DOE laboratories operate many of the nation’s most sophisticated
research facilities, including the nation’s largest high performance computing
centers, the world’s highest energy proton collider, third-generation
synchrotron light sources and high-flux neutron sources as well as specialized
facilities for microcharacterization, materials synthesis, combustion research,
ion beam studies, and fusion energy research. The agency’s research facilities
have an enormous impact on science and technology ranging from the most
fundamental constituents of matter to superconductor structure and the
production of unique isotopes for defense applications.
In this Q&A Andrew Stack of the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory calls on expertise in geology, chemistry and computing to advance understanding of the dynamics of minerals underground. He investigates chemical processes that take place on mineral surfaces at scales ranging from individual atoms to entire rocks. These processes can trap contaminants, such as nuclear waste, carbon dioxide and toxic by-products from hydraulic fracturing.
Buildings are responsible for about 40 percent of the energy consumed in the United States. Studies indicate that advanced sensors and controls have the potential to reduce the energy consumption of buildings by 20-30 percent.
The Department of Energy's Office of Science is the single largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States and is working to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time.