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23-May-2016 Caught on camera: First movies of droplets getting blown up by X-ray laser
Researchers have made the first microscopic movies of liquids getting vaporized by the world's brightest X-ray laser at the Department of Energy's SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory. The new data could lead to better and novel experiments at X-ray lasers, whose extremely bright, fast flashes of light take atomic-level snapshots of some of nature's speediest processes.
12-May-2016 Extracting miniature diamonds from crude
Stanford and SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory jointly run the world's leading program for isolating and studying diamondoids -- the tiniest possible specks of diamond. Found naturally in petroleum fluids, these interlocking carbon cages weigh less than a billionth of a billionth of a carat (a carat weighs about the same as 12 grains of rice); the smallest ones contain just 10 atoms.
5-May-2016 SLAC's historic linac turns 50 and gets a makeover
Since the Department of Energy's SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory powered up its 'linac' half a century ago, the 2-mile-long particle accelerator has driven a large number of successful research programs in particle physics, accelerator development and X-ray science. Now, the historic particle highway is getting a makeover that will pave the way for more groundbreaking research.
27-Apr-2016 Math helps scientists capture molecules in motion
Using data from the world's most powerful X-ray laser at the Department of Energy's SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, an international team of scientists has made a crucial advance in analyzing ultrafast motions of molecules. They developed a computational method that increases the accuracy of this analysis 300 times -- to one femtosecond, which is a millionth of a billionth of a second.
26-Apr-2016 The hottest job in physics?
While the supply of accelerator physicists in the United States has grown modestly over the last decade, it hasn't been able to catch up with demand fueled by industry interest in medical particle accelerators and growing collaborations at the national labs.
20-Apr-2016 Peering deep into materials with ultrafast science
Creating the batteries or electronics of the future requires understanding materials that are just a few atoms thick and that change their fundamental physical properties in fractions of a second. Cutting-edge facilities at the Department of Energy's SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory and Stanford University have allowed researchers like Aaron Lindenberg to visualize properties of these nanoscale materials at ultrafast time scales.
15-Apr-2016 SLAC researchers recreate the extreme universe in the lab
Conditions in the vast universe can be quite extreme: Violent collisions scar the surfaces of planets. Nuclear reactions in bright stars generate tremendous amounts of energy. Gigantic explosions catapult matter far out into space. But how exactly do processes like these unfold? What do they tell us about the universe?
To find out, researchers from the Department of Energy's SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory perform sophisticated experiments and computer simulations that recreate violent cosmic conditions on a small scale in the lab.
11-Apr-2016 Researchers discover new type of 'pili' used by bacteria to cling to hosts
Many bacteria interact with their environment through hair-like structures known as pili, which attach to and help mediate infection of host organisms, among other things. Now a US-Japanese research team, including scientists from the Department of Energy's SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, has discovered that certain bacteria prevalent in the human gut and mouth assemble their pili in a previously unknown way -- information that could potentially open up new ways of fighting infection.
6-Apr-2016 Six weighty facts about gravity
Gravity: we barely ever think about it, at least until we slip on ice or stumble on the stairs. To many ancient thinkers, gravity wasn't even a force -- it was just the natural tendency of objects to sink toward the center of Earth, while planets were subject to other, unrelated laws.
5-Apr-2016 World's fastest electron diffraction snapshots of atomic motions in gases
Scientists have made a significant advance toward making movies of extremely fast atomic processes with potential applications in energy production, chemistry, medicine, materials science and more. Using a superfast, high-resolution 'electron camera,' a new instrument for ultrafast electron diffraction (UED) at the Department of Energy's SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, researchers have captured the world's fastest UED images of nitrogen molecules rotating in a gas, with a record shutter speed of 100 quadrillionths of a second.
24-Mar-2016 New catalyst is 3 times better at splitting water
With a combination of theory and clever, meticulous gel-making, scientists from the Department of Energy's SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory and the University of Toronto have developed a new type of catalyst that's three times better than the previous record-holder at splitting water into hydrogen and oxygen -- the vital first step in making fuels from renewable solar and wind power.
14-Mar-2016 X-ray studies at SLAC and Berkeley Lab aid search for Ebola cure
In experiments carried out partly at the Department of Energy's SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, scientists have determined in atomic detail how a potential drug molecule fits into and blocks a channel in cell membranes that Ebola and related 'filoviruses' need to infect victims' cells.
19-Feb-2016 New satellite with superior X-ray vision launched
Although the star-covered night sky is regarded by many as a synonym of serenity, the cosmos is in fact a rather hostile place. It hosts many extreme environments that would instantaneously eradicate any life nearby. A new space mission is about to reveal this violent nature in greater detail than ever before: on Feb. 17, the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency launched its ASTRO-H satellite -- a very precise and sensitive eye for X-rays emerging from hot and energetic processes in space.
10-Feb-2016 Lynbrook wins second straight SLAC regional Science Bowl
At the annual SLAC Regional DOE Science Bowl on Saturday, Lynbrook High School pulled off a repeat performance of their 2015 win, earning a return trip to the National Science Bowl, which will be held in Washington, D.C., April 28-May 2.
8-Feb-2016 Three ways to bust ghostly dark matter
Dark matter hunters around the world pursue three approaches to look for fingerprints of ghostly WIMPs: on the Earth's surface, underground and in space. Researchers from the Department of Energy's SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory will take part in a discussion of the global search for dark matter particles at this year's AAAS Annual Meeting, to be held Feb. 11-15 in Washington, D.C.
29-Jan-2016 Tiniest particles shrink before exploding when hit with SLAC's X-ray laser
Researchers assumed that tiny objects would instantly blow up when hit by extremely intense light from the world's most powerful X-ray laser at the Department of Energy's SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory. But to their astonishment, these nanoparticles initially shrank instead -- a finding that provides a glimpse of the unusual world of superheated nanomaterials that could eventually also help scientists further develop X-ray techniques for taking atomic images of individual molecules.
8-Jan-2016 SLAC's Stanley Brodsky shares Pomeranchuk Prize for theoretical physics
Stan Brodsky, a professor of particle physics and astrophysics at Stanford University and the Department of Energy's SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, has received the 2015 Pomeranchuk Prize from the Institute for Theoretical and Experimental Physics (ITEP) in Moscow, Russia. He shares the award with Russian physicist Victor Fadin.
4-Jan-2016 Q&A: Biologist describes milestone toward a universal flu vaccine
Scientists from The Scripps Research Institute and the Crucell Vaccine Institute have now designed a protein fragment called mini-HA that stimulates the production of antibodies against a variety of influenza viruses. A key part of the work took place at the Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Lightsource, a DOE Office of Science User Facility at SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, where the scientists used a technique called X-ray crystallography to look at the atomic structure of the mini-HA at each stage of its development.
14-Dec-2015 LUX experiment draws best picture yet of what dark matter particles cannot be
The Large Underground Xenon (LUX) dark matter experiment, which operates nearly a mile underground at the Sanford Underground Research Facility (SURF) in the Black Hills of South Dakota, has already proven itself to be the most sensitive dark matter detector in the world. Now scientists have significantly enhanced its ability to look for WIMPs, or weakly interacting massive particles, which are among the leading candidates for dark matter.
9-Dec-2015 To get more oomph from an electron gun, tip it with diamondoids
They sound like futuristic weapons, but electron guns are actually workhorse tools for research and industry: They emit streams of electrons for electron microscopes, semiconductor patterning equipment and particle accelerators, to name a few important uses. Now scientists at Stanford University and the Department of Energy's SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory have figured out how to increase these electron flows 13,000-fold by applying a single layer of diamondoids -- tiny, perfect diamond cages -- to an electron gun's sharp gold tip.
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.