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.
3-Aug-2009 Award-winning reflector to cut solar cost
In a breakthrough development that recently netted a coveted R&D Magazine top 100 award, a small solar company has teamed with scientists at NREL to develop massive curved sheets of metal that have the potential to be 30 percent less expensive than today's best collectors of concentrated solar power.
16-Jul-2009 Dark Energy Camera scans ancient skies
Scientists wonder why the universe is expanding ever faster. What mysterious force is at work? By recording the light from hundreds of millions of galaxies from a mountaintop in Chile, they hope to find out what's going on.
23-Jun-2009 Green chemistry: Using lasers to detect explosives and hazardous waste
Berkeley Lab scientists are pioneering laser ablation techniques that can detect explosives and hazardous waste in seconds, with no chemical waste. The technology can save the lives of soldiers, keep children safe from toys illegally coated with lead paints, and protect workers from chemical poisoning.
4-Jun-2009 Ames Laboratory-made materials are out of this world
Materials produced at the US Department of Energy's Ames Laboratory were launched into space on May 14 with the European Space Agency's Planck Mission. Ames Laboratory's Materials Preparation Center synthesized over 20 kilograms of a lanthanum-nickel-tin alloy for use in a metallic hydride sorption cryocooler system -- built by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory -- that will cool instruments during the space mission.
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.