Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

A route to the brightest possible neutron source?

23.02.2007
In a paper in Science published this week, a team of leading UK scientists at Oxfordshire’s CCLRC Rutherford Appleton Laboratory and Edinburgh University have proposed a way to harness developments in fusion-power research which could one day provide the world’s most powerful source of neutrons for materials science research. The new neutron source would be at least a 1000 times more powerful than the best neutron sources currently available worldwide.

Neutrons are a universal tool for scientists used to study everything from new medicines to the welds in the wings of aircraft, to the wonderful weirdness at the heart of quantum mechanics. An increase in power of this magnitude would transform the field, enabling scientists to do experiments way beyond anything imaginable today.

The Oxfordshire based laboratory is already home to the world-leading ISIS neutron source and Vulcan, the world’s most powerful laser.“Conventional neutron sources are based on nuclear reactors, or like at ISIS, particle accelerators, and have almost reached their technical limits”, said Professor Mike Dunne. “But, fusion energy research has unexpectedly thrown-up a radical new alternative to use powerful lasers to compress and ignite a small pellet of tritium and deuterium, two forms of hydrogen”.

Recently advances mean that fusion by this method could take 10 times less laser energy than previously thought, making it a very attractive prospect for power generation. “Most of the mega-Joules of energy released from each pellet are in the form of neutrons, making a blindingly bright neutron source”, said lead author, Dr Andrew Taylor.

There will be formidable technical challenges in making use of these neutrons for experiments. But the benefits to research would be extraordinary and provide a tool of enormous power for scientists in the UK and around the world. The simple fact that a neutron source of this power is conceivable is likely to impact on the long term prospects and planning for neutron scattering science.

Rebekka Stredwick | alfa
Further information:
http://www.cclrc.ac.uk

More articles from Physics and Astronomy:

nachricht Quantum optical sensor for the first time tested in space – with a laser system from Berlin
23.01.2017 | Ferdinand-Braun-Institut Leibniz-Institut für Höchstfrequenztechnik

nachricht SF State astronomer searches for signs of life on Wolf 1061 exoplanet
20.01.2017 | San Francisco State University

All articles from Physics and Astronomy >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Quantum optical sensor for the first time tested in space – with a laser system from Berlin

For the first time ever, a cloud of ultra-cold atoms has been successfully created in space on board of a sounding rocket. The MAIUS mission demonstrates that quantum optical sensors can be operated even in harsh environments like space – a prerequi-site for finding answers to the most challenging questions of fundamental physics and an important innovation driver for everyday applications.

According to Albert Einstein's Equivalence Principle, all bodies are accelerated at the same rate by the Earth's gravity, regardless of their properties. This...

Im Focus: Traffic jam in empty space

New success for Konstanz physicists in studying the quantum vacuum

An important step towards a completely new experimental access to quantum physics has been made at University of Konstanz. The team of scientists headed by...

Im Focus: How gut bacteria can make us ill

HZI researchers decipher infection mechanisms of Yersinia and immune responses of the host

Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...

Im Focus: Interfacial Superconductivity: Magnetic and superconducting order revealed simultaneously

Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.

While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...

Im Focus: Studying fundamental particles in materials

Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales

Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Sustainable Water use in Agriculture in Eastern Europe and Central Asia

19.01.2017 | Event News

12V, 48V, high-voltage – trends in E/E automotive architecture

10.01.2017 | Event News

2nd Conference on Non-Textual Information on 10 and 11 May 2017 in Hannover

09.01.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

New technology for mass-production of complex molded composite components

23.01.2017 | Process Engineering

Quantum optical sensor for the first time tested in space – with a laser system from Berlin

23.01.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

The interactome of infected neural cells reveals new therapeutic targets for Zika

23.01.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>