Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Physicist Create Most Intense Operating Positron Beam Ever

Date:
October 25, 2007
Source:
North Carolina State University
Summary:
A team of researchers from North Carolina State University, the University of Michigan and Oak Ridge National Laboratory have constructed a low-energy positron beam at NC State's PULSTAR nuclear reactor with the highest positron rate of any such facility worldwide. Positrons, the antiparticle of electrons, are generated using the intense radiation in the vicinity of the reactor core.

The core of the NCSU PULSTAR reactor at 1-MW power.
Credit: Image courtesy of North Carolina State University

A team of researchers from North Carolina State University, the University of Michigan and Oak Ridge National Laboratory have constructed a low-energy positron beam at NC State’s PULSTAR nuclear reactor with the highest positron rate of any such facility worldwide. Positrons, the antiparticle of electrons, are generated using the intense radiation in the vicinity of the reactor core.

Dr. Ayman Hawari, associate professor of nuclear engineering and director of the Nuclear Reactor Program at NC State, reports that the measurements of the beam rate are 5-6x108 positrons per second.

“These numbers are two orders of magnitude higher than those available using regular lab sources and exceed intensities currently reported by other international facilities,” says Hawari.

Once the stuff of science fiction, these anti-matter, or positron, beams have a multitude of uses in nanoscience and materials engineering because of the positron’s ability to gravitate toward and trap in defects or pores in a material at sizes as small as a single atom. Positrons are used to detect damage from radiation in nuclear reactors and are impacting the emerging field of nanoengineered materials where nanometer-sized voids control properties such as dielectric constant in microelectronic devices and hydrogen storage in fuel cells.

An intense positron beam means that researchers will have better measurements of a material’s porosity, especially in high-tech thin film applications where traditional techniques falter. This beam will be used in Positron Annihilation Lifetime Spectrometry (PALS) and Doppler Broadening Spectrometry (DBS). Hawari also believes that other positron analysis techniques will become possible. While the spectrometers are not yet built, they are on the books for completion next year.

NC State has a pioneering history in the field of Nuclear Engineering. Its first nuclear reactor, which began operation in 1953, was the first public research nuclear reactor ever constructed. The PULSTAR Nuclear Reactor, in operation since 1972, is a 1-MW pool-type research reactor using 4% enriched, pin-type fuel of uranium dioxide with a zircaloy cladding. These characteristics make it similar to some commercial reactors and make it possible for an array of research and teaching opportunities.

In 2002 the PULSTAR reactor program received U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) funding from the Innovations in Nuclear Infrastructure and Education (INIE) program. NC State led the Multi-University South East INIE Consortium (MUSIC) and used that funding to start several projects, including the Intense Positron Beam collaboration with Michigan and Oak Ridge. This team received a major boost when the National Science Foundation awarded a $1 million Major Research Instrumentation grant to build the intense positron beam at NC State, now complete, and the auxiliary spectrometers.

For more information, see David Pond's story "NC State Nuclear Reactor Program Celebrates Scientific Breakthrough" at http://www.ncsu.edu/featured-stories/
innovation-discovery/oct-2007/antimatter-nuclear/


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by North Carolina State University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

North Carolina State University. "Physicist Create Most Intense Operating Positron Beam Ever." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 25 October 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/10/071024090816.htm>.
North Carolina State University. (2007, October 25). Physicist Create Most Intense Operating Positron Beam Ever. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/10/071024090816.htm
North Carolina State University. "Physicist Create Most Intense Operating Positron Beam Ever." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/10/071024090816.htm (accessed October 20, 2014).

Share This



More Matter & Energy News

Monday, October 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Gulfstream G500, G600 Unveiling

Gulfstream G500, G600 Unveiling

Flying (Oct. 20, 2014) Watch Gulfstream's public launch of the G500 and G600 at their headquarters in Savannah, Ga., along with a surprise unveiling of the G500, which taxied up under its own power. Video provided by Flying
Powered by NewsLook.com
Japanese Scientists Unveil Floating 3D Projection

Japanese Scientists Unveil Floating 3D Projection

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Oct. 20, 2014) Scientists in Tokyo have demonstrated what they say is the world's first 3D projection that floats in mid air. A laser that fires a pulse up to a thousand times a second superheats molecules in the air, creating a spark which can be guided to certain points in the air to shape what the human eye perceives as an image. Matthew Stock reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Hey, Doc! Sewage, Beer and Food Scraps Can Power Chevrolet’s Bi-Fuel Impala

Hey, Doc! Sewage, Beer and Food Scraps Can Power Chevrolet’s Bi-Fuel Impala

3BL Media (Oct. 20, 2014) Hey, Doc! Sewage, Beer and Food Scraps Can Power Chevrolet’s Bi-fuel Impala Video provided by 3BL
Powered by NewsLook.com
What We Know About Microsoft's Rumored Smartwatch

What We Know About Microsoft's Rumored Smartwatch

Newsy (Oct. 20, 2014) Microsoft will reportedly release a smartwatch that works across different mobile platforms, has a two-day battery life and tracks heart rate. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins