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How X-Rays Helped to Solve Mystery of Floating Rocks

Experiments at Berkeley Lab's Advanced Light Source have helped scientists to solve a mystery of why some rocks can float for years in the ocean, traveling thousands of miles before sinking.

Special X-Ray Technique Allows Scientists to See 3-D Deformations

In a new study published last Friday in Science, researchers at Argonne used an X-ray scattering technique called Bragg coherent diffraction imaging to reconstruct in 3-D the size and shape of grain defects. These defects create imperfections in the lattice of atoms inside a grain that can give rise to interesting material properties and effects.

Neptune: Neutralizer-Free Plasma Propulsion

The most established plasma propulsion concepts are gridded-ion thrusters that accelerate and emit a larger number of positively charged particles than those that are negatively charged. To enable the spacecraft to remain charge-neutral, a "neutralizer" is used to inject electrons to exactly balance the positive ion charge in the exhaust beam. However, the neutralizer requires additional power from the spacecraft and increases the size and weight of the propulsion system. Researchers are investigating how the radio-frequency self-bias effect can be used to remove the neutralizer altogether, and they report their work in this week's Physics of Plasmas.

Report Sheds New Insights on the Spin Dynamics of a Material Candidate for Low-Power Devices

In a report published in Nano LettersArgonne researchers reveal new insights into the properties of a magnetic insulator that is a candidate for low-power device applications; their insights form early stepping-stones towards developing high-speed, low-power electronics that use electron spin rather than charge to carry information.

Researchers Find Computer Code That Volkswagen Used to Cheat Emissions Tests

An international team of researchers has uncovered the mechanism that allowed Volkswagen to circumvent U.S. and European emission tests over at least six years before the Environmental Protection Agency put the company on notice in 2015 for violating the Clean Air Act. During a year-long investigation, researchers found code that allowed a car's onboard computer to determine that the vehicle was undergoing an emissions test.

Physicists Discover That Lithium Oxide on Tokamak Walls Can Improve Plasma Performance

A team of physicists has found that a coating of lithium oxide on the inside of fusion machines known as tokamaks can absorb as much deuterium as pure lithium can.

Scientists Perform First Basic Physics Simulation of Spontaneous Transition of the Edge of Fusion Plasma to Crucial High-Confinement Mode

PPPL physicists have simulated the spontaneous transition of turbulence at the edge of a fusion plasma to the high-confinement mode that sustains fusion reactions. The research was achieved with the extreme-scale plasma turbulence code XGC developed at PPPL in collaboration with a nationwide team.

Green Fleet Technology

New research at Penn State addresses the impact delivery trucks have on the environment by providing green solutions that keep costs down without sacrificing efficiency.

Scientists Demonstrate New Real-Time Technique for Studying Ionic Liquids at Electrode Interfaces

This electron microscope-based imaging technique could help scientists optimize the performance of ionic liquids for batteries and other energy storage devices.

How Scientists Turned a Flag Into a Loudspeaker

A paper-thin, flexible device created at Michigan State University not only can generate energy from human motion, it can act as a loudspeaker and microphone as well, nanotechnology researchers report in the May 16 edition of Nature Communications.


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Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Graduates Urged to Embrace Change at 211th Commencement

Describing the dizzying pace of technological innovation, former United States Secretary of Energy Ernest J. Moniz urged graduates to "anticipate career change, welcome it, and manage it to your and your society's benefit" at the 211th Commencement at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) Saturday.

ORNL Welcomes Innovation Crossroads Entrepreneurial Research Fellows

Oak Ridge National Laboratory today welcomed the first cohort of innovators to join Innovation Crossroads, the Southeast region's first entrepreneurial research and development program based at a U.S. Department of Energy national laboratory.

Department of Energy Secretary Recognizes Argonne Scientists' Work to Fight Ebola, Cancer

Two groups of researchers at Argonne earned special awards from the office of the U.S. Secretary of Energy for addressing the global health challenges of Ebola and cancer.

Jefferson Science Associates, LLC Recognized for Leadership in Small Business Utilization

Jefferson Lab/Jefferson Science Associates has a long-standing commitment to doing business with and mentoring small businesses. That commitment and support received national recognition at the 16th Annual Dept. of Energy Small Business Forum and Expo held May 16-18, 2017 in Kansas City, Mo.

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute President's Commencement Colloquy to Address "Criticality, Incisiveness, Creativity"

To kick off the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Commencement weekend, the annual President's Commencement Colloquy will take place on Friday, May 19, beginning at 3:30 p.m. The discussion, titled "Criticality, Incisiveness, Creativity," will include the Honorable Ernest J. Moniz, former Secretary of Energy, and the Honorable Roger W. Ferguson Jr., President and CEO of TIAA, and will be moderated by Rensselaer President Shirley Ann Jackson.

ORNL, University of Tennessee Launch New Doctoral Program in Data Science

The Tennessee Higher Education Commission has approved a new doctoral program in data science and engineering as part of the Bredesen Center for Interdisciplinary Research and Graduate Education.

SurfTec Receives $1.2 Million Energy Award to Develop Novel Coating

The Department of Energy has awarded $1.2 million to SurfTec LLC, a company affiliated with the U of A Technology Development Foundation, to continue developing a nanoparticle-based coating to replace lead-based journal bearings in the next generation of electric machines.

Ames Laboratory Scientist Inducted Into National Inventors Hall of Fame

Iver Anderson, senior metallurgist at Ames Laboratory, has been inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame.

DOE HPC4Mfg Program Funds 13 New Projects to Improve U.S. Energy Technologies Through High Performance Computing

A U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) program designed to spur the use of high performance supercomputers to advance U.S. manufacturing is funding 13 new industry projects for a total of $3.9 million.

Penn State Wind Energy Club Breezes to Victory in Collegiate Wind Competition

The Penn State Wind Energy Club breezed through the field at the U.S. Department of Energy Collegiate Wind Competition 2017 Technical Challenge, held April 20-22 at the National Wind Technology Center near Boulder, Colorado--earning its third overall victory in four years at the Collegiate Wind Competition.


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Casting a Wide Net

Designed molecules will provide positive impacts in energy production by selectively removing unwanted ions from complex solutions.

New Software Tools Streamline DNA Sequence Design-and-Build Process

Enhanced software tools will accelerate gene discovery and characterization, vital for new forms of fuel production.

The Ultrafast Interplay Between Molecules and Materials

Computer calculations by the Center for Solar Fuels, an Energy Frontier Research Center, shed light on nebulous interactions in semiconductors relevant to dye-sensitized solar cells.

Supercapacitors: WOODn't That Be Nice

Researchers at Nanostructures for Electrical Energy Storage, an Energy Frontier Research Center, take advantage of nature-made materials and structure for energy storage research.

Groundwater Flow Is Key for Modeling the Global Water Cycle

Water table depth and groundwater flow are vital to understanding the amount of water that plants transmit to the atmosphere.

Finding the Correct Path

A new computational technique greatly simplifies the complex reaction networks common to catalysis and combustion fields.

Opening Efficient Routes to Everyday Plastics

A new material from the Inorganometallic Catalyst Design Center, an Energy Frontier Research Center, facilitates the production of key industrial supplies.

Fight to the Top: Silver and Gold Compete for the Surface of a Bimetallic Solid

It's the classic plot of a buddy movie. Two struggling bodies team up to drive the plot and do good together. That same idea, when it comes to metals, could help scientists solve a big problem: the amount of energy consumed by making chemicals.

Saving Energy Through Light Control

New materials, designed by researchers at the Center for Excitonics, an Energy Frontier Research Center, can reduce energy consumption with the flip of a switch.

Teaching Perovskites to Swim

Scientists at the ANSER Energy Frontier Research Center designed a two-component layer protects a sunlight-harvesting device from water and heat.


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

Article ID: 673488

Released: 2017-04-24 11:05:31

Source Newsroom: Department of Energy, Office of Science

  • Credit: Image courtesy of J.M. Allmond

    Dominance of neutron motion around inert 132Sn core was found in a simple two proton (p) and two neutron (n) system.

The Science

An exotic, radioactive beam of tellurium (136Te), traveling at 8 percent of the speed of light, was created and studied by scientists at Oak Ridge National Laboratory to explore the nature of protons and neutrons, nature’s building blocks. They picked the tellurium because of how its protons and neutrons are organized. Radioactive 136Te possesses two protons and two neutrons outside of an extremely stable, a.k.a. “double-magic,” core. The tellurium provides a unique laboratory for exploring the nature of neutron and proton motion. The team found that two neutron and proton pairs in the exotic nucleus dance around the inactive core but on unequal footing. There are many possible dance formations for a neutron and proton pair but the neutrons are curiously more active.

The Impact

This study resolved discrepancies in state-of-the-art calculations that describe the nature of proton and neutron motion. It further resolved questions of models showing the interactions within atomic nuclei. This work paves the way for a more accurate understanding of these building blocks of nature.

Summary

Atomic nuclei are finite many-body quantum systems that exhibit increased stability or “shell structure” when the proton and/or neutron numbers equal 2, 8, 20, 28, 50, 82, or 126. If both the proton and neutron numbers are equal to one of these “magic” values, the nucleus is said to be “double magic.” Atomic nuclei with just a few protons or neutrons outside of these stable cores provide a simple and unique laboratory for exploring the nature of neutron and proton motion. Radioactive 136Te, which possesses two protons and two neutrons outside of an inert “double-magic” 132Sn core, is such an example. Scientists at Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee created an exotic, radioactive beam of 136Te. They found that two neutron and proton pairs in the exotic nucleus dance around an inactive 132Sn core but on unequal footing. They made this finding using a novel technique that measures both electric and magnetic properties of radioactive nuclei. The measurements are a powerful and sensitive tool to test and resolve discrepancies in state-of-the-art theoretical models. The results indicate that the simple two proton and two neutron system, around the double magic core, is prolate (shaped like an American football) deformed and that the underlying structure is dominated by neutron motion. The understanding of proton and neutron motion within atomic nuclei is an ever-evolving topic, and the advent of accelerated beams of exotic nuclei has led to many surprises as scientists strive to develop a more accurate understanding of the proton and neutron building blocks of nature.

 

Funding

This material is based upon work supported by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), Office of Science, Office of Nuclear Physics, under contract DE-AC05-00OR22725, and this research used resources of the Holifield Radioactive Ion Beam Facility of Oak Ridge National Laboratory, which was a DOE Office of Science user facility. This research was also sponsored by the Australian Research Council under grant DP0773273, by DOE under contract DE-FG02-96ER40963, and by the National Science Foundation, grant PHY-1404442.

Publications

J.M. Allmond, A.E. Stuchbery, C. Baktash, A. Gargano, A. Galindo-Uribarri, D.C. Radford, C.R. Bingham, B.A. Brown, L. Coraggio, A. Covello, M. Danchev, C.J. Gross, P.A. Hausladen, N. Itaco, K. Lagergren, E. Padilla-Rodal, J. Pavan, M.A. Riley, N.J. Stone, D.W. Stracener, R.L. Varner, and C.H. Yu, “Electromagnetic moments of radioactive 136Te and the emergence of collectivity 2p⊕2n outside of double-magic 132SnExternal link.” Physical Review Letters 118, 092503 (2017). [DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.118.092503]