13-Oct-2010 Creating order from chaos at the LCLS
In the world of physics, where everything tends toward disorder, researchers working on the Linac Coherent Light Source are seeking perfect order. Many experiments at the pioneering machine will require each molecule in a puff of gas to align with all of the others, creating a uniform field of molecules on which tests can be conducted.
21-Sep-2010 As Auto X reaches the finish line, a new race begins
After two years of intense competition, the winners of the Automotive X Prize were announced during a ceremony at the Historical Society of Washington, D.C. on Sept. 16, 2010. Deputy Secretary Daniel Poneman spoke at the ceremony, praising the competition as an example of "the power of innovation and ingenuity to achieve transformative breakthroughs."
1-Sep-2010 Supercomputing brings the climate picture into focus
Recent advances in supercomputing have brightened the future of climate modeling, but they also bring to light complicated questions about the fundamental workings of our planet and our atmosphere.
5-Aug-2010 Magic secrets
Each year hundreds of visiting scientists conduct research at ORNL's Holifield Radioactive Ion Beam Facility to create and analyze isotopes. These studies give researchers a unique glimpse into the inner workings of atomic nuclei.
13-Jul-2010 Ethanol-fueled racecar engines outpower lead-fueled engines
A group of automotive researchers from the US Department of Energy's Argonne National Laboratory and industry have shown that a fuel-injected racing car engine fueled by E-85, an ethanol-based fuel, outperforms the same engine with a carburetor and leaded racing fuel.
17-May-2010 NETL's green projects promise energy efficiency all year round
Forty years after the first Earth Day, it is almost second nature to toss a can or plastic bottle into the recycling bin, but being green is about much more than reusing materials. Just as individuals make a personal decision to "reduce, reuse, and recycle," businesses, industry, and other organizations are making the same commitment to being green.
6-May-2010 A robot called WANDA
Berkeley Lab scientists have established a revolutionary nanocrystal-making robot, capable of producing nanocrystals with staggering precision. This one-of-a-kind robot, named WANDA, provides colloidal nanocrystals with custom-made properties for electronics, biological labeling and luminescent devices. Since this robot is controlled by software protocols, novice users can direct WANDA to perform complex workflows that traditionally require extensive chemistry experience.
22-Apr-2010 NREL finds a way to give LEDs the green light
Light bulbs that last 100 years and fill rooms with brilliant ambiance may become a reality sooner rather than later, thanks to a National Renewable Energy Laboratory discovery.
6-Jan-2010 Argonne advanced battery research driving to displace gasoline
In excess of seven million barrels of gasoline are consumed by vehicles in the United States every day. As scientists race to find environmentally sound solutions to fuel the world's ever-growing transportation needs, battery researchers are exploring the promise of lithium-air battery technology.
10-Nov-2009 An electron zap turns flimsy plastic into sturdy shrink wrap
If you buy a Butterball turkey this Thanksgiving, you have particle accelerators to thank for its freshness. For decades now the food industry has used particle accelerators to produce the sturdy, heat-shrinkable film that Butterballs come wrapped in.
6-Oct-2009 Conference tackles interstate transmission
The US electricity grid is strained to its limit, and the nation's windiest and sunniest places are rarely near cities that generate high demand. Finding ways to string new power lines across several states is a challenge for even the most creative regulators and energy analysts determined to increase America's use of renewable energy.
16-Sep-2009 Both directions at once
The challenge of controlling climate change is a goal that, to many, appears to be at odds with the equally important goal of energy security. However, the idea that the two goals are somehow mutually exclusive is not one accepted by ORNL energy researcher David Greene. "We don't want to sacrifice one for the other," he says. "We want -- and we believe it possible -- to achieve environmental goals and energy security goals at the same time.
3-Aug-2009 Award-winning reflector to cut solar cost
In a breakthrough development that recently netted a coveted R&D Magazine top 100 award, a small solar company has teamed with scientists at NREL to develop massive curved sheets of metal that have the potential to be 30 percent less expensive than today's best collectors of concentrated solar power.
16-Jul-2009 Dark Energy Camera scans ancient skies
Scientists wonder why the universe is expanding ever faster. What mysterious force is at work? By recording the light from hundreds of millions of galaxies from a mountaintop in Chile, they hope to find out what's going on.
23-Jun-2009 Green chemistry: Using lasers to detect explosives and hazardous waste
Berkeley Lab scientists are pioneering laser ablation techniques that can detect explosives and hazardous waste in seconds, with no chemical waste. The technology can save the lives of soldiers, keep children safe from toys illegally coated with lead paints, and protect workers from chemical poisoning.
4-Jun-2009 Ames Laboratory-made materials are out of this world
Materials produced at the US Department of Energy's Ames Laboratory were launched into space on May 14 with the European Space Agency's Planck Mission. Ames Laboratory's Materials Preparation Center synthesized over 20 kilograms of a lanthanum-nickel-tin alloy for use in a metallic hydride sorption cryocooler system -- built by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory -- that will cool instruments during the space mission.
13-May-2009 A wealth of liquid fuel right under our feet
INL has partnered with Baard Energy to design one of the nation's first coal-to-liquids plants, a project that could help power the US transportation system without relying on foreign oil.
22-Apr-2009 NREL gearbox study aims to grease wind power's future
Wind turbines are designed to last 20 years. But gearboxes and other key components are wearing out sooner. Engineers at NREL's National Wind Technology Center are working with industry to discover why and retool the design process to improve reliability, reduce the cost and help the nation reach its clean energy potential.
17-Mar-2009 Controlling heat key to hybrid performance
Advanced hybrid-electric vehicles are poised to transform the auto market. But excess heat can sap hybrids' advantages. Researchers in NREL's Advanced Electronics Laboratory are exploring every layer of hybrid technology to reduce heat and dramatically improve performance and efficiency while reducing costs.
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.