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.
9-Dec-2015 Mr. Rare Earth easing into retirement
When Karl A. Gschneidner Jr. began work on his Ph.D. at Iowa State University and hired on as an Ames Laboratory graduate researcher in metallurgy, Dwight Eisenhower was serving his first term in the White House. Now, more than six decades later, Gschneidner is formally retiring effective Jan. 5, 2016 after a distinguished career that led him to become internationally recognized as Mr. Rare Earth.
8-Dec-2015 Innovation boosts study of fragile biological samples at SLAC's X-ray laser
Researchers at the Department of Energy's SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory have found a simple new way to study very delicate biological samples -- like proteins at work in photosynthesis and components of protein-making machines called ribosomes -- at the atomic scale using SLAC's X-ray laser.
25-Nov-2015 Postdoc Alesha Harris: Tackling chemistry from nanoparticles to neutrinos
Alesha Harris has three degrees in chemistry and has taught the subject in her home state of Texas. Although her graduate work was in nanoparticles -- materials just a billionth of a meter in size -- she joined Brookhaven National Laboratory as an Alliance for Graduate Education and the Professoriate-Transformation (AGEP-T) postdoc working with Minfang Yeh, who leads the neutrino and nuclear chemistry group. Before becoming acquainted with Brookhaven Lab and Yeh's work, Harris had never heard of the mysterious neutrinos, invisible subatomic particles.
23-Nov-2015 Atom-sized craters make a catalyst much more active
Bombarding and stretching an important industrial catalyst opens up tiny holes on its surface where atoms can attach and react, greatly increasing its activity as a promoter of chemical reactions, according to a study by scientists at Stanford University and the Department of Energy's SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory.
18-Nov-2015 Q&A: SLAC theorist Lance Dixon explains quantum gravity
In this Q&A, Particle Physics and Astrophysics Professor Lance Dixon of Stanford University and the Department of Energy's SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory explains one approach to developing such a theory, called quantum gravity.
17-Nov-2015 SLAC's Helen Quinn to receive 2016 Compton Medal
Helen Quinn, a professor emerita at the Department of Energy's SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory and Stanford University, will receive the 2016 Karl Taylor Compton Medal for Leadership in Physics for her contributions to science education and theoretical physics.
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.