISABELLE project to develop and build two proton intersecting storage rings.

    The groundbreaking for the project was in October 1978. In 1981, with the tunnel for the accelerator already excavated, problems with the superconducting magnets needed for the ISABELLE accelerator brought the project to a halt, and the project was eventually cancelled in 1983.

    The National Synchrotron Light Source operated from 1982 to 2014 and was involved with two Nobel Prize-winning discoveries. It has since been replaced by the National Synchrotron Light Source II. [below].

    BNL National Synchrotron Light Source.

    After ISABELLE’S cancellation, physicist at BNL proposed that the excavated tunnel and parts of the magnet assembly be used in another accelerator. In 1984 the first proposal for the accelerator now known as the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider (RHIC)[below] was put forward. The construction got funded in 1991 and RHIC has been operational since 2000. One of the world’s only two operating heavy-ion colliders, RHIC is as of 2010 the second-highest-energy collider after the Large Hadron Collider(CH). RHIC is housed in a tunnel 2.4 miles (3.9 km) long and is visible from space.

    On January 9, 2020, It was announced by Paul Dabbar, undersecretary of the US Department of Energy Office of Science, that the BNL eRHIC design has been selected over the conceptual design put forward by DOE’s Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility) as the future Electron–ion collider (EIC)

    Brookhaven Lab Electron-Ion Collider (EIC) to be built inside the tunnel that currently houses the RHIC.

    In addition to the site selection, it was announced that the BNL EIC had acquired CD-0 from the Department of Energy. BNL’s eRHIC design proposes upgrading the existing Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider, which collides beams light to heavy ions including polarized protons, with a polarized electron facility, to be housed in the same tunnel.

    Other discoveries

    In 1958, Brookhaven scientists created one of the world’s first video games, Tennis for Two. In 1968 Brookhaven scientists patented Maglev, a transportation technology that utilizes magnetic levitation.

    Major facilities

    Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider (RHIC), which was designed to research quark–gluon plasma and the sources of proton spin. Until 2009 it was the world’s most powerful heavy ion collider. It is the only collider of spin-polarized protons.

    Center for Functional Nanomaterials (CFN), used for the study of nanoscale materials.

    BNL National Synchrotron Light Source II, Brookhaven’s newest user facility, opened in 2015 to replace the National Synchrotron Light Source (NSLS), which had operated for 30 years. NSLS was involved in the work that won the 2003 and 2009 Nobel Prize in Chemistry.

    Alternating Gradient Synchrotron, a particle accelerator that was used in three of the lab’s Nobel prizes.
    Accelerator Test Facility, generates, accelerates and monitors particle beams.
    Tandem Van de Graaff, once the world’s largest electrostatic accelerator.

    Computational Science resources, including access to a massively parallel Blue Gene series supercomputer that is among the fastest in the world for scientific research, run jointly by Brookhaven National Laboratory and Stony Brook University-SUNY.

    Interdisciplinary Science Building, with unique laboratories for studying high-temperature superconductors and other materials important for addressing energy challenges.
    NASA Space Radiation Laboratory, where scientists use beams of ions to simulate cosmic rays and assess the risks of space radiation to human space travelers and equipment.

    Off-site contributions

    It is a contributing partner to the ATLAS experiment, one of the four detectors located at the The European Organization for Nuclear Research [La Organización Europea para la Investigación Nuclear][Organisation européenne pour la recherche nucléaire] [Europäische Organisation für Kernforschung](CH)[CERN] Large Hadron Collider(LHC).

    The European Organization for Nuclear Research [La Organización Europea para la Investigación Nuclear][Organisation européenne pour la recherche nucléaire] [Europäische Organisation für Kernforschung](CH)[CERN] map.

    Iconic view of the European Organization for Nuclear Research [La Organización Europea para la Investigación Nuclear] [Organisation européenne pour la recherche nucléaire] [Europäische Organisation für Kernforschung](CH) [CERN] ATLAS detector.

    It is currently operating at The European Organization for Nuclear Research [La Organización Europea para la Investigación Nuclear][Organisation européenne pour la recherche nucléaire] [Europäische Organisation für Kernforschung](CH) [CERN] near Geneva, Switzerland.

    Brookhaven was also responsible for the design of the Spallation Neutron Source at DOE’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Tennessee.

    DOE’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory Spallation Neutron Source annotated.

    Brookhaven plays a role in a range of neutrino research projects around the world, including the Daya Bay Neutrino Experiment (CN) nuclear power plant, approximately 52 kilometers northeast of Hong Kong and 45 kilometers east of Shenzhen, China.

    Daya Bay Neutrino Experiment (CN) nuclear power plant, approximately 52 kilometers northeast of Hong Kong and 45 kilometers east of Shenzhen, China .


    BNL Center for Functional Nanomaterials.

    BNL National Synchrotron Light Source II.

    BNL NSLS II.

    BNL Relative Heavy Ion Collider Campus.

    BNL/RHIC Star Detector.

    BNL/RHIC Phenix detector.


     
  • richardmitnick 10:47 am on December 20, 2022 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "New simulations enable faster biological insights", , , , European XFEL’s SPB/SFX instrument, , X-ray Technology   

    From The European XFEL(DE): “New simulations enable faster biological insights” 

    XFEL bloc

    From The European XFEL(DE)

    12.8.22 [Just today in social media.]

    Single-particle X-ray diffraction imaging (SPI) is a technique used by the European XFEL’s SPB/SFX instrument to look at biological molecules in their native environments.

    1
    European XFEL’s SPB/SFX instrument annotated. Credit: European XFEL

    By accurately simulating the SPB/SFX instrument’s detector, researchers have determined a route that could result in increased data-collection efficiency, as well as an improvement in the resolution of the images taken through SPI. This could enable new insights into the structure and evolution of biological molecules.

    Detectors can blur, distort or obscure the signals they are attempting to detect, making it harder for scientists to understand collected data. The researchers used the simulations to replicate the noise in their detector, carrying out an investigation to show the optimal number of image snapshots they would need to take of a biological protein to accurately render its structure.

    2
    Simulations of the structure of biological molecules for different numbers of image snapshots as compared with the ‘perfect’ image, shown right. After a certain number of snapshots, the improvement in the image becomes incremental, or insignificant, allowing an ‘optimum’ number of snapshots to be determined. [ Credit: Juncheng E, Yoonhee Kim and Chan Kim, European XFEL].

    “Simulations are a useful tool that let us streamline our experiments,’ says Richard Bean, leader of the SPB/SFX instrument group. “This saves time for our staff and for users, and means that we can take meaningful results more efficiently.”

    The results will improve the efficiency with which we can image biological samples in their native environments, as well as ever increasing imaging resolution.

    Science paper:
    Structural Dynamics
    See the science paper for instructive material with images.

    See the full article here .

    Comments are invited and will be appreciated, especially if the reader finds any errors which I can correct. Use “Reply”.

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

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    XFEL Campus

    The European XFEL(DE) is an X-ray research laser facility commissioned during 2017. The first laser pulses were produced in May 2017 and the facility started user operation in September 2017. The international project with twelve participating countries; nine shareholders at the time of commissioning (Denmark, France, Germany, Hungary, Poland, Russia, Slovakia, Sweden and Switzerland), later joined by three other partners (Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom), is located in the German federal states of Hamburg and Schleswig-Holstein. A free-electron laser generates high-intensity electromagnetic radiation by accelerating electrons to relativistic speeds and directing them through special magnetic structures. The European XFEL is constructed such that the electrons produce X-ray light in synchronization, resulting in high-intensity X-ray pulses with the properties of laser light and at intensities much brighter than those produced by conventional synchrotron light sources.


    The Hamburg area will soon boast a research facility of superlatives: The European XFEL (DE)) will generate ultrashort X-ray flashes—27 000 times per second and with a brilliance that is a billion times higher than that of the best conventional X-ray radiation sources.

    The outstanding characteristics of the facility are unique worldwide. Started in 2017, it will open up completely new research opportunities for scientists and industrial users.

     
  • richardmitnick 5:27 pm on November 15, 2022 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Advanced Light Source Upgrade Approved to Start Construction", , , , Brighter beams mean better science., , , , , , , , , , The ALS specializes in “soft” X-rays., The ALS upgrade will enable researchers to make scientific advances in many different areas for the next 30 to 40 years., The DOE approval-known as Critical Decision 3 (CD-3)-formally releases funds for purchasing and building and installing upgrades to the ALS., , The upgraded ALS will squeeze the X-ray beams from about 100 microns (thousandths of a millimeter) to only a few microns wide., X-ray Technology   

    From The DOE’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory: “Advanced Light Source Upgrade Approved to Start Construction” 

    From The DOE’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

    11.15.22
    Lauren Biron

    Berkeley Lab’s biggest project in three decades now moves from planning to execution. The ALS upgrade will make brighter beams for research into new materials, chemical reactions, and biological processes.

    The Advanced Light Source (ALS) [below], a scientific user facility at The DOE’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, has received federal approval to start construction on an upgrade that will boost the brightness of its X-ray beams at least a hundredfold.

    “The ALS upgrade is an amazing engineering undertaking that is going to give us an even more powerful scientific tool,” said Berkeley Lab Director Michael Witherell. “I can’t wait to see the many ways researchers use it to improve the world and tackle some of the biggest challenges facing society today.”

    Scientists will use the upgraded ALS for research spanning biology; chemistry; physics; and materials, energy, and environmental sciences. The brighter, more laser-like light will help experts better understand what’s happening at extremely small scales as reactions and processes take place. These insights can have a huge array of applications, such as improving batteries and clean energy technologies, creating new materials for sensors and computing, and investigating biological matter to develop better medicines.

    “That’s the wonderful thing about the ALS: The applications are so broad and the impact is so profound,” said Dave Robin, the project director for the ALS upgrade. “What really excites me every day is knowing that, when it’s complete, the ALS upgrade will enable researchers to make scientific advances in many different areas for the next 30 to 40 years.”

    The DOE approval, known as Critical Decision 3 (CD-3), formally releases funds for purchasing, building, and installing upgrades to the ALS. This includes constructing an entirely new storage ring and accumulator ring, building four feature (two new and two upgraded) beamlines, and installing seismic and shielding upgrades for the concrete structure housing the equipment.

    4
    A cutaway view of the Advanced Light Source shows the new accumulator and storage ring that will be installed during the ALS Upgrade project. (Credit: Berkeley Lab)

    The $590 million project is the biggest investment at Berkeley Lab since the ALS was built in 1993.

    Brighter beams, better science

    The ALS generates X-rays by circulating electrons through a 600-foot-circumference storage ring. As the electrons travel through this series of magnets, they radiate light along beamlines to stations where researchers conduct experiments. The light comes in many wavelengths, but the ALS specializes in “soft” X-rays that reveal the electronic, magnetic, and chemical properties of materials.

    The upgraded ALS will use a new storage ring [see cutaway above] with more advanced magnets that can better steer and focus the electrons, in turn creating brighter, tighter beams of light. This will squeeze the X-ray beams from about 100 microns (thousandths of a millimeter) to only a few microns wide, meaning researchers can image their samples with even finer resolution and over shorter timescales. It’s like switching from a cell phone camera in dim light to a top-of-the-line high-speed camera in vivid daylight.

    2
    The beam profile of Berkeley Lab’s Advanced Light Source today (left), compared to the highly focused beam (right) that will be available after the upgrade. Credit: Berkeley Lab.

    “With the upgrade, we’ll be able to routinely study how samples change in 3D – something that is currently very difficult to do,” said Andreas Scholl, a physicist at Berkeley Lab and the interim division director for the ALS. “One of our goals is to find and develop the materials that will be essential for the next generation of technologies in areas like energy storage and computing.”

    With 40 beamlines and more than 1,600 users per year, the ALS supports a variety of research. For example, researchers can look at how microbes break down toxins, study how substances interact to produce better solar cells or biofuels, and test magnetic materials that could have applications in microelectronics. Teams will build two new beamlines optimized to take advantage of the improved light, and realign and upgrade several existing beamlines.

    One crucial element of the upgrade already underway is a second ring known as the accumulator, which will take electrons made by the accelerator complex and prepare them for the new storage ring. Construction began on the accumulator in 2020 with a special advance approval known as CD-3a. By installing and testing the accumulator first, teams can minimize how long ALS operations will be paused to complete the upgrade.

    See the full article here.

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    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    LBNL campus

    Bringing Science Solutions to the World

    In the world of science, The Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) is synonymous with “excellence.” Thirteen Nobel prizes are associated with Berkeley Lab. Seventy Lab scientists are members of the The National Academy of Sciences, one of the highest honors for a scientist in the United States. Thirteen of our scientists have won the National Medal of Science, our nation’s highest award for lifetime achievement in fields of scientific research. Eighteen of our engineers have been elected to the The National Academy of Engineering, and three of our scientists have been elected into the Institute of Medicine. In addition, Berkeley Lab has trained thousands of university science and engineering students who are advancing technological innovations across the nation and around the world.

    Berkeley Lab is a member of the national laboratory system supported by The DOE through its Office of Science. It is managed by the University of California and is charged with conducting unclassified research across a wide range of scientific disciplines. Located on a 202-acre site in the hills above The University of California-Berkeley campus that offers spectacular views of the San Francisco Bay, Berkeley Lab employs approximately 3,232 scientists, engineers and support staff. The Lab’s total costs for FY 2014 were $785 million. A recent study estimates the Laboratory’s overall economic impact through direct, indirect and induced spending on the nine counties that make up the San Francisco Bay Area to be nearly $700 million annually. The Lab was also responsible for creating 5,600 jobs locally and 12,000 nationally. The overall economic impact on the national economy is estimated at $1.6 billion a year. Technologies developed at Berkeley Lab have generated billions of dollars in revenues, and thousands of jobs. Savings as a result of Berkeley Lab developments in lighting and windows, and other energy-efficient technologies, have also been in the billions of dollars.

    Berkeley Lab was founded in 1931 by Ernest Orlando Lawrence, a University of California-Berkeley physicist who won the 1939 Nobel Prize in physics for his invention of the cyclotron, a circular particle accelerator that opened the door to high-energy physics. It was Lawrence’s belief that scientific research is best done through teams of individuals with different fields of expertise, working together. His teamwork concept is a Berkeley Lab legacy that continues today.

    History

    1931–1941

    The laboratory was founded on August 26, 1931, by Ernest Lawrence, as the Radiation Laboratory of the University of California-Berkeley, associated with the Physics Department. It centered physics research around his new instrument, the cyclotron, a type of particle accelerator for which he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1939.

    LBNL 88 inch cyclotron.

    LBNL 88 inch cyclotron.

    Throughout the 1930s, Lawrence pushed to create larger and larger machines for physics research, courting private philanthropists for funding. He was the first to develop a large team to build big projects to make discoveries in basic research. Eventually these machines grew too large to be held on the university grounds, and in 1940 the lab moved to its current site atop the hill above campus. Part of the team put together during this period includes two other young scientists who went on to establish large laboratories; J. Robert Oppenheimer founded The DOE’s Los Alamos Laboratory, and Robert Wilson founded The DOE’s Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory.

    1942–1950

    Leslie Groves visited Lawrence’s Radiation Laboratory in late 1942 as he was organizing the Manhattan Project, meeting J. Robert Oppenheimer for the first time. Oppenheimer was tasked with organizing the nuclear bomb development effort and founded today’s Los Alamos National Laboratory to help keep the work secret. At the RadLab, Lawrence and his colleagues developed the technique of electromagnetic enrichment of uranium using their experience with cyclotrons. The “calutrons” (named after the University) became the basic unit of the massive Y-12 facility in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. Lawrence’s lab helped contribute to what have been judged to be the three most valuable technology developments of the war (the atomic bomb, proximity fuse, and radar). The cyclotron, whose construction was stalled during the war, was finished in November 1946. The Manhattan Project shut down two months later.

    1951–2018

    After the war, the Radiation Laboratory became one of the first laboratories to be incorporated into the Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) (now The Department of Energy . The most highly classified work remained at Los Alamos, but the RadLab remained involved. Edward Teller suggested setting up a second lab similar to Los Alamos to compete with their designs. This led to the creation of an offshoot of the RadLab (now The DOE’s Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory) in 1952. Some of the RadLab’s work was transferred to the new lab, but some classified research continued at Berkeley Lab until the 1970s, when it became a laboratory dedicated only to unclassified scientific research.

    Shortly after the death of Lawrence in August 1958, the UC Radiation Laboratory (both branches) was renamed the Lawrence Radiation Laboratory. The Berkeley location became the Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory in 1971, although many continued to call it the RadLab. Gradually, another shortened form came into common usage, LBNL. Its formal name was amended to Ernest Orlando Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in 1995, when “National” was added to the names of all DOE labs. “Ernest Orlando” was later dropped to shorten the name. Today, the lab is commonly referred to as “Berkeley Lab”.

    The Alvarez Physics Memos are a set of informal working papers of the large group of physicists, engineers, computer programmers, and technicians led by Luis W. Alvarez from the early 1950s until his death in 1988. Over 1700 memos are available on-line, hosted by the Laboratory.

    The lab remains owned by the Department of Energy , with management from the University of California. Companies such as Intel were funding the lab’s research into computing chips.

    Science mission

    From the 1950s through the present, Berkeley Lab has maintained its status as a major international center for physics research, and has also diversified its research program into almost every realm of scientific investigation. Its mission is to solve the most pressing and profound scientific problems facing humanity, conduct basic research for a secure energy future, understand living systems to improve the environment, health, and energy supply, understand matter and energy in the universe, build and safely operate leading scientific facilities for the nation, and train the next generation of scientists and engineers.

    The Laboratory’s 20 scientific divisions are organized within six areas of research: Computing Sciences; Physical Sciences; Earth and Environmental Sciences; Biosciences; Energy Sciences; and Energy Technologies. Berkeley Lab has six main science thrusts: advancing integrated fundamental energy science; integrative biological and environmental system science; advanced computing for science impact; discovering the fundamental properties of matter and energy; accelerators for the future; and developing energy technology innovations for a sustainable future. It was Lawrence’s belief that scientific research is best done through teams of individuals with different fields of expertise, working together. His teamwork concept is a Berkeley Lab tradition that continues today.

    Berkeley Lab operates five major National User Facilities for the DOE Office of Science:

    The Advanced Light Source (ALS) is a synchrotron light source with 41 beam lines providing ultraviolet, soft x-ray, and hard x-ray light to scientific experiments.

    The DOE’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory Advanced Light Source.
    The ALS is one of the world’s brightest sources of soft x-rays, which are used to characterize the electronic structure of matter and to reveal microscopic structures with elemental and chemical specificity. About 2,500 scientist-users carry out research at ALS every year. Berkeley Lab is proposing an upgrade of ALS which would increase the coherent flux of soft x-rays by two-three orders of magnitude.

    Berkeley Lab Laser Accelerator (BELLA) Center

    The DOE Joint Genome Institute supports genomic research in support of the DOE missions in alternative energy, global carbon cycling, and environmental management. The JGI’s partner laboratories are Berkeley Lab, DOE’s Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, DOE’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), DOE’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), and the HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology . The JGI’s central role is the development of a diversity of large-scale experimental and computational capabilities to link sequence to biological insights relevant to energy and environmental research. Approximately 1,200 scientist-users take advantage of JGI’s capabilities for their research every year.

    LBNL Molecular Foundry

    The LBNL Molecular Foundry is a multidisciplinary nanoscience research facility. Its seven research facilities focus on Imaging and Manipulation of Nanostructures; Nanofabrication; Theory of Nanostructured Materials; Inorganic Nanostructures; Biological Nanostructures; Organic and Macromolecular Synthesis; and Electron Microscopy. Approximately 700 scientist-users make use of these facilities in their research every year.

    The DOE’s NERSC National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center is the scientific computing facility that provides large-scale computing for the DOE’s unclassified research programs. Its current systems provide over 3 billion computational hours annually. NERSC supports 6,000 scientific users from universities, national laboratories, and industry.

    DOE’s NERSC National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

    Cray Cori II supercomputer at National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center at DOE’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, named after Gerty Cori, the first American woman to win a Nobel Prize in science.

    NERSC Hopper Cray XE6 supercomputer.

    NERSC Cray XC30 Edison supercomputer.

    NERSC GPFS for Life Sciences.

    The Genepool system is a cluster dedicated to the DOE Joint Genome Institute’s computing needs. Denovo is a smaller test system for Genepool that is primarily used by NERSC staff to test new system configurations and software.

    NERSC PDSF computer cluster in 2003.

    PDSF is a networked distributed computing cluster designed primarily to meet the detector simulation and data analysis requirements of physics, astrophysics and nuclear science collaborations.

    Cray Shasta Perlmutter SC18 AMD Epyc Nvidia pre-exascale supercomputer.

    NERSC is a DOE Office of Science User Facility.

    The DOE’s Energy Science Network is a high-speed network infrastructure optimized for very large scientific data flows. ESNet provides connectivity for all major DOE sites and facilities, and the network transports roughly 35 petabytes of traffic each month.

    Berkeley Lab is the lead partner in the DOE’s Joint Bioenergy Institute (JBEI), located in Emeryville, California. Other partners are the DOE’s Sandia National Laboratory, the University of California (UC) campuses of Berkeley and Davis, the Carnegie Institution for Science , and DOE’s Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL). JBEI’s primary scientific mission is to advance the development of the next generation of biofuels – liquid fuels derived from the solar energy stored in plant biomass. JBEI is one of three new U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Bioenergy Research Centers (BRCs).

    Berkeley Lab has a major role in two DOE Energy Innovation Hubs. The mission of the Joint Center for Artificial Photosynthesis (JCAP) is to find a cost-effective method to produce fuels using only sunlight, water, and carbon dioxide. The lead institution for JCAP is the California Institute of Technology and Berkeley Lab is the second institutional center. The mission of the Joint Center for Energy Storage Research (JCESR) is to create next-generation battery technologies that will transform transportation and the electricity grid. DOE’s Argonne National Laboratory leads JCESR and Berkeley Lab is a major partner.

     
  • richardmitnick 12:14 pm on November 10, 2022 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "First light of new laser enables new science at European XFEL", , , , , , X-ray Technology   

    From The European XFEL(DE): “First light of new laser enables new science at European XFEL” 

    XFEL bloc

    From The European XFEL(DE)

    9.2.22 [Just today is social media.]
    Dr Peter Zalden
    Tel: +49-40-8998-6828
    Email: peter.zalden@xfel.eu

    A new laser developed at the photo injector test facility at DESY in Zeuthen (PITZ) has generated its first light, potentially enabling applications at European XFEL. The new laser, just like the European XFEL, is a free electron laser (FEL), but one that produces radiation at the opposite end of the spectrum compared to the European XFEL’s short wavelength X-rays. Together, the unequal siblings could provide new insights into the behavior of electrons and magnetic fields in matter.

    The new FEL at PITZ generates extremely short pulses of so-called Terahertz (THz) radiation, with wavelengths between 0.1 and 1 mm, about 100 to 1000 times longer than visible light and up to a million times longer than the wavelengths of the European XFEL. THz radiation can be used to transform matter into new states otherwise not accessible. These novel states of matter can then be probed using the European XFEL’s X-ray pulses. Currently, this transformation is initiated by visible and infrared light sources at the European XFEL, but THz radiation can open the door to a different realm of physics, including studies of materials and processes such as those used in electronic devices, energy storage and quantum matter.

    1
    The PITZ extension with the THz FEL. The undulator for generating the laser radiation is mounted on the yellow frame and the electron beam comes in from the right. Photo: DESY, PITZ group.

    European XFEL commissioned and part funded the new FEL, and also contributes to the day to day operation of the PITZ facility. The laser operates using a similar mechanism to European XFEL, using an undulator (a series of aligned of magnets) to produce radiation. The team at PITZ are now working on on-going development and characterization of the new FEL.

    “It is a great achievement to see first light on this free-electron laser in Zeuthen,” says Dr Thomas Tschentscher, scientific director at the European XFEL. “We now have the possibility to further study this route of implementing THz pump sources at the European XFEL, which will be an important addition to increase the breadth of our scientific capabilities.”

    2
    Panoramic photo of the THz beamline at PITZ. Photo: DESY, PITZ group.

    Science paper:
    SPIE

    See the full article here .

    See also an article from DESY here.

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    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    XFEL Campus

    The European XFEL(DE) is an X-ray research laser facility commissioned during 2017. The first laser pulses were produced in May 2017 and the facility started user operation in September 2017. The international project with twelve participating countries; nine shareholders at the time of commissioning (Denmark, France, Germany, Hungary, Poland, Russia, Slovakia, Sweden and Switzerland), later joined by three other partners (Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom), is located in the German federal states of Hamburg and Schleswig-Holstein. A free-electron laser generates high-intensity electromagnetic radiation by accelerating electrons to relativistic speeds and directing them through special magnetic structures. The European XFEL is constructed such that the electrons produce X-ray light in synchronization, resulting in high-intensity X-ray pulses with the properties of laser light and at intensities much brighter than those produced by conventional synchrotron light sources.

    The Hamburg area will soon boast a research facility of superlatives: The European XFEL (DE)) will generate ultrashort X-ray flashes—27 000 times per second and with a brilliance that is a billion times higher than that of the best conventional X-ray radiation sources.

    The outstanding characteristics of the facility are unique worldwide. Started in 2017, it will open up completely new research opportunities for scientists and industrial users.

     
  • richardmitnick 10:53 am on September 27, 2022 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Two par­ti­cles? Three par­ti­cles!", , High-temperature superconductor, International team finds magnetic three-particle state in high-temperature superconductor., Researchers have discovered a three-particle state – or more precisely they have predicted its existence in a special material., , X-ray Technology   

    From The DLR German Aerospace Center [Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt e.V.](DE): “Two par­ti­cles? Three par­ti­cles!” 

    DLR Bloc

    From The DLR German Aerospace Center [Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt e.V.](DE)

    The German Aerospace Center (DLR) is the national aeronautics and space research centre of the Federal Republic of Germany.

    9.27.22

    1
    Three-par­ti­cle state and X-rays. Credit: ©TU Dortmund

    Fig. 1: Multi-triplon states in spin ladders.
    2
    a The spins S = 1/2 at each vertex of the ladder are coupled by leg (Jleg), and rung (Jrung), couplings. The black arrows indicate spin-up and the red arrows indicate spin-down. b For Jleg = 0, the spins on each rung form singlets (blue ellipses) in the ground state and local S = 1 triplet excitations (orange ellipsis). c Non-local triplons (wide orange ellipse) are the elementary excitations in spin ladders. They exist in the ΔS = 1 sector and can be detected via inelastic neutron scattering. d Two-triplon interactions lead to the formation of two-triplon bound states (red double ellipse) in the ΔS = 0, 1 sectors. e Three-triplon interactions are strong enough to form three-triplon bound states in the ΔS = 0 sector. f n-strings of triplons can emerge; they are predicted in strongly frustrated spin ladders with additional diagonal couplings (not shown) in each plaquette.

    Fig. 2: Origin of three-triplon interactions.
    3
    The term is depicted in real space at dimer r and interdimer distances δ,δ′,δ′′; note that this term arises in any dimension and for any lattice model with finite dimensional local degrees of freedom. Finite x implies hopping, pair creation and annihilation processes during the renormalization by CUT. The blue arrows indicate the incoming triplons, red the scattered triplons and the black arrows internal triplon propagation. For normal bosons (a), the combined process is single-particle irreducible and corresponds to an effective hopping. For triplons (b), the hard-core constraint (black circles) induces three-triplon interactions in leading order x^3.

    More instructive images are available in the science paper.
    __________________________________________________________________

    International team finds magnetic three-particle state in high-temperature superconductor.
    Binding force of particles differs from previously known mechanisms.
    X-rays should provide experimental proof.
    Discovery could be a basis for topological quantum computers considered resistant to decoherence.
    Focus: Digitalization, quantum mechanics, quantum computing, technology, fundamental research.
    __________________________________________________________________
    In its simplest form, two charged particles that either repel or attract one another are enough to explain the world. Molecules and large solids, for example, are based on this physical interaction between an ion and an electron. Now, researchers have discovered a three-particle state – or more precisely they have predicted its existence in a special material. The researchers from the German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR), TU Dortmund University and the DOE’s Los Alamos National Laboratory have also shown that X-rays could be used to detect this three-particle state in an experiment. In the future, their magnetic three-particle state could even evolve into a technology for use in quantum computers.

    “The prediction of these three-particle states is crucial because their binding power differs fundamentally from the previously known mechanisms,” says Benedikt Fauseweh, Group Leader at the DLR Institute for Software Technology in Cologne. “The discovery increases the probability that we will find even more exotic states, such as entire strings of magnetic excitations.” The strings could later be ‘linked’ to qubits – the computational building blocks of quantum computers. The information would be stored in the individual strings and the computing operations would then be carried out by braiding the strings. These braids are exceptionally stable in the quantum world. That is why topological quantum computers based on this fundamental idea are considered resistant to external perturbation, and this presents an advantage over other quantum computing technologies.

    New insights into quantum materials and superconductivity possible

    The researchers spent two years calculating the three-particle states in high-temperature superconductors. This class of materials, based on copper oxides, has only been known since the 1980s and has properties that are still not entirely understood (see info box below). The current research results were published in the scientific journal Communications Physics [below] and included instructions on practically demonstrating the states using X-ray experiments that should make the three bound particles visible. “The X-rays are absorbed by the material and transfer energy to the atoms. If a three-particle state is generated in the process, it is possible to measure a particularly strong scattering of the radiation,” says Benedikt Fauseweh.

    The three-particle states are also highly interesting for fundamental research. The successful detection of these structures using X-rays would present a promising experimental opportunity to learn more about quantum materials. It would also make it possible to observe the possible effects of this strong bonding on high-temperature superconductors. “It would be exciting, for example, to learn that the three-particle states have a significant influence on superconductivity and its transition temperature,” explains Fauseweh.
    __________________________________________________________________

    High-temperature superconductor

    Superconductors are materials that conduct electricity without any resistance. To do this, they must be cooled below their very low ‘transition temperature’. Below this temperature, a system is dominated by quantum mechanical effects. Materials such as liquid helium at minus 269 degrees Celsius are used for this cooling. High-temperature superconductors were first discovered in 1986 by Johannes Georg Bednorz and Karl Alexander Müller. In 1987, the two physicists were awarded the Nobel Prize for this discovery. A much higher typical transition temperature characterises these high-temperature superconductors. They have unusual quantum properties that distinguish them from conventional superconductors. High-temperature superconductors belong to the class of quantum materials and are at the heart of modern solid-state research. The mechanism that leads to superconductivity in these materials is still not fully understood. However, it is known that magnetic excitations play an important role.

    Science paper:
    Communications Physics

    See the full article here .

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    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    DLR Center
    The DLR German Aerospace Center [Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt e.V.] (DE) is the national aeronautics and space research centre of the Federal Republic of Germany. Its extensive research and development work in aeronautics, space, energy, transport and security is integrated into national and international cooperative ventures. In addition to its own research, as Germany’s space agency, DLR has been given responsibility by the federal government for the planning and implementation of the German space programme. DLR is also the umbrella organisation for the nation’s largest project management agency.

    DLR has approximately 8000 employees at 16 locations in Germany: Cologne (headquarters), Augsburg, Berlin, Bonn, Braunschweig, Bremen, Goettingen, Hamburg, Juelich, Lampoldshausen, Neustrelitz, Oberpfaffenhofen, Stade, Stuttgart, Trauen, and Weilheim. DLR also has offices in Brussels, Paris, Tokyo and Washington D.C.

     
  • richardmitnick 10:57 am on July 2, 2022 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Found:: The ‘holy grail of catalysis’ — turning methane into methanol under ambient conditions using light", , , , , X-ray Technology   

    From The DOE’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory: “Found:: The ‘holy grail of catalysis’ — turning methane into methanol under ambient conditions using light” 

    From The DOE’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory

    June 28, 2022

    1
    University of Manchester scientists have developed the “holy grail of catalysis,” a fast and economical method of converting methane, or natural gas, into liquid methanol at ambient temperature and pressure. Credit: ORNL/Jill Hemman.

    An international team of researchers, led by scientists at the University of Manchester, has developed a fast and economical method of converting methane, or natural gas, into liquid methanol at ambient temperature and pressure. The method takes place under continuous flow over a photo-catalytic material using visible light to drive the conversion.

    To help observe how the process works and how selective it is, the researchers used neutron scattering at the VISION instrument at Oak Ridge National Laboratory’s Spallation Neutron Source [below].

    The method involves a continuous flow of methane/oxygen-saturated water over a novel metal-organic framework (MOF) catalyst. The MOF is porous and contains different components that each have a role in absorbing light, transferring electrons and activating and bringing together methane and oxygen. The liquid methanol is easily extracted from the water. Such a process has commonly been considered “a holy grail of catalysis” and is an area of focus for research supported by the U.S. Department of Energy. Details of the team’s findings are published in Nature Materials.


    Naturally occurring methane is an abundant and valuable fuel, used for ovens, furnaces, water heaters, kilns, automobiles and turbines. However, methane can also be dangerous due to the difficulty of extracting, transporting and storing it.

    Methane gas is also harmful to the environment when it is released or leaks into the atmosphere, where it is a potent greenhouse gas. Leading sources of atmospheric methane include fossil fuel production and use, rotting or burning biomass such as forest fires, agricultural waste products, landfills and melting permafrost.

    Excess methane is commonly burned off, or flared, to reduce its environmental impact. However, this combustion process produces carbon dioxide, which itself is a greenhouse gas.

    Industry has long sought an economical and efficient way to convert methane into methanol, a highly marketable and versatile feedstock used to make a variety of consumer and industrial products. This would not only help reduce methane emissions, but it would also provide an economic incentive to do so.

    Methanol is a more versatile carbon source than methane and is a readily transportable liquid. It can be used to make thousands of products such as solvents, antifreeze and acrylic plastics; synthetic fabrics and fibers; adhesives, paint and plywood; and chemical agents used in pharmaceuticals and agrichemicals. The conversion of methane into a high-value fuel such as methanol is also becoming more attractive as petroleum reserves dwindle.

    Breaking the bond

    A primary challenge of converting methane (CH4) to methanol (CH3OH) has been the difficulty of weakening or breaking the carbon-hydrogen (C-H) chemical bond in order to insert an oxygen (O) atom to form a C-OH bond. Conventional methane conversion methods typically involve two stages, steam reforming followed by syngas oxidation, which are energy intensive, costly and inefficient as they require high temperatures and pressures.

    The fast and economical methane-to-methanol process developed by the research team uses a multicomponent MOF material and visible light to drive the conversion. A flow of CH4 and O2 saturated water is passed through a layer of the MOF granules while exposed to the light. The MOF contains different designed components that are located and held in fixed positions within the porous superstructure. They work together to absorb light to generate electrons which are passed to oxygen and methane within the pores to form methanol.

    “To greatly simplify the process, when methane gas is exposed to the functional MOF material containing mono-iron-hydroxyl sites, the activated oxygen molecules and energy from the light promote the activation of the C-H bond in methane to form methanol,” said Sihai Yang, a professor of chemistry at Manchester and corresponding author. “The process is 100% selective – meaning there is no undesirable by-product – comparable with methane monooxygenase, which is the enzyme in nature for this process.”

    The experiments demonstrated that the solid catalyst can be isolated, washed, dried and reused for at least 10 cycles, or approximately 200 hours of reaction time, without any loss of performance.

    The new photocatalytic process is analogous to how plants convert light energy to chemical energy during photosynthesis. Plants absorb sunlight and carbon dioxide through their leaves. A photocatalytic process then converts these elements into sugars, oxygen and water vapor.

    “This process has been termed the ‘holy grail of catalysis.’ Instead of burning methane, it may now be possible to convert the gas directly to methanol, a high-value chemical that can be used to produce biofuels, solvents, pesticides and fuel additives for vehicles,” said Martin Schröder, vice president and dean of faculty of science and engineering at Manchester and corresponding author. “This new MOF material may also be capable of facilitating other types of chemical reactions by serving as a sort of test tube in which we can combine different substances to see how they react.”

    Using neutrons to picture the process

    “Using neutron scattering to take ‘pictures’ at the VISION instrument initially confirmed the strong interactions between CH4 and the mono-iron-hydroxyl sites in the MOF that weaken the C-H bonds,” said Yongqiang Cheng, instrument scientist at the ORNL Neutron Sciences Directorate.

    “VISION is a high-throughput neutron vibrational spectrometer optimized to provide information about molecular structure, chemical bonding and intermolecular interactions,” said Anibal “Timmy” Ramirez Cuesta, who leads the Chemical Spectroscopy Group at SNS. “Methane molecules produce strong and characteristic neutron scattering signals from their rotation and vibration, which are also sensitive to the local environment. This enables us to reveal unambiguously the bond-weakening interactions between CH4 and the MOF with advanced neutron spectroscopy techniques.”

    Fast, economical and reusable

    By eliminating the need for high temperatures or pressures, and using the energy from sunlight to drive the photo-oxidation process, the new conversion method could substantially lower equipment and operating costs. The higher speed of the process and its ability to convert methane to methanol with no undesirable byproducts will facilitate the development of in-line processing that minimizes costs.

    Funding and resources were provided by the Royal Society; the University of Manchester; the EPSRC National Service for EPR Spectroscopy at Manchester; the European Research Council under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program; the Diamond Light Source at the Harwell Science and Innovation Campus in Oxfordshire; the U.S. Department of Energy’s Spallation Neutron Source at Oak Ridge National Laboratory [below] and the Advanced Photon Source at Argonne National Laboratory; and the Aichi Synchrotron Radiation Centre in Seto City. Computing resources at ORNL were made available through the VirtuES and ICE-MAN projects funded by ORNL’s Laboratory Directed Research and Development program and Compute and Data Environment for Science.

    See the full article here .

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

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition


    Established in 1942, The DOE’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory is the largest science and energy national laboratory in the Department of Energy system (by size) and third largest by annual budget. It is located in the Roane County section of Oak Ridge, Tennessee. Its scientific programs focus on materials, neutron science, energy, high-performance computing, systems biology and national security, sometimes in partnership with the state of Tennessee, universities and other industries.

    ORNL has several of the world’s top supercomputers, including Summit, ranked by the TOP500 as Earth’s second-most powerful, and the exascale Frontier.

    ORNL OLCF IBM Q AC922 SUMMIT supercomputer, was No.1 on the TOP500..

    The lab is a leading neutron and nuclear power research facility that includes the Spallation Neutron Source and High Flux Isotope Reactor.

    ORNL Spallation Neutron Source annotated.

    It hosts the Center for Nanophase Materials Sciences, the BioEnergy Science Center, and the Consortium for Advanced Simulation of Light Water Nuclear Reactors.

    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.

    Areas of research

    ORNL conducts research and development activities that span a wide range of scientific disciplines. Many research areas have a significant overlap with each other; researchers often work in two or more of the fields listed here. The laboratory’s major research areas are described briefly below.

    Chemical sciences – ORNL conducts both fundamental and applied research in a number of areas, including catalysis, surface science and interfacial chemistry; molecular transformations and fuel chemistry; heavy element chemistry and radioactive materials characterization; aqueous solution chemistry and geochemistry; mass spectrometry and laser spectroscopy; separations chemistry; materials chemistry including synthesis and characterization of polymers and other soft materials; chemical biosciences; and neutron science.
    Electron microscopy – ORNL’s electron microscopy program investigates key issues in condensed matter, materials, chemical and nanosciences.
    Nuclear medicine – The laboratory’s nuclear medicine research is focused on the development of improved reactor production and processing methods to provide medical radioisotopes, the development of new radionuclide generator systems, the design and evaluation of new radiopharmaceuticals for applications in nuclear medicine and oncology.
    Physics – Physics research at ORNL is focused primarily on studies of the fundamental properties of matter at the atomic, nuclear, and subnuclear levels and the development of experimental devices in support of these studies.
    Population – ORNL provides federal, state and international organizations with a gridded population database, called Landscan, for estimating ambient population. LandScan is a raster image, or grid, of population counts, which provides human population estimates every 30 x 30 arc seconds, which translates roughly to population estimates for 1 kilometer square windows or grid cells at the equator, with cell width decreasing at higher latitudes. Though many population datasets exist, LandScan is the best spatial population dataset, which also covers the globe. Updated annually (although data releases are generally one year behind the current year) offers continuous, updated values of population, based on the most recent information. Landscan data are accessible through GIS applications and a USAID public domain application called Population Explorer.

     
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