29-Dec-2015 2015's Top 10 Scientific Advances at Brookhaven National Laboratory
From creating the tiniest drops of primordial particle soup to devising new ways to improve batteries, catalysts, superconductors, and more, scientists at the US Department of Energy's Brookhaven National Laboratory pushed the boundaries of discovery in 2015. Here, in no particular order, are our picks for the top 10 advances of the year.
23-Dec-2015 Scratching the surface
Oceans cover almost three-quarters of the planet and are major contributors to atmospheric aerosols in the form of sea spray particles. These sea spray aerosols are rich in organic materials that impact cloud formation and the world's climate. Despite their abundance and significance, sea spray aerosols are not well understood. Researchers in collaboration with EMSL scientists are learning more about the chemistry of sea spray aerosols and their role in cloud formation to better account for them in climate models.
21-Dec-2015 Study forecasts disappearance of conifers due to climate change
A new study, led by Los Alamos National Laboratory, suggests that widespread loss of a major forest type, the pine-juniper woodlands of the Southwestern US, could be wiped out by the end of this century due to climate change, and that conifers throughout much of the Northern Hemisphere may be on a similar trajectory.
16-Dec-2015 A collaboration bears fruit as W7-X celebrates first research plasma
Scientists from the US Department of Energy's Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL) and other national laboratories joined colleagues from around the world at the celebration for the first plasma of the Wendelstein 7-X (W7-X) stellarator at the Max Planck Institute in Greifswald, Germany.
15-Dec-2015 Schweickhard 'Schwick' von Goeler dies at 84
Schweickhard 'Schwick' von Goeler, an award-winning physicist at the US Department of Energy's Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL) for more than 35 years and the inventor of numerous X-ray diagnostics used in fusion experiments worldwide, died of leukemia on Dec. 6 in Springfield, Massachusetts. He was 84.
14-Dec-2015 LUX experiment draws best picture yet of what dark matter particles cannot be
The Large Underground Xenon (LUX) dark matter experiment, which operates nearly a mile underground at the Sanford Underground Research Facility (SURF) in the Black Hills of South Dakota, has already proven itself to be the most sensitive dark matter detector in the world. Now scientists have significantly enhanced its ability to look for WIMPs, or weakly interacting massive particles, which are among the leading candidates for dark matter.
9-Dec-2015 To get more oomph from an electron gun, tip it with diamondoids
They sound like futuristic weapons, but electron guns are actually workhorse tools for research and industry: They emit streams of electrons for electron microscopes, semiconductor patterning equipment and particle accelerators, to name a few important uses. Now scientists at Stanford University and the Department of Energy's SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory have figured out how to increase these electron flows 13,000-fold by applying a single layer of diamondoids -- tiny, perfect diamond cages -- to an electron gun's sharp gold tip.
9-Dec-2015 Mr. Rare Earth easing into retirement
When Karl A. Gschneidner Jr. began work on his Ph.D. at Iowa State University and hired on as an Ames Laboratory graduate researcher in metallurgy, Dwight Eisenhower was serving his first term in the White House. Now, more than six decades later, Gschneidner is formally retiring effective Jan. 5, 2016 after a distinguished career that led him to become internationally recognized as Mr. Rare Earth.
8-Dec-2015 Innovation boosts study of fragile biological samples at SLAC's X-ray laser
Researchers at the Department of Energy's SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory have found a simple new way to study very delicate biological samples -- like proteins at work in photosynthesis and components of protein-making machines called ribosomes -- at the atomic scale using SLAC's X-ray laser.
25-Nov-2015 Postdoc Alesha Harris: Tackling chemistry from nanoparticles to neutrinos
Alesha Harris has three degrees in chemistry and has taught the subject in her home state of Texas. Although her graduate work was in nanoparticles -- materials just a billionth of a meter in size -- she joined Brookhaven National Laboratory as an Alliance for Graduate Education and the Professoriate-Transformation (AGEP-T) postdoc working with Minfang Yeh, who leads the neutrino and nuclear chemistry group. Before becoming acquainted with Brookhaven Lab and Yeh's work, Harris had never heard of the mysterious neutrinos, invisible subatomic particles.
23-Nov-2015 Atom-sized craters make a catalyst much more active
Bombarding and stretching an important industrial catalyst opens up tiny holes on its surface where atoms can attach and react, greatly increasing its activity as a promoter of chemical reactions, according to a study by scientists at Stanford University and the Department of Energy's SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory.
18-Nov-2015 Q&A: SLAC theorist Lance Dixon explains quantum gravity
In this Q&A, Particle Physics and Astrophysics Professor Lance Dixon of Stanford University and the Department of Energy's SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory explains one approach to developing such a theory, called quantum gravity.
17-Nov-2015 SLAC's Helen Quinn to receive 2016 Compton Medal
Helen Quinn, a professor emerita at the Department of Energy's SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory and Stanford University, will receive the 2016 Karl Taylor Compton Medal for Leadership in Physics for her contributions to science education and theoretical physics.
16-Nov-2015 PPPL to design a high-resolution diagnostic system for the National Ignition Facility
Two US Department of Energy (DOE) laboratories working on very different types of fusion experiments have begun a novel collaboration. Under the arrangement, the DOE's Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL) will design a diagnostic system to provide high-resolution analysis of research on the National Ignition Facility (NIF) at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL). This work is supported by the DOE Office of Science and LLNL.
16-Nov-2015 X-ray microscope reveals 'solitons,' a special type of magnetic wave
Researchers used a powerful, custom-built X-ray microscope at the Department of Energy's SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory to directly observe the magnetic version of a soliton, a type of wave that can travel without resistance. Scientists are exploring whether such magnetic waves can be used to carry and store information in a new, more efficient form of computer memory that requires less energy and generates less heat.
12-Nov-2015 Brookhaven Lab presents cutting-edge computing capabilities at SC15
High-performance data analysis is the underpinning of much of the science done at US Department of Energy National Laboratories, and it will be on display at the SC15 International Conference for High Performance Computing, Networking, Storage and Analysis in Austin, Texas, Nov. 15-20.
Brookhaven National Laboratory will join the 16 other DOE Labs to showcase the expertise and experimental facilities it has built in an exhibition that plays on the conference theme, 'HPC Transforms.'
11-Nov-2015 SLAC goes to bat for science at Discovery Day
The annual Discovery Day at AT&T Park was yet again a grand slam for science: About 35,000 visitors flocked to the ballpark of the San Francisco Giants on Nov. 7 to attend the fifth edition of the family-friendly science fair. With 150 exhibits and activities, science and technology organizations from across the Bay Area made science fun and accessible to the public.
10-Nov-2015 Atoms to engines
The Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory, FCA US LLC, and the foundry giant, Nemak of Mexico, are combining their strengths to create lightweight powertrain materials that will help the auto industry speed past the technological roadblocks to its target of 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025.
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.