17-Oct-2013 Architects and building engineers flock to NREL
Eight busloads of architects and mechanical engineers toured one of the world's largest net-zero-energy office building this summer at the Energy Department's National Renewable Energy Laboratory and came away inspired with new ideas for how to design and build beautiful, eco-friendly structures on a budget.
26-Sep-2013 Supercomputers help solve a 50-year homework assignment
A group of theoretical physicists has solved half of a 50-year homework assignment -- a calculation of one type of subatomic particle decay aimed at helping to answer the question of why the early universe ended up with an excess of matter.
18-Sep-2013 Supercomputing the transition from ordinary to extraordinary forms of matter
Supercomputing calculations plus experimental data from the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider are helping scientists map out the nuclear phase diagram. This research offers insight into the transition of quark-gluon plasma to ordinary matter -- which mimics the formation of visible matter in the universe today.
27-Aug-2013 Third consecutive IEEE Cherry Award for NREL
Keith Emery always had amazing computer programming skills, but he lacked that special gift for creating solar cells. So, 30 years ago he switched to something more in his wheelhouse -- characterizing and measuring the efficiency of solar cells and modules.
13-Aug-2013 Wood-boring gribbles intrigue researchers
Tiny wood borers known colloquially as gribbles make their own enzymes and use them to eat through docks in harbor towns, earning enmity from fishermen all around the world.
13-Aug-2013 Interns make robust contribution to NREL
They travel far and wide, from all corners of the country. They come from a diverse set of backgrounds, and they have very different plans for their futures. But the 54 student interns at the Energy Department's National Renewable Energy Laboratory this summer all have something in common -- a thirst for knowledge and a desire to apply what they have learned in school to real-world science in a state-of-the-art laboratory environment.
14-Jun-2013 Detecting homemade explosives, not toothpaste
Sandia National Laboratories researchers want airports, border checkpoints and others to detect homemade explosives made with hydrogen peroxide without nabbing people whose toothpaste happens to contain peroxide.
7-Jun-2013 X-rays from NSLS reveal fuel cells in action
Wouldn't it be great to have a magical "energy box" that could convert a wide array of fuels to electricity with high efficiency and lower emissions? Solid oxide fuel cells show significant promise. But these solid-state energy-conversion devices are made of complex materials and they require specific conditions for optimal operation -- high temperatures, variable pressures, and electrical polarization.
29-Apr-2013 A solar booster shot for natural gas power plants
Natural gas power plants can use about 20 percent less fuel when the sun is shining by injecting solar energy into natural gas with a new system being developed by the Department of Energy's Pacific Northwest National Laboratory.
13-Mar-2013 Accelerating particles accelerates science -- with big benefits for society
Tackling the most challenging problems in accelerator science attracts the world's best and brightest to Brookhaven Lab. It's only natural that ideas and techniques born here take root in new research facilities around the world -- and spark a host of spin-off applications for industry, medicine, national security, and more.
15-Jan-2013 Sandia airborne pods seek to trace nuclear bomb's origins
If a nuclear device were to unexpectedly detonate anywhere on Earth, the ensuing effort to find out who made the weapon probably would be led by aircraft rapidly collecting airborne radioactive particles for analysis.
16-Nov-2012 Growth Forum offers networking nirvana
A greener detergent, a better solar-cell coating, an off-the-grid freezer -- clean-tech entrepreneurs pitched their ideas to money-men and -women in 10-minute bursts at the 2012 Industry Growth Forum last month in Denver.
The US Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory held the 25th Industry Growth Forum, an annual event that features presentations from emerging clean energy companies, provocative panels led by thought leaders, one-on-one meetings, and organized networking opportunities.
21-Aug-2012 Scientists create new diamond-denting carbon
A new super-hard form of carbon has been created by an international team of scientists working with X-rays at the Advanced Photon Source at Argonne National Laboratory.
17-Jul-2012 Special report: Graphics processing units speed results in extreme-scale supercomputers
Can scientists and engineers benefit from extreme-scale supercomputers that use application-code accelerators called GPUs (graphics processing units)? Comparing GPU accelerators with today's fastest central processing units (CPUs), early results from diverse areas of research show 1.5- to 3-fold speedups for most codes. That acceleration means increased realism of simulations and decreased time to results. A special report details these findings.
12-Jul-2012 Idaho researcher building used nuclear fuel sensor
Much of the 6,200 metric tons of used nuclear fuel generated by US power plants over the last 40 years is stored safely in giant stainless steel casks. Darryl Butt, a Boise State University professor, is part of a team researching whether it can be stored that way for at least 60 more.
5-Jun-2012 Snubbed protons tattle on neutron structure
Protons and neutrons are the fraternal twins of the sub-atomic world and the building blocks of all atomic nuclei. While similar in many respects, it's their differences that give them their unique properties. Now, scientists are exploiting these differences to gain deeper insight into these fundamental particles that build our visible universe.
24-May-2012 Supernovas explode in 3-D detail at Oak Ridge National Laboratory
Understanding a Type Ia supernova -- an exploding white dwarf star -- requires supercomputers. A team of astrophysicists and computational scientists is using the power of Oak Ridge National Laboratory's Jaguar to virtually blow up these white dwarfs. In the process the researchers are revealing the secrets of the biggest thermonuclear explosions in the universe and finding the answers needed to measure the size of the universe.
7-May-2012 NREL catalyst brings drop-in fuels closer
We live in a petroleum-based society, and the oil we use comes from plants that were buried eons ago and changed under pressure and high temperatures. As countries across the globe face dwindling oil supplies and the environmental impacts of tapping hard-to-process shale oil, the question arises: is there a greener way to replicate Mother Nature?
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.