8-Mar-2016 'Keiser rigs' stress materials to the max to improve products for power, propulsion
For decades, environmental exposure chambers at the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory, including some called Keiser rigs, have subjected materials to corrosive gases, crushing pressures and calamitous heat. The extreme environments created in the Keiser rigs have spurred advances and continue to do so by providing insight into the conditions under which materials fail so researchers can apply the lessons learned to design better materials for power and propulsion applications.
4-Mar-2016 New ways of looking at glass-to-metal seals
Components housed in stainless steel for protection against extreme environments require paths for electricity to power them and communicate with them. Those paths in turn need a reliable insulation seal, so strong bonds between materials for airtight seals are crucial.
3-Mar-2016 Pushing boundaries
Solid-liquid interface studies have a long history at EMSL. The insights gained from this research spans areas including terrestrial ecosystems, energy materials, aerosols and biological systems. With improved understanding of interfacial events, scientists working at EMSL have developed more predictive models and made significant advances in addressing real-world challenges. EMSL's focus on solid-liquid interface research has pushed the development of new instruments and techniques to better study these complex surfaces for even greater scientific results.
22-Feb-2016 Updated workflows for new LHC era
After a massive upgrade, the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) is smashing particles at an unprecedented 13 teraelectronvolts (TeV) -- nearly double the energy of its previous run. In just one second, the LHC can now produce up to 1 billion collisions and generate up to 10 gigabytes of data.
To deal with the new data deluge, researchers working on the LHC's ATLAS experiment are relying on updated workflow management tools developed primarily by Berkeley Lab researchers.
4-Feb-2016 Canfield to head APS Condensed Matter Division
Ames Laboratory physicist Paul Canfield has always been a vocal proponent of his field, condensed matter physics, but he's about to take it up a notch. In March, Canfield will begin a four-year leadership stint heading up the Condensed Matter Physics Division of the American Physical Society. APS recently announced that Canfield had been elected vice-chair of the CMP division.
25-Jan-2016 Cracking cases
A group of nuclear detectives at the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory takes on tough challenges, from detecting illicit uranium using isotopic 'fingerprints' to investigating Presidential assassination conspiracies. 'A very big capability at Oak Ridge exists for nuclear analytics, all the way from helping commercial production of nuclear power to making sure the world's nuclear materials are properly accounted for,' said ORNL's Joseph Giaquinto, leader of the Nuclear Analytical Chemistry and Isotopics Laboratories.
21-Jan-2016 Higher speed, more precision
In just a little over a year of operation, the US Department of Energy Ames Laboratory's dynamic nuclear polarization (DNP) solid-state nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectrometer has successfully characterized materials at the atomic scale level with more speed and precision than ever possible before.
19-Jan-2016 ORNL researchers use neutrons to gain insight into battery inefficiency
Scientists at Oak Ridge National Laboratory are improving the lifetimes of rechargeable batteries that run on lithium, a small atom that can pack tightly into graphite anode materials. The valuable ions are depleted as a battery charges, and they are also lost to the formation of a thin coating on a battery's anode during initial charging. ORNL researchers used two powerful neutron science facilities to try to understand the dynamics behind this phenomenon.
15-Jan-2016 ORNL's thermal cameras snoop beneath surfaces to reveal materials' secrets
In 1995, the Department of Energy's Continuous Fiber Ceramic Composite program, led by Oak Ridge National Laboratory, bought a high-speed infrared camera -- one of the first available for purchase outside the military. Since then, ORNL has acquired at least 10 additional IR cameras for use in a spectrum of projects. The cameras have mapped changing temperatures as heat flows through objects from gears to artwork.
6-Jan-2016 ORNL on team officially recognized for elements 115, 117 discovery
The International Union for Pure and Applied Chemistry has announced formal verification of four new chemical elements, recognizing the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory and its collaborators for the discovery of elements 115 and 117.
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.
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.
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.'
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.