Physics News of the Week: Magnets for Fusion and Higgs Factory Ambitions

| July 28, 2014 | 0 Comments

Another week has passed and, as always, we review the top news stories. Here’s a summary of top 3 news stories with corresponding links. For more news, visit this link. Also, to subscribe for our email newsletter, sign up here.

1. IHEP in China Has Ambitions for Higgs Factory (Jul 23)

Who will take the lead in the race for the largest particle smasher? One possible contender is China. According to the report at, proposals for two particle accelerators could accelerate China itself as a scientific leader, upstaging the Large Hadron Collider at CERN, Europe’s famous particle-physics laboratory, where the LHC is the world’s largest particle collider. According to the report, scientists at the Institute of High Energy Physics (IHEP) in Beijing, plan to build a ‘Higgs factory’ by 2028, a 52-kilometer underground ring.


How far away are we from efficient nuclear fusion reactors?

2. Magnest for Fusion Energy (Jul 25)

Scientists at The National Institute for Fusion Science (NIFS) have achieved an electrical current of 100,000 amperes, which is by far the highest in the world, by using the new idea of assembling the state-of-the-art yttrium-based high-temperature superconducting tapes to fabricate a large-scale magnet conductor.

NIFS is now undertaking the development of a high-temperature superconducting coil that is appropriate for the fusion reactor magnet. The revolutionary method by which the helical fusion reactor’s massive magnet is manufactured by sequentially connecting the short high-temperature superconductors has received much attention due to the possible applicability in other fields, such as the development of medical instruments and power-electric devices.

3. The First Simulations of the ‘Spin-Orbit’ Forces Between Neutrons and Protons (Jul 25) 

Protons and neutrons are held together at the center of an atom by powerful nuclear forces. A theory that can describe the interaction between just two of these subatomic particles could potentially be extended to predict the existence and properties of more exotic particles, but simulations of such systems using conventional approaches are computationally intensive and have been hampered by a lack of available computing power.

A team of researchers including Keiko Murano and Tetsuo Hatsuda from the RIKEN Nishina Center for Accelerator-Based Science have now developed a method to solve the equations that govern the interactions between particles in the nucleus. Murano, Hatsuda and their colleagues approached the problem by dividing space and time into a four-dimensional grid of points, an approach called lattice QCD. Calculations with closely positioned points are more accurate, but require more computational power. The team applied this concept to nucleon–nucleon forces on a lattice of 16×16×16×32 points, with each spatial site separated from its neighbor by just 0.16 femtometers.

More news:

Laws of Physics Govern Airplane Evolution
Exotic State of Matter Propels Quantum Computing Theory 
The Physics of Lead Guitar Playing



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