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22-Jun-2016 Learning about the future from the distant past
Our universe came to life nearly 14 billion years ago in the Big Bang -- a tremendously energetic fireball from which the cosmos has been expanding ever since. Today, space is filled with hundreds of billions of galaxies, including our solar system's own galactic home, the Milky Way. But how exactly did the infant universe develop into its current state, and what does it tell us about our future?
14-Jun-2016 X-ray experiments show Hewlett Packard team how memristors work
In experiments at two Department of Energy national labs -- SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory -- scientists at Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) have experimentally confirmed critical aspects of how a new type of microelectronic device, the memristor, works at an atomic scale.
6-Jun-2016 Echo Technique Developed at SLAC Could Make X-ray Lasers More Stable
Researchers from the Department of Energy's SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory and Shanghai Jiao Tong University in China have developed a method that could open up new scientific avenues by making the light from powerful X-ray lasers much more stable and its color more pure.
6-Jun-2016 Scientists Use a Frozen Gas to Boost Laser Light to New Extremes
Researchers at the Department of Energy's SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, Stanford University and Louisiana State University have achieved an even more dramatic HHG shift by shining an infrared laser through argon gas that's been frozen into a thin, fragile solid whose atoms barely cling to each other.
2-Jun-2016 A plasma tube to bring particles up to speed at SLAC
A team led by scientists from the University of California, Los Angeles and the Department of Energy's SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory has reached another milestone in developing a promising technology for accelerating particles to high energies in short distances: They created a tiny tube of hot, ionized gas, or plasma, in which the particles remain tightly focused as they fly through it.
1-Jun-2016 Prototype of LUX-ZEPLIN dark matter detector tested at SLAC
Prototyping of a new, ultrasensitive 'eye' for dark matter is making rapid progress at the Department of Energy's SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory: Researchers and engineers have installed a small-scale version of the future LUX-ZEPLIN (LZ) detector to test, develop and troubleshoot various aspects of its technology.
Alex Aiken, director of the new Computer Science Division at the Department of Energy's SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, has been thinking a great deal about the coming challenges of exascale computing, defined as a billion billion calculations per second. That's a thousand times faster than any computer today. Reaching this milestone is such a big challenge that it's expected to take until the mid-2020s and require entirely new approaches to programming, data management and analysis, and numerous other aspects of computing.
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.
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.