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.
27-May-2016 ORNL researchers use strain to engineer first high-performance, two-way oxide catalyst
Catalysts make chemical reactions more likely to occur. In most cases, a catalyst that's good at driving chemical reactions in one direction is bad at driving reactions in the opposite direction. However, a research team led by the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory has created the first high-performance, two-way oxide catalyst and filed a patent application for the invention. The accomplishment is reported in the Journal of the American Chemical Society.
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.
19-May-2016 Berkeley Lab's OpenMSI licensed to ImaBiotech
Two years ago, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) researchers developed OpenMSI--the most advanced computational tool for analyzing and visualizing mass spectrometry imaging (MSI) data. Last year, this web-available tool was selected as one of the 100 most technologically significant new products of the year by R&D Magazine. Now, OpenMSI has been licensed to support ImaBiotech's Multimaging™ technology in the field of pharmaceutical and cosmetic research and development.
17-May-2016 Lessons from cow eyes
Cornea tissue is a promising biomaterial for Brad Boyce, a Sandia National Laboratories materials scientist. More than a decade after Boyce and his co-workers investigated the biomechanics of dissected cow corneas, their findings have been confirmed in healthy human eyes.
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.
12-May-2016 Solving the biomass puzzle
Biomass holds great promise as a petroleum replacement, but unlocking its true potential remains a puzzle. A group of researchers at Iowa State University and the US Department of Energy's Ames Laboratory hope to develop the pieces of that puzzle to create a clearer picture of what takes place within a plant and how that applies to its downstream uses as biomass.
11-May-2016 Sandia/California invites community to 60th anniversay celebration
Sandia will commemorate the 60th anniversary of its California site with a community event in downtown Livermore on Saturday, May 21 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Held at the Bankhead Theater, 2400 First Street, it will feature technology displays and demonstrations, national security speakers, hands-on science activities and recruiting.
9-May-2016 Large Hadron Collider prepares to deliver 6 times the data
After months of winter hibernation, the Large Hadron Collider is once again smashing protons and taking data. The LHC will run around the clock for the next six months and produce roughly 2 quadrillion high-quality proton collisions, six times more than in 2015 and just shy of the total number of collisions recorded during the nearly three years of the collider's first run.
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.
2-May-2016 Could aluminum nitride be engineered to produce quantum bits?
The leading method for creating quantum bits, or qubits, currently involves exploiting the structural defects in diamonds. But using NERSC resources, University of Chicago researchers found that the same defect could be engineered in cheaper aluminum nitride. If confirmed by experiments, this could significantly reduce the cost of manufacturing quantum technologies.
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.
26-Apr-2016 The Pellet Stove Design Challenge: We have a winner!
At Brookhaven Lab last week, seven finalists competed to be designated the top-performing pellet stove. The three-day Pellet Stove Design Challenge, organized by the Alliance for Green Heat, featured stove demonstrations and testing as well as presentations and round-table discussions on a variety of issues.
25-Apr-2016 Giving back to National Science Bowl
In the 1990s, Dean Jens and Doug Fuller were high school students playing on teams from Ankeny High School that were competing to secure coveted spots in the US Department of Energy's National Science Bowl (NSB) ® competition. Today, they're professionals, fathers, and devoted alumni whose annual volunteer commitment to the NSB allows them to give back to a competition that helped shape their lives.
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.
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.