The Department of Energy's Brookhaven National Laboratory conducts
research in the physical, biomedical, and environmental sciences,
as well as in energy technologies. Brookhaven also builds and
operates major facilities available to university, industrial,
and government scientists. The Laboratory is managed by Brookhaven
Science Associates, a corporation founded by Stony Brook University
and Battelle, a nonprofit applied science and technology organization.
Scientists have measured the subatomic intricacies of an exotic phenomenon first predicted more than 60 years ago. This so-called van Vleck magnetism is the key to harnessing the quantum quirks of topological insulators -- hybrid materials that are both conducting and insulating -- and could lead to unprecedented electronics.
An international team of researchers, including three from Brookhaven National Laboratory, tracked nitrogen as soil bacteria pulled it from the air and released it as plant-friendly ammonium. This eco-friendly process -- called biological nitrogen fixation -- substantially promoted growth in certain grass crops.
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.