21-May-2015 Shape-shifting plastic
Researchers from Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Washington State University and the University of Idaho have developed a process to make a thermoset that can be reshaped and reused. The new plastic is a shape-memory polymer, so named because the material can 'remember' its original shape and return to it after being deformed with heat or other forces.
20-May-2015 SLAC gears up for dark matter hunt with LUX-ZEPLIN
The US Department of Energy (DOE) recently signed off on the conceptual design of the proposed LUX-ZEPLIN (LZ) experiment and gave the green light for the procurement of some of its components. DOE's SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, a key member of the LZ collaboration, is setting up a test stand for the detector prototype and a facility to purify liquid xenon, which will be the detector's 'eye' for dark matter.
18-May-2015 Optical diagnostics researcher at Sandia wins DOE Early Career award
Sandia National Laboratories researcher Christopher Kliewer has won a $2.5 million, five-year Early Career Research Program award from the Department of Energy's Office of Science for his fundamental science proposal to develop new optical diagnostic tools to study interfacial combustion interactions that are major sources of pollution and vehicle inefficiency.
13-May-2015 Digitizing neurons
Supercomputing resources at Oak Ridge National Laboratory will support a new initiative designed to advance how scientists digitally reconstruct and analyze individual neurons in the human brain.
12-May-2015 Finding the missing particles
For the past 20 years, a large portion of the particles measured in the atmosphere were missing from models. At best, models were able to explain one-tenth of the carbon-rich secondary organic aerosols measured in the air. The problem turned out to be a series of fundamental assumptions used in the models due to a lack of experimental data. All of the assumptions were proven false by Dr. Alla Zelenyuk and her colleagues.
12-May-2015 ORNL group leads calorimeter upgrade for Large Hadron Collider experiment
Run-2 for the Large Hadron Collider -- the world's largest and most powerful particle collider -- began April 5 at CERN. In preparation, Thomas M. Cormier, who leads the LHC Heavy Ion group at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, led an upgrade of the electromagnetic calorimeter used for LHC's experiment called ALICE (for A Large Ion Collider Experiment). This detector measures the energies of high-energy electrons and gamma rays emitted from the quark-gluon plasma.
12-May-2015 Construction of LSST clean room at SLAC completed
Engineers and scientists at the Department of Energy's SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory working on the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST) gathered on May 8 to celebrate the completion of a new clean room, where they will soon begin to assemble the largest digital camera ever built.
11-May-2015 'Chombo-crunch' sinks its teeth into fluid dynamics
Researchers at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory are breaking new ground in the modeling of complex flows in energy and oil and gas applications, thanks to a computational fluid dynamics and transport code dubbed 'Chombo-Crunch.'
10-May-2015 Metamaterials shine bright as new terahertz source
Terahertz waves are used in information, communication, processing, and data storage technologies, yet few terahertz sources are available due to the limitations of natural materials. Scientists discovered an efficient terahertz emission from two-dimensional arrays of gold split-ring resonator metamaterials, which allow design and use of light-matter interactions at a fundamental level. This discovery opens new ways to use such materials.
8-May-2015 SLAC researcher receives DOE 'Early Career' grant to support X-ray optics and imaging
Anne Sakdinawat, an associate staff scientist at the Department of Energy's SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, has been recognized with a prestigious DOE Early Career Research Program grant to advance her work in creating and using next-generation focusing and imaging devices for X-ray experiments at SLAC and other research sites.
8-May-2015 New method relates Greenland ice sheet changes to sea-level rise
Climate models are not yet able to include full models of the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets and to dynamically simulate how ice sheet changes influence sea level. Early schemes failed to accurately account for mass increase due to snowfall and mass loss due to snow melt. These changes depend on ice sheet elevation and region. A new method that includes the effects of elevation and region was developed.
8-May-2015 Intertwining of superconductivity and magnetism
Experiments reveal nearly static, spatially modulated magnetism in a copper-oxide superconductor. Because static magnetism and superconductivity prefer not to coexist in the same material, the superconducting wave function is also likely modulated in space and phase-shifted to minimize overlap, consistent with recent theory. This study will assist in developing a predictive theory for high-temperature superconductivity that can assist in the design and discovery of improved superconductors.
6-May-2015 Heat's role in the Madden-Julian Oscillation
Tropical monsoons in Indonesia and floods in the United States are both provoked by the Madden-Julian Oscillation, a process that results in pulses of clouds and precipitation moving eastward around the globe. Despite the MJO's importance, global models often struggle to simulate the oscillation accurately. Researchers showed that MJO simulations are most sensitive to the existence of lower level heating in the atmosphere.
6-May-2015 Genetics of wood formation
To begin to understand the complex genetic interactions that control a potential bioenergy crop, scientists built a robust high-throughput pipeline for studying the hierarchy of genetic regulation of wood formation using tissue-specific single cells known as protoplasts.
5-May-2015 Compact light source improves CT scans
A new study shows that the recently developed Compact Light Source -- a commercial X-ray source with roots in research and development efforts at the Department of Energy's SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory -- enables computer tomography scans that reveal more detail than routine scans performed at hospitals today. The new technology could soon be used in preclinical studies and help researchers better understand cancer and other diseases.
1-May-2015 New tool shrinks big data in biology studies at SLAC's X-ray laser
A team led by Stanford scientists has created software that tackles the big data problem for X-ray laser experiments at the Department of Energy's SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory. The program allows researchers to tease out more details while using far fewer samples and less data and time.
1-May-2015 New mathematical method enhances hydrology simulations
Just as a racecar's engine needs the right fuel to get the best performance, so climate models need finely tuned parameters to accurately simulate the impacts of different technologies and policies. Led by researchers at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, a team applied sophisticated mathematical solutions to fine tune the water and energy exchange parameters, numerical stand-ins for complex processes, to better simulate water and energy fluxes.
30-Apr-2015 New path to loss-free electricity
Electric current flows without any resistance in a superconducting state thanks to a surprising redistribution of bonding electrons and the associated electronic and atomic behavior after substitution of some cobalt atoms for iron in barium iron arsenide.
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.