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.
29-Jan-2016 Meet Crysten and Ian Blaby
The US Department of Energy's Brookhaven National Laboratory welcomes two new biologists, Crysten and Ian Blaby, who have been brought to the Lab to explore the many genes that play a role in a plant's ability to harness energy and what those genes could mean for enhancing bioenergy crops.
28-Jan-2016 Is the neutrino its own antiparticle?
Almost every particle has an antimatter counterpart: a particle with the same mass but opposite charge, among other qualities. But certain characteristics of neutrinos and antineutrinos make scientists wonder: Are they one and the same? Are neutrinos their own antiparticles?
26-Jan-2016 Got Solitons? Researcher sees problem as a solution
Sandia National Laboratories' Juan Elizondo-Decanini turned a long-standing problem into an idea he believes could lead to better and less expensive machines, from cell phones to pressure sensors.
25-Jan-2016 Cracking cases
A group of nuclear detectives at the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory takes on tough challenges, from detecting illicit uranium using isotopic 'fingerprints' to investigating Presidential assassination conspiracies. 'A very big capability at Oak Ridge exists for nuclear analytics, all the way from helping commercial production of nuclear power to making sure the world's nuclear materials are properly accounted for,' said ORNL's Joseph Giaquinto, leader of the Nuclear Analytical Chemistry and Isotopics Laboratories.
25-Jan-2016 How to find and study black holes
Black holes sound too strange to be real. But they are actually pretty common in space. There are dozens known and probably millions more in the Milky Way and a billion times that lurking outside. The makings and dynamics of these monstrous warpings of spacetime have been confounding scientists for centuries.
21-Jan-2016 Higher speed, more precision
In just a little over a year of operation, the US Department of Energy Ames Laboratory's dynamic nuclear polarization (DNP) solid-state nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectrometer has successfully characterized materials at the atomic scale level with more speed and precision than ever possible before.
21-Jan-2016 Explore galaxies far, far away at internet speeds
Scientists have released an 'expansion pack' for a virtual tour of the universe that you can enjoy from the comfort of your own computer. The latest version of the publicly accessible images of the sky, which can be viewed using an interactive Sky Viewer tool, roughly doubles the size of the searchable universe from the project's original release in May.
21-Jan-2016 Facility staff and DOE computer scientists collaborate to speed up experimental data analysis
In early December, the US Department of Energy's (DOE) Brookhaven National Laboratory hosted the first in a series of week-long 'hackathons,' a code brainstorming session attended by nearly 40 computer scientists and software developers from several DOE Office of Science User Facilities, including those at Argonne, Berkeley, Oak Ridge and SLAC national laboratories.
19-Jan-2016 ORNL researchers use neutrons to gain insight into battery inefficiency
Scientists at Oak Ridge National Laboratory are improving the lifetimes of rechargeable batteries that run on lithium, a small atom that can pack tightly into graphite anode materials. The valuable ions are depleted as a battery charges, and they are also lost to the formation of a thin coating on a battery's anode during initial charging. ORNL researchers used two powerful neutron science facilities to try to understand the dynamics behind this phenomenon.
15-Jan-2016 ORNL's thermal cameras snoop beneath surfaces to reveal materials' secrets
In 1995, the Department of Energy's Continuous Fiber Ceramic Composite program, led by Oak Ridge National Laboratory, bought a high-speed infrared camera -- one of the first available for purchase outside the military. Since then, ORNL has acquired at least 10 additional IR cameras for use in a spectrum of projects. The cameras have mapped changing temperatures as heat flows through objects from gears to artwork.
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.
6-Jan-2016 ORNL on team officially recognized for elements 115, 117 discovery
The International Union for Pure and Applied Chemistry has announced formal verification of four new chemical elements, recognizing the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory and its collaborators for the discovery of elements 115 and 117.
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.
29-Dec-2015 2015's Top 10 Scientific Advances at Brookhaven National Laboratory
From creating the tiniest drops of primordial particle soup to devising new ways to improve batteries, catalysts, superconductors, and more, scientists at the US Department of Energy's Brookhaven National Laboratory pushed the boundaries of discovery in 2015. Here, in no particular order, are our picks for the top 10 advances of the year.
23-Dec-2015 Scratching the surface
Oceans cover almost three-quarters of the planet and are major contributors to atmospheric aerosols in the form of sea spray particles. These sea spray aerosols are rich in organic materials that impact cloud formation and the world's climate. Despite their abundance and significance, sea spray aerosols are not well understood. Researchers in collaboration with EMSL scientists are learning more about the chemistry of sea spray aerosols and their role in cloud formation to better account for them in climate models.
21-Dec-2015 Study forecasts disappearance of conifers due to climate change
A new study, led by Los Alamos National Laboratory, suggests that widespread loss of a major forest type, the pine-juniper woodlands of the Southwestern US, could be wiped out by the end of this century due to climate change, and that conifers throughout much of the Northern Hemisphere may be on a similar trajectory.
16-Dec-2015 A collaboration bears fruit as W7-X celebrates first research plasma
Scientists from the US Department of Energy's Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL) and other national laboratories joined colleagues from around the world at the celebration for the first plasma of the Wendelstein 7-X (W7-X) stellarator at the Max Planck Institute in Greifswald, Germany.
15-Dec-2015 Schweickhard 'Schwick' von Goeler dies at 84
Schweickhard 'Schwick' von Goeler, an award-winning physicist at the US Department of Energy's Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL) for more than 35 years and the inventor of numerous X-ray diagnostics used in fusion experiments worldwide, died of leukemia on Dec. 6 in Springfield, Massachusetts. He was 84.
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.