UCC Library was recently paid a visit by Farhad Fazel, UCC Physics Department, as he wanted to acknowledge the work the library does and to thank UCC Library staff for printing a 3D scale model of a dilution refrigerator which is located in the Kane Building Quantum Lab.
We asked him a few questions about the machine and how the library was able to help with their work.
What exactly is the Dilution Refrigeration Machine which UCC Library printed a scale model of?
This machine is a dilution refrigerator. A dilution refrigerator is a type of cryogenic refrigerator that is used to cool materials to very low temperatures, typically in the range of milliKelvin (mK) or microKelvin (μK).
It works by using a mixture of helium-3 and helium-4 isotopes, which are cooled down to extremely low temperatures, typically below 1 Kelvin. This mixture is then allowed to expand through a series of cooling stages, which reduces its temperature even further.
The dilution refrigerator is commonly used in scientific research, particularly in fields such as quantum computing, low-temperature physics, and materials science. It can reach much lower temperatures than other types of refrigerators, such as pulse-tube refrigerators or Stirling cycle refrigerators, making it a useful tool for studying the properties of materials at extremely low temperatures
In what way did the Library help you?
Throughout the project of printing those scale models, UCC library staff, and Martin O’Driscoll in particular, demonstrated exceptional patience and cooperation. Despite the numerous challenges we encountered for each part, they remained committed to the job (however sometimes it took several times to print one part in different orientations) and they were always willing to ensure that we achieved what we required.
How does the scaled Model which the library printed help you in your work?
1- Education: 3D printed scaled models can be used in educational settings to teach students about complex engineering concepts and design principles. This can help students to better understand how things work and how they are designed.
So, we used those printed parts to explain to students what is going on inside those machines without disassembling anything and it provides a much clearer view of what is inside.
2- Presenting: Scaled models can be used for presentation purposes, to showcase a product or concept to potential investors or Funders. This can be particularly useful in industries such as Cryogenics, where a scaled model can give a much clearer idea of what a machine will look like than a 2D drawing. So that 3D parts allowed us to explain things easier & more efficiently to the funder & scientists.
Where in UCC is the actual machine?
This machine is a DAVIS GROUP custom design apparatus, located in Kane Building Quantum Lab (based in Kane basement) and is working under supervision of Professor. Seamus Davis and his team.
Where can people see more?