A view inside JLabs Free-Electron Laser vault, showing the upgraded linear accelerator on the right and the infrared wiggler magnet on the left.
Researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility have produced first light from their 10 kilowatt Free-Electron Laser (FEL). This device has been upgraded from the "one kilowatt Infrared Demonstration" FEL, which broke power records by delivering 2,100 watts of infrared light during 2001. Only one and one-half years after the one kilowatt FEL was dismantled, the newly improved FEL, designed to produce 10 kilowatts of infrared and one kilowatt of ultraviolet light, is undergoing commissioning toward the goal of producing 10 kilowatts by summer’s end.
According to Rear Admiral Jay Cohen, Chief of Naval Research, "This project builds on the successful seven-year partnership forged between the Office of Science’s Jefferson Lab and the Office of Naval Research. The original kilowatt FEL exceeded the Navy’s goals and expectations and we expect no less from the upgraded FEL."
The Free-Electron Laser upgrade project is funded by the Department of Defense’s Office of Naval Research (ONR), Air Force Research Laboratory and the Joint Technology Office. Jefferson Lab is managed for the Department of Energy’s Office of Science by a consortium of universities in the southeast called the Southeastern Universities Research Association.
Linda Ware | TJNAF
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Controlling electronic current is essential to modern electronics, as data and signals are transferred by streams of electrons which are controlled at high speed. Demands on transmission speeds are also increasing as technology develops. Scientists from the Chair of Laser Physics and the Chair of Applied Physics at Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg (FAU) have succeeded in switching on a current with a desired direction in graphene using a single laser pulse within a femtosecond ¬¬ – a femtosecond corresponds to the millionth part of a billionth of a second. This is more than a thousand times faster compared to the most efficient transistors today.
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At the productronica trade fair in Munich this November, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT will be presenting Laser-Based Tape-Automated Bonding, LaserTAB for short. The experts from Aachen will be demonstrating how new battery cells and power electronics can be micro-welded more efficiently and precisely than ever before thanks to new optics and robot support.
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Plants and algae use the enzyme Rubisco to fix carbon dioxide, removing it from the atmosphere and converting it into biomass. Algae have figured out a way to increase the efficiency of carbon fixation. They gather most of their Rubisco into a ball-shaped microcompartment called the pyrenoid, which they flood with a high local concentration of carbon dioxide. A team of scientists at Princeton University, the Carnegie Institution for Science, Stanford University and the Max Plank Institute of Biochemistry have unravelled the mysteries of how the pyrenoid is assembled. These insights can help to engineer crops that remove more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere while producing more food.
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Our brains house extremely complex neuronal circuits, whose detailed structures are still largely unknown. This is especially true for the so-called cerebral cortex of mammals, where among other things vision, thoughts or spatial orientation are being computed. Here the rules by which nerve cells are connected to each other are only partly understood. A team of scientists around Moritz Helmstaedter at the Frankfiurt Max Planck Institute for Brain Research and Helene Schmidt (Humboldt University in Berlin) have now discovered a surprisingly precise nerve cell connectivity pattern in the part of the cerebral cortex that is responsible for orienting the individual animal or human in space.
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