22-Aug-2014 Catalytic gold nanoclusters promise rich chemical yields
With scientists from Carnegie Mellon University, researchers at the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory have found a catalyst containing exactly 25 gold atoms that catalyzes the conversion of various molecules, including the transformation of poisonous carbon monoxide into harmless carbon dioxide, a reaction that may find application in devices near gas flues or wood-burning stoves.
6-May-2014 What lies beneath
The effects of biogeochemical and geochemical processes in the ground under us are on massive scales. Understanding what's going on down there and how it effects what's going on up here is an enormous undertaking. Scientists working at EMSL are getting a handle on these gigantic macroscopic processes by focusing on the microscopic scale. By creating micromodels and incorporating supercomputer simulations, researchers are connecting the molecular level with processes that affect our entire ecosystem.
11-Apr-2014 Oak Ridge National Laboratory researchers contribute to prestigious climate report
Thomas Wilbanks and Benjamin Preston, both of the Climate Change Science Institute at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, are among the 309 coordinating lead authors of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's Working Group II report. The report, which was released in Japan on March 31, found that climate change isn't just a problem for future generations, but also impacts humans in the present day.
27-Mar-2014 Human-induced climate change reduces chance of flooding in Okavango Delta
Researchers at the University of Cape Town, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and the United Nations Development Programme have analyzed how human-induced climate change has affected recent flooding in an ecologically and geographically unique river basin in southern Africa -- the Okavango River. After running a number of simulations, they found that greenhouse gas emissions have substantially reduced the chance of the floods in the region.
20-Feb-2014 Brookhaven Lab's Jian Wang to help understand rainforest atmosphere dynamics
US Department of Energy researchers are joining scientific collaborators from the US, Brazil, and Germany to launch a two-year field study in the Amazon Basin. Data obtained during the Green Ocean Amazon (or GOAmazon) field campaign will enable scientists to study the intricacies of the natural state of the Amazon rainforest atmosphere and land systems and how these may be perturbed by human influences such as pollution and deforestation.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.