A team of researchers from the University of South Carolina is using neutrons at Oak Ridge National Laboratory to develop more durable and efficient materials called waste forms for safely storing hazardous substances.
A research team including Georgia Institute of Technology professor Martin Mourigal used neutron scattering at Oak Ridge National Laboratory to study copper elpasolite, a mineral that can be driven to an exotic magnetic state when subjected to very low temperatures and a high magnetic field.
27-Nov-2017 World's smallest fidget spinner showcases access to serious science facility
One drop of liquid, a cutting-edge laser 3-D-printer and a few hours are all it takes to make a fidget spinner smaller than the width of a human hair. The tiny whirligig was created by researchers at Oak Ridge National Laboratory's Center for Nanophase Materials Sciences to illustrate the facility's unique resources and expertise available to scientists across the world. The microscale fidget spinner measures only 100 microns wide, or one tenth of a millimeter.
Researchers from Washington University in St. Louis and ORNL are using neutrons to study what happens when cyanobacteria cell samples are starved for nitrogen. They are especially interested in how this process affects phycobilisomes, large antenna protein complexes in the cells that harvest light for photosynthesis.
Researchers from ORNL's Neutron Sciences Directorate are conducting a series of experiments to better understand how resistant bacteria use enzymes called beta-lactamases to break down the beta-lactam class of antibiotics.
Having the right tool for the job enabled scientists at the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory and their collaborators to discover that a workhorse catalyst of vehicle exhaust systems -- an 'oxygen sponge' that can soak up oxygen from air and store it for later use in oxidation reactions -- may also be a 'hydrogen sponge.' The finding may pave the way for the design of more effective catalysts for selective hydrogenation reactions.
Massive offshore structures like oil rigs and wind turbines are designed to withstand the myriad punishments oceans tend to mete out. However, over time, just the saltwater itself can significantly decrease the durability of a structure's welds. That's why researchers are using neutron analysis at ORNL's HFIR to validate a more advanced method of welding involving high-power lasers.
Paige Kelley, a postdoctoral researcher with a joint appointment at the University of Tennessee and the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory, is using neutrons to study specific crystal properties that could lead to the realization of a quantum spin liquid, a novel state of matter that may form the basis of future quantum computing technologies.
Nuclear physicists at the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory and their partners are using America's most powerful supercomputers to characterize the behavior of objects, from subatomic neutrons to neutron stars, that differ dramatically in size yet are closely connected by physics. Through the DOE Office of Science's Scientific Discovery through Advanced Computing program, which concurrently advances science and supercomputing to accelerate discovery, ORNL is participating in two five-year computational nuclear physics projects.
A new study by the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory has quantified the impact speeding and slamming on the brakes has on fuel economy and consumption. Aggressive behavior behind the wheel can lower gas mileage in light-duty vehicles, which can equate to losing about $0.25 to $1 per gallon.
An experiment called ALICE at the Large Hadron Collider is dedicated to the study of heavy-ion collisions. ALICE stands for 'A Large Ion Collider Experiment.' Its aim is spotting the high-energy, elementary particles, like electrons and gamma rays, streaming from the quark-gluon plasma, to explore the physics of the early universe. Oak Ridge National Laboratory physicist Thomas M. Cormier provides an update on the experiment.
A team of researchers from ORNL and Colorado State University developed a U-tube gas flow cell to study catalysts and better understand how facilitate chemical reactions. With this cell integrated into a new sample environment, they can combine neutron diffraction and isotope analysis techniques to view catalytic behavior under realistic operating conditions.
6-Jul-2017 ORNL researchers apply imaging, computational expertise to St. Jude research
In the quest to better understand and cure childhood diseases, scientists at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital accumulate enormous amounts of data from powerful video microscopes. To help St. Jude scientists mine that trove of data, researchers at Oak Ridge National Laboratory have created custom algorithms that can provide a deeper understanding of the images and quicken the pace of research.
5-May-2017 Bacterial boost for bio-based fuels
"Electrical" bacteria are the key ingredient in a new process developed by the Oak Ridge National Laboratory that recycles wastewater from biofuel production to generate hydrogen. The hydrogen can then be used to convert bio-oil into higher grade liquid fuels such as gasoline or diesel.
14-Mar-2017 Two-dimensional MXene materials get their close-up
Researchers have long sought electrically conductive materials for economical energy-storage devices. Two-dimensional (2D) ceramics called MXenes are contenders. ORNL scientists using state-of-the-art scanning transmission electron microscopy provided the first direct evidence of the atomic-defect configurations in a titanium-carbide MXene synthesized at Drexel University. Published in ACS Nano, a journal of the American Chemical Society, the study coupled atomic-scale characterization and electrical property measurements with theory-based simulation.
13-Mar-2017 Nidia Gallego: Carbon scientist is as versatile as the element she studies
At the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Nidia Gallego develops carbon materials for energy technologies and space exploration. She investigates the physical and chemical properties of carbon in diverse forms -- including fiber, composites and foam.
'Carbon is a single element that can be many things,' Gallego said. 'It can be hard like diamond, soft like graphite or amorphous like activated carbon. Its material properties depend on how carbon atoms bond with each other.'
3-Jan-2017 Ceramic matrix composites take flight in LEAP jet engine
Ceramic matrix composite (CMC) materials are tough, lightweight and capable of withstanding temperatures 300-400 degrees F hotter than metal alloys can endure. A quarter-century ago, the US Department of Energy began a program, led by DOE's Oak Ridge National Laboratory, to support US development of CMC materials. This year, LEAP, a new aircraft engine, became the first widely deployed CMC-containing product. CFM International, a 50/50 joint venture of Safran and GE, manufactures LEAP.
23-Aug-2016 Neutrino experiments utilize ORNL experts, equipment to explore the unknown
This year the field of neutrino physics is full of enthusiasm as three significant experiments with different goals gear up to advance our understanding of neutrino physics. All three experiments benefit from expertise and facilities at the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory.
5-Aug-2016 Researchers combine simulation, experiment for nanoscale 3-D printing
A research team led by Oak Ridge National Laboratory has created a high-power simulation and design process to print free-standing 3-D structures on the nanoscale using focused electron beam induced deposition. The simulation-guided nanomanufacturing method allows researchers to design and construct complex high-fidelity nanostructures with less guesswork.
27-May-2016 ORNL researchers use strain to engineer first high-performance, two-way oxide catalyst
Catalysts make chemical reactions more likely to occur. In most cases, a catalyst that's good at driving chemical reactions in one direction is bad at driving reactions in the opposite direction. However, a research team led by the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory has created the first high-performance, two-way oxide catalyst and filed a patent application for the invention. The accomplishment is reported in the Journal of the American Chemical Society.
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.