12-Jan-2017 Fast track control accelerates switching of quantum bits
An international collaboration among physicists at the University of Chicago, Argonne National Laboratory, McGill University and the University of Konstanz recently demonstrated a new framework for faster control of a quantum bit -- the basic unit of information in yet-to-be created quantum computers -- in findings published online Nov. 28 in Nature Physics. Their experiments on a single electron in a diamond chip could create quantum devices less prone to errors when operated at high speeds.
11-Jan-2017 Sketching out magnetism with electricity
In a proof-of-concept study published in Nature Physics, researchers drew magnetic squares in a nonmagnetic material with an electrified pen and then 'read' this magnetic doodle with X-rays.
11-Jan-2017 Brookhaven National Laboratory's top-10 science successes of 2016
From advances in accelerators and experiments exploring the building blocks of matter and making medical isotopes to new revelations about superconductors, nanomaterials, and biofuels, 2016 was a year of accomplishment at the US Department of Energy's Brookhaven National Laboratory. Here are our Top-10 highlights.
4-Jan-2017 SLAC study: Light can switch on topological materials
Theoretical physicists at the Department of Energy's SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory used computer simulations to show how special light pulses could create robust channels where electricity flows without resistance in an atomically thin semiconductor.
3-Jan-2017 Ceramic matrix composites take flight in LEAP jet engine
Ceramic matrix composite (CMC) materials are tough, lightweight and capable of withstanding temperatures 300-400 degrees F hotter than metal alloys can endure. A quarter-century ago, the US Department of Energy began a program, led by DOE's Oak Ridge National Laboratory, to support US development of CMC materials. This year, LEAP, a new aircraft engine, became the first widely deployed CMC-containing product. CFM International, a 50/50 joint venture of Safran and GE, manufactures LEAP.
22-Dec-2016 For critical marine low clouds, a research and observation plan
Marine low clouds hover in the lowest couple of kilometers above the world's oceans. They produce little but drizzle, and could never match their deeper mid-continent cousin clouds for dramatic weather and severe storms. But marine low clouds are vastly important to the world's climate and energy balance.
21-Dec-2016 Filling in the nuclear data gaps
Berkeley Lab's Nuclear Data Group is conducting new experiments to address common data needs in nuclear medicine, nuclear energy and fusion R&D, security, and counterproliferation work.
21-Dec-2016 Honey, I shrunk the circuit
Sandia National Laboratories researchers have shown it's possible to make transistors and diodes from advanced semiconductor materials that could perform much better than silicon, the workhorse of the modern electronics world.
Scientists have witnessed the birth of atmospheric ice clouds, creating ice cloud crystals in the laboratory and then taking images of the process through a microscope, essentially documenting the very first steps of cloud formation. The team took time-lapse movies of the first few seconds when a particle attracts water vapor, forming ice crystals that become the core of icy cirrus clouds - the high, wispy clouds that act much like a blanket for our planet.
15-Dec-2016 Data storage upgrades future-proof ARM field sites -- for now
Throughout 2016, Cory Stuart, ARM's Site Data System (SDS) and Cyber Security Manager, and his team at Argonne National Laboratory have been methodically visiting all ARM sites to upgrade the data systems, especially storage capacity.
11-Nov-2016 Nanotechnology manager elected president of Materials Research Society
Senior manager Sean Hearne, who leads the Center of Integrated Nanotechnology (CINT) for Sandia National Laboratories, has been elected president of the Materials Research Society. MRS is an international organization that promotes interdisciplinary materials research with 15,000 members from academia, industry and national labs.
3-Nov-2016 SLAC, Berkeley Lab researchers prepare for scientific computing on the exascale
Researchers at the Department of Energy's SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory are playing key roles in two recently funded computing projects with the goal of developing cutting-edge scientific applications for future exascale supercomputers that can perform at least a billion billion computing operations per second -- 50 to 100 times more than the most powerful supercomputers in the world today.
3-Nov-2016 Peering into batteries: X-rays reveal lithium-ion's mysteries
Scientists are using x-rays from the national laboratories' advanced light sources to study the movement and structure of lithium-ion batteries in real time, as the batteries function. This technique led to the development of the cathode used in the Chevrolet Volt and is now being used to further improve our understanding of batteries.
28-Oct-2016 New technique reveals powerful, 'patchy' approach to nanoparticle synthesis
Patches of chain-like molecules placed across nanoscale particles can radically transform the optical, electronic, and magnetic properties of particle-based materials. Now, scientists have used cutting-edge electron tomography techniques -- a process of 3-D reconstructive imaging -- to pinpoint the structure and composition of the polymer nano-patches.
8-Sep-2016 PPPL intern creates software for snapshot of plasma in NSTX-U
Max Wallace, a an intern at the US Department of Energy's Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory this summer, is a former Silicon Valley programmer who spent his summer developing a computer program that can give scientists a quick snapshot of individual plasma experiments or 'shots' in PPPL's $94 million National Spherical Torus Experiment-Upgrade (NSTX-U).
1-Sep-2016 Blowing bubbles to catch carbon dioxide
Sandia and UNM researchers developed a bio-inspired bubble-like membrane to capture CO2 from coal-fired power plants efficiently. The CO2 Memzyme could capture CO2 equivalent to planting 63 million trees and letting them grow for 10 years from just one power plant.
30-Aug-2016 Sandia experts, students explore mechanical challenges at summer institute
Nearly 40 students ranging from local high school youths to international postdoctoral fellows gathered this summer at Sandia National Laboratories' Nonlinear Mechanics and Dynamics (NOMAD) Summer Research Institute to study two steel bars bolted together. This deceptively simple system behaves in odd -- nonlinear -- ways, which has important implications for bridges, cars, even airplanes.
29-Aug-2016 Poof! The weird case of the X-ray that came out blank
Imagine getting a medical X-ray that comes out blank -- as if your bones had vanished. That's what happened when scientists cranked up the intensity of the world's first X-ray laser, at the Department of Energy's SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, to get a better look at a sample they were studying: The X-rays seemed to go right through it as if it were not there.
23-Aug-2016 Neutrino experiments utilize ORNL experts, equipment to explore the unknown
This year the field of neutrino physics is full of enthusiasm as three significant experiments with different goals gear up to advance our understanding of neutrino physics. All three experiments benefit from expertise and facilities at the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge 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.