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WEST TOKAMAK Inside and Out

Top Image: With a plasma volume of 15 cubic meters, WEST is a medium-size tokamak comparable to Korea's KSTAR (~17 m³), Germany's Asdex Upgrade (~13 m³) or China's EAST (~17 m³). Only the European JET (80 m³) and the Europe-Japan JT60-SA (140 m³, in commissioning) offer more plasma volume.Someone waking up inside of WEST, the French tokamak located barely one kilometer away from ITER, would think they had been transported into an alien spaceship—and more specifically, into the stranded star-faring vessel in the movie Alien (1979), with its strange ribcage-like walls and dull metal vertebrae. Last week, a (perfectly awake) Newsline reporter was privileged to spend a few hours inside the machine's plasma chamber, where some of the longest plasma shots in fusion history were produced.

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ATLAS Measures Strength of the Strong Force with Record Precision

The ATLAS experiment at CERN (Image: CERN)Binding together quarks into protons, neutrons and atomic nuclei is a force so strong, it’s in the name. The strong force, which is carried by gluon particles, is the strongest of all fundamental forces of nature – the others being electromagnetism, the weak force and gravity. Yet, it’s the least precisely measured of these four forces. In a paper just submitted to Nature Physics, the ATLAS collaboration describes how it has used the Z boson, the electrically neutral carrier of the weak force, to determine the strength of the strong force with an unprecedented uncertainty of below 1%.

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Aston University Research Pioneers Making Renewable Hydrogen and Propane Fuel Gases from Glycerol

Aston University research pioneers making renewable hydrogen and propane fuel gases from glycerolAston University research has shown the way forward for making renewable hydrogen and propane fuel gases from glycerol. An organic compound, glycerol is produced mainly from fats and oils and is often used in health and beauty products. With crude glycerol from biodiesel production plants cheap and abundant the researchers have explored its potential for making hydrogen gas and biopropane - pioneering work that could benefit the environment and reduce reliance on fuel imports.

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Powering the Quantum Revolution: Quantum Engines on the Horizon

Quantum mechanics is a branch of physics that explores the properties and interactions of iparticles at very small scale, such as atoms and molecules. This has led to the development of new technologies that are more powerful and efficient compared to their conventional counterparts, causing breakthroughs in areas such as computing, communication, and energy.Quantum mechanics is a branch of physics that explores the properties and interactions of iparticles at very small scale, such as atoms and molecules. This has led to the development of new technologies that are more powerful and efficient compared to their conventional counterparts, causing breakthroughs in areas such as computing, communication, and energy.

At the Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology (OIST), researchers at the Quantum Systems Unit have collaborated with scientists from the University of Kaiserslautern-Landau and the University of Stuttgart to design and build an engine that is based on the special rules that particles obey at very small scales.

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Cryogenic Etch Re-Emerges

Cryogenic etch, sometimes called cryo etch, is one of two ways to enable deep silicon or high-aspect ratio (HAR) etches in devices, where the features are long, narrow and deep. The other and most popular method is the two-step Bosch process, where you etch out a part of the structure and then passivate it at ambient temperatures. Then you repeat the process until the etch is completed.

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High-Resolution Cryo-EM Starts Focusing on Accessibility

The radiation emitted by high-resolution cryo-EM instruments can damage proteins. And some parts of proteins can be harmed more than others, complicating imaging. To reduce radiation damage and potentially improve imaging, investigators may opt to use less powerful instruments. Instruments rated at 100 keV are already being developed as less costly alternatives to 300 keV instruments. Credit: Veronica Falconieri, Sriram Subramaniam / NIHStructure-based designs are integral to advancing drug discovery, and in this regard, cryogenic electron microscopy (cryo-EM) has emerged as a pivotal tool for achieving high-resolution structures of proteins and protein complexes. Particularly noteworthy is its utility in elucidating the structures of protein classes that have historically resisted crystallization.

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RegO Adds Pressure Regulators for Cryogenic Vessels

RegoCBE504 RegulatorRegO Products has unveiled its latest breakthrough: the CBE504 Series of Half-Inch Pressure Builder-Economizer Regulators. Designed to enhance cryogenic vessel operations, these regulators prioritize pressure control and product preservation.

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Tokamak Energy’s Fusion Magnet System Passes Cryogenic Tests

Image: Demo4 limb test in liquid nitrogen. Credit: Tokamak EnergyUK-based Tokamak Energy’s superconducting magnet system, which is being built to replicate fusion energy power plant forces, has passed significant milestone cryogenic tests. Creating fusion energy requires strong magnetic fields to confine and control the extremely hot hydrogen fuel, which becomes a plasma several times hotter than the center of the sun.

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Ziath Preserves the Future, One Sample at a Time

Image 1 and 2: With cutting-edge technology and a commitment to excellence, Ziath transforms the way samples are stored and tracked, revolutionizing the future of scientific discovery. Credit: ZiathIn the realm of scientific discovery, the value of biological specimens cannot be overstated. They serve as essential windows into understanding life's intricate mysteries. From the smallest molecules to the most complex organisms, researchers strive to unlock the secrets held within these samples. To safeguard these invaluable assets, a pioneering leader emerges – Ziath, a company committed to revolutionizing sample management with their CryzoTraq™ 2D Barcoded Sample Storage Tubes.

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Cryogenics: A Short History and the Implications It Has on the QC Industry

 Image by Simon Berger from PixabayIn the rapidly evolving landscape of quantum technology, cryogenics is an indispensable and fascinating domain that pushes the boundaries of low-temperature physics. Harnessing the power of extreme cold, this groundbreaking field plays a pivotal role in unlocking the true potential of quantum phenomena. This field of research has its origins in the early 20th century and has since become a vital area of study for understanding quantum phenomena and developing advanced technologies like superconductors and quantum computing.

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Cryotherapy for Kidney Cancer: A Chilling Innovation in Cancer Treatment

One of the probes used for cryosurgery. Credit: Cryosurgery.ukWhen it comes to battling cancer, innovation and evolution in medical technology play a vital role in improving treatment outcomes and patients' quality of life. One such innovation that has been making strides in recent years is cryotherapy for kidney cancer. Cryotherapy, also known as freezing therapy, cryosurgery, or cryoablation, is a cutting-edge procedure that harnesses the power of extreme cold to combat cancer cells effectively. This revolutionary technique is particularly promising for treating small, early-stage kidney cancers.

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World's First Crewed LH2 Flight Takes Off

Image: The mood was distinctly jubilant following the series of four successful test flights. Credit: Linnea Ahlgren/TNWAt a somewhat small and unassuming airport in Maribor, Slovenia, German hydrogen propulsion startup H2FLY has quietly been building up to a major milestone in zero-emission aviation over the summer. And all the hard work has come to fruition, with the successful completion of the world’s first crewed liquid hydrogen-powered flights.

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Partnership Revolutionizes Healthcare with the MAGNETOM Terra 7 Tesla MRI Scanner

Three MRI scans of the same brain demonstrate the difference between 1.5 Tesla (left), 3 Tesla (center) and 7 Tesla (right) MRI. Credit: Carle HealthThe University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) and Carle Health, a vertically integrated healthcare system with hospitals, physician practices and a medical school, have formed a unique partnership to co-own and operate a Siemens Healthineers MAGNETOM Terra 7 Tesla MRI scanner. This collaboration has significant implications for both research and clinical care. The scanner, with its high-powered magnetic field and advanced neuroimaging capabilities, offers transformative potential. 

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NIF Journeys to Ignition

The fusion research system containing a cryostat at the National Ignition Facility. Credit: Suhas BhandarkarDecember 5, 2022, marked a historic breakthrough in the field of fusion research as scientists achieved ignition, a momentous achievement that has been a scientific grand challenge spanning over 50 years. The National Ignition Facility (NIF) within the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) achieved an igniting fusion reaction where the nuclear energy output surpassed the input of optical energy—a remarkable feat known as ignition. 

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IRLabs Pioneers Solutions for High Altitude Scientific Exploration

A High-Flying Mission: The OSAS-B Oxygen Spectrometer, aboard the HEMERA balloon gondola, can ascend to 33 km, capturing crucial data on atomic oxygen in Earth's upper atmosphere. IRLabs' innovative solutions ensured a successful high-altitude scientific expedition. Credit: David LanevilleIn the pursuit of scientific knowledge, the German Aerospace Center (DLR) embarked on a mission to explore the enigmatic properties of atomic oxygen in Earth’s upper atmosphere. Understanding the impact of this element on satellite corrosion, deceleration in low-Earth orbits and its role as an indicator of climate change held great importance for DLR’s research. Its ambitious endeavor involved deploying the OSAS-B oxygen spectrometer as part of Europe’s HEMERA balloon campaign. For this intricate task, DLR sought the expertise of Infrared Labs (IRLabs), a respected industry leader boasting decades of experience in high altitude cryostats. 

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Cryogenics at FAIR Unleashes the Power of Discovery

From here to FAIR: The existing GSI accelerators (blue) and the FAIR facilities (red). FAIR comprises the SIS100 synchrotron; the antiproton separator and the Super Fragment Separator; the collector ring; high energy storage ring; and experimental stations for the APPA, CBM, NUSTAR and PANDA research programs. The proton linac and the CRYRING (a low-energy storage ring for heavy ions) also belong to the FAIR instrumentation portfolio. Credit: CERNThe Facility for Antiproton and Ion Research (FAIR) in Darmstadt, Germany, is embarking on a pioneering mission that will transform accelerator research and expand our understanding of the universe. With its ambitious vision to explore an extensive research canvas, FAIR is set to become a global hub for scientific exploration, spanning diverse domains such as hadron physics, nuclear structure, astrophysics, atomic physics, materials science, radiation biophysics, cancer therapy and space science. 

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Strain Manipulates TaSe3 for Quantum Effects

Figure 1 (left): Scaled magnetoresistance (MR) data obtained from a ribbon sample shows a conventional H2 dependence. Figure 2 (right): MR from ring-shaped samples deviates from conventional behavior and is~1/1,000 of that in the ribbons. Credit: J. Xing, J. Blawat, S. Speer, A. I. Us Saleheen, J. Singleton, R. Jin, “Manipulation of the Magnetoresistance by Strain in Topological TaSe3”, Adv. Quant. Tech. 5, 2200094 (2022)Topological effects are predicted to have many potential uses in future electronic devices. Therefore, finding ways to control these effects is desirable. As predicted by first-principles calculations, the one-dimensional (1D) transition-metal trichalcogenide TaSe3 is a strongly topological semimetal. It has a unique atomic arrangement of two inequivalent chains; the shorter distance between the Se atoms in the type-I chains (red in figures) creates strong covalent p-p bonding between the two Se atoms, whereas this bond is broken in the type-II chains (blue in figures) so that bonds form with the Ta atoms from the neighboring type-I chains. The chains are along the b-axis crystallographic direction. Calculations suggest that nontrivial topological phases can be induced by the distorted type-II chain under ambient conditions and/or strain. In collaboration with John Singleton at the Pulsed-Field Facility, National High Magnetic Field Laboratory, research led by Dr. Rongying Jin of the University of South Carolina (USC) investigated the effect of strain on TaSe3 by measuring its magnetoresistance (MR) in fields of up to 60 T. Both ribbon-shaped (under ambient conditions) and ring-shaped (i.e., deliberately strained) samples were studied. 

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A Quantum Leap in Next-Gen Optical Atomic Clocks

QuantX Labs, an Australian deep technology company, has achieved a groundbreaking advancement with its cryogenic sapphire oscillator, the Cryoclock. Operating at microwave frequencies, it offers unparalleled signal purity and stability, attracting interest from defense and commercial markets while also spearheading the development of advanced quantum technology for space applications.QuantX Labs, an Australian deep technology company, has achieved a groundbreaking advancement with its cryogenic sapphire oscillator, the Cryoclock. Operating at microwave frequencies, it offers unparalleled signal purity and stability, attracting interest from defense and commercial markets while also spearheading the development of advanced quantum technology for space applications. 

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Adult Corals Have Been Safely Frozen and Revived for the First Time

Image: Porites compressa, a finger coral, gets its name for its blunt branches. Mature chunks of it collected off the coast of Hawaii have successfully been frozen and revived, offering hope that the world’s corals could be preserved as the oceans warm and acidify. Credit: Claire Lager, SmithsonianLike something out of science fiction, small colonies of mature corals have been safely frozen and revived for the first time, though more work will be needed to ensure their long-term survival, researchers report reported in Nature Communications. Freezing chunks of living corals for safekeeping — or cryopreserving them — could save them from extinction as the oceans heat up and acidify from human-caused climate change.

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Cryogenic Prober Determines Quality of Qubit Devices

Image: Fraunhofer IAF announces Germany’s first cryogenic on-wafer statistical measurement system for qubit devices. Credit: Fraunhofer IAFGermany's first cryogenic measuring setup for the statistical quality measurement of qubit devices on 200- and 300-mm wafers has commenced operation at Fraunhofer IAF. With the newly established cryogenic on-wafer prober, researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Solid State Physics IAF aim to gain a deeper understanding of the functioning of quantum devices based on semiconductor quantum dots, quantum wells, and superconductors.

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