January 11, 2022 Volume 18 Issue 02

Electrical/Electronic News & Products

Designfax weekly eMagazine

Subscribe Today!
image of Designfax newsletter


View Archives


Manufacturing Center
Product Spotlight

Modern Applications News
Metalworking Ideas For
Today's Job Shops

Tooling and Production
Strategies for large
metalworking plants

'Basics of Static Electricity' white paper from EXAIR

The "Basics of Static Electricity" white paper presents 20 comprehensive and full-colored pages on the causes of static electricity, how it develops, and solutions for combatting it in manufacturing processes. Static electricity is a product of non-conductive materials coming into contact and separating, or creating friction between them, leading to imbalanced ions. EXAIR Static Eliminators restore this balance and assist in maintaining proper process speeds, preventing product damage and injured employees.
Learn more.

Next-gen adaptive resistance welding controller

Bosch Rexroth has launched its PRC7000 family of high-speed automated welding controllers, which feature advanced processors and new software to help manufacturers maximize welding throughput and quality. The PRC7000 provides the highest-quality weld control and ultraprecise adjustment of the welding current to eliminate spatter and expensive reworking. Innovative software tools and a modular design enable up to 90% faster commissioning. The PRC7000 can store up to 10,000 welding programs that can be easily built and selected via a drag-and-drop graphical interface.
Learn more.

M12 connector simplifies sensor and actuator applications

binder USA has announced a new two-piece M12 circular connector that offers versatility with several special features, including a square flange housing for easy assembly and a multi-position, lockable A-coding that supports variable cable installation. The new connectors simplify making secure sensor and actuator connections in applications such as factory automation and robotics.
Learn more.

Thin film resistor for consumer and industrial electronics

Stackpole Electronics' CSRT2512-UP was developed to provide accurate, high-power current sensing for consumer and industrial electronic devices that exceed the capabilities of most 2512 case sizes available in the industry. The AEC-Q200-compliant CSRT2512-UP has unique thin film material properties and processing to provide higher continuous power ratings and higher pulse power ratings than other thin film chip resistors. Benefits include: high performance, high continuous and pulse power handling, and the known high reliability of thin film technology.
Learn more.

Under-$100 Lidar named CES 2022 Innovation Awards Honoree

Cepton Technologies has been named a CES 2022 Innovation Awards Honoree in the Vehicle Intelligence & Transportation category for its Nova product, a miniature, wide-field-of-view lidar sensor for near-range applications. Nova is designed to help minimize perception blind spots to enhance advanced driver assistant systems and autonomous driving capabilities in modern vehicles. It enables high-res 3D imaging to accurately detect small children, on-road objects, protrusions, and road edges. The giant CES 2022 consumer electronics and technology trade runs Jan. 5-8, 2022, in Las Vegas.
Learn more.
See all of the CES 2022 Innovation Awards Honorees.

Resolve EMI and EMC challenges with Ansys

EMA3D Cable solves complex EMI and EMC challenges related to high-intensity radiated fields, lightning strikes, radiated emissions and conducted susceptibility, and other issues. It is being used to build complete models of cars and planes, including every cable. Ansys HFSS is the world's foremost antenna design and modeling tool. Its comprehensive set of solvers allows engineers to address diverse electromagnetic problems ranging in detail and scale from passive integrated circuit components to extremely large-scale EM analyses, such as automotive radar scenes for advanced driver-assistance systems.
Read this informative Ansys blog.

Upgraded mechanical pressure switch portfolio

NOSHOK's new mechanical pressure switch program has been engineered to address a wider range of applications and provide a significantly expanded selection of process and electrical connection options. Each of the four new NOSHOK switch series offers vacuum, low-pressure, and high-pressure options; is CE compliant to suppress RFI, EMI, and ESD; and is RoHS compliant. In addition, NOSHOK has improved its production efficiency and expanded its inventory to better accommodate orders and provide faster delivery.
Learn more.

Highest-rated current inductors for automotive Power over Coax systems

TDK's ADL3225VM inductors are for use in automotive Power over Coax (PoC) systems. Measuring 3.2 x 2.5 x 2.5 mm, they provide a compact solution for designers looking to reduce vehicle weight as manufacturers add more sensors and cameras to accommodate expanding automotive and advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS) applications. The proprietary structural design and wire winding manufacturing process ensure high impedance over a broad bandpass of 1 MHz up to 1 GHz. The inductors are compliant with AEC-Q200 and achieve the highest-rated current in the industry for the 3225 size.
Learn more.

Advanced circulators overcome mmWave design challenges

As communica-tions providers race to deliver on the potential of 5G, research and design projects are already looking toward 6G and beyond. However, a major hurdle awaits the impending move up the millimeter wave (mmWave) spectrum: a lack of acceptable mmWave components that can offer a wide bandwidth. Micro Harmonics has an answer.
Read the full article.

Antimicrobial switches disinfect themselves

Are switches that disinfect themselves too good to be true? It is possible. Antimicrobial coatings inhibit the growth of microorganisms and even kill them. When applied to switches, this technology is perfectly suited for medical technology, sanitation areas, and the food service industry. All completely sealed switches from SCHURTER (piezoelectric, capacitive, or ToF) are perfectly suited for this coating upgrade, which kills microorganisms effectively by oxidation using photodynamic self-purification technology.
Learn more.

Expanded enclosure A/C inventory

Seifert Systems has completed their warehouse expansion, significantly increasing the types and quantity of enclosure air conditioners available. Air conditioners with popular cooling capacities within 1,000 to 21,000 BTU/hr are in stock and ready to ship. Among these are the Progressive, filterless SlimLine, and Compact Series of enclosure air conditioners as well as thermoelectric coolers. Seifert enclosure air conditioners come with a two-year warranty. SlimLine units are only 4.5 in. deep, and many Progressive units share the same size footprint for easier planning when needed for more than one application.
See what Seifert Systems has to offer.

Reversible-flow fans: Directional flow and speed control in one unit

Orion Fans has launched a series of micro-controller-based, up to IP68-rated, reversible-flow fans. By utilizing PWM signals to control fan speed, the fans provide engineers an innovative solution to some of their most challenging cooling requirements: speed and airflow direction controlled by one fan without supplementing excess wires or circuitry. Reversible-flow fans are a specialty design that enables unique applications. You may be surprised at their versatility.
Learn more.

Cool Tools: Leica RTC360 3D laser scanner -- LIDAR for big jobs

The new Leica RTC360 laser scanner available from Exact Metrology makes 3D reality capture faster than ever before. With a measuring rate of up to 2 million points per sec, colored 3D point clouds can be completed in under 2 min. Automated, targetless field registration and seamless, automated data transfer from site to office reduce time spent in the field. The CAD models are generally used for factory/shop floor layout plans, power plant equipment changeouts, proof dimensioning, and much more. In addition to the 3D model, full spherical HDR imagining is appended directly to the point cloud, giving a photo-realistic effect to the data and allowing for virtual walkthroughs of the areas, shareable markups, geo-referencing, and meta-tagging. So many uses.
Learn more.

Eaton developing suite of 48-V technologies to help vehicle manufacturers meet new global emission regulations

Most vehicles have traditionally operated with a 12-V system, but with tightening fuel economy regulations and new, advanced power-consuming components being added, increasing power needs are driving the move toward 48-V systems.
Read the full article.

igus unveils new sensor for smart plastics predictive maintenance

igus has developed a sensor for its smart plastics software that calculates the remaining service life of energy chains, cables, linear guides, and plain bearings during operation. The i.cee:local sensor optimizes the life of the system, detects faults, allows them to be fixed at an early stage, and allows for maintenance to be planned in advance. This sensor can be integrated via the internet or without IoT connectivity via the local network, depending on customer requirements. Smart plastics sensors monitor abrasion, measure the pull/push force, and provide information about an imminent overload.
Learn more.

U.S. scientists make matter and antimatter from light

A new study demonstrates a long-predicted process for generating matter directly from light -- plus evidence that magnetism can bend polarized photons along different paths in a vacuum.

Scientists studying particle collisions at the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider (RHIC), a U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science user facility for nuclear physics research at DOE's Brookhaven National Laboratory, have produced definitive evidence for two physics phenomena predicted more than 80 years ago. The results were derived from a detailed analysis of more than 6,000 pairs of electrons and positrons produced in glancing particle collisions at RHIC and are published in Physical Review Letters.

The primary finding is that pairs of electrons and positrons -- particles of matter and antimatter -- can be created directly by colliding very energetic photons, which are quantum "packets" of light. This conversion of energetic light into matter is a direct consequence of Einstein's famous E=mc2 equation, which states that energy and matter (or mass) are interchangeable. Nuclear reactions in the sun and at nuclear power plants regularly convert matter into energy. Now scientists have converted light energy directly into matter in a single step.

Making matter from light: Two gold (Au) ions (red) move in opposite directions at 99.995% of the speed of light (v, for velocity, = approximately c, the speed of light). As the ions pass one another without colliding, two photons (γ) from the electromagnetic cloud surrounding the ions can interact with each other to create a matter-antimatter pair: an electron (e-) and positron (e+).





The second result shows that the path of light traveling through a magnetic field in a vacuum bends differently depending on how that light is polarized. Such polarization-dependent deflection (known as birefringence) occurs when light travels through certain materials. (This effect is similar to the way wavelength-dependent deflection splits white light into rainbows.) This new work is the first demonstration of polarization-dependent light-bending in a vacuum.

Both results depend on the ability of RHIC's STAR detector -- the Solenoid Tracker at RHIC -- to measure the angular distribution of particles produced in glancing collisions of gold ions moving at nearly the speed of light.

Colliding clouds of photons
Such capabilities didn't exist when physicists Gregory Breit and John A. Wheeler first described the hypothetical possibility of colliding light particles to create pairs of electrons and their antimatter counterparts, known as positrons, in 1934.

"In their paper, Breit and Wheeler already realized this is almost impossible to do," said Brookhaven Lab physicist Zhangbu Xu, a member of RHIC's STAR Collaboration. "Lasers didn't even exist yet! But Breit and Wheeler proposed an alternative: accelerating heavy ions. And their alternative is exactly what we are doing at RHIC."

The STAR detector at the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider measured the angular distribution of particles produced in glancing collisions of gold ions moving at nearly the speed of light to provide evidence for two physics phenomena predicted more than 80 years ago.





An ion is essentially a naked atom, stripped of its electrons. A gold ion, with 79 protons, carries a powerful positive charge. Accelerating such a charged heavy ion to very high speeds generates a powerful magnetic field that spirals around the speeding particle as it travels -- like current flowing through a wire.

"If the speed is high enough, the strength of the circular magnetic field can be equal to the strength of the perpendicular electric field," Xu said. And that arrangement of perpendicular electric and magnetic fields of equal strength is exactly what a photon is -- a quantized "particle" of light. "So, when the ions are moving close to the speed of light, there are a bunch of photons surrounding the gold nucleus, traveling with it like a cloud."

At RHIC, scientists accelerate gold ions to 99.995% of the speed of light in two accelerator rings.

"We have two clouds of photons moving in opposite directions with enough energy and intensity that when the two ions graze past each other without colliding, those photon fields can interact," Xu said.

STAR physicists tracked the interactions and looked for the predicted electron-positron pairs.

But such particle pairs can be created by a range of processes at RHIC, including through "virtual" photons, a state of photon that exists briefly and carries an effective mass. To be sure the matter-antimatter pairs were coming from real photons, scientists have to demonstrate that the contribution of "virtual" photons does not change the outcome of the experiment.

To do that, the STAR scientists analyzed the angular distribution patterns of each electron relative to its partner positron. These patterns differ for pairs produced by real photon interactions versus virtual photons.

"We also measured all the energy, mass distributions, and quantum numbers of the systems. They are consistent with theory calculations for what would happen with real photons," said Daniel Brandenburg, a Goldhaber Fellow at Brookhaven Lab, who analyzed the STAR data on this discovery.

Other scientists have tried to create electron-positron pairs from collisions of light using powerful lasers -- focused beams of intense light. But the individual photons within those intense beams don't have enough energy yet, Brandenburg said.

One experiment at the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory in 1997 succeeded by using a nonlinear process. Scientists there first had to boost the energy of the photons in one laser beam by colliding it with a powerful electron beam. Collisions of the boosted photons with multiple photons simultaneously in an enormous electromagnetic field created by another laser produced matter and antimatter.

"Our results provide clear evidence of direct, one-step creation of matter-antimatter pairs from collisions of light as originally predicted by Breit and Wheeler," Brandenburg said. "Thanks to RHIC's high-energy heavy ion beam and the STAR detector's large acceptance and precision measurements, we are able to analyze all the kinematic distributions with high statistics to determine that the experimental results are indeed consistent with real photon collisions."

Bending light in a vacuum
STAR's ability to measure the tiny deflections of electrons and positrons produced almost back-to-back in these events also gave the physicists a way to study how light particles interact with the powerful magnetic fields generated by the accelerated ions.

"The cloud of photons surrounding the gold ions in one of RHIC's beams is shooting into the strong circular magnetic field produced by the accelerated ions in the other gold beam," said Chi Yang, a long-time STAR collaborator from Shandong University who spent his entire career studying electron-positron pairs produced from various processes at RHIC. "Looking at the distribution of particles that come out tells us how polarized light interacts with the magnetic field."

Bending polarized light: This illustration shows how light with different polarization directions (indicated by black arrows) passes through a material along two different paths (yellow beams). This is called the birefringence effect. Results from RHIC provide evidence that birefringence also happens in a magnetic field in a vacuum.





Werner Heisenberg and Hans Heinrich Euler in 1936, and John Toll in the 1950s, predicted that a vacuum of empty space could be polarized by a powerful magnetic field and that such a polarized vacuum should deflect the paths of photons depending on photon polarization. Toll, in his thesis, also detailed how light absorption by a magnetic field depends on polarization and its connection to the refractive index of light in a vacuum. This polarization-dependent deflection, or birefringence, has been observed in many types of crystals. There was also a recent report of the light coming from a neutron star bending this way, presumably because of its interactions with the star's magnetic field. But no Earth-based experiment has detected birefringence in a vacuum.

At RHIC, the scientists measured how the polarization of the light affected whether the light was "absorbed" by the magnetic field.

This is similar to the way polarized sunglasses block certain rays from passing through if they don't match the polarization of the lenses, Yang explained. In the case of the sunglasses, in addition to seeing less light get through, you could, in principle, measure an increase in the temperature of the lens material as it absorbs the energy of the blocked light. At RHIC, the absorbed light energy is what creates the electron-positron pairs.

"When we look at the products produced by photon-photon interactions at RHIC, we see that the angular distribution of the products depends on the angle of the polarization of the light. This indicates that the absorption (or passing) of light depends on its polarization," Yang said.

This is the first Earth-based experimental observation that polarization affects the interactions of light with the magnetic field in the vacuum -- the vacuum birefringence predicted in 1936.

"Both of these findings build on predictions made by some of the great physicists in the early 20th century," said Frank Geurts, a professor at Rice University, whose team built and operated the state-of-the-art "Time-of-Flight" detector components of STAR that were necessary for this measurement. "They are based on fundamental measurements made possible only recently with the technologies and analysis techniques we have developed at RHIC."

Source: Brookhaven National Laboratory

Published September 2021

Rate this article

[U.S. scientists make matter and antimatter from light]

Very interesting, with information I can use
Interesting, with information I may use
Interesting, but not applicable to my operation
Not interesting or inaccurate

E-mail Address (required):


Type the number:

Copyright © 2022 by Nelson Publishing, Inc. All rights reserved. Reproduction Prohibited.
View our terms of use and privacy policy