Four ways of finding vacuum leaks using helium

Of course, this is an extreme case, but as vacuum pressures get lower and lower, even the most seemingly secure and pristine of systems will soon show themselves to be less than tight. Tightness (or “the absence of leaks”) is required for numerous reasons, including: to ensure and maintain the pressure/vacuum; for product safety; for environmental standards; and for process efficiency. There are two aspects of leak technology worth examining: leak detection and leak measurement. 

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Interview with Dr Saim Memon

We are interviewing one of our contributors, Dr Saim Memon, Senior Lecturer in Electrical Engineering at London South Bank University.

With over eight years of experience in the field of vacuum science research, we discuss his background, interest and work in the industry as well as how vacuum science has evolved over the years.

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Introduction to the fundamentals of vacuum science & technology

Described as ‘a space in which the pressure is below surrounding atmospheric pressure’, vacuum science is a subject and concept that has stimulated many great minds for millennia.

The origins of vacuum science can be traced back to as early as the 4th century when Aristotle stated that ‘nature abhors a vacuum’. 

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ITER: Clean and sustainable energy (using vacuum vessels)

Energy from nuclear fusion must surely be the answer to the majority of the world’s on-going energy headaches. The fuels used in nuclear fusion are plentiful and readily available across the world. There are absolutely no greenhouse gas emissions and - unlike even the most up-to-date nuclear energy programmes - not only are there no long-term radioactive wastes to deal with, but the reactors cannot “run out of control”.

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The main CERN vacuum systems explained

The study of particle physics is conducted in machines known as particle accelerators (or particle colliders). These machines use huge electromagnetic fields to accelerate proton particles to velocities approaching the speed of light, focus them into a fine beam, and then monitor the matter that results from their collision with other particles.

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Hyperloop: Mass transit within a vacuum!

Man’s desire over the last three centuries to travel faster-and-further has been a tale of innovation and discovery to overcome the boundaries imposed by gravity and distances.

First there were hot air balloons, then the railway bonanza, then the internal combustion engine and automobiles, followed by airplanes (which evolved from cloth, wood, and wire contraptions) through to super-sonic jets, and then more recently fuel powered rockets which convey astronauts deep into the heavens.

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KATRIN experiment: Measuring the mass of a “ghost particle”

KATRIN (Karlsruhe Tritium Neutrino Experiment) is a programme to measure the mass of the electron anti-neutrino, with sub-eV precision. This experimental work, which is taking place at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), will investigate one of neutrino physics’ most important, but still unanswered, questions: “What is the absolute mass of neutrinos?”

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Vacuum Insulated Glazing in Energy Efficient Buildings

Vacuum insulated glazing is an emerging technology aimed at meeting the severe thermal performance requirements of net-zero energy windows. By creating a vacuum between panes of glass, thermal efficiency and sound insulation is maximised as no gas enters the space.

A smart triple vacuum glazing that can be placed over windows of buildings to reduce the thermal transmittance value (U value) of 0.33 Wm-2K-1 (a decrease of 88.21% of U value if compared with triple-air filled glazing) has been developed by Dr Saim Memon. 

The UK domestic housing stock consumes more space-heating energy than any other sector, with 27 million houses in the UK accounting for approximately 66% of total natural-gas consumption. 

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