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How X-Rays Helped to Solve Mystery of Floating Rocks

Experiments at Berkeley Lab's Advanced Light Source have helped scientists to solve a mystery of why some rocks can float for years in the ocean, traveling thousands of miles before sinking.

Special X-Ray Technique Allows Scientists to See 3-D Deformations

In a new study published last Friday in Science, researchers at Argonne used an X-ray scattering technique called Bragg coherent diffraction imaging to reconstruct in 3-D the size and shape of grain defects. These defects create imperfections in the lattice of atoms inside a grain that can give rise to interesting material properties and effects.

Neptune: Neutralizer-Free Plasma Propulsion

The most established plasma propulsion concepts are gridded-ion thrusters that accelerate and emit a larger number of positively charged particles than those that are negatively charged. To enable the spacecraft to remain charge-neutral, a "neutralizer" is used to inject electrons to exactly balance the positive ion charge in the exhaust beam. However, the neutralizer requires additional power from the spacecraft and increases the size and weight of the propulsion system. Researchers are investigating how the radio-frequency self-bias effect can be used to remove the neutralizer altogether, and they report their work in this week's Physics of Plasmas.

Report Sheds New Insights on the Spin Dynamics of a Material Candidate for Low-Power Devices

In a report published in Nano LettersArgonne researchers reveal new insights into the properties of a magnetic insulator that is a candidate for low-power device applications; their insights form early stepping-stones towards developing high-speed, low-power electronics that use electron spin rather than charge to carry information.

Researchers Find Computer Code That Volkswagen Used to Cheat Emissions Tests

An international team of researchers has uncovered the mechanism that allowed Volkswagen to circumvent U.S. and European emission tests over at least six years before the Environmental Protection Agency put the company on notice in 2015 for violating the Clean Air Act. During a year-long investigation, researchers found code that allowed a car's onboard computer to determine that the vehicle was undergoing an emissions test.

Physicists Discover That Lithium Oxide on Tokamak Walls Can Improve Plasma Performance

A team of physicists has found that a coating of lithium oxide on the inside of fusion machines known as tokamaks can absorb as much deuterium as pure lithium can.

Scientists Perform First Basic Physics Simulation of Spontaneous Transition of the Edge of Fusion Plasma to Crucial High-Confinement Mode

PPPL physicists have simulated the spontaneous transition of turbulence at the edge of a fusion plasma to the high-confinement mode that sustains fusion reactions. The research was achieved with the extreme-scale plasma turbulence code XGC developed at PPPL in collaboration with a nationwide team.

Green Fleet Technology

New research at Penn State addresses the impact delivery trucks have on the environment by providing green solutions that keep costs down without sacrificing efficiency.

Scientists Demonstrate New Real-Time Technique for Studying Ionic Liquids at Electrode Interfaces

This electron microscope-based imaging technique could help scientists optimize the performance of ionic liquids for batteries and other energy storage devices.

How Scientists Turned a Flag Into a Loudspeaker

A paper-thin, flexible device created at Michigan State University not only can generate energy from human motion, it can act as a loudspeaker and microphone as well, nanotechnology researchers report in the May 16 edition of Nature Communications.


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Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Graduates Urged to Embrace Change at 211th Commencement

Describing the dizzying pace of technological innovation, former United States Secretary of Energy Ernest J. Moniz urged graduates to "anticipate career change, welcome it, and manage it to your and your society's benefit" at the 211th Commencement at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) Saturday.

ORNL Welcomes Innovation Crossroads Entrepreneurial Research Fellows

Oak Ridge National Laboratory today welcomed the first cohort of innovators to join Innovation Crossroads, the Southeast region's first entrepreneurial research and development program based at a U.S. Department of Energy national laboratory.

Department of Energy Secretary Recognizes Argonne Scientists' Work to Fight Ebola, Cancer

Two groups of researchers at Argonne earned special awards from the office of the U.S. Secretary of Energy for addressing the global health challenges of Ebola and cancer.

Jefferson Science Associates, LLC Recognized for Leadership in Small Business Utilization

Jefferson Lab/Jefferson Science Associates has a long-standing commitment to doing business with and mentoring small businesses. That commitment and support received national recognition at the 16th Annual Dept. of Energy Small Business Forum and Expo held May 16-18, 2017 in Kansas City, Mo.

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute President's Commencement Colloquy to Address "Criticality, Incisiveness, Creativity"

To kick off the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Commencement weekend, the annual President's Commencement Colloquy will take place on Friday, May 19, beginning at 3:30 p.m. The discussion, titled "Criticality, Incisiveness, Creativity," will include the Honorable Ernest J. Moniz, former Secretary of Energy, and the Honorable Roger W. Ferguson Jr., President and CEO of TIAA, and will be moderated by Rensselaer President Shirley Ann Jackson.

ORNL, University of Tennessee Launch New Doctoral Program in Data Science

The Tennessee Higher Education Commission has approved a new doctoral program in data science and engineering as part of the Bredesen Center for Interdisciplinary Research and Graduate Education.

SurfTec Receives $1.2 Million Energy Award to Develop Novel Coating

The Department of Energy has awarded $1.2 million to SurfTec LLC, a company affiliated with the U of A Technology Development Foundation, to continue developing a nanoparticle-based coating to replace lead-based journal bearings in the next generation of electric machines.

Ames Laboratory Scientist Inducted Into National Inventors Hall of Fame

Iver Anderson, senior metallurgist at Ames Laboratory, has been inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame.

DOE HPC4Mfg Program Funds 13 New Projects to Improve U.S. Energy Technologies Through High Performance Computing

A U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) program designed to spur the use of high performance supercomputers to advance U.S. manufacturing is funding 13 new industry projects for a total of $3.9 million.

Penn State Wind Energy Club Breezes to Victory in Collegiate Wind Competition

The Penn State Wind Energy Club breezed through the field at the U.S. Department of Energy Collegiate Wind Competition 2017 Technical Challenge, held April 20-22 at the National Wind Technology Center near Boulder, Colorado--earning its third overall victory in four years at the Collegiate Wind Competition.


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Casting a Wide Net

Designed molecules will provide positive impacts in energy production by selectively removing unwanted ions from complex solutions.

New Software Tools Streamline DNA Sequence Design-and-Build Process

Enhanced software tools will accelerate gene discovery and characterization, vital for new forms of fuel production.

The Ultrafast Interplay Between Molecules and Materials

Computer calculations by the Center for Solar Fuels, an Energy Frontier Research Center, shed light on nebulous interactions in semiconductors relevant to dye-sensitized solar cells.

Supercapacitors: WOODn't That Be Nice

Researchers at Nanostructures for Electrical Energy Storage, an Energy Frontier Research Center, take advantage of nature-made materials and structure for energy storage research.

Groundwater Flow Is Key for Modeling the Global Water Cycle

Water table depth and groundwater flow are vital to understanding the amount of water that plants transmit to the atmosphere.

Finding the Correct Path

A new computational technique greatly simplifies the complex reaction networks common to catalysis and combustion fields.

Opening Efficient Routes to Everyday Plastics

A new material from the Inorganometallic Catalyst Design Center, an Energy Frontier Research Center, facilitates the production of key industrial supplies.

Fight to the Top: Silver and Gold Compete for the Surface of a Bimetallic Solid

It's the classic plot of a buddy movie. Two struggling bodies team up to drive the plot and do good together. That same idea, when it comes to metals, could help scientists solve a big problem: the amount of energy consumed by making chemicals.

Saving Energy Through Light Control

New materials, designed by researchers at the Center for Excitonics, an Energy Frontier Research Center, can reduce energy consumption with the flip of a switch.

Teaching Perovskites to Swim

Scientists at the ANSER Energy Frontier Research Center designed a two-component layer protects a sunlight-harvesting device from water and heat.


Special Delivery: First Shipment of Magnetic Devices for Next-Gen X-Ray Laser

Article ID: 673737

Released: 2017-04-27 13:05:53

Source Newsroom: Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

  • Credit: Keller Technology Corp./KTC

    Workers at KTC, a company in Buffalo, N.Y., prepare the first powerful magnetic devices known as soft X-ray undulator segments for the cross-country journey to SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory in Menlo Park, Calif. Berkeley Lab is overseeing the development and delivery of these segments for use in the LCLS-II project, an upgrade to SLAC’s X-ray laser.

  • Credit: SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory

    The first two undulator segments—devices that will be used to produce X-ray laser beams for a project known as LCLS-II—arrived at SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory in Menlo Park, Calif., on Wednesday.

  • Credit: Roy Kaltschmidt/Berkeley Lab

    A prototype LCLS-II soft X-ray undulator, which is designed to wiggle electrons, causing them to emit brilliant X-ray light, undergoes magnetic measurements at Berkeley Lab.

The first shipment of powerful magnetic devices for a next-generation laser project arrived at SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory on Wednesday after a nearly 3,000-mile journey from a factory in New York to California in a customized delivery truck.

The Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) is overseeing the development and delivery of these devices, known as soft X-ray undulators. They are a key part of LCLS-II, a free-electron laser being built for SLAC by a partnership of SLAC and four other DOE national laboratories: Berkeley Lab, Fermilab, Jefferson Lab, and Argonne.

The two devices that arrived this week to LCLS-II are the first of what will ultimately be a chain of 21 segments making up the complete soft X-ray undulator. They are at the heart of the free-electron laser, as they will cause the high-energy electron beam from a linear accelerator to emit laserlike beams of X-rays.

The soft X-ray undulator units present an impressive combination of brute strength and fine precision. Each weighs about 6.5 tons and is about 11 feet long, with sturdy steel frames that are designed to withstand nearly 7 tons of force to keep the two rows of magnets precisely positioned as they try to repel each other. The distance between the rows can be adjusted within millionths of an inch to tune the properties of the X-ray laser light.

LCLS-II is a major new facility and upgrade to the existing Linac Coherent Light Source, a DOE Office of Science User Facility enabling higher performance, new capabilities, and higher capacity for new experiments. In particular, LCLS-II will provide a continual stream of X-ray pulses that will enable studies at the atomic, molecular, and nano scales, with femtosecond (quadrillionths-of-a-second) time resolution. This knowledge is eagerly sought in fields ranging from biology to materials science.                                              

“The delivery is ahead of schedule and below the baseline budget,” said John Corlett, a physicist who is Berkeley Lab’s senior team leader in the LCLS-II project collaboration.  

Corlett added, “This is a major achievement -- the culmination of years of work in designing the undulator, qualifying the design, and working with vendors.”

Berkeley Lab is also overseeing the final design and mass production of a set of 32 hard X-ray undulator segments, The Lab collaborated with Argonne National Laboratory in the design and development of these segments. (“Hard” refers to higher-energy X-rays, and “soft” refers to lower-energy X-rays.) Undulators using permanent magnets were first used for storage ring light sources and are now in use for free-electron lasers. The late Klaus Halbach of Berkeley Lab was a pioneer in developing the permanent-magnet array used in these devices.

Berkeley Lab is also fabricating a unique electron “gun” that kick-starts the rapid-fire electron bunches needed to produce intense electron beams for LCLS-II. The new gun is derived from the Advanced Photoinjector Experiment (APEX) gun, which was successfully developed at Berkeley Lab and is now being used for ultrafast electron experiments.

As the electron beams go through the undulators, the alternating magnetic fields inside will cause electrons to wiggle, giving off some of their energy in the form of light. As the beam goes through the long chain of undulator segments, each precisely spaced field adds to its intensity.

The soft X-ray undulator will be capable of producing up to 1 million soft X-ray pulses per second, and the hard X-ray chain can produce X-ray laser pulses that are up to 10,000 times brighter, on average, than those of the existing LCLS.

“Tremendous effort has gone into the design and development of these undulators at Berkeley Lab and across the project collaboration,” said James Symons, associate laboratory director of Physical Sciences at Berkeley Lab. He oversees both the Engineering and the Accelerator Technology and Applied Physics divisions, which worked together to design and prototype the undulators. “We, and the X-ray user community, are looking forward to their installation and to ‘first light’ at LCLS-II.” 

Wim Leemans, director of Berkeley Lab’s Accelerator Technology and Applied Physics Division, added, “It’s exciting to see the undulators move from the drawing board to the delivery truck after all those years of work. We are glad to contribute our expertise to this realization of a unique new tool for science. 

Berkeley Lab engineer Matthaeus Leitner has key technical and budgetary responsibility for the undulators, while his colleague Steve Virostek plays the same role for the injector system. Other Berkeley Lab contributions to LCLS-II include accelerator physics and technology studies in beam dynamics, free-electron laser design, the low-level radiofrequency system, and the management and integration of cryogenics systems.  

John Galayda of SLAC, director of the LCLS-II project team, said, “The LBNL team’s performance has been crucial to the LCLS-II project’s good progress to date.”

The soft X-ray undulator shipments will continue every six weeks to SLAC from their assembly at a vendor in Buffalo, N.Y. The shipments will wrap up in spring 2018. To prevent damage and misalignment during their coast-to-coast journey, the undulator segments are being shipped in a climate-controlled truck that includes a special shock-absorbing frame.

Once delivered to SLAC, the undulator segments must be fine-tuned.   “The undulators have been specially designed to allow for very rapid tuning,” said Henrik von der Lippe, Berkeley Lab’s Engineering Division director. “The process will require as little as two days, compared to the two weeks or more needed by earlier undulators.”

Now that the soft-X-ray undulator segments are in production, engineers are now conducting magnetic tests on a pre-production version of a hard X-ray undulator segment. These segments will be assembled by vendors in Buffalo, N.Y., and in Los Angeles, and then shipped to Berkeley Lab for tuning before final delivery to SLAC.

Work on the LCLS-II undulators is supported by the DOE Office of Science.

Read a related article: Berkeley Lab Working on Key Components for LCLS-II X-ray Lasers.

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Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory addresses the world’s most urgent scientific challenges by advancing sustainable energy, protecting human health, creating new materials, and revealing the origin and fate of the universe. Founded in 1931, Berkeley Lab’s scientific expertise has been recognized with 13 Nobel Prizes. The University of California manages Berkeley Lab for the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science. For more, visit www.lbl.gov.

DOE’s Office of Science is the single largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States, and is working to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time. For more information, please visit science.energy.gov.