19-Feb-2016 New satellite with superior X-ray vision launched
Although the star-covered night sky is regarded by many as a synonym of serenity, the cosmos is in fact a rather hostile place. It hosts many extreme environments that would instantaneously eradicate any life nearby. A new space mission is about to reveal this violent nature in greater detail than ever before: on Feb. 17, the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency launched its ASTRO-H satellite -- a very precise and sensitive eye for X-rays emerging from hot and energetic processes in space.
17-Feb-2016 Scientists start small on the road to building gigantic DUNE neutrino detector
The planned Deep Underground Neutrino Experiment will require 70,000 tons of liquid argon, making it the largest experiment of its kind -- 100 times larger than the liquid-argon particle detectors that came before it. Before building this unprecedented machine, scientists understandably want to make sure it's going to work. That's why members of the international DUNE collaboration recently began taking data using a test version of their detector.
8-Feb-2016 Three ways to bust ghostly dark matter
Dark matter hunters around the world pursue three approaches to look for fingerprints of ghostly WIMPs: on the Earth's surface, underground and in space. Researchers from the Department of Energy's SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory will take part in a discussion of the global search for dark matter particles at this year's AAAS Annual Meeting, to be held Feb. 11-15 in Washington, D.C.
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.
3-Feb-2016 A mile-deep campus
Students at South Dakota universities can study physics at Sanford Underground Research Facility, which doubles as essentially the first college campus located a mile underground.
28-Jan-2016 Is the neutrino its own antiparticle?
Almost every particle has an antimatter counterpart: a particle with the same mass but opposite charge, among other qualities. But certain characteristics of neutrinos and antineutrinos make scientists wonder: Are they one and the same? Are neutrinos their own antiparticles?
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.
25-Jan-2016 How to find and study black holes
Black holes sound too strange to be real. But they are actually pretty common in space. There are dozens known and probably millions more in the Milky Way and a billion times that lurking outside. The makings and dynamics of these monstrous warpings of spacetime have been confounding scientists for centuries.
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.
21-Jan-2016 Explore galaxies far, far away at internet speeds
Scientists have released an 'expansion pack' for a virtual tour of the universe that you can enjoy from the comfort of your own computer. The latest version of the publicly accessible images of the sky, which can be viewed using an interactive Sky Viewer tool, roughly doubles the size of the searchable universe from the project's original release in May.
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.
8-Jan-2016 SLAC's Stanley Brodsky shares Pomeranchuk Prize for theoretical physics
Stan Brodsky, a professor of particle physics and astrophysics at Stanford University and the Department of Energy's SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, has received the 2015 Pomeranchuk Prize from the Institute for Theoretical and Experimental Physics (ITEP) in Moscow, Russia. He shares the award with Russian physicist Victor Fadin.
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.
16-Dec-2015 A collaboration bears fruit as W7-X celebrates first research plasma
Scientists from the US Department of Energy's Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL) and other national laboratories joined colleagues from around the world at the celebration for the first plasma of the Wendelstein 7-X (W7-X) stellarator at the Max Planck Institute in Greifswald, Germany.
15-Dec-2015 Schweickhard 'Schwick' von Goeler dies at 84
Schweickhard 'Schwick' von Goeler, an award-winning physicist at the US Department of Energy's Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL) for more than 35 years and the inventor of numerous X-ray diagnostics used in fusion experiments worldwide, died of leukemia on Dec. 6 in Springfield, Massachusetts. He was 84.
14-Dec-2015 LUX experiment draws best picture yet of what dark matter particles cannot be
The Large Underground Xenon (LUX) dark matter experiment, which operates nearly a mile underground at the Sanford Underground Research Facility (SURF) in the Black Hills of South Dakota, has already proven itself to be the most sensitive dark matter detector in the world. Now scientists have significantly enhanced its ability to look for WIMPs, or weakly interacting massive particles, which are among the leading candidates for dark matter.
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.
25-Nov-2015 Postdoc Alesha Harris: Tackling chemistry from nanoparticles to neutrinos
Alesha Harris has three degrees in chemistry and has taught the subject in her home state of Texas. Although her graduate work was in nanoparticles -- materials just a billionth of a meter in size -- she joined Brookhaven National Laboratory as an Alliance for Graduate Education and the Professoriate-Transformation (AGEP-T) postdoc working with Minfang Yeh, who leads the neutrino and nuclear chemistry group. Before becoming acquainted with Brookhaven Lab and Yeh's work, Harris had never heard of the mysterious neutrinos, invisible subatomic particles.
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