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First Neutron Pulse from SNS

Hemos posted more than 8 years ago | from the prepare-the-proton-torpedos dept.

145

kebes writes "The $1.4 billion Spallation Neutron Source is nearing completion, and has produced its first neutron pulse. The SNS is a scientific instrument that generates beams of neutrons, which can be used to probe anything from minuscule samples to industrial materials. When fully operational, the facility is expected to host up to 2,000 international scientists annually."

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FIRST TROUT! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15245696)

I AM A FISH!

Mod parent insightful (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15245753)

Mod parent insightful

Do I need to upgrade? (-1, Offtopic)

Sqweegee (968985) | more than 8 years ago | (#15245719)

Will I now need to upgrade the freakin' laser beams on my sharks to neutron guns now?

Re:Do I need to upgrade? (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15245789)

Now only if you can use it now to remove an extra now here and there now.

god help me... (1, Funny)

P3NIS_CLEAVER (860022) | more than 8 years ago | (#15245743)

I for one welcome our Spallating Neutron Overlords..

Re:god help me... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15245829)

I for one welcome our Spallating Neutron Overlords..

Moron.

Re:god help me... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15246946)

How does the first comment get marked redudant (barring a descriptive-stop laughing-summary that already contained that the first post stated)?

Just for the record (3, Informative)

littleghoti (637230) | more than 8 years ago | (#15245744)

We've had one of those for a while now, on this side of the pond. http://www.isis.rl.ac.uk/ [rl.ac.uk] They are building a second target at the site, due to open in 2008.

Re:Just for the record (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15245773)

You know, you guys really have a chip on your shoulder since we bailed you out in WW II. Great, you had one first, big deal. I'd rather be in the country that had the transistor first.

Re:Just for the record - Hold on Americano! (-1, Flamebait)

2.7182 (819680) | more than 8 years ago | (#15245827)

He's from the same country as ALAN TURING, you troll. I think that's pretty damn good. In fact Turing may have one of the few people who individually were largely responsible for the allies winning the war.

(Another unsung hero is the French resistance.)

Re:Just for the record - Hold on Americano! (-1, Flamebait)

PatrickThomson (712694) | more than 8 years ago | (#15246227)

Hitler being a fucking wackjob is what was largely responsible for the allies winning the war.

Re:Just for the record (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15245946)

Dont get too smug, you do have the RIAA and DMCA too :o)

Re:Just for the record (2, Funny)

fbjon (692006) | more than 8 years ago | (#15247173)

You misspelled "Frist pulse!1"

Re:Just for the record (1)

Kristoph (242780) | more than 8 years ago | (#15247391)

Actually, there are a number of these in North America http://www.sciner.com/Neutron/neutron_facilities_w orldwide.htm [sciner.com] . The news here is that ....

When fully operational, the Energy Department installation will produce a pulsing neutron stream 10 times more intense than that of any other research facility in the world. That stream will let scientists look deeper into the structure and dynamics of different materials.

]{

Can they aim this at..... (1)

frinkacheese (790787) | more than 8 years ago | (#15245759)


Dodgy Iranian nuclear installations?

Russian chemical weapon stores?

Iraqi WMD sites?

Countries onthe Axis of Weavels?

Spammers?

Redmond?

Re:Can they aim this at..... (2, Interesting)

spiro_killglance (121572) | more than 8 years ago | (#15246912)

Actually, i forget the article, but a physicist did genunely suggest using a neutrino (not neutron) beam to cause enermy nuclear weopeans to melt down in there casings. It seemed reasonably practicle as well, it
would require a very high current particle accelerator to produce a very narrow ultra relavistic pion or
muon beam. At these high speed the neutrino decay products of pions would still be very tightly directioned. They could pass straight through the earth, and cause sufficient stimulated fission reactions in remote nuclear materal to cause it to gently (as opposite to explosively) melt down.

Now, that would be interesting... (1)

FellowConspirator (882908) | more than 8 years ago | (#15246939)

A flood of neutrons into a fissile isotope... That ought to speed things up quite a bit.

"Um, Al, you know that U 235 over there. You know, over there in the core."

"Yep. What about it Mo?"

"Well, I'm not sure about it yet, but I think that the big red glowing mass that just melted through the containment vessel floor like a giant glowing gopher making a burrow was our U-235."

"Damn zioinst neutrons!"

Friend did the SNS Web site (1)

Myrrh (53301) | more than 8 years ago | (#15245796)

Hey cool, a friend of mine designed their Web site [sns.gov] when he was working at Los Alamos [lanl.gov] . Small world.

I'd provide a link to his Web site but I doubt he feels like getting Slashdotted.

Re:Friend did the SNS Web site (1)

everett (154868) | more than 8 years ago | (#15246957)

Even cooler I tested the cryomodules when I was at TJNAF aka JLAB aka CEBAF as a student intern three years ago. It's cool to see that their nearing completion.

Extremely Cost-prohibitive to use (3, Insightful)

paladinwannabe2 (889776) | more than 8 years ago | (#15245805)

From the article:
'The machine is so powerful that in one year it will use about the same amount of electricity as a town of 30,000.'

If we assume that the average person has an electric bill of $1000/yr, that would be $30,000,000/yr, or about $82,200/day just in electricity costs.
I imagine that lots of scientists would want to play around with this- I would certainly have fun with it given the chance. At that price, though, only extremely well-funded researchers could afford to use this machine.

Re:Extremely Cost-prohibitive to use (1)

Myrrh (53301) | more than 8 years ago | (#15245831)

Uh, the scientists' budgets wouldn't necessarily have to pay for the electricity. I'm guessing most, if not all, of that is going to come from the taxpayer.

Still cheaper than running a war in the middle east, though.

Re:Extremely Cost-prohibitive to use (1)

MindStalker (22827) | more than 8 years ago | (#15245945)

Umm I'm sure at that usage rate you would get a bulk rate. FSU pays $18 million a year for electricity for its Mag Lab, and that isn't scaring away anyone.

Re:Extremely Cost-prohibitive to use (1)

menacing_cheese (687890) | more than 8 years ago | (#15247355)

Heh that's funny. The second I read the GP's post I wondered how much FSU's mag lab pays in power bills and two posts later you gave me an answer. Of course I did my undergrad (smoked pot and drank a lot) at FSU.

Re:Extremely Cost-prohibitive to use (1)

MindStalker (22827) | more than 8 years ago | (#15247658)

Yea I live in Tally. I'm not completly sure about my answer (took a lot of googling) but I got it from this.
http://www.facuflorida.com/Newsletters/FACUNewsLet ter7_05.pdf [facuflorida.com]
Which states (bottom right of page 5)
"The Universtity has finalized an agreement with the city of Tallahasee regarding electricity rates to the Mag Lab. The bottom line is $18 million for the city, and a lower rate for FSU."

Re:Extremely Cost-prohibitive to use (5, Informative)

kebes (861706) | more than 8 years ago | (#15245960)

about $82,200/day just in electricity costs.

Yes, something like that. The instrument at full output is supposed to be 1.4 MW. Assuming 5$/kWhr (note that big installations end up paying less per kWhr, on average, than a residential user) that's over $100,000/day in electricity costs. Of course when running this delivers neutron beams along all of the beam tubes. When fully operational, there should be 24 beamlines, meaning that each researcher is "only" costing ~$5000/day in electricity.

I imagine that lots of scientists would want to play around with this- I would certainly have fun with it given the chance. At that price, though, only extremely well-funded researchers could afford to use this machine.

As far as I know, that's not how it works. The researcher does not "pay" outright for the beamtime (although companies renting beamtime do). What happens is that a researcher makes an application for beamtime. Like any other grant, this is reviewed by experts. If the proposal is accepted, the researcher gets the beamtime (for "free"). So instead of giving government funds to researchers, who then buy beamtime, the SNS is funded and divides out the beamtime to researchers worldwide, based on the scientific merit of the proposals.

I'm not 100% sure that's how the SNS will be run, but that is how such "user facilities" have been run in my experience. The SNS is a government-funded facility whose goal it is to "get important science done" and as such its top priority is to divide up the beamtime to researchers (from around the world) without "wasting any beam-time" and hopefully giving opportunities for the best science to be completed (regardless of how much money the research group has).

Re:Extremely Cost-prohibitive to use (1)

rtaylor (70602) | more than 8 years ago | (#15246147)

When fully operational, there should be 24 beamlines, meaning that each researcher is "only" costing ~$5000/day in electricity.

That's per day that they use the device. I would imagine that most experiments will take significantly longer to prepare and put into papers afterward than they will do perform -- so skilled labour still takes the cake as the bulk of the expense.

Re:Extremely Cost-prohibitive to use (1)

kebes (861706) | more than 8 years ago | (#15246284)

I would imagine that most experiments will take significantly longer to prepare and put into papers afterward than they will do perform -- so skilled labour still takes the cake as the bulk of the expense.

You're quite right. In my experience it takes months of sample preparration before going to do such work, and it takes months afterwards to finish analyzing all the data (and then more time to write up the papers). The actual beamtime is typically only one or two weeks. So the bulk of the time for any particular scientific study is not spent at the neutron source.

However, when it comes to money, the skilled labour in question is mostly graduate students and post-docs, who are not very expensive. If two grad students work on a project for a year, this costs $40,000, whereas the two weeks of beamtime at the hypothetical $5,000/day amounts to $70,000.

For a company, however, the equation is a no-brainer: the beamtime will typically give them information that would have taken many skilled people years to obtain with any other technique.

Re:Extremely Cost-prohibitive to use (1)

DeepStream (171183) | more than 8 years ago | (#15247265)

Contrary to popular belief ... graduate students are NOT particulary cheap, as they cost MUCH more than their stipend. Remember that research funds support tuition (which at a private institution can run $30k+, but is still $5k at public school). In addition, there are overhead costs that are typically 50% (roughly) of the salary for all supported employees. As a result, a grad student at a state-school costs $30-35k in direct costs, and $45-50k with overhead. At a private school, direct costs can easily be $60-70k, putting the total almost at $100k.

For post-docs, you don't have tuition, but you have to add on fringe (to cover benefits). This is typically 30-50% of the salary, so a post-doc at $35k is actually costing closer to $50k in direct costs, so $75k in total.

Re:Extremely Cost-prohibitive to use (1)

menacing_cheese (687890) | more than 8 years ago | (#15247494)

Just out of curiosity what indirect costs would there be for a grad student. When I was a grad student (I graduated 2 years ago) I received no benefits including no health insurance. I did get free tuition although I had to pay all of my student fees (athletic, activity, technology etc...). When you figure that my stipend was only about 13 grand a year and I worked 7 days a week almost every week I think thats pretty cheap labor!

Re:Extremely Cost-prohibitive to use (1)

fourtyfive (862341) | more than 8 years ago | (#15246395)

Why would they just have their own generators? A 1.5 megawatt generator runs about 500k$ US last time I took a look, and I imagine that would be a lot cheaper than utility power...

Re:Extremely Cost-prohibitive to use (2, Informative)

dhovis (303725) | more than 8 years ago | (#15246545)

Remember that Oak Ridge National Lab is where the U235 enrichment was done for the first atomic bomb. Uranium enrichment takes up a lot of energy, and the reason that it was done at ORNL was that it was located in the midst of the Tennesee Valley Authority, a government project that put lots of hydroelectric dams in the Tennessee river valley. So there is lots of cheap hydroelectric power available in the area, and I'd be willing to bet ORNL still gets their power cheap from the TVA.

Re:Extremely Cost-prohibitive to use (1)

Anonymous Cowpat (788193) | more than 8 years ago | (#15246642)

$5 per kilowatt hour?
aka a 'unit'. I just looked up one of our local electricity suppliers prices and 'leccy costs about 10p per unit. You're more than an order of magnitude out.
I live in the UK, I was under the impression that, relative to the US, our electricity was expensive.

Re:Extremely Cost-prohibitive to use (1)

lazlo (15906) | more than 8 years ago | (#15246722)

OK, I'm not arguing with your math here, but:

The instrument at full output is supposed to be 1.4 MW. Assuming 5$/kWhr (note that big installations end up paying less per kWhr, on average, than a residential user) that's over $100,000/day in electricity costs.

According to my math, that ends up being $168,000.00 per day. That's certainly well over $100K/day. However, I do take exception to one of your assumptions. $5/kWhr seems excessive. From my (residential) power bill:


Non-Fuel Energy Charge:
      First 1000 KWH $0.042310 per KWH
      Over 1000 KWH $0.052310 per KWH
  Fuel Charge:
      First 1000 KWH $0.058410 per KWH
      Over 1000 KWH $0.068410 per KWH


That ends up being, at most, about 12 cents/KWH, or for a full day, it's $4056.19 That's still a lot more than I'd like to pay for my power bill, it'd end up being about $121,685.76 for a 30 day month, but it's a far cry from over $100K per day.

Of course, this being ORNL, they could just build their own power plant. I'm sure they could find the pieces for one laying around somewhere...

Re:Extremely Cost-prohibitive to use (1)

Robotbeat (461248) | more than 8 years ago | (#15246880)

According to my research, industrial non-peak electricity only costs $.03/kilowatthour, which works out to about $42 per hour to run the thing at 1.4 MW. That's less than a plumber's wage. Residential electricity costs much more, especially during peak hours, but even then it's only like $200 per hour at very most.

BTW, I found this at:
http://www.xcelenergy.com/docs/corpcomm/Me_Section _5.pdf [xcelenergy.com]

Re:Extremely Cost-prohibitive to use - 100x off (1)

markk (35828) | more than 8 years ago | (#15246887)

Uh.. its probably 5 cents a KWH not $5. So a Megawatt-Hour is about $50 - then say the device uses 2 MW rounding up we get about $100/hour of electricity costs. Not too bad. That is $2400 a day. So $100 a day per beam according to your usage. That is negligable for something like this and almost sounds wrong - but even if it were 2 MW per beam, that would still only be that $100/hr per researcher which again is not much.

Re:Extremely Cost-prohibitive to use - 100x off (2, Informative)

kebes (861706) | more than 8 years ago | (#15247074)

Thanks to the posters who pointed out the mistake in my previous post. Indeed power is typically on the order of 5 cents/kWhr. I also confused the discussion by mentioning the 1.4 MW that the SNS is rated for. The 1.4 MW is the power delivered to the target. It requires about 42 MW [eurekalert.org] to generate that 1.4 MW proton beam. So we're talking about:

42,000 kW * 0.05 $/(kW hour) * 24 hours/day = 50,400 $/day

(Hopefully I haven't made a mistake this time.) This is a lot of money, but really not such a big deal for a facility this size.

Re:Extremely Cost-prohibitive to use (1)

Ravear (923203) | more than 8 years ago | (#15247248)

If the proposal is accepted, the researcher gets the beamtime (for "free").


Will they charge you if you don't conduct yourself properly?

Re:Extremely Cost-prohibitive to use (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15247420)

Will they charge you if you don't conduct yourself properly?

Of course not; neutrons are no charge.

Re:Extremely Cost-prohibitive to use (2, Informative)

quanminoan (812306) | more than 8 years ago | (#15246239)

I'm fortunate enough to be working with the SNS this summer as an intern, so this is exciting news for me. I watched a presentation on the SNS about a year ago, and the Phd who gave the presentation told us the machine is already booked for the next ten years.

Though there may be other neutron sources out there, as FP mentioned, I don't believe any of them can hold a candle to the power and energy spectrum of the SNS. The reasearch is useful for just about every field out there - from basic materials science to protein dynamics. Industries are interested in the SNS as well - if I remember correctly he mentioned one company was planning to observe shampoo (though I don't recall why).

Take a look at the size of this thing: http://www.bnl.gov/nufo/images/facilities/SNS_lg.j pg [bnl.gov]

Re:Extremely Cost-prohibitive to use (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15246813)

If we assume that the average person has an electric bill of $1000/yr, . . .

I don't have an electric bill - I'm Amish, you insensitive clod!

Just don't ask me how I posted this message.

Important question (1)

SIGFPE (97527) | more than 8 years ago | (#15246989)

If the article said

The machine is so powerful that in one hour it will use about the same amount of electricity as a town of 30,000.

would you have responded any differently?

Re:Extremely Cost-prohibitive to use (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15247300)

At that price, though, only extremely well-funded researchers could afford to use this machine.

Not expensive, just "no charge"

I'm neutral on this topic (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15245818)

so I have nothing to say

I'm a little more negative... (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15245897)

I don't want to take it anymore
I'll just stay here locked behind the door
Just no time to stop and get away
'Cause I work so hard to make it everyday

Whoo oooh
Whoo oooh

There's no money falling from the sky
'Cause a man took my heart and robbed me blind
Someone stole my brand new Chevrolet
And the rent is due, I got no place to stay

Whoo oooh
Whoo oooh

And it's hard to say
Just how some things never change
And it's hard to find
Any strength to draw the line ....

CLULESS MOD ALERT: On topic and fully too! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15246774)

You moron... those are the lyrics to the "Neutron Dance"!

Kids today! No sense of history!

Re:I'm neutral on this topic (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15246179)

...and I have no strong feelings one way or the other.

Re:I'm neutral on this topic (1)

HumanisticJones (972339) | more than 8 years ago | (#15246846)

All I can say it that my gut is telling me... eh.

Re:I'm neutral on this topic (1)

no reason to be here (218628) | more than 8 years ago | (#15246862)

"Your neutralness, it's a beige alert."

"If I don't survive, tell my wife, 'hello'"

It would be cool... (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15245861)

..if at the time of unveiling the project one of the scientists says in british english: "Now this station is Fully Operational!" :)

Re:It would be cool... (1, Insightful)

Wierdy1024 (902573) | more than 8 years ago | (#15246456)

I'm british, and I don't understand the joke...

Re:It would be cool... (1)

amliebsch (724858) | more than 8 years ago | (#15246651)

I believe he is referring to the apparently British Governor Tarkin, saying, "I think it is time we demonstrated the full power of this station. Set course for Alderaan."

Re:It would be cool... (2, Funny)

CSLarsen (961164) | more than 8 years ago | (#15247250)

Or rather: As you can see, my young apprentice, your friends have failed. Now witness the firepower of this fully ARMED and OPERATIONAL battle station! from ROTJ. :)

But, what does it do? (2, Insightful)

Eudial (590661) | more than 8 years ago | (#15245864)

Uh, okay, not quite sure what this thing actually does? Except fire neutrons at stuff... but while I'm sure that's an amusing thing to do, I doubt that would attract 2,000 international scientists annualy. So, what's the point of this thing?

Re:But, what does it do? (5, Informative)

kebes (861706) | more than 8 years ago | (#15246085)

So, what's the point of this thing?

The purpose of a "neutron beam" is *neutron scattering.* You can either use a continuous beam from a nuclear reactor, or a neutron pulse from a spallation source (which the SNS is). The idea is that you sent the beam at your (scientifically interesting) sample, and measure the directions and energies of the neutrons that are scattered/reflected/diffraction from the sample. This is a huge field, but here are some ideas of what it can be used for:

1. Neutron diffraction can be used for crystallography: to determine the crystal structure (hence molecular structure) of some novel material, drug, protein, etc. This can be done with x-rays also, but for some samples neutrons give better results.

2. Neutron reflectivity can be used to study thin films: to analyze coatings applied to electronics, or anti-abrasive coatings, or membranes used in medical applications, and so on.

3. Neutrons can be used to study industrial materials: for instance, a neutron beam can be used to probe a weld joint and map out the 3-dimensional arrangment of microsocpic stress patterns in the material. This has been used to design better welding processes, better aircraft components, engine parts, and so on.

4. A neutron beam can be used for "imaging" similar to an x-ray... except that neutrons can pass through dense materials (like lead) quite easily and can image organic materials with better sensitivity than x-rays.

5. Neutron beams can be used for the study of nuclear physics and chemistry, the properties of neutrons, and other particle-physics questions.

There are of course many other things you can do with a neutron beam, but hopefully that gives you an idea of the diversity of research that goes on at a neutron scattering facility.

I doubt that would attract 2,000 international scientists annualy

Well there is quite a bit of demand for neutron beam-time. Since the SNS will take the flux up a notch (8 times higher than anything we have now), researchers will be able to complete their experiments faster (or conversely complete more experiments in a given timeslot), and will also be able to detect things that perhaps went unnoticed before. So yes, there will quite a bit of demand for this installation.

Re:But, what does it do? (2, Interesting)

blair1q (305137) | more than 8 years ago | (#15246521)

5 (expanded): you can add neutrons to the nuclei of atoms to create heavier isotopes, which may then (in one of several decay scenarios*) split, as in fission

I.e., the most obviously valuable use of a high-density, high-energy neutron beam is studying heretofore under-investigated fission reactions and adding significant digits to heretofore over-investigated fission reactions. All this stuff about the "commercial benefits" is a cartoonish beard for A-bomb research.

* - the other common scenarios are alpha (helium-nucleus) emission resulting in a decrease of atomic number by 2 and mass number by 4, and beta (electron) emission resulting in an increase of atomic number by 1 and no change in mass number; i.e., we're talking alchemy here, kids.

Re:But, what does it do? (2, Informative)

kebes (861706) | more than 8 years ago | (#15247233)

Yes, neutron beamlines are great for study of transmutation and nuclear properties.

All this stuff about the "commercial benefits" is a cartoonish beard for A-bomb research.

I think that's an exageration. At the facilities I've worked at, the research has been heavily geared towards science. Some facilities do indeed use the beams to study materials and designs for next-generation nuclear power plants, but not for weapons. Unlike Los Alamos [lanl.gov] , the SNS is optimized for academic research. In fact one of its "selling points" is accessibility to scientists (due in part to the fact that it's not a weapons lab).

Also, I'm not sure that "A-bomb research" has benefitted from fundamental studies in transmutation and decay rates recently. Modern advances in nuclear weaponry seem to come from engineering the bomb design, and have nothing to do with new insights from fundamental studies.

the most obviously valuable use of a high-density, high-energy neutron beam is studying heretofore under-investigated fission reactions and adding significant digits to heretofore over-investigated fission reactions.

That kind of research is probably much more useful to the medical isotopes community than it is to the weapon design community.

The US certainly does research on nuclear weapons, but I don't think the SNS is intended to be part of that infrastructure.

Re:But, what does it do? (2, Funny)

Pollardito (781263) | more than 8 years ago | (#15246938)

some more possible applications :

6. burn the heck out of ants on the sidewalk

7. further exploration of the stress points for Peeps [peepresearch.org]

8. the production of tray after tray of wonderful chocolate brownies, in a fraction of the time that it takes to make them in an easy-bake oven

Re:But, what does it do? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15246135)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spallation_Neutron_So urce/ [wikipedia.org]
http://physics.nist.gov/PhysRefData/PerTable/index .html/ [nist.gov]
It is a large machine for making Gold and other precious
metals that are lower in atomic mass. Thanks go out to U.S.taxpayers who are largely unaware that more efficient methods/equipment to produce high intensity neutron beams are available.

Re:But, what does it do? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15246401)

Makes really good steakburgers!

Re:But, what does it do? (2, Informative)

quanminoan (812306) | more than 8 years ago | (#15246432)

In some (if not most) situations neutron beams can determine more about the structure of a material than alternative methods.

Using neutron beams scientists determined the structure of insulin, YBCO, and cell membrane structures. The SNS site has a page that discusses the importance here [sns.gov]

As opposed to the Snoopy Dance... (1)

Mr Z (6791) | more than 8 years ago | (#15245916)

Did they do the Neutron Dance to celebrate?

Re:As opposed to the Snoopy Dance... (1)

certel (849946) | more than 8 years ago | (#15246145)

Hah. If I had mod-points, I'd give them all to you for that comment.

Goddamn it, you stole my joke (1)

spun (1352) | more than 8 years ago | (#15246334)

I'm just burnin'.

Re:As opposed to the Snoopy Dance... (1)

langelgjm (860756) | more than 8 years ago | (#15247675)

Did any one else read this as, First Neutron Pulse from Super Nintendo System?

wow, 2,000 scientists a year (1)

ReidMaynard (161608) | more than 8 years ago | (#15245929)

Allowing for time off on weekends and holidays..lets see..that's Eight Scientists a day for probing...line up to the left please and loosen you belts....

Obligatory Star Wars Reference ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15245961)

General Tagge: [in the Death Star conference room, Tagge is urging caution] Until this battle station is FULLY operational, we *are* vulnerable. The Rebel Alliance is to well equipped, they're more dangerous, than you realize.
Admiral Motti: [scoffing] Dangerous to *your* Starfleet, Commander; *not* to this battle station.

sweet! (1)

minus_273 (174041) | more than 8 years ago | (#15245980)

does this mean i can play mario world again?

Analyzing Anomalous Materials (4, Funny)

Dr. Eggman (932300) | more than 8 years ago | (#15245985)

"...which can be used to probe anything from miniscule samples to industrial materials."

Sure, it starts out that way, but before you know it you've opened up a gateway to another dimesion.

Please, do us all a favor and keep plenty of weapons and ammo around the facility. Oh, and make sure whoever's wearing the hazmat suit has a crowbar with them at all times.

Re:Analyzing Anomalous Materials (1)

jacen_sunstrider (797955) | more than 8 years ago | (#15246598)

And issue blue suits and stylish briefcases to all of the execs.

Re:Analyzing Anomalous Materials (1)

sharkey (16670) | more than 8 years ago | (#15246671)

Sure, it starts out that way, but before you know it you've opened up a gateway to another dimesion.

It's just Cartman's ass. Jeez....

Damn! (1)

eno2001 (527078) | more than 8 years ago | (#15245990)

I thought we were talking vintage gaming consoles and there was a new cart out for the SNES. Oh well... ;P

Weapon! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15245993)

How long until we can make a Minbari Neutron Canon?

How long before a handheld version? (0)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 8 years ago | (#15246009)

Would be great for rush hour traffic.

Off-Topic, But... (4, Funny)

gyrogeerloose (849181) | more than 8 years ago | (#15246015)

...I've got to say it anyhow:

First Atom: I just lost an electron

Second Atom: Are you sure?

First Atom: Yeah, I'm positive.

Re:Off-Topic, But... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15246358)

A neutron walks into a bar that has a proton as a bar-tender...

Neutron: Hey barkeep, how much for a beer?

Barkeep: For you, no charge.

Neutron: Really?!

Barkeep: Yeah, I'm positive.

Re:Off-Topic, But... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15246379)

A neutron walks into a bar and orders a beer. When the bartender returns with his drink, the neutron asks "What do I owe you?" The bartender replies, "For you, no charge."

Re:Off-Topic, But... (1)

CatsupBoy (825578) | more than 8 years ago | (#15246953)

mod Up (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15246040)

flaw5 in the BSD

Cool (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15246105)

I have NO idea what the hell TFA said, but it sounded really cool. Neutrons...for the win?

Forgive me (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15246129)

..for a moment I thought I'd read 'First Neutron Pulse from SNES', and wondered to myself 'why would anyone want to do that?'.

Re:Forgive me (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15246249)

To show-up the guy who overclocked his SNES the other day. "Ha! 5.1MHz! Suck it!!" "I just want to say two words, just two words: Neutron Pulse."

Uses? (1)

Lord_Dweomer (648696) | more than 8 years ago | (#15246175)

IANAPP (I am not a particle physicist) so I was wondering if someone could explain in layman's terms why this is useful and what potential applications are for this technology. I mean...it sounds really cool...proton beams have been sci-fi weapons forever, but something tells me this doesn't exactly have immediate weapons applications so I'm just curious what exactly it does.

Fools! (1)

ScentCone (795499) | more than 8 years ago | (#15246184)

When fully operational, the facility is expected to host up to 2,000 international scientists annually

This is the oldest trick in the book. Behold the power of their fully operational Spallation Neutron Source! Bwah-haa-haa, etc.

Sneaky rascals (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15246193)

What is it those 2,000 scientists are hiding that we need to probe them with neutrons?

Re:Sneaky rascals (1)

grimJester (890090) | more than 8 years ago | (#15247425)

Apparently they're part of the evolutionist conspiracy.

May God have mercy on their souls.

This is exciting! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15246238)

No, it isn't. Doesn't the Farnsworth-Hirsch Fusor generate copious amounts of neutrons for far less than 1.4B$?

Re:This is exciting! (2, Insightful)

Ruie (30480) | more than 8 years ago | (#15246982)

Doesn't the Farnsworth-Hirsch Fusor generate copious amounts of neutrons for far less than 1.4B$?

The trick is that SNS produces a lot more of them and in a beam. You can't focus neutrons as efficiently as you can light or electrons.

Neutron Sources (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15246423)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neutron_source [wikipedia.org]

Photoneutron process is more efficient than Spallation.

Yuo Fa1l It!? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15246786)

Superior to slow, Posts on Usenet are parts of you are to s*ay there dhave Coming a piss

As an added benefit... (1)

32Na (894547) | more than 8 years ago | (#15246869)

The facility puts out a huge flux of neutrinos [ornl.gov] , allowing improved measurements of the neutrino-matter interaction cross-section.

How do they make a pulsed neutron beam? (1)

Biff Stu (654099) | more than 8 years ago | (#15247006)

It seems that they must first accelerate charged particles and then turn them into neutrons without significantly modifying their momentum. Does anybody know the details?

Re:How do they make a pulsed neutron beam? (1)

wiml (883109) | more than 8 years ago | (#15247257)

It's a "spallation" source, which means they bombard a heavy nucleus with something (protons in this case) to knock neutrons off. Details at their web site. [sns.gov] It looks like the pulse actually contains a wide range of momenta, but since it's very brief (corresponding to the brief proton pulse that produced it) you know the momentum of any given neutron by when it arrives at the target/detector.

Re:How do they make a pulsed neutron beam? (2, Insightful)

PiMuNu (865592) | more than 8 years ago | (#15247293)

Actually its pretty straight forward - whack a bunch of protons into a target and neutrons drop out. The protons react with nuclei in the target to produce neutrons (and pions and a whole load of other junk). The protons need to be reasonably high energy (say at least relativistic) to get a good neutron yield.

Usually you use a heavy metal as the target. High nuclear mass so that there are lots of protons and neutrons to collide with, high melting point/tough so you don't damage the target too much when the protons go into it. The target is probably actively cooled or you might want to try a liquid metal target at high intensities so that it cools itself. Watch out that you can build pipes to contain the liquid that aren't destroyed by the incoming proton beam. Then you collimate the neutrons coming out and possibly slow them down using something like carbon.

Jobs a good 'un!

fusion catalyst? (1)

prmths (325452) | more than 8 years ago | (#15247034)

Anyone think this technology could act as a catalyst for fusion?

Misapplication (1)

Mannerism (188292) | more than 8 years ago | (#15247209)

The SNS is a scientific instrument that generates beams of neutrons, which can be used to probe anything from miniscule samples to industrial materials. When fully operational, the facility is expected to host up to 2,000 international scientists annually.

Now, now, the scientists don't deserve that. Couldn't they probe lawyers instead?

What's the worse that can happen? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15247562)

If they run it too long, you'll get a big pile of neutrons at the end of the beam. With no electrical charge to repel them, gravity will attract them. Pretty soon you'll have a little neutron star, and pretty soon after that you'll have a big neutron star. Shouldn't we have an alternate planet to inhabit before playing with these things?

Pyroelectric Fusion as Neutron Source? (2, Interesting)

Aelcyx (123258) | more than 8 years ago | (#15247653)

Anyone remember UCLA doing a form of cold fusion using pyroelectric crystals? It did not release enough energy to make it efficient as an energy source, but I recall the article saying it would make a portable neutron source. Perhaps that could be used to make a smaller and more efficient version of the Oak Ridge facility.
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