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Chemists ID Catalytic 'Key' for Converting CO2 to Methanol

Results from experiments and computational modeling studies that definitively identify the "active site" of a catalyst commonly used for making methanol from CO2 will guide the design of improved catalysts for transforming this pollutant to useful chemicals.

Cryo-Electron Microscopy Achieves Unprecedented Resolution Using New Computational Methods

Cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM)--which enables the visualization of viruses, proteins, and other biological structures at the molecular level--is a critical tool used to advance biochemical knowledge. Now Berkeley Lab researchers have extended cryo-EM's impact further by developing a new computational algorithm instrumental in constructing a 3-D atomic-scale model of bacteriophage P22 for the first time.

New Study Maps Space Dust in 3-D

A new Berkeley Lab-led study provides detailed 3-D views of space dust in the Milky Way, which could help us understand the properties of this dust and how it affects views of distant objects.

Single-Angle Ptychography Allows 3D Imaging of Stressed Materials

Scientists have used a new X-ray diffraction technique called Bragg single-angle ptychography to get a clear picture of how planes of atoms shift and squeeze under stress.

New Feedback System Could Allow Greater Control Over Fusion Plasma

A physicist has created a new system that will let scientists control the energy and rotation of plasma in real time in a doughnut-shaped machine known as a tokamak.

Towards Super-Efficient, Ultra-Thin Silicon Solar Cells

Researchers from Ames Laboratory used supercomputers at NERSC to evaluate a novel approach for creating more energy-efficient ultra-thin crystalline silicon solar cells by optimizing nanophotonic light trapping.

Study IDs Link Between Sugar Signaling and Regulation of Oil Production in Plants

UPTON, NY--Even plants have to live on an energy budget. While they're known for converting solar energy into chemical energy in the form of sugars, plants have sophisticated biochemical mechanisms for regulating how they spend that energy. Making oils costs a lot. By exploring the details of this delicate energy balance, a group of scientists from the U.

High-Energy Electrons Probe Ultrafast Atomic Motion

A new technique synchronized high-energy electrons with an ultrafast laser pulse to probe how vibrational states of atoms change in time.

Rare Earth Recycling

A new energy-efficient separation of rare earth elements could provide a new domestic source of critical materials.

Two-Dimensional MXene Materials Get Their Close-Up

Researchers have long sought electrically conductive materials for economical energy-storage devices. Two-dimensional (2D) ceramics called MXenes are contenders.


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.

Dan Sinars Represents Sandia in First Energy Leadership Class

Dan Sinars, a senior manager in Sandia National Laboratories' pulsed power center, which built and operates the Z facility, is the sole representative from a nuclear weapons lab in a new Department of Energy leadership program that recently visited Sandia.

ORNL, HTS International Corporation to Collaborate on Manufacturing Research

HTS International Corporation and the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory have signed an agreement to explore potential collaborations in advanced manufacturing research.

Jefferson Lab Director Honored with Energy Secretary Award

Hugh Montgomery, director of the Department of Energy's Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility (Jefferson Lab), was awarded The Secretary's Distinguished Service Award by the Secretary of Energy earlier this year.

New Projects to Make Geothermal Energy More Economically Attractive

Geothermal energy, a clean, renewable source of energy produced by the heat of the earth, provides about 6 percent of California's total power. That number could be much higher if associated costs were lower. Now scientists at the Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) have launched two California Energy Commission-funded projects aimed at making geothermal energy more cost-effective to deploy and operate.

Southern Research Project Advances Novel CO2 Utilization Strategy

The U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Fossil Energy has awarded Southern Research nearly $800,000 for a project that targets a more cost-efficient and environmentally friendly method of producing some of the most important chemicals used in manufacturing.

Harker School Wins 2017 SLAC Regional Science Bowl Competition

After losing its first match of the day to the defending champions, The Harker School's team won 10 consecutive rounds to claim victory in the annual SLAC Regional DOE Science Bowl on Saturday, Feb. 11.

Francis Alexander Named Deputy Director of Brookhaven Lab's Computational Science Initiative

Alexander brings extensive management and leadership experience in computational science research to the position.

Kalinin, Paranthaman Elected Materials Research Society Fellows

Two researchers at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Sergei Kalinin and Mariappan Parans Paranthaman, have been elected fellows of the Materials Research Society.

Two PNNL Researchers Elected to Membership in the National Academy of Engineering

Two scientists at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory will become members of the prestigious National Academy of Engineering.


High-Energy Electrons Probe Ultrafast Atomic Motion

A new technique synchronized high-energy electrons with an ultrafast laser pulse to probe how vibrational states of atoms change in time.

Rare Earth Recycling

A new energy-efficient separation of rare earth elements could provide a new domestic source of critical materials.

Modeling the "Flicker" of Gluons in Subatomic Smashups

A new model identifies a high degree of fluctuations in the glue-like particles that bind quarks within protons as essential to explaining proton structure.

Rare Nickel Atom Has "Doubly Magic" Structure

Supercomputing calculations confirm that rare nickel-78 has unusual structure, offering insights into supernovas.

Microbial Activity in the Subsurface Contributes to Greenhouse Gas Fluxes

Natural carbon dioxide production from deep subsurface soils contributes significantly to emissions, even in a semiarid floodplain.

Stretching a Metal Into an Insulator

Straining a thin film controllably allows tuning of the materials' magnetic, electronic, and catalytic properties, essential for new energy and electronic devices.

How Moisture Affects the Way Soil Microbes Breathe

Study models soil-pore features that hold or release carbon dioxide.

ARM Data Is for the Birds

Scientists use LIDAR and radar data to study bird migration patterns, thanks to the Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) Climate Research Facility.

The Future of Coastal Flooding

Better storm surge prediction capabilities could help reduce the impacts of extreme weather events, such as hurricanes.

Estimating Global Energy Use for Water-Related Processes

Scientists find that water-related energy consumption is increasing across the globe, with pronounced differences across regions and sectors.


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Great Neck South High School Wins Regional Science Bowl at Brookhaven Lab

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Internship Program Helps Foster Development of Future Nuclear Scientists

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More Than 12,000 Explore Jefferson Lab During April 30 Open House

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Story Tips from the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory, January 2017

Article ID: 667120

Released: 2017-01-04 09:05:40

Source Newsroom: Oak Ridge National Laboratory

  • Credit: ORNL

    Atomic arrangements inside the unit cell of an iron-based superconducting material show that reduction of unit cells along the c-axis is necessary for causing superconductivity.

  • Credit: ORNL

    Habitats of salmon could be preserved through the careful management of forests.

  • Credit: ORNL

    Oak Ridge National Laboratory’s supercomputer is opening new horizons for the Nature Inspired Machine Learning Team.

  • Credit: ORNL

    Neon atoms between graphene sheets poke the top sheet from below and stretch the crystalline lattice, forming a bubble at a pressure larger than that of the ocean at its greatest depth. The ORNL method can introduce large local strains into 2D lattices in cases where conventional methods fail.

  • Credit: ORNL

    ORNL scientists studied ways to enhance the proposed memory cell performance and minimize access times and energies, yielding a novel cryogenic, or low-temperature, design that may resolve a memory storage bottleneck, accelerating a pathway to next-generation computing.

SUPERCONDUCTIVITY – Crystal clear conclusion …

Hundreds of tables and plots from papers published about superconductivity are the focus of a Journal of Physics: Condensed Matter review paper that condenses this data into a single graph. “We were able to find a pattern throughout many scientists’ work that was never recognized because no one had taken the time to assemble all of the data,” said co-author Lance Konzen. He and ORNL’s Athena Safa Sefat conclude that superconducting properties of iron- and copper-based materials are highly dependent on the behavior of atomic arrangements inside the unit cells. They noted that their paper, titled “Lattice Parameters Guide Superconductivity in Iron-Arsenides,” is a resource that will guide materials chemists and could save considerable time. Konzen’s work was sponsored by the Department of Energy’s Workforce Development for Teachers and Scientists and the Science Undergraduate Laboratory Internship programs. [Contact: Ron Walli, (865) 576-0226; wallira@ornl.gov]

Image: https://www.ornl.gov/sites/default/files/news/images/01%20superconductivity%201.jpg

Cutline: Atomic arrangements inside the unit cell of an iron-based superconducting material show that reduction of unit cells along the c-axis is necessary for causing superconductivity.

ENVIRONMENT – Triple benefit …

Strategic thinning of forests in the Pacific Northwest and other parts of the United States plagued by fires could produce benefits on multiple levels, according to Rebecca Novello, a researcher at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. In a collaboration with Pacific Northwest National Laboratory and the Forest Service, Novello and Yetta Jager are developing decision support tools for thinning forest understory that could provide biomass for energy, decrease the incidence of high-intensity wildfires and preserve habitat for threatened and endangered salmon. “Climate change is a big driver of this research,” Jager said. “Among many other factors, increasing temperatures have shifted seasonal patterns of flow from those that salmon have adapted to and increased the number and duration of wildfires.” The three-year project began Oct. 1. [Contact: Ron Walli, (865) 576-0226; wallira@ornl.gov]

Image: https://www.ornl.gov/sites/default/files/news/images/02%20triple%20benefit%20tip%201.jpg

Cutline: Habitats of salmon could be preserved through the careful management of forests.

COMPUTING – Charting new territory …

From machine learning to neuromorphic architectures that enable greater computing flexibility and utility, Oak Ridge National Laboratory researchers are pushing boundaries with Titan. “We’re using deep learning to advance the state of the art in several challenging fields such as computer vision and speech recognition,” said Steven Young, a member of ORNL’s Intelligent Computing Research Team. Young noted that their approach is providing a promising tool in areas previously unexplored by computer scientists. For example, optimal networks for commercial datasets are vastly different than the optimal networks for scientific data. But by utilizing the 18,688 GPUs on Titan and an evolutionary algorithm, researchers can quickly find the best network for their problem. As a result, scientists are seeing and making sense of data that was previously either obscured or simply unavailable for analysis. [Contact: Ron Walli, (865) 576-0226; wallira@ornl.gov]

Image: https://www.ornl.gov/sites/default/files/news/images/03%20computing%20tip.jpg

Cutline: Oak Ridge National Laboratory’s supercomputer is opening new horizons for the Nature Inspired Machine Learning Team.

MATERIALS – Measuring and manipulating graphene …

Researchers at Oak Ridge National Laboratory found a simpler way to measure adhesion between graphene sheets, compared to a sophisticated method used in a 2015 study: They measured how much graphene deflects when neon atoms poke it from below to create “bubbles.” Each bubble’s curvature encodes properties such as sheet flexibility and adhesion. “We discovered a new method to measure adhesion of layered materials at very small length scales,” said Petro Maksymovych. “It’s a simple way to probe a large number of two-dimensional materials and ask how their mechanical properties vary with modifications. It also opens an avenue for atomic-scale control over 2D materials without defects, which may prove useful to achieve their full potential in future technologies.” Stacking atomically thin materials opens a pathway toward new energy and electronic applications. [Contact: Dawn Levy, (865) 576-6448; levyd@ornl.gov]

Image: https://www.ornl.gov/sites/default/files/news/images/04%20materials%20measuring%20tip%201.jpg

Cutline: Neon atoms between graphene sheets poke the top sheet from below and stretch the crystalline lattice, forming a bubble at a pressure larger than that of the ocean at its greatest depth. The ORNL method can introduce large local strains into 2D lattices in cases where conventional methods fail.

SUPERCOMPUTING – Resolving the bottleneck …

Scientists at Oak Ridge National Laboratory have proposed a novel cryogenic, or low-temperature, memory cell circuit design that may resolve a memory storage bottleneck, accelerating the pathway to exascale and quantum computing. The proposed design converges write, read and reset memory operations on the same circuit, enabling memory processing functions to operate faster and more efficiently. This could yield decreased access energies and access times and allow for more circuits to occupy less space. Details of the research were published in Superconductor Science and Technology and Physical Review E. [Contact: Sara Shoemaker, (865) 576-9219; shoemakerms@ornl.gov]

Image: https://www.ornl.gov/sites/default/files/news/images/05%20bottleneck%20tip.jpg

Cutline: ORNL scientists studied ways to enhance the proposed memory cell performance and minimize access times and energies, yielding a novel cryogenic, or low-temperature, design that may resolve a memory storage bottleneck, accelerating a pathway to next-generation computing.