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Researcher receives prestigious Peter Kapitza Award

Annual Research Report Article
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FAMU-FSU Engineering
Peter Kapitza
Peter Kapitza

In May 2019, Shiran Bao, Ph.D., a postdoctoral researcher at the cryogenics lab at the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory, was selected as the winner of the prestigious Peter Kapitza Award from the International Institute of Refrigeration (IIR).

Bao is part of associate professor Wei Guo’s cryogenics group. His research at the cryogenics lab focuses on developing molecular tagging-based flow visualization techniques in cryogenic helium and the relevant applications to various practical engineering problems. One aspect of Bao’s recent work is the development of a novel flow visualization-based quench-spot detection method for superconducting radio frequency (SRF) cavities.

By analyzing the tracer-line deformation, Bao showed that the heater location can be reproduced within a few hundred microns, which significantly advances the state-ofthe- art of cavity diagnostics.

His analysis also uncovered important physics for solving the decades-long puzzle underlying the operation of second-sound triangulation cavity diagnosis. He found that the heat transported in He II is only a small fraction of the total input heat. The remaining heat energy is consumed in the formation of a cavitation zone near the heater. By analyzing the size of this cavitation zone, Bao and Guo proposed a model that can quantitatively explain the fast second sound evidenced in those triangulation experiments.

Kapitza was a leading Soviet physicist and Nobel Laureate.