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
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The Institute of Semiconductor Technology and the Institute of Physical and Theoretical Chemistry, both members of the Laboratory for Emerging Nanometrology (LENA), at Technische Universität Braunschweig are partners in a new European research project entitled ChipScope, which aims to develop a completely new and extremely small optical microscope capable of observing the interior of living cells in real time. A consortium of 7 partners from 5 countries will tackle this issue with very ambitious objectives during a four-year research program.
To demonstrate the usefulness of this new scientific tool, at the end of the project the developed chip-sized microscope will be used to observe in real-time...
Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.
The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.
Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...
Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.
Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...
In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...
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