J-PARC News - September 2015 (Issue #125) 
Successful Visualization of the Diversity and Ingenious
Mechanisms of Proteins in Experiments Using Neutrons at BL03 "iBIX"
      In a program of joint research with Ibaraki University, Ibaraki Prefecture and other institutions, a group from the University of Tokyo has carried out neutron diffraction experiments using the Ibaraki Biological Crystal Diffractometer (iBIX) of the Materials and Life Science Experimental Facility (MLF). In this way, they succeeded for the first time in the world in structural analysis, including hydrogen atom information, of the enzyme cellulase produced by the mushroom Phanerochaete chrysosporium, and elucidated the reaction mechanism of the enzyme.

      In the natural world, cellulose is efficiently decomposed by the cellulase released by various organisms. Cellulose is the main component of plants, and is the most abundant form of biomass on earth. There is a need to develop technology for efficiently degrading this cellulose, and converting it into various materials. In this experiment, it was found that the region important for the mushroom's cellulase reaction has a special structure, and that the enzyme reaction is repeated by hydrogen atoms moving around that region in a chained manner, as in Newton's cradle. It is expected that this result will be applied not only to the development of technology for inexpensive production of biofuels and plastic, but also to drug development.

      On the 21st, these results were featured in the U.S. Science Journal Science Advances.

Biomass : In the "Biomass Nippon Strategy" established by the Japanese government, biomass is defined as a renewable, organic resource derived from organisms. It excludes fossil resources.

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High Marks in Demonstration Experiment to Replace Helium-3 in Neutron Detectors for Nuclear Security
      Detectors employing helium-3 (3He) gas are widely used in neutron measurement, but development of alternative detectors has become an urgent international issue due to inadequate supply of 3He gas in recent years. In J-PARC's Neutron Instrumentation Section, progress is being made in developing a substitute detector, and as part of that, a replacement detector for security has been developed* by utilizing a previously developed scintillator-based neutron detector and measurement technology. In March of this year, at performance testing witnessed by persons involved with security from the IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency), JRC (Joint Research Centre), and DOE (U.S. Department of Energy), a high-efficiency of 80% was demonstrated compared to the standard 3He gas detector, and the system received an extremely high evaluation.

      *Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT), Project to Promote Improved Nuclear Security, "Development of Technology to Replace Helium-3 in Neutron Detectors" (2011-2014)

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HYP2015 12th International Conference on Hypernuclear and Strange Particle Physics (September 7-11, Tohoku University, Sendai, Japan)
      The International Conference on Hypernuclear and Strange Particle Physics is held once every three years, and the 12th meeting (HYP2015) was held at Tohoku University in Sendai, Japan. There were about 170 participants from more than 20 countries. Results were presented in a plenary session, three parallel sessions and a poster session, and there were 115 talks in all. The J-PARC Hadron Experimental Facility is a key facility for hypernuclear and strange particle physics, and out of 51 lectures on experiments, 18 concerned experiments at the Hadron Experimental Facility. In addition, there were presentations on experimental results obtained in beamtime from after resumption of operations at the Hadron Experimental Facility (April of this year) until June. These results were rated very highly. On the final day, Naohito Saito, Director of the J-PARC Center, gave a general report on experimental results at J-PARC, focusing on previous experiments at the Hadron Experimental Facility in strange particle physics and other areas.

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2nd Symposium on Collaborative Use of Large Experimental Facilities and Supercomputers (September 2, Akihabara) - Focusing on Soft Matter Science -
      This symposium was jointly organized by the Japan Synchrotron Radiation Research Institute (JASRI), the Comprehensive Research Organization for Science and Society (CROSS), the Research Organization for Information Science and Technology (RIST), and the Computational Materials Science Initiative (CMSI). The J-PARC Center and other institutions participated as a sponsor.

      The aim of this symposium was to stimulate the production of new research results by using large experimental facilities such as SPring-8 and MLF in combination with the K computer and other supercomputers. To promote such utilization the symposium was held once again, following last year's meeting, and there were more than 80 participants.

      At this meeting, two examples of cooperative usage focused on polymers and other soft matter and four researches from the experimental / computational side with an eye toward collaborative usage in the future. Finally, a panel discussion was held by the presenters regarding "issues in promoting collaborative usageh. The panelists discussed with the audience regarding : 1) Collaboration of experimental and computational side, 2) The key for the collaboration, 3) Advantages / problems with utilizing large experimental facilities and 4) Tasks for collaboration in the future, and there was a lively exchange of views.

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Facility Updates
Experimental Facilities
      (1) At the MLF, a new mercury target vessel was delivered on September 14. A pretest for replacing the used target to a storage container was performed with the new mercury target vessel, and the replacement will be carried out via remote operation in the future.
      (2) At the 50 GeV synchrotron (MR), tests are being conducted at the Proton Accelerator Development Building on new injection septum magnets and the power supply. This is being done so that proton beams can be injected, accelerated and extracted with a faster cycle than at present.
      (3) At the Hadron Experimental Facility, an operation control room is currently being prepared on the third floor of the South Experimental Building next to the experimental hall for next user operation.

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J-PARC Hello Science "Run! Spin! The Power of Magnets!" (August 29, Tokai Village Library)
      J-PARC Hello Science was exhibited at a library festival as part of a program commemorating the 30th anniversary of the opening of the Tokai Village Library held on August 29 and 30. The exhibit featured demonstrations of various experiments using magnetic force, and a mini-workshop on paper clip motors.

      One of the projects, the "running battery" was very popular. In this case, a dry cell battery with powerful magnets attached to both sides moved smoothly around through the center of a coil, sometimes running on top of the coil, sometimes running through it? fascinating the visitors with its unexpected movements. Also, many children took up the challenge of rotating a motor switching the positive and negative sides of a battery by hand, and they struggled hard to adjust switching timing to match coil rotation. About 50 children participated in making the "world's simplest clip motor." Watching the coils rotate in the motors they made, the children were surprised that a motor could be made so easily.

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Remembering Noboru Watanabe - His Efforts to Construct the J-PARC Pulsed Spallation Neutron Source -
      Noboru Watanabe, Professor Emeritus of the High Energy Accelerator Research Organization (KEK) (a former fellow at the J-PARC Center), helped to lay the foundation for pulsed neutron science, and made world-class contributions to its development. Dr. Watanabe passed away on August 19 at the age of 82. In 1980, he completed the world's first pulsed spallation neutron source for neutron scattering (KENS), and contributed to the design and construction of J-PARC's high-intensity neutron source. In 2011, he received the first AONSA Prize for his outstanding contributions to the field of neutron science and technology in the Asia-Oceania region. We would like to express our heartfelt prayers for the repose of Dr. Watanabe.
  All members of the J-PARC Center
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