Nature provides myriad examples of unique materials and structures developed for specialized applications or adaptations. An interdisciplinary group of researchers at the US Department of Energy's Ames Laboratory is trying to unlock the secrets that organisms use to build such complex structures so that power can be used to create materials not found in nature and not capable of being synthesized by conventional means.
21-Jun-2017 Upgrades at Sandia Lab's Tonopah Test Range help weapons testing
It's been a challenge for Sandia National Laboratories' Tonopah Test Range to keep decades-old equipment running while gathering detailed information required for 21st century non-nuclear testing. Over the past several years, the Nevada range changed the analog brains in instruments to digital, moved to modern communications systems and upgraded telemetry and tracking equipment and computing systems.
8-Jun-2017 Tackling infectious disease -- one protein at a time
A team of scientists in the Pacific Northwest has solved the 3-D structure of 1,000 proteins from more than 70 organisms that cause infectious disease in people. The proteins the team has studied come from microbes that cause several serious diseases, including tuberculosis, Listeria, Giardia, Ebola, anthrax, C. diff., Legionella, Lyme, chlamydia and the flu.
2-Mar-2017 Exploring the evolution of nuclear deterrence through interviews, historical footage
Sandia National Laboratories explores the evolution of nuclear deterrence in a new documentary that combines modern and historical footage with a wide range of interviews. On Deterrence features interviews with former secretaries of defense, general officers, policymakers, analysts, scholars and scientists with varied viewpoints to describe the impact of nuclear deterrence since the end of World War II.
2-Mar-2017 Evaluating nuclear weapons: Sandia Labs taking a modern approach
Sandia National Laboratories is transforming how it assesses nuclear weapons in a stockpile made up of weapons at different stages in their lifecycles -- some systems that have existed for decades alongside those that have undergone life extension programs.
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.
2-Jun-2016 World's fastest multiframe digital X-ray camera created at Sandia
Physicists struggling to achieve laboratory-scale nuclear fusion know that a rogue event occurring between successively monitored images may knock an otherwise promising experiment off-kilter without anyone seeing the cause.To narrow that unexamined patch of time, Sandia National Laboratories researchers have put together the fastest multiframe digital X-ray camera in the world, called the ultra-fast X-ray imager (UXI). The camera takes images with an exposure time of only 1.5 nanoseconds.
12-May-2016 Solving the biomass puzzle
Biomass holds great promise as a petroleum replacement, but unlocking its true potential remains a puzzle. A group of researchers at Iowa State University and the US Department of Energy's Ames Laboratory hope to develop the pieces of that puzzle to create a clearer picture of what takes place within a plant and how that applies to its downstream uses as biomass.
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.
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.
26-Oct-2015 The silent treatment: EMSL's quiet wing
Scientists are advancing the understanding of biological and environmental systems by conducting at least part of their research in EMSL's Quiet Wing, one of the most advanced quiet laboratories in the world for high-resolution imaging capabilities. Scientists are using this facility for a wide range of research areas, including: to study bacteria in complex soil aggregates, to understand the behavior of a unique multicopper oxidase and to explore remediation methods using porous clay.
15-Oct-2015 W80-4: Sandia California works on nuclear weapon Life Extension Program
Sandia National Laboratories is performing a Life Extension Program on the W80-4 nuclear weapon. The Life Extension Program is refurbishing the W80 warhead with replacement components for aging technology and components that have limited lifespans. Much of the work is being done at Sandia's California site.
29-Jun-2015 Magnetic attraction
Researchers studying a broad spectrum of science, including biofuel production processes, climate effects on carbon cycling in the soil and carbon transformations in the atmosphere will soon have access to EMSL's new 21 Tesla Fourier transform ion cyclotron resonance mass spectrometer. Scientists are eager to start getting molecular-level information for their research, and six inaugural studies were selected to use the new instrument through a Special Science Call.
29-Apr-2015 Special science call projects announced
EMSL's Special Science Call for Proposals ran from mid-April through September and generated 23 accepted studies. The call challenged prospective users to submit high-impact research projects that took advantage of EMSL's technical resources including RadEMSL, the Quiet Wing microscopy and NanoSIMS capabilities, and HRMAC. The research associated with the call is progressing, and the projects will soon start delivering important scientific findings.
28-Apr-2015 Ground control
The United Nations General Assembly declared 2015 the International Year of Soils. Soil is critical for food production and climate regulation. It's a complex underground ecosystem of organisms that process decaying debris to enrich the land as well as store and release carbon into the atmosphere. However, human activity and changing climate are impacting this environmental system. Scientists working at EMSL are trying to understand the complexities of soil to develop better sustainable land management to protect it.
7-Jan-2015 'Seeing' hydrogen atoms to unveil enzyme catalysis
A multi-institutional research team led by Chris Dealwis from Case Western Reserve University has used the new IMAGINE instrument at Oak Ridge National Laboratory's High Flux Isotope Reactor to map an enzyme that could play an important role in anti-cancer drug development.
22-Jul-2014 Sandia ensures US nuclear weapons deterrent can remain effective, credible
As part of its mission of ensuring the nation's stockpile is safe, secure and effective as a deterrent, Sandia National Laboratories must make sure crucial parts can function if they're hit by radiation, especially a type called fast neutrons. It created a science-based program called QASPR, which combines computer modeling and simulation, and experiments and technology development.
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.
15-Apr-2014 Wind tunnel tests support improved aerodynamic design of B61-12 bomb
Sandia National Laboratories has finished eight days of testing a full-scale mock unit representing the aerodynamic characteristics of the B61-12 gravity bomb in a wind tunnel.
The tests on the mock-up were done to establish the configuration that will deliver the necessary spin motion of the bomb during freefall and are an important milestone in the Life Extension Program to deliver a new version of the aging system, the B61-12.
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.