Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Physicists Develop “Time Machine” for Materials Science

14.08.2019

Physics experiments are often time-consuming and expensive. Sometimes scientists do not realize until the very end that they have been using the wrong calibration for measurements the whole time. What if there were a way to go back in time to the start of the experiment and re-examine the data?

Researchers at Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg (MLU), Freie Universität Berlin, and the Technical University of Munich (TUM) hope to create a machine that would make that possible. They plan to develop their "time machine" for the large-scale research equipment at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin für Materialien und Energie (HZB), which would mean a helpful improvement for the facility.


The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research has granted the project around two million euros, with MLU contributing 1.1 million euros.

"BESSY II" is unique among scientific equipment in Germany. Located at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin, it produces X-rays whose energy and polarization properties can be precisely adjusted. At the core of "BESSY II" is a particle accelerator that can speed up electrons almost to the speed of light. The electrons circle around a magnetic storage ring, producing X-ray flashes in the process.

"You can imagine the Bessy storage ring as a camera with an incredibly fast flash. The X-rays are produced in pulses, which makes it possible to conduct experiments with a very high time resolution," says physicist Prof. Dr. Georg Woltersdorf from MLU. He heads the project together with Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Kuch from Freie Universität and Prof. Dr. Christian Back from TUM. The equipment’s special features have put it in high demand among materials researchers all over the world.

Over 2000 scientists conduct experiments with "BESSY II" annually, and there is a long waiting list. Another challenge to working with the equipment is that researchers must define in advance the precise parameters they want to measure and when. According to Woltersdorf, a small mistake in the experimental design could render void an entire sequence of measurements.

The current project focuses on this issue: High-speed data acquisition electronics should make it possible to record and analyze the signal from every X-ray flash that occurs during an experiment. Data are produced at a rate of several terabytes per hour. Woltersdorf says that the new construction will improve performance and productivity.

Thanks to the electronics, the data measurements can be immediately logged at the correct time. The raw data it stores allows scientists to jump to any point in time after the experiment is over and apply a different time grid, Woltersdorf explains. To make even better use of the electronics system, researchers are also experimenting with laser equipment used to stimulate samples through pulses. The process makes it possible to study the dynamics of matter on a picosecond time scale. A picosecond is equal to one trillionth of a second.

It is not the first time this team of researchers has come together to work at "BESSY II." In recent years, the three partners joined forces at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin to set up the "VEKMAG" experiment at the synchrotron radiation source. The VEKMAG testing station enables unique measurements to be taken with high magnetic fields and low temperatures.

The only experimental research site of its kind worldwide, it is now expanding to include a laser for pulsing samples and equipment for high-performance data acquisition. Scientists will be able to use the equipment to study new magnetic materials that could be useful for data storage.

Tom Leonhardt | idw - Informationsdienst Wissenschaft
Further information:
http://www.uni-halle.de

More articles from Physics and Astronomy:

nachricht Weizmann physicists image electrons flowing like water
11.12.2019 | Weizmann Institute of Science

nachricht Revealing the physics of the Sun with Parker Solar Probe
11.12.2019 | NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center

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: Highly charged ion paves the way towards new physics

In a joint experimental and theoretical work performed at the Heidelberg Max Planck Institute for Nuclear Physics, an international team of physicists detected for the first time an orbital crossing in the highly charged ion Pr⁹⁺. Optical spectra were recorded employing an electron beam ion trap and analysed with the aid of atomic structure calculations. A proposed nHz-wide transition has been identified and its energy was determined with high precision. Theory predicts a very high sensitivity to new physics and extremely low susceptibility to external perturbations for this “clock line” making it a unique candidate for proposed precision studies.

Laser spectroscopy of neutral atoms and singly charged ions has reached astonishing precision by merit of a chain of technological advances during the past...

Im Focus: Ultrafast stimulated emission microscopy of single nanocrystals in Science

The ability to investigate the dynamics of single particle at the nano-scale and femtosecond level remained an unfathomed dream for years. It was not until the dawn of the 21st century that nanotechnology and femtoscience gradually merged together and the first ultrafast microscopy of individual quantum dots (QDs) and molecules was accomplished.

Ultrafast microscopy studies entirely rely on detecting nanoparticles or single molecules with luminescence techniques, which require efficient emitters to...

Im Focus: How to induce magnetism in graphene

Graphene, a two-dimensional structure made of carbon, is a material with excellent mechanical, electronic and optical properties. However, it did not seem suitable for magnetic applications. Together with international partners, Empa researchers have now succeeded in synthesizing a unique nanographene predicted in the 1970s, which conclusively demonstrates that carbon in very specific forms has magnetic properties that could permit future spintronic applications. The results have just been published in the renowned journal Nature Nanotechnology.

Depending on the shape and orientation of their edges, graphene nanostructures (also known as nanographenes) can have very different properties – for example,...

Im Focus: Electronic map reveals 'rules of the road' in superconductor

Band structure map exposes iron selenide's enigmatic electronic signature

Using a clever technique that causes unruly crystals of iron selenide to snap into alignment, Rice University physicists have drawn a detailed map that reveals...

Im Focus: Developing a digital twin

University of Texas and MIT researchers create virtual UAVs that can predict vehicle health, enable autonomous decision-making

In the not too distant future, we can expect to see our skies filled with unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) delivering packages, maybe even people, from location...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

The Future of Work

03.12.2019 | Event News

First International Conference on Agrophotovoltaics in August 2020

15.11.2019 | Event News

Laser Symposium on Electromobility in Aachen: trends for the mobility revolution

15.11.2019 | Event News

 
Latest News

Self-driving microrobots

11.12.2019 | Materials Sciences

Innovation boost for “learning factory”: European research project “SemI40” generates path-breaking findings

11.12.2019 | Information Technology

Molecular milk mayonnaise: How mouthfeel and microscopic properties are related in mayonnaise

11.12.2019 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>