DOE provides the majority (approximately 90%) of federal support
for high-energy and nuclear physics research, which uses advanced accelerator
facilities as well as detectors placed underground and in space to understand
the fundamental nature of matter, energy, space, time and the properties and
interactions of atomic nuclei and nuclear matter.
Alesha Harris has three degrees in chemistry and has taught the subject in her home state of Texas. Although her graduate work was in nanoparticles -- materials just a billionth of a meter in size -- she joined Brookhaven National Laboratory as an Alliance for Graduate Education and the Professoriate-Transformation (AGEP-T) postdoc working with Minfang Yeh, who leads the neutrino and nuclear chemistry group. Before becoming acquainted with Brookhaven Lab and Yeh's work, Harris had never heard of the mysterious neutrinos, invisible subatomic particles.
At the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory, the spirit of tinkering lives. This past summer a team of engineers invented a mechanical device designed to be installed on ITER, the multinational fusion machine being built in the south of France, using 3-D printing and parts bought at Walmart.
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.