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Machine Learning Dramatically Streamlines Search for More Efficient Chemical Reactions

A catalytic reaction may follow thousands of possible paths, and it can take years to identify which one it actually takes so scientists can tweak it and make it more efficient. Now researchers at the Department of Energy's SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory and Stanford University have taken a big step toward cutting through this thicket of possibilities.

Freezing Lithium Batteries May Make Them Safer and Bendable

Columbia Engineering Professor Yuan Yang has developed a new method that could lead to lithium batteries that are safer, have longer battery life, and are bendable, providing new possibilities such as flexible smartphones. His new technique uses ice-templating to control the structure of the solid electrolyte for lithium batteries that are used in portable electronics, electric vehicles, and grid-level energy storage. The study is published online April 24 in Nano Letters.

New Study Reveals the Mystery Behind the Formation of Hollowed Nanoparticles During Metal Oxidation

In a newly published <i>Science</i> paper, Argonne and Temple University researchers reveal new knowledge about the behavior of metal nanoparticles when they undergo oxidation, by integrating X-ray imaging and computer modeling and simulation. This knowledge adds to our understanding of fundamental processes like oxidation and corrosion.

Rare Supernova Discovery Ushers in New Era for Cosmology

With help from a supernova-hunting pipeline based at NERSC, astronomers captured multiple images of a gravitationally lensed Type 1a supernova. This is currently the only one, but if astronomers can find more they may be able to measure Universal expansion within four percent accuracy. Luckily, Berkeley Lab researchers do have a method for finding more.

Making Batteries From Waste Glass Bottles

Researchers at the University of California, Riverside's Bourns College of Engineering have used waste glass bottles and a low-cost chemical process to create nanosilicon anodes for high-performance lithium-ion batteries. The batteries will extend the range of electric vehicles and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles, and provide more power with fewer charges to personal electronics like cell phones and laptops.

Changing the Game

High performance computing researcher Shuaiwen Leon Song asked if hardware called 3D stacked memory could do something it was never designed to do--help render 3D graphics.

A Scientific Advance for Cool Clothing: Temperature-Wise, That Is

Stanford University researchers, with the aid of the Comet supercomputer at the San Diego Supercomputer at UC San Diego, have engineered a low-cost plastic material that could become the basis for clothing that cools the wearer, reducing the need for energy-consuming air conditioning.

Adjusting Solar Panel Angles a Few Times a Year Makes Them More Efficient

With Earth Day approaching, new research from Binghamton University-State of New York could help U.S. residents save more energy, regardless of location, if they adjust the angles of solar panels four to five times a year.

A Real CAM-Do Attitude

A multi-institutional team used resources at the Oak Ridge Leadership Computing Facility to catalog how desert plants photosynthetic processes vary. The study could help scientists engineer drought-resistant crops for food and fuel.

Predictive Power

The Consortium for Advanced Simulation of Light Water Reactors carried out the largest time-dependent simulation of a nuclear reactor ever to support Tennessee Valley Authority and Westinghouse Electric Company during the startup of Watts Bar Unit 2, the first new US nuclear reactor in 20 years. The simulation was carried out primarily on OLCF resources.


3 Small Energy Firms to Collaborate with PNNL

Pacific Northwest National Laboratory is collaborating with three small businesses to address technical challenges concerning hydrogen for fuel cell cars, bio-coal and nanomaterial manufacturing.

ORNL to Collaborate with Five Small Businesses to Advance Energy Tech

Five small companies have been selected to partner with the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory to move technologies in commercial refrigeration systems, water power generation, bioenergy and battery manufacturing closer to the marketplace.

U.S. Department of Energy's INCITE Program Seeks Advanced Computational Research Proposals for 2018

The Department of Energy's INCITE program will be accepting proposals for high-impact, computationally intensive research campaigns in a broad array of science, engineering, and computer science domains.

New Berkeley Lab Project Turns Waste Heat to Electricity

A new Berkeley Lab project seeks to efficiently capture waste heat and convert it to electricity, potentially saving California up to $385 million per year. With a $2-million grant from the California Energy Commission, Berkeley Lab scientists will work with Alphabet Energy to create a cost-effective thermoelectric waste heat recovery system.

New SLAC Theory Institute Aims to Speed Research on Exotic Materials at Light Sources

A new institute at the Department of Energy's SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory is using the power of theory to search for new types of materials that could revolutionize society - by making it possible, for instance, to transmit electricity over power lines with no loss.

Lenvio Inc. Exclusively Licenses ORNL Malware Behavior Detection Technology

Virginia-based Lenvio Inc. has exclusively licensed a cyber security technology from the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory that can quickly detect malicious behavior in software not previously identified as a threat.

Argonne Scientist and Nobel Laureate Alexei Abrikosov Dies at 88

Alexei Abrikosov, an acclaimed physicist at the U.S. Department of Energy's Argonne National Laboratory who received the 2003 Nobel Prize in Physics for his work on superconducting materials, died Wednesday, March 29. He was 88.

Jefferson Lab Accomplishes Critical Milestones Toward Completion of 12 GeV Upgrade

The Continuous Electron Beam Accelerator Facility (CEBAF) at the U.S. Department of Energy's Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility has achieved two major commissioning milestones and is now entering the final stretch of work to conclude its first major upgrade. Recently, the CEBAF accelerator delivered electron beams into two of its experimental halls, Halls B and C, at energies not possible before the upgrade for commissioning of the experimental equipment currently in each hall. Data were recorded in each hall, which were then confirmed to be of sufficient quality to allow for particle identification, a primary indicator of good detector operation.

Valerie Taylor Named Argonne National Laboratory's Mathematics and Computer Science Division Director

Computer scientist Valerie Taylor has been appointed as the next director of the Mathematics and Computer Science division at Argonne, effective July 3, 2017.

Three SLAC Employees Awarded Lab's Highest Honor

At a March 7 ceremony, three employees of the Department of Energy's SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory were awarded the lab's highest honor ­- the SLAC Director's Award.


The Roadmap to Quark Soup

Scientists discover new signposts in the quest to determine how matter from the early universe turned into the world we know today.

Neutrons Play the Lead to Protons in Dance Around "Double-Magic" Nucleus

Electric and magnetic properties of a radioactive atom provide unique insight into the nature of proton and neutron motion.

Ultrafast Imaging Reveals the Electron's New Clothes

Scientists use high-speed electrons to visualize "dress-like" distortions in the atomic lattice. This work reveals the vital role of electron-lattice interactions in manganites. This material could be used in data-storage devices with increased data density and reduced power requirements.

One Small Change Makes Solar Cells More Efficient

For years, scientists have explored using tiny drops of designer materials, called quantum dots, to make better solar cells. Adding small amounts of manganese decreases the ability of quantum dots to absorb light but increases the current produced by an average of 300%.

Electronic "Cyclones" at the Nanoscale

Through highly controlled synthesis, scientists controlled competing atomic forces to let spiral electronic structures form. These polar vortices can serve as a precursor to new phenomena in materials. The materials could be vital for ultra-low energy electronic devices.

In a Flash! A New Way for Making Ceramics

A new process controllably but instantly consolidates ceramic parts, potentially important for manufacturing.

Deciphering Material Properties at the Single-Atom Level

Scientists determine the precise location and identity of all 23,000 atoms in a nanoparticle.

Smallest Transistor Ever

It has long been thought that building nanometer-sized transistors was impossible. Simply put, the physics and atomic structural imperfections couldn't be overcome. However, scientists built fully functional, nanometer-sized transistors.

Creation of Artificial Atoms

For the first time, scientists created a tunable artificial atom in graphene. The results from this research demonstrate a viable, controllable, and reversible technique to confine electrons in graphene.

Developing Tools to Understand Lithium-Ion Battery Instabilities

Scientists develop tools to understand Li-ion battery instabilities, enabling the study of electrodes and solid-electrolyte interphase formation.


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NMSU Undergrad Tackles 3D Particle Scattering Animations After Receiving JSA Research Assistantship

Article ID: 650485

Released: 2016-03-25 11:05:26

Source Newsroom: Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility

  • Waverly Gorman (right), a New Mexico State University junior, is the latest recipient of the JSA Minority/Female Undergraduate Research Assistantship. Here, Gorman reviews her project with her advisor and NMSU Physics Professor, Matthias Burkardt.

Waverly Gorman didn’t always want to study physics.

She began her college career as a mechanical engineering major. Then she took a class on quantum mechanics, and she was hooked. Now, the 21-year-old New Mexico State University junior is the latest recipient of the Jefferson Science Associates (JSA) Minority/Female Undergraduate Research Assistantship (MFURA) at Jefferson Lab.

“I’m honored,” Gorman said recently about the assistantship from her home in Las Cruces, N.M. “It’s a big deal. I feel really lucky.”

The JSA MFURA program offers opportunities to minority and female students who are pursuing undergraduate degrees in physics, giving them a chance to turn their studies into real-world research applications. Over the course of the year-long assistantship, the student demonstrates how her research ties into Jefferson Lab’s nuclear physics program.

Gorman’s project focuses on two parts: Using computer animation, she is creating 3-dimensional visualizations for electron-hadron scattering processes. In addition, she’s modelling quark-gluon correlations, with the intent of publishing the estimates along with her advisor, Matthias Burkardt, a physics professor at NMSU.

The 3D simulations are essentially movies that will bring to life the intuitive pictures of electron-hadron scattering experiments that Burkardt has developed over past years.

“While Dr. Burkardt’s pictures have been helpful for many researchers in the field, they are still difficult to visualize for broader audiences since they rely mostly on 2-dimensional static images,” Gorman wrote in her project description. “The goal is to enable the viewer to repeatedly look at the same microscopic mechanism for a specific reaction, while being able to change the viewpoint of the observer.”

Gorman said the 3D animations are intended to help those who aren’t familiar with various reactions to better understand them. She and Burkardt plan to make the movie clips publicly available to Jefferson Lab after they’re completed. Burkardt said the hope is that Gorman’s animations can be used by people who give talks about Jefferson Lab experiments.

“A lot of people, when they give talks, use cartoons to show what happens,” Burkardt said. “What Waverly’s making is a movie clip, so it’s not just a snapshot. It makes it easier to visualize.”

Burkardt called Gorman a “highly qualified student” who is really excited about her work. During the past year, he’s brought her up to speed on quantum-field theory, to help her be able to do needed calculations. Gorman plans to pursue a Ph.D. in physics after she gets her bachelor’s degree at NMSU.

“I’m pretty sure she’ll go far,” Burkardt said.

Gorman’s proficiency at computer animation can be partially credited to her father, Mark, a computer scientist, she said. She grew up using computers, making websites when she was as young as 6 or 7 years old. Her dad taught her math, and was her tutor.

“My parents never pushed me toward anything in particular, but my dad really inspired me,” Gorman said. “He would talk about physics all the time. Now I’m a physicist. I love it, and it’s fun for me. People don’t believe me that I love what I do.”

The assistantship, which began in August, gives Gorman a stipend for a year and travel money, which she hopes will allow her to attend an upcoming conference on QCD evolution in Amsterdam. She also hopes to visit Jefferson Lab in the near future.

The assistantship is supported by the JSA Initiatives Fund Program, funded annually by the JSA owners, SURA and PAE Applied Technologies. Initiatives Funds are awarded every year to support activities that further the scientific outreach, and promote the science, education and technology missions of Jefferson Lab, according to Elizabeth Lawson, JSA Initiatives Fund program manager.

“The Minority/Female Undergraduate Research Assistantship has provided opportunities for recipients to gain valuable experience with the lab's physics research program while they are pursuing their undergraduate education,” Lawson said.

With her assistantship, Gorman said she hopes she can contribute to “the most-cutting edge of what we know with things like quantum-field theories.” And, she added, she’s having fun in the process.

Jefferson Lab is a world-leading nuclear physics research facility devoted to the study of quarks and gluons – the building blocks of matter inside the atom's nucleus that make up 99 percent of the mass of our visible universe. Jefferson Science Associates, LLC, a joint venture of the Southeastern Universities Research Association, Inc. and PAE Applied Technologies, manages and operates Jefferson Lab, for the U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Science.

DOE’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. For more information, visit www.science.energy.gov.

By Kim O’Brien Root

Jefferson Lab feature writer