19-Jul-2011 Supercomputers aid in understanding the basic building blocks of nature
A team of scientists collaborating under the leadership of Paul Mackenzie of Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory has been awarded a total of 80 million processor hours at the Oak Ridge Leadership Computing Facility and the Argonne Leadership Computing Facility for quantum chromodynamics research to help develop a unified theory of how the four forces interact. Physicists believe that more fundamental interactions must unite the presently observed forces.
14-Jul-2011 Turning data into wild rides through dark domes
Thanks to scientists at SLAC and Stanford, planetarium audiences can fly through an increasingly realistic cosmos.
A show now playing in San Francisco is a case in point. Unlike shows of a decade ago, all the animations are based on real scientific data – including visualizations made by researchers at KIPAC, the Kavli Institute for Particle Astrophysics and Cosmology.
12-Jul-2011 It takes 3 to tango
Researchers who want to understand how and why a nucleus hangs together as it does must take into account the complex interactions known as the three-body force. This conclusion, drawn from simulations on America's most powerful supercomputer, is outlined in the May 20, 2011, edition of Physical Review Letters.
29-Jun-2011 Odd particle left out in the cold
The old saying birds of a feather flock together may also be true for the smallest bits of matter. According to a study recently published in Physical Review Letters, like particles inside protons and neutrons band together, leaving the odd one out.
16-Jun-2011 Packing the ions
Drexel University's Yury Gogotsi and colleagues recently needed an atom's-eye view of a promising supercapacitor material to sort out experimental results that were exciting but appeared illogical. That view was provided by a research team led by Oak Ridge National Laboratory computational chemists Bobby Sumpter and Jingsong Huang and computational physicist Vincent Meunier.
1-Jun-2011 The curious case of germanium-72
Physicists from Oak Ridge National Laboratory, the University of Tennessee, and Germany's GSI in Darmstadt recently used ORNL's Jaguar supercomputer to explore the pair bonding of neutrons in one uncommon isotope -- germanium-72. In doing so they discovered that changes in temperature and rotation take the nucleus through at least two physical phases.
1-Jun-2011 Chemistry and materials simulations speed clean energy production and storage
Catalysts are just one area of investigation for a multi-institutional team whose 70 publications in 3 years detail prodigious scientific output from the world's fastest chemistry simulations.
"Our long-term goal is enabling the design of new generations of clean and sustainable technologies to produce, transmit, and store energy," said team leader Robert Harrison, a computational chemist at Oak Ridge National Laboratory.
24-Feb-2011 Students learn about wind power first-hand through Wind for Schools program
For years, Jenny Christman tried to find a way to get a wind turbine to educate the students at Northumberland Middle and High School about wind power. Now, with help from the Wind for Schools project and the Virginia Center for Wind Energy at James Madison University, the students at Northumberland are learning about wind power first-hand from the newly constructed turbine at their school.
6-Dec-2010 Argonne to hold annual Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day
Girls in sixth through eighth grades are invited to learn all about science and engineering during the annual Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day on Thursday, Feb. 24, 2011, at the US Department of Energy's Argonne National Laboratory.
13-Oct-2010 Creating order from chaos at the LCLS
In the world of physics, where everything tends toward disorder, researchers working on the Linac Coherent Light Source are seeking perfect order. Many experiments at the pioneering machine will require each molecule in a puff of gas to align with all of the others, creating a uniform field of molecules on which tests can be conducted.
21-Sep-2010 As Auto X reaches the finish line, a new race begins
After two years of intense competition, the winners of the Automotive X Prize were announced during a ceremony at the Historical Society of Washington, D.C. on Sept. 16, 2010. Deputy Secretary Daniel Poneman spoke at the ceremony, praising the competition as an example of "the power of innovation and ingenuity to achieve transformative breakthroughs."
5-Aug-2010 Magic secrets
Each year hundreds of visiting scientists conduct research at ORNL's Holifield Radioactive Ion Beam Facility to create and analyze isotopes. These studies give researchers a unique glimpse into the inner workings of atomic nuclei.
13-Jul-2010 Ethanol-fueled racecar engines outpower lead-fueled engines
A group of automotive researchers from the US Department of Energy's Argonne National Laboratory and industry have shown that a fuel-injected racing car engine fueled by E-85, an ethanol-based fuel, outperforms the same engine with a carburetor and leaded racing fuel.
17-May-2010 NETL's green projects promise energy efficiency all year round
Forty years after the first Earth Day, it is almost second nature to toss a can or plastic bottle into the recycling bin, but being green is about much more than reusing materials. Just as individuals make a personal decision to "reduce, reuse, and recycle," businesses, industry, and other organizations are making the same commitment to being green.
22-Apr-2010 NREL finds a way to give LEDs the green light
Light bulbs that last 100 years and fill rooms with brilliant ambiance may become a reality sooner rather than later, thanks to a National Renewable Energy Laboratory discovery.
6-Jan-2010 Argonne advanced battery research driving to displace gasoline
In excess of seven million barrels of gasoline are consumed by vehicles in the United States every day. As scientists race to find environmentally sound solutions to fuel the world's ever-growing transportation needs, battery researchers are exploring the promise of lithium-air battery technology.
10-Nov-2009 An electron zap turns flimsy plastic into sturdy shrink wrap
If you buy a Butterball turkey this Thanksgiving, you have particle accelerators to thank for its freshness. For decades now the food industry has used particle accelerators to produce the sturdy, heat-shrinkable film that Butterballs come wrapped in.
16-Sep-2009 Both directions at once
The challenge of controlling climate change is a goal that, to many, appears to be at odds with the equally important goal of energy security. However, the idea that the two goals are somehow mutually exclusive is not one accepted by ORNL energy researcher David Greene. "We don't want to sacrifice one for the other," he says. "We want -- and we believe it possible -- to achieve environmental goals and energy security goals at the same time.
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.