16-Dec-2013 Small size enhances charge transfer in quantum dots
In a study just published in the journal Chemical Communications, scientists at the US Department of Energy's Brookhaven National Laboratory, Stony Brook University, and Syracuse University show that shrinking the core of a quantum dot can enhance the ability of a surrounding polymer to extract electric charges generated in the dot by the absorption of light.
12-Dec-2013 Energetic science and piranha-proof armor
Scientists using Berkeley Lab's Advanced Light Source have identified the unique structure of a tough, flexible and adaptable armor that keeps the Arapaima gigas (a fish) safe in the piranha-infested waters of the Amazon basin.
6-Dec-2013 Tiny drops of hot quark soup -- how small can they be?
New analyses of deuteron-gold collisions at the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider indicate that collisions between gold ions and much smaller deuterons, designed as control experiments, may be serving up miniscule drops of hot quark-gluon plasma.
29-Oct-2013 NREL brings precision, savings to energy audits
An energy audit tool that more accurately pinpoints potential energy savings while potentially costing 35 percent to 75 percent less than traditional audits is set to hit the multi-billion-dollar energy retrofit industry next year.
17-Oct-2013 Architects and building engineers flock to NREL
Eight busloads of architects and mechanical engineers toured one of the world's largest net-zero-energy office building this summer at the Energy Department's National Renewable Energy Laboratory and came away inspired with new ideas for how to design and build beautiful, eco-friendly structures on a budget.
26-Sep-2013 Supercomputers help solve a 50-year homework assignment
A group of theoretical physicists has solved half of a 50-year homework assignment -- a calculation of one type of subatomic particle decay aimed at helping to answer the question of why the early universe ended up with an excess of matter.
19-Sep-2013 Study could help improve nuclear waste repositories
Sandia National Laboratories researchers are studying the movement of iodine-129 from spent nuclear fuel through a deep, clay-based geological repository.
Understanding that process is crucial as countries worldwide consider underground clay formations for nuclear waste disposal.
18-Sep-2013 Supercomputing the transition from ordinary to extraordinary forms of matter
Supercomputing calculations plus experimental data from the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider are helping scientists map out the nuclear phase diagram. This research offers insight into the transition of quark-gluon plasma to ordinary matter -- which mimics the formation of visible matter in the universe today.
27-Aug-2013 Third consecutive IEEE Cherry Award for NREL
Keith Emery always had amazing computer programming skills, but he lacked that special gift for creating solar cells. So, 30 years ago he switched to something more in his wheelhouse -- characterizing and measuring the efficiency of solar cells and modules.
13-Aug-2013 Wood-boring gribbles intrigue researchers
Tiny wood borers known colloquially as gribbles make their own enzymes and use them to eat through docks in harbor towns, earning enmity from fishermen all around the world.
13-Aug-2013 Interns make robust contribution to NREL
They travel far and wide, from all corners of the country. They come from a diverse set of backgrounds, and they have very different plans for their futures. But the 54 student interns at the Energy Department's National Renewable Energy Laboratory this summer all have something in common -- a thirst for knowledge and a desire to apply what they have learned in school to real-world science in a state-of-the-art laboratory environment.
25-Jul-2013 Project Neptune: Specialized gas detection for nonproliferation
Sandia National Laboratories' Project Neptune aims to design a system capable of sensing, from among the loud signals of a lot of gases, the weak signals from specific gases that are signs of nuclear proliferation. The researchers believe their gas correlation technique will prove ideal for a simple, inexpensive sensor to monitor those few illusive gases.
18-Jul-2013 Hurricane season: Predicting in advance what could happen
The Department of Homeland Security's National Infrastructure Simulation and Analysis Center, jointly housed at Sandia and Los Alamos national laboratories, studies how hurricanes and other disasters disrupt critical infrastructure, such as roads, electricity and water systems.
14-Jun-2013 Detecting homemade explosives, not toothpaste
Sandia National Laboratories researchers want airports, border checkpoints and others to detect homemade explosives made with hydrogen peroxide without nabbing people whose toothpaste happens to contain peroxide.
7-Jun-2013 X-rays from NSLS reveal fuel cells in action
Wouldn't it be great to have a magical "energy box" that could convert a wide array of fuels to electricity with high efficiency and lower emissions? Solid oxide fuel cells show significant promise. But these solid-state energy-conversion devices are made of complex materials and they require specific conditions for optimal operation -- high temperatures, variable pressures, and electrical polarization.
29-Apr-2013 A solar booster shot for natural gas power plants
Natural gas power plants can use about 20 percent less fuel when the sun is shining by injecting solar energy into natural gas with a new system being developed by the Department of Energy's Pacific Northwest National Laboratory.
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.