Chinese scientists have used their recently-launched space lab,Tiangong-2, to conduct experiments using the Stirling Cryocooler. Seeming to come from the realms of science fiction and fantasy, the team from Lanzhou Institute of Physics have used the cryocooler to lower the temperature of superconductive devices, as reported by Xinhua. Described by one of the scientists as being, “like a huge refrigerator” it is able to cool materials down to a chilly minus 200 degrees Celsius, as opposed to a household freezer’s minus twenty maximum. Such technology is destined for applications in industry, such as supercooling metals in order to aid repair, amongst other industrial applications.
The space lab was launched by China in September 2016 and was recently staffed by two astronauts supplied by the Shenzhou-11 spacecraft for a 30 day period. During this time, the astronauts will conduct more than a dozen scientific experiments, some of which are to aid the development of a new, larger space station than the current example.
China’s recent expansion in its scientific capabilities have included building the world’s most powerful super computer, which also runs solely on Chinese hardware. The computer, known as the Sunway TaihuLight, has a peak speed of 93.01 Petaflops and is located at theNational Supercomputer CentrE in Wuxi, Jiangsu. It cost CNY1.8 billion or US$273 million to build and is used for oil prospecting, life sciences, weather forecasting, industrial design and drug research.
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