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 April 18, 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 April 18, 2014).

Share This



More Matter & Energy News

Friday, April 18, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Small Reactors Could Be Future of Nuclear Energy

Small Reactors Could Be Future of Nuclear Energy

AP (Apr. 17, 2014) After the Fukushima nuclear disaster, the industry fell under intense scrutiny. Now, small underground nuclear power plants are being considered as the possible future of the nuclear energy. (April 17) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Horseless Carriage Introduced at NY Auto Show

Horseless Carriage Introduced at NY Auto Show

AP (Apr. 17, 2014) An electric car that proponents hope will replace horse-drawn carriages in New York City has also been revealed at the auto show. (Apr. 17) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Honda's New ASIMO Robot, More Human-Like Than Ever

Honda's New ASIMO Robot, More Human-Like Than Ever

AFP (Apr. 17, 2014) It walks and runs, even up and down stairs. It can open a bottle and serve a drink, and politely tries to shake hands with a stranger. Meet the latest ASIMO, Honda's humanoid robot. Duration: 00:54 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
German Researchers Crack Samsung's Fingerprint Scanner

German Researchers Crack Samsung's Fingerprint Scanner

Newsy (Apr. 16, 2014) German researchers have used a fake fingerprint made from glue to bypass the fingerprint security system on Samsung's new Galaxy S5 smartphone. 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:
from the past week

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