24-Apr-2017 Machine learning dramatically streamlines search for more efficient chemical reactions
In theory, a catalytic reaction may follow thousands of possible paths, and it can take years to identify which one it actually takes so scientists can tweak it and make it more efficient. Now researchers at the Department of Energy's SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory and Stanford University have taken a big step toward cutting through this thicket of possibilities.
21-Apr-2017 Beyond femtoseconds
Hopefully you've discovered this week how femtosecond science provides revolutionary views of some of nature's fastest phenomena. You now know how mind-bogglingly fast a femtosecond passes, and you might be thinking things couldn't get much faster. Well, let's talk about the attosecond.
21-Apr-2017 What can you study in femtoseconds? Materials
When Aaron Lindenberg was introduced to ultrafast science as a first-year grad student at UC Berkeley, he was immediately hooked. He knew he wanted to be part of a hot research field that explores nature's speediest processes and lets us see the world with different eyes.
18-Apr-2017 How do you catch femtosecond light?
Gabriella Carini enjoys those little moments -- after hours and hours of testing in clean rooms, labs and at X-ray beamlines -- when she first sees an instrument work.
17-Apr-2017 How do you make a femtosecond light source?
Agostino 'Ago' Marinelli first met pioneering accelerator physicist Claudio Pellegrini as an undergraduate student at the University of Rome. It was 2007, a couple of years before the Linac Coherent Light Source (LCLS) came online at SLAC, and people were abuzz about free-electron laser physics.
17-Apr-2017 Why study in femtoseconds?
The text on this screen may appear stable enough, but every molecule, atom, and electron in it is in constant motion. The laws of quantum physics require that on the atomic scale nothing is ever truly at rest. Nano-sized motion also keeps us warm, cooks our food, lights our smartphones, and enables all of our senses of hearing, sight, smell, taste, and touch.
13-Apr-2017 SLAC celebrates Femtosecond Week
Got a millionth of a billionth of a second? There's science that actually happens on this timescale. Join us online for a week of ultrafast science from April 17 to 21. Learn more about how scientists and engineers use electron beams and bright pulses of light from the Linac Coherent Light Source X-ray laser and other advanced lasers to capture some of nature's speediest processes that occur in just femtoseconds, or quadrillionths of a second.
7-Apr-2017 Scientists watch a molecule protect itself from radiation damage
When DNA is hit with ultraviolet light, it can lose excess energy from radiation by ejecting the core of a hydrogen atom -- a single proton -- to keep other chemical bonds in the system from breaking. To gain insight into this process, researchers used X-ray laser pulses from the Linac Coherent Light Source (LCLS) at the Department of Energy's SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory to investigate how energy from light transforms a relatively simple molecule, 2-thiopyridone.
Producing and distributing hydrogen peroxide is a challenge in many parts of the world. Now scientists at the Department of Energy's SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory and Stanford University have created a small device for hydrogen peroxide production that could be powered by renewable energy sources, like conventional solar panels.
1-Mar-2017 Corrective 'eyeglasses' now available for X-ray research facilities
A research collaboration designed and built special spectacles, or corrective phase plates, for use at light sources that use high-intensity X-rays to probe matter in fine detail. Nature Communications published the details of the method, developed in part by researchers at the Department of Energy's SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory.
27-Feb-2017 New droplet-on-tape method assists biochemical research at X-ray lasers
Scientists at the Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, Brookhaven National Laboratory, and other institutes designed a new assembly-line system that rapidly replaces exposed biological samples by moving droplets along a miniature conveyor belt, timed to coincide with the arrival of the X-ray pulses. The droplet-on-tape system now allows the team to study the biochemical reactions in real-time from microseconds to seconds, revealing the stages of these complex reactions.
16-Feb-2017 Protein structure solved from smallest crystals yet
An international team of scientists used an X-ray laser at the Department of Energy's SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory to determine the structure of an insect virus's crystalline protein 'cocoon.'
31-Jan-2017 Taking down a giant: 699 tons of SLAC's accelerator removed for upgrade
For the first time in more than 50 years, a door that is opened at the western end of the historic linear accelerator at the Department of Energy's SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory casts light on four empty walls stretching as far as the eye can see. This end of the linac -- a full kilometer of it -- has been stripped of all its equipment both above and below ground.
11-Jan-2017 Sketching out magnetism with electricity
In a proof-of-concept study published in Nature Physics, researchers drew magnetic squares in a nonmagnetic material with an electrified pen and then 'read' this magnetic doodle with X-rays.
4-Jan-2017 SLAC study: Light can switch on topological materials
Theoretical physicists at the Department of Energy's SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory used computer simulations to show how special light pulses could create robust channels where electricity flows without resistance in an atomically thin semiconductor.
30-Nov-2016 Q&A: Simon Bare catalyzes new chemistry effort at SLAC
Simon Bare, who joined the Department of Energy's SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory in April, spent 30 years as an industrial chemist investigating how catalysts work. Now, as co-director of the Chemistry and Catalysis Division at the lab's Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Lightsource (SSRL), his goal is to build on research strengths at SLAC and Stanford University to create a West Coast center for catalyst research and define new research directions.
28-Nov-2016 'Brighter than a billion suns': SLAC studies featured in TEDx Talk
Phil Manning and his colleagues have used synchrotron light for nearly a decade to help interpret the chemical signatures locked within fossilized life. Bright X-rays have allowed them to study fossilized worm burrows, recreate pigment patterns in ancient bird feathers, see how Jurassic dinosaur bones heal and image the living chemistry of 50-million year old plant fossils.
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.