Space Fuel: Oak Ridge National Laboratory to Produce Plutonium-238

Fanny Griesmer July 4, 2012

The end of July marks the beginning of a $20 million R&D project led by the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) to produce and process plutonium-238. The U.S. space program will be using the Pu-238 that is to be produced by ORNL as fuel for future deep-space missions.

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Phil Kinnane June 29, 2012

In an earlier blog post, I commented on how acoustic waves are being used in a biomedical setting, to identify malaria in small fluid samples. A more traditional use of piezoelectric devices was written about in the latest COMSOL News. Here, an Italian company, Esaote S.p.A., uses them to produce improved ultrasound imaging systems.

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Phil Kinnane June 28, 2012

One of the interesting stories to come out of the latest COMSOL News concerned a couple of great researchers, Dr. Ozgur Yildirim and Dr. Zihong Guo, and how they use simulations in their inventing process. They work in an invention/prototype laboratory in Bellevue, WA for Intellectual Ventures, a global leader in the business of invention.

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Phil Kinnane June 26, 2012

I have always connected Surface Acoustic Waves (SAWs) as phenomena useful for sensors; where SAW devices act as the medium that transfers mechanical energy (of what you’re measuring) to electrical (what’s used to measure it). SAWs would occur at the surface of a piezoelectric device, mechanically changing it, and then the resulting electrical behavior would be used to provide the measurement. We have a great example that shows how such things can be modeled in a SAW gas sensor.

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David Kan June 22, 2012

We developed COMSOL Multiphysics to empower the engineering and science communities with state-of-the-art simulation tools. A key ingredient of this empowerment is flexibility. COMSOL users are already well aware of the full compatibility between various physics. This means you can put any (yes, really any) combination of COMSOL physics together. But that’s not the only way our multiphysics simulation tool is flexible.

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Phil Kinnane June 20, 2012

According to a study done by Brunel University in the United Kingdom, the food sector is among the top five energy-consuming industries. The transportation of food, including keeping it refrigerated, is one of the larger contributing factors to this energy-consumption and subsequent greenhouse gas emissions.

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Phil Kinnane June 12, 2012

One dangerous aspect of corrosion is that it can compromise the stability of structures, which is particularly relevant in the naval industry, where material failure leads to leaks. However, another danger of corrosion has recently become apparent.

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Phil Kinnane June 11, 2012

Before you drink your next pint of Guinness, have a close look at the bubbles in the brew, and see if they sink. Apparently they do. Now a group of scientists from the University of Limerick in Ireland (where else?) has modeled the phenomenon of sinking bubbles in Guinness beer to lend weight to this finding and provide a theoretical explanation.

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Fanny Griesmer June 8, 2012

After reading about the COMSOL users over at MACCOR in David’s blog post I decided to watch Venus’ transit of the Sun live via their online stream from Tulsa, OK. This was a once in a lifetime opportunity that I, like many people around the world, did not want to miss.

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Phil Kinnane June 6, 2012

The June issue of IEEE Spectrum included an insert focused on Multiphysics Simulation. This included a feature on cooling in hybrid cars, articles about metamaterials, the smart power grid, as well as biomedical applications.

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Fanny Griesmer June 1, 2012

There are many exciting new features in the Particle Tracing Module for COMSOL Multiphysics version 4.3. The secondary particle emission feature is particularly fascinating. “This new option for the Wall Condition allows you to model filter multipliers and multipactors, which were previously very difficult to model”, says Dan Smith, Development Team Leader at COMSOL. A mathematical expression, like a logical expression containing the particle energy for instance, can be used to determine the number of secondary particles to be released. […]

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