15-Apr-2016 SLAC researchers recreate the extreme universe in the lab
Conditions in the vast universe can be quite extreme: Violent collisions scar the surfaces of planets. Nuclear reactions in bright stars generate tremendous amounts of energy. Gigantic explosions catapult matter far out into space. But how exactly do processes like these unfold? What do they tell us about the universe?
To find out, researchers from the Department of Energy's SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory perform sophisticated experiments and computer simulations that recreate violent cosmic conditions on a small scale in the lab.
7-Apr-2016 Physicists build ultra-powerful accelerator magnet
The next generation of cutting-edge accelerator magnets is no longer just an idea. Recent tests revealed that the United States and CERN have successfully co-created a prototype superconducting accelerator magnet that is much more powerful than those currently inside the Large Hadron Collider.
6-Apr-2016 Six weighty facts about gravity
Gravity: we barely ever think about it, at least until we slip on ice or stumble on the stairs. To many ancient thinkers, gravity wasn't even a force -- it was just the natural tendency of objects to sink toward the center of Earth, while planets were subject to other, unrelated laws.
5-Apr-2016 Chalice receptors attract metal contaminants with new chemical selectivity
Researchers at Oak Ridge National Laboratory found new ways to influence selectivity for specific positively charged ions (cations) with the addition of simple receptors, not for cations but rather for negatively charged ions (anions). This discovery proves that adding an anion receptor can affect the selectivity of extractants used to separate metals. Better selectivity via the addition of anion receptors to enhance discrimination between metals, such as sodium and cesium, could improve future environmental cleanup efforts.
4-Apr-2016 Putting it all together: Fermilab assembles first cryomodule for LCLS-II
In February, a Fermilab team came together to witness a moment they'd looked forward to for over a year. Crew members parted the plastic sheeting at one end of a cleanroom and rolled out on narrow tracks a long string of eight accelerating cavities. It was the first cavity string for LCLS-II, which will greatly increase the power and capacity of SLAC's Linac Coherent Light Source.
28-Mar-2016 ORNL scientists show charged salts can extract specific central lanthanide elements
Researchers at Oak Ridge National Laboratory wanted to find out if it was possible to make a molecule that could selectively bind to metal cations in the middle of the lanthanide series. The team provided a proof-of-principle by successfully creating a new ligand that selectively extracted central lanthanides. Easier accessibility to these central lanthanides could lead to advances in materials for technologies such as lasers, strong magnets, lights and neutron-absorbing control rods in nuclear reactors.
24-Mar-2016 New catalyst is 3 times better at splitting water
With a combination of theory and clever, meticulous gel-making, scientists from the Department of Energy's SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory and the University of Toronto have developed a new type of catalyst that's three times better than the previous record-holder at splitting water into hydrogen and oxygen -- the vital first step in making fuels from renewable solar and wind power.
21-Mar-2016 Sisters in science
Emma and Molly White and Ru-Shyan and Ru-Huey Yen, a pair of twin sisters and close friends who met in high school 16 years ago. Flash forward to today, and the four all have science-based careers, and look back at their shared-sisterhood-times-two as vital in getting them to where they are today.
21-Mar-2016 Bump in LHC data has physicists electrified
In December, the ATLAS and CMS experiments reported what could be the first hint of a new massive particle that spits out two photons as it decays. Now, physicists are presenting their latest analyses at the Moriond conference in La Thuile, Italy, including a full investigation of this mysterious bump. After carefully checking, cross-checking and rechecking the data, both experiments have come to the same conclusion -- the bump is still there.
9-Mar-2016 ORNL's benchmark data set validates global nuclear reactor codes
A re-analysis of nuclear fuel rods from a commercial reactor used improved radiochemical methods developed at Oak Ridge National Laboratory and characterized more than 50 different isotopes and 16 elements with high accuracy. It produced an experimental data set with uncertainties many times smaller than those obtained by the earlier radiochemical analysis. Modeling and simulation experts at ORNL applied the more accurate experimental data to validate codes widely used by the nuclear safeguards research community.
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.
25-Feb-2016 Fermilab scientists discover new 4-flavor particle
Scientists on the DZero collaboration at the US Department of Energy's Fermilab have discovered a new particle -- the latest member to be added to the exotic species of particle known as tetraquarks.
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.
19-Feb-2016 Physicists zoom in on gluons' contribution to proton spin
By analyzing the highest-energy proton collisions at the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider (RHIC), a particle collider at the US Department of Energy's (DOE) Brookhaven National Laboratory, nuclear physicists have gotten a glimpse of how a multitude of gluons that individually carry very little of the protons' overall momentum contribute to the protons' spin.
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.