17-May-2016 Lessons from cow eyes
Cornea tissue is a promising biomaterial for Brad Boyce, a Sandia National Laboratories materials scientist. More than a decade after Boyce and his co-workers investigated the biomechanics of dissected cow corneas, their findings have been confirmed in healthy human eyes.
12-May-2016 Extracting miniature diamonds from crude
Stanford and SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory jointly run the world's leading program for isolating and studying diamondoids -- the tiniest possible specks of diamond. Found naturally in petroleum fluids, these interlocking carbon cages weigh less than a billionth of a billionth of a carat (a carat weighs about the same as 12 grains of rice); the smallest ones contain just 10 atoms.
11-May-2016 Sandia/California invites community to 60th anniversay celebration
Sandia will commemorate the 60th anniversary of its California site with a community event in downtown Livermore on Saturday, May 21 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Held at the Bankhead Theater, 2400 First Street, it will feature technology displays and demonstrations, national security speakers, hands-on science activities and recruiting.
9-May-2016 Large Hadron Collider prepares to deliver 6 times the data
After months of winter hibernation, the Large Hadron Collider is once again smashing protons and taking data. The LHC will run around the clock for the next six months and produce roughly 2 quadrillion high-quality proton collisions, six times more than in 2015 and just shy of the total number of collisions recorded during the nearly three years of the collider's first run.
5-May-2016 SLAC's historic linac turns 50 and gets a makeover
Since the Department of Energy's SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory powered up its 'linac' half a century ago, the 2-mile-long particle accelerator has driven a large number of successful research programs in particle physics, accelerator development and X-ray science. Now, the historic particle highway is getting a makeover that will pave the way for more groundbreaking research.
2-May-2016 Could aluminum nitride be engineered to produce quantum bits?
The leading method for creating quantum bits, or qubits, currently involves exploiting the structural defects in diamonds. But using NERSC resources, University of Chicago researchers found that the same defect could be engineered in cheaper aluminum nitride. If confirmed by experiments, this could significantly reduce the cost of manufacturing quantum technologies.
26-Apr-2016 The Pellet Stove Design Challenge: We have a winner!
At Brookhaven Lab last week, seven finalists competed to be designated the top-performing pellet stove. The three-day Pellet Stove Design Challenge, organized by the Alliance for Green Heat, featured stove demonstrations and testing as well as presentations and round-table discussions on a variety of issues.
20-Apr-2016 Peering deep into materials with ultrafast science
Creating the batteries or electronics of the future requires understanding materials that are just a few atoms thick and that change their fundamental physical properties in fractions of a second. Cutting-edge facilities at the Department of Energy's SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory and Stanford University have allowed researchers like Aaron Lindenberg to visualize properties of these nanoscale materials at ultrafast time scales.
15-Apr-2016 SLAC researchers recreate the extreme universe in the lab
Conditions in the vast universe can be quite extreme: Violent collisions scar the surfaces of planets. Nuclear reactions in bright stars generate tremendous amounts of energy. Gigantic explosions catapult matter far out into space. But how exactly do processes like these unfold? What do they tell us about the universe?
To find out, researchers from the Department of Energy's SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory perform sophisticated experiments and computer simulations that recreate violent cosmic conditions on a small scale in the lab.
7-Apr-2016 Physicists build ultra-powerful accelerator magnet
The next generation of cutting-edge accelerator magnets is no longer just an idea. Recent tests revealed that the United States and CERN have successfully co-created a prototype superconducting accelerator magnet that is much more powerful than those currently inside the Large Hadron Collider.
6-Apr-2016 Six weighty facts about gravity
Gravity: we barely ever think about it, at least until we slip on ice or stumble on the stairs. To many ancient thinkers, gravity wasn't even a force -- it was just the natural tendency of objects to sink toward the center of Earth, while planets were subject to other, unrelated laws.
5-Apr-2016 Chalice receptors attract metal contaminants with new chemical selectivity
Researchers at Oak Ridge National Laboratory found new ways to influence selectivity for specific positively charged ions (cations) with the addition of simple receptors, not for cations but rather for negatively charged ions (anions). This discovery proves that adding an anion receptor can affect the selectivity of extractants used to separate metals. Better selectivity via the addition of anion receptors to enhance discrimination between metals, such as sodium and cesium, could improve future environmental cleanup efforts.
4-Apr-2016 Putting it all together: Fermilab assembles first cryomodule for LCLS-II
In February, a Fermilab team came together to witness a moment they'd looked forward to for over a year. Crew members parted the plastic sheeting at one end of a cleanroom and rolled out on narrow tracks a long string of eight accelerating cavities. It was the first cavity string for LCLS-II, which will greatly increase the power and capacity of SLAC's Linac Coherent Light Source.
28-Mar-2016 ORNL scientists show charged salts can extract specific central lanthanide elements
Researchers at Oak Ridge National Laboratory wanted to find out if it was possible to make a molecule that could selectively bind to metal cations in the middle of the lanthanide series. The team provided a proof-of-principle by successfully creating a new ligand that selectively extracted central lanthanides. Easier accessibility to these central lanthanides could lead to advances in materials for technologies such as lasers, strong magnets, lights and neutron-absorbing control rods in nuclear reactors.
24-Mar-2016 New catalyst is 3 times better at splitting water
With a combination of theory and clever, meticulous gel-making, scientists from the Department of Energy's SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory and the University of Toronto have developed a new type of catalyst that's three times better than the previous record-holder at splitting water into hydrogen and oxygen -- the vital first step in making fuels from renewable solar and wind power.
21-Mar-2016 Sisters in science
Emma and Molly White and Ru-Shyan and Ru-Huey Yen, a pair of twin sisters and close friends who met in high school 16 years ago. Flash forward to today, and the four all have science-based careers, and look back at their shared-sisterhood-times-two as vital in getting them to where they are today.
21-Mar-2016 Bump in LHC data has physicists electrified
In December, the ATLAS and CMS experiments reported what could be the first hint of a new massive particle that spits out two photons as it decays. Now, physicists are presenting their latest analyses at the Moriond conference in La Thuile, Italy, including a full investigation of this mysterious bump. After carefully checking, cross-checking and rechecking the data, both experiments have come to the same conclusion -- the bump is still there.
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.