ISO 9001 & UKAS Registered, Electron Beam Services in the United Kingdom ISO 9001 & UKAS Registered, Electron Beam Services in the United Kingdom

An astronaut, explore and video game designer is going to be the first British person to both travel into space and explore the deepest depths of the Mariana Trench.

Richard Garriott, son of NASA astronaut Owen Garriott, was the sixth space tourist to head to space and is set to be just the 14th person to have set foot at the deepest point of the Pacific Ocean.

The mission, which will take Mr Garriott seven miles below the surface of the Earth, will also carry small poems to bring creative works to the deepest part of the seas.

Mr Garriott, a video game designer often known by his pseudonym Lord British, has also travelled to both the North and South Pole, as well as wreckage site of the RMS Titanic.

All of these high-pressure environments required electron beam welding technology to ensure no hull breaches or other structural issues would affect the journey.

He famously spent $30m of the money he had made on the highly successful Ultima series of role-playing games to fund his space flight, which itself became part of a $28m lawsuit relating to another game he was promoting at the time, Tabula Rasa.

The story at the time is that whilst Mr Garriott was preparing for the trip to space he simply wanted to pursue other endeavours. However, the company he was working for, NCSoft, had actually fired him whilst in quarantine and forced him to sell his stock options, costing him millions.
Large scale electron beam services could be made more efficient through the use of tiny diamond tips according to a new study undertaken by the US Department of Energy (DoE).

The study primarily looked into how diamond tip arrays could be used along with a concept known as field emission to create transversely shaped electron beams, to see if particular shapes are more effective for different purposes.

Before these experiments, the main way to produce a transverse beam was to use an intercepting mask on the electron beam to catch the beam and shape it after it had been fired, which was inconsistent and hazardous.

Applying a field emission field diminishes the quantum barriers electrons can tunnel through, which according to one of the authors of the study, is the equivalent of turning a brick wall into easily penetrable drywall.

The experiment used photoelectric cathodes which were shaped using a strongly concentrated electric field.

The researchers achieved this using a film of diamond pyramids no bigger than 10 micrometres per side and arranged into a 1mm equilateral triangle to form a triangular electron beam.

The complication of such a process is having to balance two competing phenomena to have both power and the correct shape.

Too high a current on the electron beam and the electrons would not maintain their triangular shape, but the current needed to be high enough to ensure the electrons would leave the diamond material in the first place.

There is a range of potential applications for a transversely shaped beam, including radiofrequency guns, terahertz devices and nanoelectronic purposes.