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Matsuyama Lake Horizontal Scattered Fission Neutron Biotechnology

  X-rays can “capture” medical images of the human body, while in the fields of materials science, chemistry, life science, medicine, etc., scientists are hoping for a high-brightness “neutron source” that can capture the microstructure of materials as well as X-rays. In materials science, chemistry, life science, medicine and other fields, scientists hope to have a high brightness “neutron source” that can capture the microstructure of materials like X-rays. The Fission Neutron Source was born. It is like a super microscope, studying the structure of DNA, crystalline materials, polymers, etc., and unveiling the mystery of this big world.
  Previously, only three countries in the world had pulsed fission neutron sources, namely the UK, the US and Japan. The ChinaSpallationNeutronSource became the first fission neutron source owned by a developing country, which is also the largest scientific device in China.
  ChinaSpallationNeutronSource is built in Songshan Lake, a place very close to Shenzhen. This place was originally rich in the high quality lychee variety “Nuo Mi Ci”, and was chosen to build the source in 2006 because it was also a most suitable place for building a large scientific device. We started construction in October 2011, and after six and a half years of construction, it was finally completed and accepted in August 2018.
  The linear gas pedal at the China Scattered Neutron Source produces 80 million electron volts of protons and then sends them to a fast-cycle gas pedal – by fast-cycle, I mean that the cycle frequency can reach 25 hertz, or 25 cycles per second. The fast cycle gas pedal can accelerate 80 million electron volt protons to 1.6 billion electron volts, and then let these proton beams go to hit the intermediate target station, which will produce scattered neutrons, and then we use measuring instruments to collect various information about the scattered neutrons. on August 28, 2017, we successfully realized the operation of the scattered neutron source, which can be precisely described as – -Songsan Lake level, and the scattered neutron was born.
  The basic principle of the scattered neutron source is to generate a proton beam with energy above 1 gigaelectron volt (i.e., 1 GeV, 1 gigaelectron volt = 1 × 109 electron volts) with a high-energy strong-flow proton gas pedal, which bombards a heavy element target (such as tungsten or uranium), where a scattering reaction occurs and a large number of neutrons are produced. When 1 high-energy proton, hits the nucleus of a heavy element, it bombards a number of neutrons, a process known as the scattering reaction. The temperature of the bombarded nucleus increases, and more neutrons “boil up” and break free of the nucleus. The scattering reaction is similar to the process of throwing a tennis ball into a basket full of balls, where some of the balls immediately pop out and more of them bounce and tumble out. Each proton interacting with a nucleus is capable of bombarding 20 to 30 neutrons.
  A powerful tool for exploring the microscopic world: a large gas pedal
  Why build a big scientific device like the Scattered Fission Neutron Source?
  Looking back at the progress of physics, the 20th century was literally the century of physics, in which physics took three great leaps. more than 100 years ago, we discovered that atoms are made of electrons and nuclei, and later that nuclei are made of protons and neutrons. in the 1960s and 1970s, we finally discovered that protons and neutrons are not the final units of the structure of matter, but that they are made of much smaller They are made up of smaller particles, quarks, which Chinese scientists named “laminons” at that time. Each proton and neutron contains three quarks.
  In order to study the three big leaps in the structure of matter, it is necessary to build very large gas pedals. This is because as the structure of the matter under study gets smaller, higher and higher energies are needed to break down the matter. In order to obtain particles with high energy, very large gas pedals need to be built. One of the eight high-energy gas pedal centers in the world and the first high-energy gas pedal in China, the Beijing Positron Collider, has a circumference of 240 meters, and the circumference of the gas pedal at CERN, the world’s largest particle physics laboratory, located in Geneva It is even 27 kilometers. This is because only with such a large scientific installation can we obtain particles of very high energy to study the microscopic world, to find the smallest units that make up matter, and to study the laws of their interaction.
  All matter is made up of molecules and atoms. Among them, the atom consists of a nucleus and electrons moving around the nucleus, which in turn consists of protons and neutrons. Neutrons are uncharged and penetrating. If a sufficient number of neutrons are directed at a material, it is possible to “detect” the microstructure and internal movement of the material without harming its body, which is the strongest scientific penetrating eye. To obtain and control neutrons, it is necessary to have a proper neutron source, i.e., a device that can release neutrons. Neutron sources come in many varieties and have a wide range of uses in physics, engineering, medicine, nuclear weapons, oil exploration, biology, chemistry, nuclear power, and other industries.
  Physics took 3 big leaps in the 20th century that ultimately had a profound impact on humanity.
  On the one hand, it became productive. Such as Daya Bay Nuclear Power Station, Jiangmen Nuclear Power Station, we also use Daya Bay and Jiangmen Nuclear Power Station neutrinos to do experiments; nowadays, we emphasize green energy and carbon neutrality, and nuclear power is a very important clean energy source; using nuclear medical imaging to diagnose whether there are diseases in the body, using industrial CT to check whether there are defects in equipment, using radioactive gas pedal therapy to treat cancer, etc. These are all the 20th century physics research These are the results of physics research in the 20th century. This transformation also includes the development of computers, cell phones, and navigation systems that we all use today. Another important impact is that it has led to great changes in society. The well-known one is nuclear weapons, which were born from nuclear physics research.
  In addition, there is another impact that may not be as well known. Today we are surfing the Internet every day, reading news, chatting with friends, and shopping online, so how did the Web come about? It is actually a by-product of particle physics research as well. 1988, for the collaboration of a large scientific experiment, CERN invented the Web page. This large scientific project consisted of four experiments, each completed by the combined efforts of several thousand scientists spread around the world, from Japan, China, India, and Pakistan in the east, to Europe in the west, to New York on the east coast of the United States, Chicago in the middle, San Francisco on the west coast, and all the way to Hawaii, spanning a time zone difference of 20 hours. At that time, there was no such convenient cross-border telephone as now, much less free Internet phone, and communication was very difficult, and correspondence had to be by telex, similar to a telegram, with a very limited number of words expressed. At that time, a British scientist at CERN in Geneva proposed to use the then newly born Internet to open up a space for people to express their opinions. When the Japanese and Chinese scientists went to work, they could express their opinions, and then when the European scientists went to work six or seven hours later, they could express their opinions again, thus creating a network of interconnected communication.
  At that time, people expected that the Internet would be very promising, but of course they never expected that it would have such a big impact now. CERN and the British scientist said: Those of us who do particle physics research are supported by taxpayer money and therefore do not apply for patents to contribute this invention to all of humanity. So now, everyone is using their cell phones every day to read the web, to shop, to chat, and all these things are from such an invention. As you can see, big scientific research is not only to achieve a big leap in basic research theory, but also will promote the birth and development of many technologies.
  Going back to our national weapon, in order to study the smallest unit of the structure of matter, very large gas pedals are built to generate very high energy, thus going to study very small scales, such as 10-13 cm, or even 10-15 cm or 10-16 cm.

  Such equipment can be divided into two categories. One category is dedicated to a particular discipline, such as the fully superconducting tokamak fusion experimental device (EAST) in Hefei, known as the artificial sun, or the 500-meter spherical radio telescope Eye in the Sky (FAST) in Guizhou, or the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at CERN in Geneva, all belong to a specialized equipment in a particular field. Another category is large research platforms. Large gas pedals are capable of producing synchrotron radiation (synchrotron radiation is the electromagnetic radiation emitted by charged particles moving along an arc-shaped orbit in a magnetic field at speeds close to the speed of light, and is called “synchrotron radiation” because it was first observed at a synchrotron) and neutrons. Synchrotron radiation produces a very strong X-ray, billions or even tens of billions of times stronger than medical X-rays. Both it and neutrons are very good tools for studying the structure of matter, so the equipment for producing these tools becomes a very favorable platform for studying the structure of matter.
  The National Weapon: Scattered Fission Neutron Source
  The origin of China’s big scientific device was in 1984, when the state approved the construction of China’s first high-energy gas pedal, the Beijing Positron Collider. It should be said that this decision is very visionary, the Beijing positron collider has opened up a new era in the construction of large scientific devices in China, which has not only produced a wealth of scientific results, but also prompted the continuous development of large scientific devices like synchrotron radiation source and fission neutron source in China. At the same time, through so many years of personnel training and management mechanism construction, China’s large scientific devices have made very great progress.
  I had the honor to lead the construction of two large scientific devices. One is the Beijing Positron-Negative Electron Collider major renovation project. 1984-1988, we built the Beijing Positron-Negative Electron Collider. 10 years later, in order to maintain the international leading position of this device, we carried out a major renovation of it in 2004-2008. We overcame many difficulties and completed the renovation on schedule without exceeding the budget, and the performance of the renovated device was 100 times better than before. There is also the High Energy Synchrotron Radiation Light Source under construction in Huairou, Beijing. Devices like these are super microscopes for exploring the microscopic world. To study the nature of the structure of matter, you need to figure out the structure of matter before you can understand its nature.
  Here I would like to highlight to you another big scientific device – the China Fission Neutron Source built in Dongguan. Fission neutron sources have some typical applications.
  For example, combustible ice (a crystalline substance formed by natural gas and water under high pressure and low temperature conditions, which looks like ice and ignites when it meets fire) can be mined in the South China Sea, so why are we not continuing to mine it now? Because the nature of combustible ice needs to be understood, which also requires understanding its structure first, and only then can we safely mine, store, transport and utilize it. Combustible ice is at the bottom of the South China Sea, and the mineral zone is tens to hundreds of kilometers long and tens of meters thick, so if we suddenly go to poke goo it, or suddenly gasify it, the consequences may be unimaginable.
  Then there are the defects and damage inside the rocket engine, which can only be detected with neutrons. And batteries, electric cars essentially rely on batteries, we want it to charge fast, high capacity, and safe performance, so how to do? Only neutron scattering can do this. There is also the single particle effect of chips, in the international frontier research, such as in basic science and applied basic science research, neutrons are also very important, because neutrons are magnetic, it is not charged but magnetic, so the penetration ability is very strong, is a very good means of studying magnetic materials.
  In addition, neutrons are characterized by being very sensitive to carbon, hydrogen, oxygen and nitrogen, the most common elements in life sciences and energy sciences, which synchrotron radiation cannot do. So we can use it to study the structure of drugs, and study the process of drug action and transport in the human body. Superconductors, which are essentially very complex substances closely related to magnetic structures, are very important to study superconductivity with neutrons. Spintronics, which is now often heard of quantum materials, to study the nature of spintronics, also need to use the scattered neutron source. Catalysts, more than 90% of chemical reactions use catalysts, but how catalysts actually work, chemists have not had the means to systematically study. Neutron scattering can penetrate through very thick high-temperature and high-pressure chemical containers to study how catalysts work in situ, providing chemists with a very important research tool.
  There is also the study of metal fatigue. For example, the aero-engine, China is facing the aero-engine “heart disease”, is also one of the biggest difficulties that limit the development of our aero-engine performance, is the blade metal fatigue – people will feel fatigue, the metal will also be fatigue, it is tens of thousands of revolutions per minute, turning The time is long, can not stand it, will crack will break. Various parts of the aircraft engine have similar problems. Another example is the high-speed rail, more than 20 years ago, the German high-speed train ICE (that is, Germany’s Intercity Express, InterCityExpress, abbreviated as ICE) occurred in a major accident, resulting in hundreds of deaths, the cause is metal fatigue. In order to deal with metal fatigue, we have to understand how many kilometers of operation should be changed, 100,000 km, 150,000 km, or 200,000 km? What is the difference between the wheels built by different processes? This was finally done with the Scattered Fission Neutron Source. By using it to measure wheels that have just been built, as well as wheels that have run for tens of thousands or hundreds of thousands of kilometers, the metal fatigue phenomenon can be observed. The measured data is used to specify the service life of the wheels, thus eliminating the recurrence of such incidents. The total mileage of China’s high-speed rail now accounts for 70% of the total mileage of the world’s high-speed rail, but our wheels were once imported, and in order for the domestic wheels to be identified for use, their residual stress (i.e., the force between the parts of the object to resist deformation due to external factors such as force, humidity, temperature field changes, etc.) needs to be measured, which is also one of the important tasks of the Scattered Neutron Source. This is one of the important tasks of the source.
  Because of these urgent needs, we proposed to build the China Scattered Fission Neutron Source at the turn of the century. At that time, the world already had the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, the Oak Ridge National Laboratory, and the Japan Atomic Energy Research Institute (JAERI), which are the UK’s scattered neutron source, and the US’s scattered neutron source. -Japan Atomic Energy Research Institute. At that time, we realized that in order to optimize China’s scattered neutron source and the layout of China’s large scientific devices, they could not be built only in Beijing and Shanghai. Lu Yongxiang, the president of the Chinese Academy of Sciences at that time, proposed to closely combine the strong strength of the Chinese Academy of Sciences in basic and applied basic research, the strong economic strength of the Pearl River Delta region, and the national demand for science and technology upgrading, technological development, and industrial upgrading.
  In February 2006, I went to Guangzhou to attend a meeting to introduce the Scattered Fission Neutron Source in search of a construction site. The leaders of Guangdong Province expressed great support and recommended three sites at that time – Zhuhai, Luogang in Guangzhou and Songshan Lake in Dongguan. We finally chose Songshan Lake.
  We faced up to difficulties and made the best of it
  During the construction period, we encountered many difficulties.
  For example, the construction ratio of the tunnel concrete was wrong – workers wrongly learned from the experience of building Shanghai Light Source (i.e. Shanghai Synchrotron Radiation Light Source experimental platform), thinking that the concrete was more than 1 meter thick, and the cement inside could not be more, and the solidification heat of the cement after more would cause cracks leading to water seepage. However, Shanghai is in the ground construction, we are in the south 19 meters deep underground, groundwater is very rich, so the first rainy season after the construction of water seepage, almost is “water flooding Jinshan”. For this reason, we built a new tunnel around the outer bread, which finally solved the problem, but delayed the progress for more than a year. We felt that the time promised to the country could not be changed, so we took all the methods, including the equipment that should have been installed directly into the tunnel, first installed on the ground to debug the maturity, and then installed down after the tunnel was built, while taking parallel construction. All these required extra efforts, but I felt that with so many national strategic needs waiting for us, we could not slacken off and finally completed the construction of the installation on schedule.

  There are other difficulties. For example, high-powered magnets weighing more than 20 tons individually, to pass thousands of amperes of current, there is an international problem: the resulting vibration will damage the magnet. Just like old fluorescent lamps with ballasts, it would clatter, but the consequences of something weighing more than 20 tons clattering would be very serious. We worked very hard to solve this problem, and the first time we hit the target, we succeeded, and we got a neutron beam that was exactly as expected when we pressed the button to go.
  In July 2017, I led a delegation from the Chinese Physical Society to visit the UK’s Scattered Fission Neutron Source, and their director said, “You should be careful when you hit the target next month, we have hit the target before and a week or two went by after pressing the button, and we didn’t know where the beam stream had gone. All kinds of equipment or software failures have lost the beam, so you have to be prepared to “debark”. But we designed it well, we built the equipment well, we installed it well, and even though our team was very young, we achieved it as soon as we pressed on, and it was very fruitful.
  The Fission Neutron Source now has more than 2000 users, 1/4 of which are from Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macau Bay Area, and more than 60 articles related to the equipment have been published. Professor Mingxin Huang’s team at the University of Hong Kong has discovered the world’s strongest and very tough super steel – steel tends to be brittle if it is strong, how to achieve high strength and good toughness, and by what means to prove the team’s findings, which needs to be explained by the China Scattered Neutron Source. Studying the structure of steel through neutron scattering revealed the principles behind its properties, and the final results were published in the journal Science.
  The China Scattered Neutron Source has users all over the country, in many provinces and cities, and is growing very fast, with a 1-fold increase in user applications in the spring of 2021, due to the fact that neutron scattering in China is developing very fast, and 15% of the articles about neutron scattering in the world are now signed by Chinese units.
  In August 2020, we did the experiment of Boron Neutron CaptureTherapy (BoronNeutronCaptureTherapy, abbreviated as BNCT, currently one of the most advanced international cancer treatments that selectively destroys cancer cells while avoiding serious damage to normal cells). It is a binary precision therapy using the technology of scattered neutron sources to inject targeted drugs with boron neutrons into the body. This targeting action is able to coagulate on the tumor and then take the neutrons to irradiate to cure the cancer, and the irradiation is not precisely targeted. Heavy ion or proton gas pedal for cancer treatment is very complicated, it has to accurately control the energy, reach the specified depth, and also specify a strict shape, so it costs more than 1 billion or even 2 billion dollars. Our technology does not require targeting, it is a binary therapy, and we are already doing animal experiments and aiming to be able to start clinical trials by this time in 2022. I think this is a major innovation in cancer treatment.
  Impacting the future of science and technology innovation
  The construction of a large scientific device is a long process.
  We proposed the idea in 1999, got the agreement in principle from the central government in 2000, and by the time it passed the national acceptance, it was already 2018. This requires a farsighted consideration of national needs and planning, and a very good team to work hard to realize this plan. I think the scattered neutron source will become a real national weapon, and it will be able to provide a state-of-the-art research platform for national economic development and national security, as well as the most powerful tool for frontier scientific research.
  We have passed the review of the National Development and Reform Commission and will start the second phase of the Scattered Fission Neutron Source in 2021 to increase its power by 5 times – with a 5-fold increase in neutron flow strength, the time to obtain data will be reduced to 1/5 of the original time with the same experimental accuracy. with the increased flow strength, it will be possible to study smaller samples and observe faster processes. At the same time, we will be able to reach the neutron flow strength of individual pulses of the scattering neutron sources in the United States and Japan.
  In addition, according to the planning of Guangdong Province and the Chinese Academy of Sciences, we will also build the Southern Light Source to the west of the Fission Neutron Source. I think this is the best combination, and it will play a very big role in the science and technology innovation and the construction of a comprehensive national science center in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area.
  Building an innovative country is the responsibility of our generation, and science and technology innovation is a very crucial step to achieve the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation. We hope our story and efforts can encourage more young people to dedicate themselves to science. Only when more outstanding young people dedicate themselves to science and technology of the country can our scientific and technological innovation be realized, because scientific and technological innovation ultimately requires people to do it.

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