Entries with tag slac.

Researchers Demonstrate Accelerator-on-a-Chip

Scientists from the US Department of Energy’s SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory and Stanford University have created an advanced accelerator-on-a-chip technology that is smaller than a grain of rice. The glass chip can accelerate electrons at 300 million volts per meter, 10 times greater than conventional technology. The researchers’ goal is reaching speeds of 1 billion volts per meter. Over a distance of 100 feet, the technology can achieve acceleration comparable to that of the two-mile-long SLAC linear accelerator. Particle acceleration is primarily a tool used by physics researchers, but the new accelerator-on-a-chip – which is faster, smaller, and potentially a more affordable technology -- could be used in a wide variety of applications. This might include small, portable X-ray sources that could be used in field hospital settings by the military as well as for affordable medical imaging in hospitals and laboratories. The technology could also be used in for other types of scanning and imaging, such as in security applications. They say they must overcome some challenges before their technology is practical for routine use. They published their research in Nature. (SlashDot)(EurekAlert)(SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory)(Nature)

Researchers: Magnetite Could Enable Ultrafast Computing

Researchers from the US’s SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory have determined that magnetite offers electrical switching much faster than today’s transistors and thus could help create powerful computing devices. The scientists discovered that, when hit by a laser, the electrons in magnetite switch at a speed of one-trillionth of a second, which is thousands of times faster than current silicon-based transistors. The researchers used SLAC’s Linac Coherent Light Source X-ray laser to measure switching in samples of magnetite, the oldest known magnetic material, cooled to -190?C to lock in its electrical charges. When the laser hit the mineral, the electrons could be in one of two states, conductive and nonconductive. These would represent the ones and zeros or binary data. The researchers are now looking for exotic, magnetite-based compounds to experiment with, including materials able to operate at room temperature. They published their findings in the journal Nature Materials. (Techfragments)(Discovery News)(Nature Materials)

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