28-May-2015 Carbon nanothreads from compressed benzene
The thinnest possible linear thread that still retains a diamond-like structure was created by the extreme compression and decompression of the common chemical benzene. The threads may have outstanding mechanical and electronic properties. Further, the synthesis method opens up possible variations that could lead to materials presently unknown or impossible to make with existing techniques.
27-May-2015 Spiraling laser pulses could change the nature of graphene
A new study predicts that researchers could use spiraling pulses of laser light to change the nature of graphene, turning it from a metal into an insulator and giving it other peculiar properties that might be used to encode information.
27-May-2015 The 'why' of models
An international team of researchers from Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Macquarie University, the University of Western Sydney and the Max Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry set out to assess how two Free-Air CO2 Enrichment projects compared to eleven vegetation models that simulate various ecological processes. Instead of only benchmarking whether or not an individual model matched the experimental data, the researchers developed an 'assumption-centered' approach to evaluate why certain models performed better than others.
27-May-2015 Carbon sequestration in New Mexico's Bravo Dome
Emplacement of carbon dioxide at the Bravo Dome gas field in New Mexico began more than 900,000 years earlier than previously estimated, according to scientists at DOE's Center for Frontiers of Subsurface Energy Security. The study documents the first field evidence for the safe long-term storage of large amounts of carbon dioxide in saline aquifers.
21-May-2015 Shape-shifting plastic
Researchers from Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Washington State University and the University of Idaho have developed a process to make a thermoset that can be reshaped and reused. The new plastic is a shape-memory polymer, so named because the material can 'remember' its original shape and return to it after being deformed with heat or other forces.
20-May-2015 SLAC gears up for dark matter hunt with LUX-ZEPLIN
The US Department of Energy (DOE) recently signed off on the conceptual design of the proposed LUX-ZEPLIN (LZ) experiment and gave the green light for the procurement of some of its components. DOE's SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, a key member of the LZ collaboration, is setting up a test stand for the detector prototype and a facility to purify liquid xenon, which will be the detector's 'eye' for dark matter.
18-May-2015 Optical diagnostics researcher at Sandia wins DOE Early Career award
Sandia National Laboratories researcher Christopher Kliewer has won a $2.5 million, five-year Early Career Research Program award from the Department of Energy's Office of Science for his fundamental science proposal to develop new optical diagnostic tools to study interfacial combustion interactions that are major sources of pollution and vehicle inefficiency.
13-May-2015 Digitizing neurons
Supercomputing resources at Oak Ridge National Laboratory will support a new initiative designed to advance how scientists digitally reconstruct and analyze individual neurons in the human brain.
12-May-2015 Finding the missing particles
For the past 20 years, a large portion of the particles measured in the atmosphere were missing from models. At best, models were able to explain one-tenth of the carbon-rich secondary organic aerosols measured in the air. The problem turned out to be a series of fundamental assumptions used in the models due to a lack of experimental data. All of the assumptions were proven false by Dr. Alla Zelenyuk and her colleagues.
12-May-2015 ORNL group leads calorimeter upgrade for Large Hadron Collider experiment
Run-2 for the Large Hadron Collider -- the world's largest and most powerful particle collider -- began April 5 at CERN. In preparation, Thomas M. Cormier, who leads the LHC Heavy Ion group at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, led an upgrade of the electromagnetic calorimeter used for LHC's experiment called ALICE (for A Large Ion Collider Experiment). This detector measures the energies of high-energy electrons and gamma rays emitted from the quark-gluon plasma.
12-May-2015 Construction of LSST clean room at SLAC completed
Engineers and scientists at the Department of Energy's SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory working on the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST) gathered on May 8 to celebrate the completion of a new clean room, where they will soon begin to assemble the largest digital camera ever built.
11-May-2015 'Chombo-crunch' sinks its teeth into fluid dynamics
Researchers at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory are breaking new ground in the modeling of complex flows in energy and oil and gas applications, thanks to a computational fluid dynamics and transport code dubbed 'Chombo-Crunch.'
10-May-2015 Metamaterials shine bright as new terahertz source
Terahertz waves are used in information, communication, processing, and data storage technologies, yet few terahertz sources are available due to the limitations of natural materials. Scientists discovered an efficient terahertz emission from two-dimensional arrays of gold split-ring resonator metamaterials, which allow design and use of light-matter interactions at a fundamental level. This discovery opens new ways to use such materials.
8-May-2015 SLAC researcher receives DOE 'Early Career' grant to support X-ray optics and imaging
Anne Sakdinawat, an associate staff scientist at the Department of Energy's SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, has been recognized with a prestigious DOE Early Career Research Program grant to advance her work in creating and using next-generation focusing and imaging devices for X-ray experiments at SLAC and other research sites.
8-May-2015 New method relates Greenland ice sheet changes to sea-level rise
Climate models are not yet able to include full models of the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets and to dynamically simulate how ice sheet changes influence sea level. Early schemes failed to accurately account for mass increase due to snowfall and mass loss due to snow melt. These changes depend on ice sheet elevation and region. A new method that includes the effects of elevation and region was developed.
8-May-2015 Intertwining of superconductivity and magnetism
Experiments reveal nearly static, spatially modulated magnetism in a copper-oxide superconductor. Because static magnetism and superconductivity prefer not to coexist in the same material, the superconducting wave function is also likely modulated in space and phase-shifted to minimize overlap, consistent with recent theory. This study will assist in developing a predictive theory for high-temperature superconductivity that can assist in the design and discovery of improved superconductors.
6-May-2015 Heat's role in the Madden-Julian Oscillation
Tropical monsoons in Indonesia and floods in the United States are both provoked by the Madden-Julian Oscillation, a process that results in pulses of clouds and precipitation moving eastward around the globe. Despite the MJO's importance, global models often struggle to simulate the oscillation accurately. Researchers showed that MJO simulations are most sensitive to the existence of lower level heating in the atmosphere.
6-May-2015 Genetics of wood formation
To begin to understand the complex genetic interactions that control a potential bioenergy crop, scientists built a robust high-throughput pipeline for studying the hierarchy of genetic regulation of wood formation using tissue-specific single cells known as protoplasts.
5-May-2015 Compact light source improves CT scans
A new study shows that the recently developed Compact Light Source -- a commercial X-ray source with roots in research and development efforts at the Department of Energy's SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory -- enables computer tomography scans that reveal more detail than routine scans performed at hospitals today. The new technology could soon be used in preclinical studies and help researchers better understand cancer and other diseases.
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.