Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) scientists have developed the world’s first x-ray computed tomography (CT) scanner capable of examining entire core samples at remote drilling sites. The portable device, which employs the same high-resolution imaging technology used to diagnose diseases, could help researchers determine how to best extract the vast quantities of natural gas hidden under the world’s oceans and permafrost.
Berkeley Lab’s portable scanner has sailed the high seas and endured arctic cold, imaging more than 2000 feet of core sample along the way
A CT scan of a permafrost core reveals a mixture of sandstone and quartz fluvial grains cemented in an ice-sand matrix
The scanner images the distribution of gas hydrates in core samples pulled from deeply buried sediment. These hydrates are a latticework of water and methane that form an ice-like solid under high pressures and temperatures that hover just above freezing, conditions found in deep oceans and under Arctic permafrost. Scientists estimate the methane trapped in this crystalline mix may yield far more energy than the planet’s remaining reserves of fossil fuel.
But they must first determine how to find and remove it. As part of this investigational legwork, researchers drill into likely gas hydrate reserves and extract core samples. Select samples are then shipped to laboratories for analysis, and the resulting data is used to develop computer models that predict how gas hydrates behave in sediments, which may help researchers determine how to most efficiently locate and extract methane.
Dan Krotz | EurekAlert!
Prototype device for measuring graphene-based electromagnetic radiation created
28.10.2016 | Lomonosov Moscow State University
Steering a fusion plasma toward stability
28.10.2016 | American Physical Society
Physicists from the University of Würzburg have designed a light source that emits photon pairs. Two-photon sources are particularly well suited for tap-proof data encryption. The experiment's key ingredients: a semiconductor crystal and some sticky tape.
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Ultrafast lasers have introduced new possibilities in engraving ultrafine structures, and scientists are now also investigating how to use them to etch microstructures into thin glass. There are possible applications in analytics (lab on a chip) and especially in electronics and the consumer sector, where great interest has been shown.
This new method was born of a surprising phenomenon: irradiating glass in a particular way with an ultrafast laser has the effect of making the glass up to a...
Terahertz excitation of selected crystal vibrations leads to an effective magnetic field that drives coherent spin motion
Controlling functional properties by light is one of the grand goals in modern condensed matter physics and materials science. A new study now demonstrates how...
Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.
"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...
In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.
A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...
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