22-Jul-2014 Sandia ensures US nuclear weapons deterrent can remain effective, credible
As part of its mission of ensuring the nation's stockpile is safe, secure and effective as a deterrent, Sandia National Laboratories must make sure crucial parts can function if they're hit by radiation, especially a type called fast neutrons. It created a science-based program called QASPR, which combines computer modeling and simulation, and experiments and technology development.
17-Jul-2014 Hot plasma partial to bootstrap current
Supercomputers at NERSC are helping plasma physicists 'bootstrap' a potentially more affordable and sustainable fusion reaction. If successful, fusion reactors could provide almost limitless clean energy.
15-Jul-2014 Ames Laboratory home to first-in-nation DNP-NMR instrument to study materials
The US Department of Energy's Ames Laboratory is now the home to a dynamic nuclear polarization (DNP) solid-state nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectrometer that helps scientists understand how individual atoms are arranged in materials. Ames Laboratory's DNP-NMR is the first to be used for materials science and chemistry in the United States.
15-Jul-2014 Physicists detect process even rarer than the long-sought Higgs particle
Scientists running the ATLAS experiment at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), the world's largest and most powerful 'atom smasher,' report the first evidence of a process that can be used to test the mechanism by which the recently discovered Higgs particle imparts mass to other fundamental particles.
14-Jul-2014 First anniversary gift for Critical Material Institute? Inventions. Eleven of them.
The Critical Materials Institute, an Energy Innovation Hub for the US Department of Energy, celebrated its first anniversary with 11 invention disclosures, all research milestones in a mission to assure the availability of rare earths and other materials critical to clean energy technologies.
The inventions include improved extractive processes, recycling techniques, and substitute materials -- technologies designed to increase production and efficiency of, and reduce reliance on, the use of rare earths and other critical materials.
25-Jun-2014 Massive 30-ton MicroBooNE particle detector moved into place, will see neutrinos this year
On Monday, June 23, the next phase of neutrino physics at Fermilab fell (gently) into place.
The MicroBooNE detector -- a 30-ton, 40-foot-long cylindrical metal tank designed to detect ghostly particles called neutrinos -- was carefully transported by truck across the US Department of Energy's Fermilab site, from the warehouse building it was constructed in to the experimental hall three miles away.
25-Jun-2014 A model for success
Idaho National Laboratory researcher Blaise Collin works with software called PARFUME (particle fuel model) as part of an effort to find new, safer fuel sources for use in nuclear reactors.
6-Jun-2014 MINOS result narrows field for sterile neutrinos
A new result from the long-running MINOS experiment announced this week severely limits the area in which sterile neutrinos could be found and casts more doubt on whether they exist at all.
29-May-2014 High-performance computing at Los Alamos announces milestone for key/value middleware
At Los Alamos, a supercomputer epicenter where 'big data set' really means something, a data middleware project has achieved a milestone for specialized information organization and storage. The Multi-dimensional Hashed Indexed Middleware project at Los Alamos National Laboratory recently achieved 1,782,105,749 key/value inserts per second into a globally-ordered key space on Los Alamos National Laboratory's Moonlight supercomputer.
29-May-2014 Get ready for the computers of the future
Sandia experts expect multiple computing device-level technologies in the future, rather than one dominant architecture. About a dozen possible next-generation candidates exist, including tunnel FETs (field effect transistors, in which the output current is controlled by a variable electric field), carbon nanotubes, superconductors and fundamentally new approaches, such as quantum computing and brain-inspired computing.
29-May-2014 Scientists pinpoint creeping nanocrystals behind lithium-ion battery degradation
Scientists from several US Department of Energy national laboratories -- Lawrence Berkeley, Brookhaven, SLAC, and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory -- mapped the nanoscale dynamics of lithium-ion charge cycles and discovered never-before-seen evolution and degradation patterns in two key battery materials.
29-May-2014 Multidimensional image processing and analysis in R
An esoteric, open-source programming language -- called R -- could pave the way for open science. Thousands of scientists are participating in the R development community, including Berkeley Lab Postdoc Talita Perciano. As a student, she contributed one of the first image-processing tools -- called R Image Processing Analysis -- to the community. Now with big science datasets in mind, she's updated the existing tool with improved features for complex data analysis.
21-May-2014 Tethys: A robust source of information on marine energy, offshore wind projects
Wondering what the impact on killer whales might be from a turbine installed under the sea? Check out Tethys, a robust online resource available for free to anyone interested in ocean energy and offshore wind resources. Tethys focuses on the environmental effects of energy projects that are proposed, underway or completed in the ocean and above it.
15-May-2014 The brain: Key to a better computer
Although brain-inspired computing is in its infancy, Sandia National Laboratories has included it in a long-term research project whose goal is future computer systems. Neuro-inspired computing seeks to develop algorithms that would run on computers that function more like a brain than a conventional computer.
12-May-2014 Industry research: Experiment enters next stage at new Idaho hot cell
To the average eye, the experimental specimens don't look like much: silver-colored squares about the size of a domino. But the samples represent several big milestones for Idaho National Laboratory, the Department of Energy and the US nuclear energy industry. The irradiated 'compact tension' specimens are the first to undergo analysis in a specialized test rig at INL. Plus, they're part of a first-of-its-kind collaboration through the DOE's Advanced Test Reactor National Scientific User Facility.
8-May-2014 Scientists to map universe in 3-D HD
In a few years, scientists will come out with a new map of a third of the sky, one that will go deeper and bring that depth into sharper focus than any survey has yet achieved. It will pinpoint in three dimensions the locations of 25 million galaxies and quasars, pulling back the curtains on the history of the universe's expansion over more than half of the age of the universe.
8-May-2014 Engineering better machines and buildings by understanding mechanics of materials
Sandia National Laboratories is working to fill gaps in the fundamental understanding of materials science through an ambitious long-term, multidisciplinary project called Predicting Performance Margins, or PPM. From the atomic level to full-scale components, the research links variability in materials' atomic configurations and microstructures with how actual parts perform.
6-May-2014 What lies beneath
The effects of biogeochemical and geochemical processes in the ground under us are on massive scales. Understanding what's going on down there and how it effects what's going on up here is an enormous undertaking. Scientists working at EMSL are getting a handle on these gigantic macroscopic processes by focusing on the microscopic scale. By creating micromodels and incorporating supercomputer simulations, researchers are connecting the molecular level with processes that affect our entire ecosystem.
29-Apr-2014 Label-free, sequence-specific, inexpensive fluorescent DNA sensors
Using principles of energy transfer more commonly applied to designing solar cells, scientists at the US Department of Energy's Brookhaven National Laboratory have developed a new highly sensitive way to detect specific sequences of DNA, the genetic material unique to every living thing. As described in a paper published in the journal Chemistry of Materials, the method is considerably less costly than other DNA assays and has widespread potential for applications in forensics, medical diagnostics, and the detection of bioterror agents.
29-Apr-2014 Is the universe balanced on a pinhead?
Scientists have known the mass of the heaviest fundamental particle, the top quark, since 1995. But recent, more precise measurements of this mass have revived an old question: Why is it so huge? No one is sure, but it might be a sign that our universe is inherently unstable. Or it might be a sign that some factor we don't yet understand is keeping us in balance.
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.