News in brief
News in brief
Volcanic eruption making waves
On 15 January 2022, the underwater volcano Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai erupted in the South Pacific. It was the strongest explosive eruption in around 140 years, triggering a tsunami and causing severe damage in the island nation of Tonga. The outbreak also had an unexpected effect: in addition to the typical shock waves close to the ground, air oscillations were generated in higher layers of the atmosphere. The analysis of satellite data with the Jülich supercomputer JUWELS revealed this. These so-called gravity waves influence the climate and the weather. The data will now be used to test whether climate and weather models correctly describe the formation and propagation of such gravity waves.
– Jülich Supercomputing Centre –
Double quantum boost
Research into quantum technologies continues to be expanded. In the new QSolid project, coordinated by Forschungszentrum Jülich, a German quantum computer is being created. It is to be based on superconducting qubits that have a low error rate. The Federal Ministry of Education and Research and the industry are supporting the project with a total of € 76.3 million.
The federal state of North Rhine-Westphalia is concentrating quantum technology research in the new network “EIN Quantum NRW” – EIN (German for “one”) standing for Education, Innovation and Networking. The network aims to bring together universities, non-university research institutions and the business community. Up to € 20 million will be available for this purpose over the next five years. Jülich will be a strong driver of networking and cooperation.
– Peter Grünberg Institute/Jülich Supercomputing Centre/Central Institute of Engineering, Electronics and Analytics, Electronic Systems –
Press conference on “EIN Quantum NRW” with Jülich scientist Tommaso Calarco
A new state of matter
Provided they attract each other, several matter particles can join to form a larger unit, a cluster. Under certain conditions, however, even repulsive particles could form clusters – or so rearchers theoretically predicted some 20 years ago. A team from Jülich, Vienna and Siegen has now made this condition a reality for the first time. Like crystalline solids, the cluster crystal has a regular, lattice-like structure in which particles have a fixed place. What makes this special: in the new crystal, these lattice places are occupied by clusters consisting of several purely repulsive particles.
– Institute of Biological Information Processing –
“Greenhouse gas neutrality by 2045 is possible, both technically and economically.”
Prof. Detlef Stolten
An analysis by Jülich scientists shows how Germany can achieve a greenhouse gas-neutral energy supply.
More on this topic: go.fzj.de/greenhouse-gas-neutrality
Small variation with big consequences
The hormone oxytocin influences our social behaviour and fosters trust and empathy. Released in the brain, it triggers a chain of reactions in nerve cells. Mutations in the receptor of this “cuddle hormone” have long been associated with autism. A study by researchers from Regensburg and Jülich is the first to show in detail how even a small genetic variation of the receptor changes the effect of the hormone at the molecular and cellular level. In the long term, their results could lead to new therapies to treat patients with this mutation.
– Institute for Advanced Simulation and Institute of Neuroscience and Medicine –0.00
without any significant loss in performance – this is how long a perovskite solar cell, developed by Jülich scientists, lasted for the first time. Perovskites are a class of materials with a special crystal structure that can also consist of organic and inorganic materials. They are considered promising candidates for the solar modules of the future because production of such modules is easy, cost-effective and energy-saving. Their big disadvantage so far had been their very rapidly declining performance.
– Helmholtz-Institute Erlangen-Nürnberg for Renewable Energy –
Controlling pipelines with neutrons
Blockages in oil pipelines can have devastating consequences for supply. It is all the more important to find them quickly. However, common methods, such as thermal imaging cameras or gamma rays, do not work for pipelines under water. A research team with Jülich participation has found a new approach: neutrons. They can be used to measure the hydrogen concentration even through the pipe walls. This reveals whether there is oil, gas or hydrates in the pipe, the latter often being responsible for blockages. In the future, a mobile detector with a small neutron source could travel back and forth along the pipeline to measure the concentration.
– Jülich Centre for Neutron Science –
New energy record
Researchers from the European consortium EUROfusion have reached a milestone in the generation of fusion energy. In the JET test facility, they released 59 megajoules of energy, which is twice as many as the previous record set in 1997. Fusion reactors could cover part of the global energy demand in the future. Jülich researchers are also involved in EUROfusion.
– Institute of Energy and Climate Research –
Photos: NASA Worldview, NOAA/NESDIS/STAR, Natasa Adzic/Universität Wien, Forschungszentrum Jülich/Sascha Kreklau, Forschungszentrum Jülich/Mercedes Alfonso-Prieto, HI ERN/Kurt Fuchs, Nord Stream 2/Paul Langrock; Videos: Forschungszentrum Jülich