Researchers build bench size laserpulsed neutron source

first_img World record neutron beam at Los Alamos National Laboratory © 2013 Phys.org Explore further (Phys.org)—Researchers from Institut für Kernphysik in Germany, working with colleagues from Sandia National Laboratories and Los Alamos National Laboratory, have succeeded in building a compact neutron source small enough to be used in a conventional lab. It’s based, the researchers report in their paper published in Physical Review Letters, on laser pulses directed onto a plastic target doped with deuterium atoms. Journal information: Physical Review Letters This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Physics researchers around the world have been hoping someone would develop a neutron source small enough to fit in a conventional lab for several years, as neutrons have become an important means for studying the properties of many materials. Currently, most find it necessary to compete with other researchers for time at a nuclear reactor or dedicated accelerator facility to conduct such research. This new source method offers a possible alternative.To create their source, the researchers doped a thin sheet of plastic with deuterium atoms. It was placed just 5 nm in front of second target made of beryllium. A laser was then fired at the plastic sheet, penetrating and ionizing it – the liberated electrons were subsequently pushed to the back of the target causing the ions to accelerate further. When they struck the secondary target a nuclear reaction occurred, producing neutrons.The researchers found that their source was able to produce just 25 percent of the energy of other experimental sources, but the neutrons produced were 10 times as energetic and 10 times more plentiful. They also found that a number of the neutrons were emitted from the source in a forward facing direction, which the researchers note, is likely due to the type of nuclear reaction that took place. To demonstrate the usefulness of their source, the researchers took a series of radiographs by placing objects in front of the neutron beam and recording the shadows produced in a neutron detector.The researchers suggest that with fine tuning for commercialization, their device should be able to fit on a work bench, and that only the target would need shielding to protect researchers in the area. This they note would allow for lab based neutron experiments at the course level, giving students access to science previously reserved for a select few physicists who have access to large nuclear facilities. More information: Bright Laser-Driven Neutron Source Based on the Relativistic Transparency of Solids, Phys. Rev. Lett. 110, 044802 (2013) DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.110.044802AbstractNeutrons are unique particles to probe samples in many fields of research ranging from biology to material sciences to engineering and security applications. Access to bright, pulsed sources is currently limited to large accelerator facilities and there has been a growing need for compact sources over the recent years. Short pulse laser driven neutron sources could be a compact and relatively cheap way to produce neutrons with energies in excess of 10 MeV. For more than a decade experiments have tried to obtain neutron numbers sufficient for applications. Our recent experiments demonstrated an ion acceleration mechanism based on the concept of relativistic transparency. Using this new mechanism, we produced an intense beam of high energy (up to 170 MeV) deuterons directed into a Be converter to produce a forward peaked neutron flux with a record yield, on the order of 1010  n/sr. We present results comparing the two acceleration mechanisms and the first short pulse laser generated neutron radiograph. Citation: Researchers build bench size laser-pulsed neutron source (2013, February 1) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2013-02-bench-size-laser-pulsed-neutron-source.htmllast_img read more

Breaking ice with The Iceberg Project

first_imgMusic reflects upon the emotions and feelings in the best way possible. Susmit Sen, one of India’s most celebrated and well-known guitarists and the founder of India’s most popular fusion band, Indian Ocean, has released a new single titled The Iceberg Project.The track features Susmit performing his trademark guitar work and it is a collaboration with cello player Tapan Malik, guitarist Nishant Agarwal and percussionist Varun Gupta.Poignant and melancholic at times, uplifting at others, The Iceberg Project is bound to impress the listeners. The composition is a projection of today’s darkness and how it is transformed into a positive world.  Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’The initial part of the composition questions every aspect of human existence and the latter focuses on how to change the same by diverting attention to the beauty that surrounds us. Launched in association with The Big Band Theory, The Iceberg Project is the culmination of an episodic series that highlighted the various stages of how an idea evolves through and the different elements and aspects in building an original composition.Talking about The Iceberg Project, Susmit Sen says, “It has been a great experience for me working on the composition. I think the track has been able to capture the emotions I wanted to convey. It has been great working with Tapan, Nishant and Varun as well and I would like to thank them for their contributions.” On naming the composition The Iceberg Project, Susmit says “Any creation is a manifestation of a creator’s feelings. Creations witnessed by the world are just the tip of an iceberg. The rest lie submerged – unheard, unseen…..”The Iceberg Project released on the world wide web on Sunday.last_img read more