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.
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.
18-Dec-2012 How cool are cool roofs? PPPL serves as the laboratory to find the answer
When Keith Rule and a team of interns walked onto the black and white roof of the main building of the US Department of Energy's Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory one sweltering day last summer, they could feel the temperature difference between the two different colored areas in the soles of their feet.
12-Sep-2012 Fresh water feeds hurricanes' fury
PNNL researchers discovered that hurricanes and tropical cyclones become up to 50 percent more intense when passing over oceans inundated with fresh water. Their findings might help improve predictions of a hurricane's power in certain regions.
21-Aug-2012 Berkeley Lab scientists develop new way to study inner workings of algae cells
Berkeley Lab scientists have developed a way to send molecules and proteins across the cell wall of algae, a feat that opens the door for a new way to study and manipulate these tiny organisms. The research could advance the development of algae-based biofuels, pharmaceuticals, and other useful compounds.
17-Jul-2012 Special report: Graphics processing units speed results in extreme-scale supercomputers
Can scientists and engineers benefit from extreme-scale supercomputers that use application-code accelerators called GPUs (graphics processing units)? Comparing GPU accelerators with today's fastest central processing units (CPUs), early results from diverse areas of research show 1.5- to 3-fold speedups for most codes. That acceleration means increased realism of simulations and decreased time to results. A special report details these findings.
4-Apr-2012 Carbon dioxide caused global warming at ice age's end, pioneering simulation shows
Climate science has an equivalent to the "what came first -- the chicken or the egg?" question: what came first, greenhouse gases or global warming? A multi-institutional team led by researchers at Harvard, Oregon State University, and the University of Wisconsin used a global dataset of paleoclimate records and the Jaguar supercomputer at Oak Ridge National Laboratory to find the answer. The results, published in the April 5 issue of Nature, analyze 15,000 years of climate history.
29-Feb-2012 Climate scientists compute in concert
Researchers at Oak Ridge National Laboratory are sharing computational resources and expertise to improve the detail and performance of a scientific application code that is the product of one of the world's largest collaborations of climate researchers. The Community Earth System Model couples components of atmosphere, land, ocean, and ice to reflect their complex interactions. By continuing to improve science representations and numerical methods in simulations, and exploiting modern computer architectures, researchers expect to further improve the CESM's accuracy in predicting climate changes.
22-Feb-2012 Big, bad bacterium is an 'iron pirate'
Life inside the human body sometimes looks like life on the high seas in the 1600s, when pirates hijacked foreign vessels in search of precious metals.
11-Jan-2012 Biofuels from bacteria is biochemist's goal
Environmental proteomics does not just aid development of new biofuels but helps further understanding of the impact of climate change and the use of organisms for bioremediation.
10-Nov-2011 Building block detectors for plants
While a plant's overall health can often be determined through simple observation, researchers sometimes need to see what's happening on the inside. That's where Jefferson Lab group leader Drew Weisenberger and his colleagues come in. They are working to develop tools that can image inside plants.
9-Nov-2011 Researchers show how proteins help DNA replicate past a damaged site
A multi-institutional research team led by Ivaylo Ivanov of Georgia State University has employed the Jaguar XT4 supercomputer at Oak Ridge National Laboratory and X-rays a billion times brighter than the sun, produced at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, to illuminate how DNA replication continues past a damaged site so a lesion can be repaired later. The results appear in the Oct. 17, 2011, online issue of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
26-Oct-2011 Berkeley Lab project in India to measure impact of pollution on cool roofs
With the aid of rooftop instruments, satellite images, an airplane and a balloon, Berkeley Lab scientists are conducting the first-ever study to determine how pollution impacts the efficacy of white roofs in cooling the planet. The yearlong project in northern India will also be the first to take physical measurements to characterize the cooling and climate effects of white roofs.
15-Sep-2011 Simulating turbulent combustion speeds design of power and propulsion devices
A team led by mechanical engineers Joseph Oefelein and Jacqueline Chen of Sandia National Laboratories simulates turbulent combustion at different scales. Chen and Oefelein were allocated 113 million hours on Oak Ridge Leadership Computing Facility's Jaguar supercomputer in 2008, 2009 and 2010 to simulate autoignition and injection processes with alternative fuels. For 2011 they received 60 million processor hours for high-fidelity simulations of combustion in advanced engines.
19-Aug-2011 Supercomputers and airplanes help model hurricane structure and intensity
Information from major hurricanes such as Katrina is being put to good use by scientists striving to understand how hurricanes intensify. A research team led by Jon Reisner of Los Alamos National Laboratory is employing the Oak Ridge Leadership Computing Facility's Jaguar supercomputer to use data from lightning detectors and even wind instruments mounted on planes flown into the eye of a hurricane to improve atmospheric models. These simulations may lead to more accurate prediction of hurricane intensities.
1-Jul-2011 Buried treasure
EMSL scientist Hongfei Wang and his team recently struck a vein that could lead to research gold for scientists interested in molecular interactions at interfaces. Their picosecond-femtosecond broadband sum frequency generation system is now ready to provide a new generation of surface vibrational spectroscopy and imaging.
1-Jun-2011 Chemistry and materials simulations speed clean energy production and storage
Catalysts are just one area of investigation for a multi-institutional team whose 70 publications in 3 years detail prodigious scientific output from the world's fastest chemistry simulations.
"Our long-term goal is enabling the design of new generations of clean and sustainable technologies to produce, transmit, and store energy," said team leader Robert Harrison, a computational chemist at Oak Ridge National Laboratory.
26-Jan-2011 Neutrons 'go viral' at ORNL
A research team from ORNL and North Carolina State University is using small angle neutron scattering to study how viruses change their structure when they move between different host species. Understanding how a virus reorganizes itself when it goes from a mosquito to a human is critical for the development of medicines that can block the spread of viruses.
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.