28-Apr-2015 Ground control
The United Nations General Assembly declared 2015 the International Year of Soils. Soil is critical for food production and climate regulation. It's a complex underground ecosystem of organisms that process decaying debris to enrich the land as well as store and release carbon into the atmosphere. However, human activity and changing climate are impacting this environmental system. Scientists working at EMSL are trying to understand the complexities of soil to develop better sustainable land management to protect it.
28-Apr-2015 Direct visualization of magnetoelectric domains
A novel microscopy technique called magnetoelectric force microscopy was developed to detect the local cross-coupling between magnetic and electric dipoles. Combined experimental observation and theoretical modeling provide understanding on how a bulk linear magnetoelectric effect can be realized in a new family of materials.
27-Apr-2015 Unexpected success
While experimenting with a heat treatment process he modified by eliminating a couple of steps, Klett made a discovery that caused quite a stir and prompted hundreds of inquiries from scientists, academia and industry.
27-Apr-2015 Sticky fingers
Researcher applies materials science techniques to the field of forensics, and some of her research has helped crime scene investigators rebuild fingerprints after they have faded over time.
27-Apr-2015 NSF students gain hands-on experience in neutron sciences at ORNL
A group of 13 Ph.D. students from three partnering universities gathered at Oak Ridge National Laboratory in April for an intensive course in how to apply neutron scattering to their studies of materials science and biological systems with hands-on use of instruments at ORNL's Spallation Neutron Source and High Flux Isotope Reactor.
27-Apr-2015 Insulator-to-metal transition of vanadium dioxide
When heated to just above room temperature, the electrical conductivity of vanadium dioxide abruptly increases by a factor of 10,000. Experiments and high-performance computation reveal how the unusually large lattice vibrations stabilize this highly conductive metallic phase.
23-Apr-2015 Optimizing atomic neighborhoods for speedier chemical reactions
Scientists have discovered that for palladium-nickel catalysts, certain surface characteristics, measured at the atomic level, sped the creation of carbon dioxide from carbon monoxide. This type of atomic detail has not been available by traditional studies and can aid the cycle of catalyst design by optimizing for structural parameters at the nearest neighbor level of an atomic environment.
22-Apr-2015 ICARUS neutrino experiment to move to Fermilab
A group of scientists led by Nobel laureate Carlo Rubbia will transport the world's largest liquid-argon neutrino detector across the Atlantic Ocean to its new home at the US Department of Energy's Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory.
22-Apr-2015 Multimetal nanoframes improve catalyst performance
Researchers synthesized a highly active and durable class of electrocatalysts by exploiting the structural evolution of solid Pt-Ni bimetallic nanocrystals into porous cage-like structures or nanoframes. This approach to synthesizing the material is a significant advance towards realizing electrocatalysts with superior catalytic properties and lower cost.
20-Apr-2015 SLAC and Stanford's James D. Bjorken receives 2015 High Energy and Particle Physics Prize
James D. Bjorken, a theoretical physicist and professor emeritus at the Department of Energy's SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory and at Stanford University, has been awarded the 2015 High Energy and Particle Physics Prize of the European Physical Society. Along with four other scientists, he was honored for theoretical work that revolutionized our understanding of the internal structure of the proton.
13-Apr-2015 Researchers create a new map of invisible dark matter
Scientists on the Dark Energy Survey, including researchers from the Department of Energy's SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, have released the first in a series of dark matter maps of the cosmos. These maps, created with one of the world's most powerful digital cameras, are the largest contiguous maps created at this level of detail, and will improve our understanding of dark matter's role in the formation of galaxies.
13-Apr-2015 Long-sought magnetic mechanism observed in exotic hybrid materials
Scientists have measured the subatomic intricacies of an exotic phenomenon first predicted more than 60 years ago. This so-called van Vleck magnetism is the key to harnessing the quantum quirks of topological insulators -- hybrid materials that are both conducting and insulating -- and could lead to unprecedented electronics.
10-Apr-2015 Bacteria tracked feeding nitrogen to nutrient-starved plants
An international team of researchers, including three from Brookhaven National Laboratory, tracked nitrogen as soil bacteria pulled it from the air and released it as plant-friendly ammonium. This eco-friendly process -- called biological nitrogen fixation -- substantially promoted growth in certain grass crops.
6-Apr-2015 'Explosive' atom movement is new window into growing metal nanostructures
Scientists at the US Department of Energy's Ames Laboratory expected to see slow, random movement when they dropped lead atoms on a lead-on-silicon surface. 'But what we saw? BOOM! Fast, explosive and organized!' said Michael Tringides, Ames Laboratory physicist. The unusual atom movement may represent a new way to grow perfect, tiny metal nanostructures for nanostransistors, nanoswitches, and nanomagnets.
31-Mar-2015 BigNeuron: Unlocking the secrets of the human brain
To find a standard 3-D neuron reconstruction algorithm, Big Neuron will sponsor a series of international hackathons and workshops where contending algorithms will be ported onto a common software platform to analyze neuronal physical structure using the same core dataset. All ported algorithms will be bench-tested at DOE's NERSC and ORNL, as well as Human Brain Project supercomputing centers.
27-Mar-2015 Collaborative vision, saving sight
A meeting to explore research collaborations between the Oak Ridge National Laboratory and the University of Tennessee set the foundation for a company that provides accessible and remote health screenings for patients concerned about diabetic related eye diseases.
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.