12-May-2016 Extracting miniature diamonds from crude
Stanford and SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory jointly run the world's leading program for isolating and studying diamondoids -- the tiniest possible specks of diamond. Found naturally in petroleum fluids, these interlocking carbon cages weigh less than a billionth of a billionth of a carat (a carat weighs about the same as 12 grains of rice); the smallest ones contain just 10 atoms.
12-May-2016 Solving the biomass puzzle
Biomass holds great promise as a petroleum replacement, but unlocking its true potential remains a puzzle. A group of researchers at Iowa State University and the US Department of Energy's Ames Laboratory hope to develop the pieces of that puzzle to create a clearer picture of what takes place within a plant and how that applies to its downstream uses as biomass.
11-May-2016 Sandia/California invites community to 60th anniversay celebration
Sandia will commemorate the 60th anniversary of its California site with a community event in downtown Livermore on Saturday, May 21 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Held at the Bankhead Theater, 2400 First Street, it will feature technology displays and demonstrations, national security speakers, hands-on science activities and recruiting.
9-May-2016 Large Hadron Collider prepares to deliver 6 times the data
After months of winter hibernation, the Large Hadron Collider is once again smashing protons and taking data. The LHC will run around the clock for the next six months and produce roughly 2 quadrillion high-quality proton collisions, six times more than in 2015 and just shy of the total number of collisions recorded during the nearly three years of the collider's first run.
5-May-2016 SLAC's historic linac turns 50 and gets a makeover
Since the Department of Energy's SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory powered up its 'linac' half a century ago, the 2-mile-long particle accelerator has driven a large number of successful research programs in particle physics, accelerator development and X-ray science. Now, the historic particle highway is getting a makeover that will pave the way for more groundbreaking research.
2-May-2016 Could aluminum nitride be engineered to produce quantum bits?
The leading method for creating quantum bits, or qubits, currently involves exploiting the structural defects in diamonds. But using NERSC resources, University of Chicago researchers found that the same defect could be engineered in cheaper aluminum nitride. If confirmed by experiments, this could significantly reduce the cost of manufacturing quantum technologies.
27-Apr-2016 Math helps scientists capture molecules in motion
Using data from the world's most powerful X-ray laser at the Department of Energy's SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, an international team of scientists has made a crucial advance in analyzing ultrafast motions of molecules. They developed a computational method that increases the accuracy of this analysis 300 times -- to one femtosecond, which is a millionth of a billionth of a second.
26-Apr-2016 The hottest job in physics?
While the supply of accelerator physicists in the United States has grown modestly over the last decade, it hasn't been able to catch up with demand fueled by industry interest in medical particle accelerators and growing collaborations at the national labs.
26-Apr-2016 The Pellet Stove Design Challenge: We have a winner!
At Brookhaven Lab last week, seven finalists competed to be designated the top-performing pellet stove. The three-day Pellet Stove Design Challenge, organized by the Alliance for Green Heat, featured stove demonstrations and testing as well as presentations and round-table discussions on a variety of issues.
25-Apr-2016 Giving back to National Science Bowl
In the 1990s, Dean Jens and Doug Fuller were high school students playing on teams from Ankeny High School that were competing to secure coveted spots in the US Department of Energy's National Science Bowl (NSB) ® competition. Today, they're professionals, fathers, and devoted alumni whose annual volunteer commitment to the NSB allows them to give back to a competition that helped shape their lives.
20-Apr-2016 Peering deep into materials with ultrafast science
Creating the batteries or electronics of the future requires understanding materials that are just a few atoms thick and that change their fundamental physical properties in fractions of a second. Cutting-edge facilities at the Department of Energy's SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory and Stanford University have allowed researchers like Aaron Lindenberg to visualize properties of these nanoscale materials at ultrafast time scales.
18-Apr-2016 ORNL forges connections for sturgeon conservation
Scientists at the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory are taking a closer look at how sturgeon, a prehistoric -- and now imperiled -- group of fish species may better be helped to get around the dams that block their migrations.
15-Apr-2016 SLAC researchers recreate the extreme universe in the lab
Conditions in the vast universe can be quite extreme: Violent collisions scar the surfaces of planets. Nuclear reactions in bright stars generate tremendous amounts of energy. Gigantic explosions catapult matter far out into space. But how exactly do processes like these unfold? What do they tell us about the universe?
To find out, researchers from the Department of Energy's SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory perform sophisticated experiments and computer simulations that recreate violent cosmic conditions on a small scale in the lab.
11-Apr-2016 Researchers discover new type of 'pili' used by bacteria to cling to hosts
Many bacteria interact with their environment through hair-like structures known as pili, which attach to and help mediate infection of host organisms, among other things. Now a US-Japanese research team, including scientists from the Department of Energy's SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, has discovered that certain bacteria prevalent in the human gut and mouth assemble their pili in a previously unknown way -- information that could potentially open up new ways of fighting infection.
7-Apr-2016 Physicists build ultra-powerful accelerator magnet
The next generation of cutting-edge accelerator magnets is no longer just an idea. Recent tests revealed that the United States and CERN have successfully co-created a prototype superconducting accelerator magnet that is much more powerful than those currently inside the Large Hadron Collider.
6-Apr-2016 Six weighty facts about gravity
Gravity: we barely ever think about it, at least until we slip on ice or stumble on the stairs. To many ancient thinkers, gravity wasn't even a force -- it was just the natural tendency of objects to sink toward the center of Earth, while planets were subject to other, unrelated laws.
5-Apr-2016 Chalice receptors attract metal contaminants with new chemical selectivity
Researchers at Oak Ridge National Laboratory found new ways to influence selectivity for specific positively charged ions (cations) with the addition of simple receptors, not for cations but rather for negatively charged ions (anions). This discovery proves that adding an anion receptor can affect the selectivity of extractants used to separate metals. Better selectivity via the addition of anion receptors to enhance discrimination between metals, such as sodium and cesium, could improve future environmental cleanup efforts.
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.