Public Release: 24-Oct-2016
Nature Amazon rainstorms transport atmospheric particles for cloud formation
Understanding how tiny particles emitted by cars and factories affect Earth's climate requires accurate climate modeling and the ability to quantify the effects of these pollutant particles vs. particles naturally present in the atmosphere. To better understand the baseline, scientists describe how they tracked particles in the largely pristine atmosphere over the Amazon rainforest -- effectively turning back the clock a few hundred years.
US Department of Energy, Amazonas State Research Foundation, São Paulo Research Foundation, Brazil Scientific Mobility Program, Max Planck Society, German Federal Ministry of Education and Research
Public Release: 20-Oct-2016
Scientific Reports Argonne researchers posit way to locally circumvent Second Law of Thermodynamics
For more than a century and a half of physics, the Second Law of Thermodynamics, which states that entropy always increases, has been as close to inviolable as any law we know. In this universe, chaos reigns supreme. But researchers with Argonne announced recently that they may have discovered a little loophole in this famous maxim. Their research, published in Scientific Reports, lays out a possible avenue to a situation where the Second Law is violated on the microscopic level.
US Department of Energy, Swiss National Foundation, Pauli Center for Theoretical Studies at Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Russian Foundation for Basic Research
Public Release: 18-Oct-2016
Science Advances Ames Laboratory scientists gain insight on mechanism of unconventional superconductivity
Researchers at the US Department of Energy's Ames Laboratory and partner institutions conducted a systematic investigation into the properties of the newest family of unconventional superconducting materials, iron-based compounds. The study may help the scientific community discover new superconducting materials with unique properties.
Public Release: 18-Oct-2016
Journal of the American Chemical Society Unraveling the science behind biomass breakdown
Using the Titan supercomputer, an ORNL team created models of up to 330,000 atoms that led to the discovery of a THF-water cosolvent phase separation on the faces of crystalline cellulose fiber.
US Department of Energy
Public Release: 17-Oct-2016 Ames Laboratory to receive $3 million to develop instrumentation to study plant cell walls
A team of scientists at the US Department of Energy's Ames Laboratory will be developing new instrumentation aimed at determining the chemical and structural makeup of plant cell walls. The group is receiving $1 million a year for three years from the DOE's Office of Science to develop a subdiffraction Raman imaging platform that will provide an unprecedented look at the specific chemical structures of plant cell walls and then determine how best to deconstruct plant material as a source of biofuels.
DOE/Office of Science
Public Release: 13-Oct-2016 Wave energy researchers dive deep to advance clean energy source
One of the biggest untapped clean energy sources on the planet -- wave energy -- could one day power millions of homes across the US. But more than a century after the first tests of the power of ocean waves, it is still one of the hardest energy sources to capture. Now, engineers at Sandia National Laboratories are conducting the largest model-scale wave energy testing of its kind to improve the performance of wave-energy converters.
Public Release: 12-Oct-2016 Critical Materials Institute announces partnership with Rio Tinto
The Critical Materials Institute (CMI) -- a US Department of Energy Innovation Hub led by the Ames Laboratory 0- announced today an important new research initiative in partnership with Rio Tinto, a mining and metals company. The new initiative aims to ensure that the United States fully leverages domestic mineral and metal resources necessary for global leadership in clean energy manufacturing.
Public Release: 12-Oct-2016
Geophysical Review Letters How this Martian moon became the 'Death Star'
For the first time, physicists at LLNL have demonstrated how an asteroid or comet impact could have created Stickney crater without destroying Phobos completely. The research, which also debunks a theory regarding the moon's mysterious grooved terrain, was published in Geophysical Review Letters.
Public Release: 11-Oct-2016 NREL report shows US solar photovoltaic costs continuing to fall in 2016
The modeled costs to install solar photovoltaic systems continued to decline in the first quarter of 2016 in the US residential, commercial, and utility-scale sectors, according to updated benchmarks from the Energy Department's National Renewable Energy Laboratory. Driving the cost reductions were lower module and inverter prices, increased competition, lower installer and developer overheads, improved labor productivity, and optimized system configurations.
Public Release: 11-Oct-2016 Three NREL technologies named as finalists for R&D 100 Awards
Two technologies developed by researchers at the Energy Department's National Renewable Energy Laboratory and a third developed through a collaboration between Wolfspeed, NREL, Toyota, and the University of Arkansas' National Center for Reliable Electric Power Transmission, have been named finalists by R&D Magazine for the coveted 2016 R&D 100 Awards.
Public Release: 11-Oct-2016 NREL to lead new consortium to improve reliability and performance of solar modules
The Energy Department's National Renewable Energy Laboratory, in partnership with Sandia National Laboratories, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, and SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, will form a new consortium intended to accelerate the development of module materials for photovoltaics and lower the cost of electricity generated by solar power.
Public Release: 11-Oct-2016 NREL to lead one exascale computing project, support three others
Scientists at the Energy Department's National Renewable Energy Laboratory will lead an effort to model the complex and turbulent flow of wind through large wind plants as part of DOE's Exascale Computing Project, which is gearing up US computational capabilities to prepare for the next generation of supercomputers. NREL will also provide support to three projects related to combustion science, urban systems, and power grid dynamics.
US Department of Energy
Public Release: 11-Oct-2016 NREL supercomputing model provides insights from higher wind and solar generation in the eastern power grid
A new study from the United States Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory used high-performance computing capabilities and innovative visualization tools to model, in unprecedented detail, how the power grid of the eastern United States could operationally accommodate higher levels of wind and solar photovoltaic generation. The analysis considered scenarios of up to 30 percent annual penetration of wind and solar.
Public Release: 10-Oct-2016
IEEE/ACM Transactions on Computational Biology and Bioinformatics Brain modulyzer provides interactive window into the brain
A new tool developed at Berkeley Lab allows researchers to interactively explore the hierarchical processes that happen in the brain when it is resting or performing tasks. Scientists also hope that the tool can shed some light on how neurological diseases like Alzheimer's spread throughout the brain.
Public Release: 7-Oct-2016 Hydrogen-powered passenger ferry in San Francisco Bay is possible, says Sandia study
Nearly two years ago, Sandia National Laboratories researchers Joe Pratt and Lennie Klebanoff set out to answer one not-so-simple question: is it feasible to build and operate a high-speed passenger ferry solely powered by hydrogen fuel cells? The answer is yes. The details behind that answer are in a recent report, 'Feasibility of the SF-BREEZE: a Zero Emission, Hydrogen Fuel Cell High Speed Passenger Ferry.'
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.