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Civil-Engineering Work for the Major Upgrade of the LHC Completed

Aerial view of CERNOn January 20, CERN celebrated the completion of the civil-engineering work for the High-Luminosity Large Hadron Collider (HL-LHC), the major upgrade of its flagship collider, the LHC. Approved in June 2016 and due to start operating in 2029, the HL-LHC will considerably improve the performance of the LHC by increasing the number of particle collisions and thus boosting the potential for discoveries. The completion of the civil-engineering work marks the start of the transition towards the HL-LHC era; the new components for the collider will be installed in the caverns and galleries that are now ready. 

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Why the Hubble Telescope is Still in the Game — Even as JWST Wows

Astronauts replace a guidance sensor on the Hubble Space Telescope in 1999. Credit: NASA/Science Photo LibraryOnce the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) began operations last year, the comparisons began. Astronomers and others online posted side-by-side images of the same celestial objects captured by JWST and the Hubble Space Telescope, pointing out how much crisper and more detailed those from JWST can be. But don’t count Hubble out yet. The telescope, from NASA and the European Space Agency, is still making big discoveries, after going strong for nearly 33 years.

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Unraveling the Neutrino’s Mysteries at the Deep Underground Neutrino Experiment

Image: A look inside the ProtoDune Cyrostat Final structure inside a mine in South Dakota. Credit: CERN.Neutrinos mind their own business. Each second, billions of these fundamental particles will pass through stars, planets, buildings, and human bodies and will rarely ever be stopped by them, like a subatomic subway crowd. It’s why they’re often described as “ghostly” or “elusive.” "If scientists could create and capture the rare instances when these tiny and weakly interactive particles run into something, they could step into the gray area that all physicists ultimately hope to explore," said theoretical physicist Patrick Huber. "That of facts that exist outside the Standard Model of Particle Physics, beyond its explanation. Neutrinos live there, and so does dark matter."

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Berkeley Lab Scientists Develop a Cool New Method of Refrigeration

Credit: Jenny Nuss/Berkeley LabAdding salt to a road before a winter storm changes when ice will form. Researchers at the Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) have applied this basic concept to develop a new method of heating and cooling. The technique, which they have named “ionocaloric cooling,” is described in a paper published December 23 in Science.

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With Landmark Approval, Spotlight on Cryogenic Logistics Intensifies

Hum T-Cells-NIHThe cell and gene therapy (CGT) industry achieved a significant milestone at the end of 2022: the first approval of an allogeneic T-cell therapy in the world. Following a positive recommendation from Europe’s Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use (CHMP), the European Commission on Monday 19th December formally approved Atara Biotherapeutics’ Ebvallo (tabelecleucel) for the treatment of Epstein-Barr virus-positive, post-transplant lymphoproliferative disease in patients who have undergone at least one prior therapy. 

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New Instrument Measures Supercurrent Flow with Quantum Benefits

Jigang Wang with his Cryogenic Magneto-Terahertz Scanning Near-field Optical Microscope. (That’s cm-SNOM for short.) The instrument works at extreme scales of space, time and energy. Its performance is a step toward optimizing the superconducting quantum bits that will be at the heart of quantum computing. Larger photo. Photos by Christopher Gannon/Iowa State University.Jigang Wang offered a quick walk-around of a new sort of microscope that can help researchers understand, and ultimately develop, the inner workings of quantum computing. Wang, an Iowa State University professor of physics and astronomy who’s also affiliated with the U.S. Department of Energy’s Ames National Laboratory, described how the instrument works in extreme scales of space, time and energy – billionths of a meter, quadrillionths of a second and trillions of electromagnetic waves per second.

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Cryomech Celebrates 60 Years of Cryo-Innovations

Image: Cryomech celebrates 60 years of cryo-innovation at its home office in Syracuse, New York. Credit: Cryomech Inc.Cryomech was founded in 1963 by William E. “Bill” Gifford. Gifford was a professor at Syracuse University from 1961 to 1978 and (in collaboration with Dr. Howard O. McMahon) invented the Gifford-McMahon (GM) cycle cryo­cooler in 1957. This invention made research at very low temperatures much more accessible to the scientific community. The new GM cryocooler was affordable, easy to work with and far more re­liable than the “homegrown” equipment research institutions could build together at that time. In 1963 when Gifford began receiving requests from fellow scientists for GM cryocoolers for their labs, he founded Cryomech, Inc. – the era of cryocooler innovation began.

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The “New” Space Mission--Cryogenic Bearings

Figure 1. Example of the catastrophic result of ductile-to-brittle transition in steel. Credit: U.S. GPOSince the late 1990s, advancements in communication technology and the advent of GPS expanded the desire for companies and governments to invest in satellite technologies that operate in higher orbit. Today, companies like SpaceX, Blue Origin, Virgin Orbit, Relativity Space and ULA are developing cost-effective, reusable launch systems. 

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Why the LNG Retrofit Revolution Has Cryospain at Work Across Land and Sea

Asian governments are stepping up LNG bunkering operations for the maritime industry. Credit: Teresa Requena, courtesy of CryospainWhat is it about liquefied natural gas (LNG) for transport that has Cryospain’s teams hard at work across continents and oceans, on existing and brand-new vehicles and all over the world? Within the context of the global challenge of slashing emissions, LNG as fuel is taking a more and more central role: on land, a general shift towards rail for the ever-expanding heavy transport industry is coupled with a mission to make the trains themselves more efficient and environmentally friendly. The European Commission’s 2016 energy security package places gas front and center in the transition to a low-carbon economy. Of course, this means new-build natural gas engines, but it also must consider existing vehicles.

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SHI Cryogenics Group: Promoting Emission-Reducing Initiatives for a More Sustainable Society

The Hasso-no-Mori (Forest of Ideas) within the larger Musashino Forest at Tokyo’s Tanashi Works has been preserved and opened to the public. SHI's upgrades and renovations in and around manufacturing facilities have played a role in the Group’s efforts to be more environmentally friendly. Credit: Sumitomo Heavy Industries, Ltd.Whether designing shield coolers for life-saving MRIs, cryopumps for the latest smart device chips, or cryocoolers essential for hydrogen transportation, the SHI Cryogenics Group has been at the forefront of pioneering cryogenic technology for over 60 years. As an integral part of the Industrial Machinery Division of Sumitomo Heavy Industries, Ltd. (SHI), the SHI Cryogenics Group’s driving mission is to contribute to the development of science, technology, and healthy human life through its innovative products and services, including cryocoolers, cryopumps and helium compressors. Nowhere is this clearer than in the Group’s commitment towards carbon neutrality. 

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What’s the Matter? STAR Cryoelectronics Builds Superconducting Quantum Sensors for X-ray Analysis and Dark Matter Searches

Figure: The Beryllium-7 Electron Capture in Superconducting Tunnel Junctions (“BeEST”) experiment at LLNL uses quantum sensor arrays from STAR Cryoelectronics (left) to search for hypothetical sterile neutrino dark matter. The detection signature would be a small, shifted spectrum (red) added to the large background spectrum, due to known neutrinos (black). See Phys. Rev. Lett. 126, 021803 (2021) for details. Credit: STAR CryoelectronicsSTAR Cryoelectronics, founded in 1999, is a leading worldwide supplier of advanced ultrasensitive quantum sensors and X-ray detectors based on superconductors and related control and readout electronics. The company also offers custom thin-film foundry services for superconductor electronics applications, cryogen-free, adiabatic demagnetization refrigerator (ADR) cryostats, and high-resolution spectrometers based on superconducting detectors for X-ray microanalysis. The company is based in Santa Fe, N.M. 

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KEYCOM Celebrates 30 Years of Worldwide Industry Standards

Low noise amplifier for cryogenic applications. Credit: KEYCOMThe computing elements of a quantum computer can only be operated properly when they are free of electronic noise. In order to achieve this state, it is necessary to realize an ultralow temperature environment in the millikelvins at a minimum. However, it is not enough to simply provide a dilution refrigerator. It is essential to install coaxial cables that can be used under cryogenic conditions to facilitate the input and output of microwaves to and from the cryocooler. KEYCOM offers a variety of coaxial cables with low thermal conductivity (made of niobium titanium, copper nickel, beryllium copper or stainless steel) for use covering cryogenic and room temperatures. 

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Novel Superconducting Magnet Thrusters to be Tested Out on Space Station

A novel thruster based on a superconducting magnet technology will be tested on the International Space Station. (Image credit: Victoria University of Wellington)A New Zealand research institute and U.S. commercial firm Nanoracks are combining to send a superconducting magnet technology demonstrator to the International Space Station to test a novel type of space propulsion. The Paihau—Robinson Research Institute intends to test a type of electric space thruster known as applied-field magneto plasma dynamic (AF-MPD) thrusters, which uses high-temperature superconducting (HTS) magnet technology developed by the institute. 

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Blood Banks: Cryogenic Blast Freezing to -90°C in Minutes Increases Throughput

Reflect Scientific B-90 blast freezer 1.jpgBlood banks utilize freezers to rapidly freeze and store a range of thermally sensitive products such as blood plasma and cryoprecipitate. However, conventional compressor-based freezers can take hours to reach the ultra-low target temperature, slowing processing to a level that may not be sufficient for many operations. The challenge is that mid- to large-volume blood banks may need to process and freeze from 500 to 2,000 units a day. This can create a “production bottleneck” when the donor blood is brought in at the end of the day. 

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Cryogenics Specialist Orders First Satellite for Detecting Methane Leaks

A 16U NanoAvionics satellite undergoing tests. Credit: NanoAvionicsAbsolut Group, a French cryogenic technology provider, said Dec. 7 it has ordered a demo nanosatellite for a constellation that would use sensors at very low temperatures to detect greenhouse gas leaks. The company’s newly created Absolut Sensing subsidiary ordered the chassis for a 16U satellite it calls Gen1 from Lithuania’s NanoAvionics for a launch in early 2024. The size of 16 cubesats, Gen1 would test a cryogenic sensor Absolut is developing for detecting smaller methane leaks, typically from oil and gas companies, to help in the fight against climate change.

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Got Propane?

Image Credit: Propane Education & Research CouncilAs the maritime industry mulls the ‘fuel of the future,’ a strong and growing case can be made for propane based on availability, cost and ease of use compared to competitive fuels. Darren Monzingo, president of FARO Industrial and VP of Engineering for GEM Marine, is a marine engineer and naval architect, and through his work, he’s gained exposure to propane as an industrial fuel. While the maritime industry is prioritizing using CNG/cryogenic fuels, through his research Monzingo noticed that propane is an easy-to-use, readily available energy source of fuel that accomplishes ship fleet needs for productivity, energy expenditure, and emissions reduction. Importantly, he notes that if a vessel is ‘LNG-Ready’, it is ‘Propane-Ready’.

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Trenta's Final Fusion Test Campaign

TrentaIn 2023, Helion Energy, Inc., an American fusion research company, will end operations on Trenta, its 6th fusion prototype. The team is now undergoing Trenta’s last-ever fusion test campaign. For two years, its scientists and engineers have carried out rigorous research to test the capabilities of this fusion machine. The Helion team’s results suggest that Trenta is currently the best performing privately funded fusion machine in the world. After these last weeks of plasma operations under vacuum, Helion will retire Trenta and move all focus to Polaris, its 7th fusion prototype, expected to demonstrate net electricity in 2024. 

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Eta Space Commissions Liquid Hydrogen Test Facility

Liquid Hydrogen testEta Space is excited to announce the commissioning of a Liquid Hydrogen (LH2) Test Facility (LHTF) now available at their location in Rockledge, Florida. Customers can test their hardware and materials using LH2 with the benefit of small batch production. Previously only available in large quantities at high costs, Eta Space has developed the LHTF to address the need for more affordable and responsive LH2 testing. The facility is intended to support the emerging LH2 aerospace, transportation, and energy industries.

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Landmark Study Reveals How a Nano-Chamber in the Cell Directs Protein Folding

A landmark study by researchers at the Department of Energy’s SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory and Stanford University reveals how a tiny cellular machine called TRiC directs the folding of tubulin, a human protein that is the building block of microtubules that serve as the cell’s scaffolding and transport system.A landmark study by researchers at the Department of Energy’s SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory and Stanford University reveals how a tiny cellular machine called TRiC directs the folding of tubulin, a human protein that is the building block of microtubules that serve as the cell’s scaffolding and transport system.

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Special Permit Sought for Cryogenic Ethane Transport Via Rail

DOT-113C120W9 LNG tank car. Credit: Chart Industries Gas Innovations LNG Refrigerants Inc. is seeking authorization to transport cryogenic ethane via rail in DOT-113C120W9 and DOT-113C120W tank cars, according to the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA). PHMSA, in consultation with the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA), is handling review of the special permit application and requesting comments on it, since it “raises issues similar to the transportation of liquefied natural gas (LNG) by rail, a matter for which multiple rulemakings are currently pending at the agency.”

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