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SLAC’s Superconducting X-ray Laser Reaches Operating Temperature Colder Than Outer Space

SLAC laserNestled 30 feet underground in Menlo Park, California, a half-mile-long stretch of tunnel is now colder than most of the universe. It houses a new superconducting particle accelerator, part of an upgrade project to the Linac Coherent Light Source (LCLS) X-ray free-electron laser at the Department of Energy’s SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory. The facility, LCLS-II, will soon sharpen our view of how nature works on ultrasmall, ultrafast scales, impacting everything from quantum devices to clean energy.  

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Graphene Quantum Magic Delivers a New Class of Superconducting Material

Nematic-Order-in-Twisted-Bilayer-Graphene.jpgSuperconductors are materials that conduct electrical current with almost no electrical resistance at all. This property makes them particularly appealing for a variety of applications, including loss-less power cables, electric motors and generators, and powerful electromagnets that can be utilized for MRI imaging and magnetic levitating trains. Nagoya University researchers have now detailed the superconducting properties of a new class of superconducting material, magic-angle twisted bilayer graphene.

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Emission-Free Flying on the Horizon

https://cryo.memberclicks.net/assets/news/0222-cw-news-Boeing-composite-linerless-cryogenic-fuel-tank1.jpgBoeing’s groundbreaking cryogenic fuel tank and Airbus’s hydrogen-powered jet engine bring promise to the future of aviation. A new type of cryogenic tank, designed and manufactured by Boeing, completed a critical series of tests at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center at the end of 2021. The successful test campaign advances the large, fully composite, linerless tank for safe and ready use in aerospace vehicles. The reusable tank shell was originally constructed as flight hardware for the Experimental Spaceplane Program of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA).

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Physicists Observe “Quantum Boomerang” for First Time

Physicists Observe “Quantum Boomerang” for First TimePhysicists at UC Santa Barbara (UCSB) have become the first to experimentally observe a quirky behavior in the quantum world: a “quantum boomerang” effect that occurs when particles in a disordered system are kicked out of their locations. Instead of landing elsewhere, as one might expect, they turn around and come back to where they started and stop there.

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World’s Largest Liquid Hydrogen Tank Nears Completion

New NASA LH2 storage tank during painting. Credit: CB&IConstruction of the world’s largest liquid hydrogen (LH2) storage tank is almost complete at launch pad 39B at NASA Kennedy Space Center (KSC) in Florida. With a usable capacity of 4,732 m3 (1.25 Mgal), this new vessel is roughly 50% larger than its sister tank, which is located 170 m (550 ft) to the southeast. Once the new sphere is fully commissioned, these two tanks will provide a combined LH2 storage capacity of 7,950 m3 (2.1 Mgal) to fuel the new Space Launch System rocket supporting future Artemis exploration missions to the moon and Mars.

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Could Zero-Boiloff Storage Be Easier Than We Think?

Figure 1. Credit: Jacob LeachmanI’m throwing in the towel on academia and starting my own bank. Let’s call it the First Hydrogen Bank. You invest your money, and I’ll bank it as pure hydrogen energy for later use. It’s not only the coolest bank around, but it will be the greenest, fastest (10×), largest (10×), and have the lowest exchange rate among energy banks. Standard terms and fees apply:

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2022 Women in Cryogenics

Each year, CSA celebrates women in the fields of cryogenics, superconductivity, and quantum in our annual Women in Cryogenics feature. This year, we meet eight women across various sub-industries of cryogenics who are not only making great accomplishments and impacts in their fields of work, but also who provide powerful advice for how to attract more women to the world of cryogenics. 

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Large Hadron Collider Comes Back to Life After Three-year Hiatus

Image: The UK's contributions to the upgrade are worth more than £25m. Credit: CERNThe world's most powerful particle accelerator—the Large Hadron Collider (LHC)—has sprung back to life after a three-year shutdown. After planned maintenance and upgrades, the Large Hadron Collider has been turned back on and will shortly start another run of cutting-edge experiments. The LHC, in Switzerland, was switched off in December 2018 to let scientists and engineers from around the world make it even more powerful. The accelerator at the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) accelerates subatomic particles to almost the speed of light, before smashing them into each other.

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USC’s New Cryogenic Electron Microscopy Facility Officially Opens for Business

Image: The new cryogenic electron microscopy facility at USC is housed in the Core Center of Excellence in Nano Imaging. Credit: Core Center of Excellence in Nano Imaging.USC’s new cryogenic electron microscopy (cryo-EM) facility, featuring state-of-the-art instrumentation capable of imaging molecules, garnered the spotlight during a recent symposium celebrating the facility’s official grand opening. Scientists and officials from USC, biotechnology giant Amgen, Thermo Fisher Scientific, and noted academic research institutions gathered for the event, held in March at the USC Michelson Center for Convergent Bioscience, where the cryo-EM facility is housed at the Core Center of Excellence in Nano Imaging.

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Ultra-lightweight Cryogenic Tank Aids Aircraft Industry Endeavors

Image credit: Tarik NachatCalifornia-based firm HyPoint is developing an innovative cryogenic tank design that could massively boost the range of hydrogen-powered aircraft, a press statement reveals. HyPoint's technology is extremely lightweight compared with traditional fuel cells and it could allow airliners to fly up to four times farther than traditional passenger aircraft. A 50-56 passenger De Havilland Canada Dash-8 Q300, for example, can fly approximately 1,558 km (968 miles) on jet fuel, according to HyPoint. If it were retrofitted with a fuel cell powertrain and a GTL composite tank, it would be able to fly as far as 4,488 km (2,789 miles).

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Webb Telescope’s Coldest Instrument Reaches Operating Temperature

In this illustration, the multilayered sunshield on NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope stretches out beneath the observatory’s honeycomb mirror. The sunshield is the first step in cooling down Webb’s infrared instruments, but the Mid-Infrared Instrument (MIRI) requires additional help to reach its operating temperature.   Credit: NASA GSFC/CIL/Adriana Manrique GutierrezNASA’s James Webb Space Telescope will see the first galaxies to form after the big bang, but to do that its instruments first need to get cold – really cold. On April 7, Webb’s Mid-Infrared Instrument (MIRI) – a joint development by NASA and ESA (European Space Agency) – reached its final operating temperature below 7 kelvins (minus 447 °F, or minus 266 °C).

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Elusive superconducting-transition signature seen for the first time

Capturing the fourth signature in cuprates, which become superconducting at relatively high temperatures. (Courtesy: Greg Stewart, SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory)Researchers in the US report that they have observed the so-called “fourth signature” of superconducting phase transitions in materials known as cuprates. The result, obtained via photoemission spectroscopy of a cuprate called Bi2212, could shed fresh light on how these materials, which conduct electricity without resistance at temperatures of 77 K or higher, transition into the superconducting state.

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Multiphoton Generator on a Chip

Coiled and ready.Producing entangled photons whose properties are interdependent is key to several quantum communication technologies. Most techniques for generating these photons make them exclusively in pairs, and those that can produce more than two photons are difficult to implement. But researchers have now made a chip-sized device that can generate bunches of up to six microwave photons at once [1]. The device may be useful for quantum technologies such as extremely secure quantum communication.

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AIP Awarded $12.5 Million Grant to Roll Back Underrepresentation of Undergraduate African Americans in Physics, Astronomy

Team Up TogetherTEAM-UP Together, a new initiative by the American Institute of Physics (AIP) and key physics and astronomy societies, boldly takes the first steps toward achieving a goal of doubling the number of African Americans graduating from college with undergraduate degrees in physics and astronomy by 2030. The AIP Foundation has secured a $12.5 million, five-year game-changing grant from the Simons Foundation and Simons Foundation International in support of this AIP federation action. 

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In a Sea of Magic Angles, 'Twistons' Keep Electrons Flowing Through Three Layers of Graphene

The discovery of superconductivity in two ever-so-slightly twisted layers of graphene made waves a few years ago in the quantum materials community. With just two atom-thin sheets of carbon, researchers had discovered a simple device to study the resistance-free flow of electricity, among other phenomena related to the movement of electrons through a material.

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Magnesium Diboride: A New Superconductor?

Study: The effect of strain and pressure on the electron-phonon coupling and superconductivity in MgB2—Benchmark of theoretical methodologies and outlook for nanostructure design. Image Credit: Gorodenkoff/Shutterstock.comIn an article recently published in the Journal of Applied Physics, researchers investigated the influence of strain and pressure on the superconductivity and electron-phonon coupling in magnesium diboride (MgB2)They also discussed the corresponding theoretical approaches and the future of nanostructure design.

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Engineering the Quantum States in Solid Materials Using Light

Schematics of Josephson junction device. Credit: POSTECH A POSTECH research team led by Professors Gil-Ho Lee and Gil Young Cho (Department of Physics) has developed a platform that can control the properties of solid materials with light and measure them. Recognized for developing a platform to control and measure the properties of materials in various ways with light, the findings from the study were published in the top international academic journal, Nature, on March 16, 2022.

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Insufficient Pressure Conditions in Fuel Tank Led to the Failure of GSLV Mission in 2021: ISRO

GSLV Mk-II lifts-off with Earth Observation Satellite from Sriharikota. CREDIT: ISROThe Indian rocket that carried the country's first Geo Imaging Satellite (GISAT-1) failed in its mission, owing to damage in the soft seal in a critical valve which resulted in lower pressure in the rocket's liquid hydrogen (LH2) tank, the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) said on Friday. According to ISRO’s Failure Analysis Committee (FAC), the failure happened when the Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV) rocket's cryogenic engine was to take the rocket forward. (The GSLV-F10 is a three-stage/engine rocket. The core of the first stage is fired with solid fuel and the four strap-on motors by liquid fuel. The second is the liquid fuel and the third is the cryogenic engine.)

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Building the Quantum Workforce

Illustration by Sandbox Studio, Chicago with Ana KovaFor most of us, quantum computing, next-generation quantum sensing and quantum networking still belong to the future. But many early-career scientists and students are already preparing for that future. Physicist Reina Maruyama, who studies neutrinos and dark matter at Yale University, says she has seen a flood of students and postdocs interested in quantum information science. To Maruyama, this buzz is promising news. “When there is an infusion of new people and new ideas, there's likely to be a big advance in technology,” she says. “I’m excited about that, so then I can combine this new technology with really exciting science.”

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The Shipping Industry Looks for Green Fuels

Hydra, a Norwegian ferry that carries automobiles and passengers, can run on a hydrogen-powered fuel cell and batteries.Look at all the surrounding stuff. Unless you’re in the middle of the desert or somewhere else far from civilization, nearly everything you see traveled to you by sea. “Ships bring 80–90% of most everything you want or need, or the raw materials used for making those things,” says Natasha Brown, a senior spokesperson for the London-based International Maritime Organization (IMO), a United Nations agency with 175 member states. The organization oversees shipping safety and security and is responsible for preventing water and air pollution from ships. “Mobile phones, iPads, grains for breakfast cereal, iron ore, crude oil, bananas, and avocados. All of it crosses the oceans by ship.”

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