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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

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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.


Scientists Launch Flights to Gather Detailed Data on Aerosols and Clouds

Article ID: 674285

Released: 2017-05-08 10:05:05

Source Newsroom: Brookhaven National Laboratory

  • Credit: Brookhaven National Laboratory

    Using an aircraft outfitted with 55 atmospheric instrument systems, scientists will traverse horizontal tracks above and through clouds and spiral down through atmospheric layers to provide detailed, on-site measurements of aerosols and cloud properties. The data will supplement measurements made by ground-based radars and other instruments to provide a more complete understanding of how aerosol properties affect low marine boundary layer clouds, and help improve the representations of clouds and aerosols in models of Earth's climate.

  • Credit: Brookhaven National Laboratory

    A large fraction of the computer-choreographed flight tracks for the study will cross within the ranges of the ground-based scanning radars at DOE's Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) Climate Research Facility on Graciosa Island in the Azores (photo).

  • Credit: Brookhaven National Laboratory

    Brookhaven Lab atmospheric scientist Jian Wang is the principal investigator for the aerosol and cloud study campaign in the Eastern North Atlantic.

  • Credit: Brookhaven National Laboratory

    The Gulfstream-159 (G-1) research aircraft—centerpiece of the ARM Aerial Facility managed by DOE's Pacific Northwest National Laboratory—ready for takeoff.

UPTON, NY—For an intensive period throughout June and July, and again next January and February, scientists from U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) laboratories will take to the skies in a specially outfitted aircraft to gather data on the properties of aerosols and clouds above the Eastern North Atlantic. They’ll traverse horizontal tracks above and through clouds and spiral down through atmospheric layers to gather samples and measurements that add fine-scale detail to 3D cloud profiles constructed by nearby instruments on the ground. This synergistic sampling from throughout the clouds and below will improve scientists’ understanding of how aerosol properties affect low marine boundary layer clouds, and help improve the representations of clouds and aerosols in models of Earth’s climate.

“Low level clouds are abundant and can have a big influence on global climate by affecting how much solar energy is reflected back into space,” said Jian Wang, an atmospheric scientist at DOE’s Brookhaven National Laboratory and lead researcher on the study. “One of the biggest uncertainties in Earth system models is our understanding of how clouds respond to changes in the properties of aerosols, tiny particles wafted into the atmosphere as salty sea spray or emitted from distant industrial sources.”

To improve that understanding, DOE’s Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) Climate Research Facility has conducted a variety of aerosol studies. They recently installed a fixed ground station with radars and other meteorological instruments on Graciosa Island in the Azores west of Portugal. This site operates 24/7 collecting data on aerosols, trace gases, atmospheric thermodynamics, and other factors that influence clouds and climate in the Eastern North Atlantic—an area influenced by a variety of aerosol sources where persistent low marine boundary layer clouds are highly susceptible to changes in aerosol particle properties.

The new study will supplement the year-round, ground-based dataset with a series of airborne sampling missions—approximately 20 in the summer and 20 in the winter—flown aboard ARM’s Gulfstream-159 (G-1) research aircraft. The G-1 is the centerpiece of the ARM Aerial Facility managed by DOE’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL). For this study it will be outfitted with 55 atmospheric instrument systems that will provide detailed “on-site” measures of the physical and chemical properties of aerosols and cloud particles, including variations in their distribution throughout the horizontal and vertical structure of the clouds.

One instrument on board for the first time on a DOE aircraft will be a Holographic Detector for Clouds (HOLODEC), a wing-mounted device that takes detailed multidimensional pictures of cloud droplets to provide information about how they interact on microphysical scales. The data will help the scientists learn how the size distribution of cloud droplets is affected by the mixing of cloudy, wet air and drier, non-cloudy air.

On some flights, the scientists will also sample the free troposphere, high above the boundary layer clouds. Data collected there will help determine whether the observed aerosol particles are coming from local sources or being transported long distances.

The G-1 will take off from a joint U.S.-Portugal airbase 90 kilometers from Graciosa, with a large fraction of the computer-choreographed flight tracks crossing within the ranges of the ground-based scanning radars.  Flying within range of the radars will allow scientists to use the detailed microphysical information obtained from the aircraft flights to evaluate, validate, and improve how they interpret the ground-based data.

Collaborators will also bring samples of aerosol particles collected during the flights to PNNL’s Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory’s Advanced Light Source—both DOE Office of Science User Facilities—for subsequent analysis.

“Overall, the combination of ground-based and airborne data will give us a more complete picture of aerosols and clouds, particularly allowing us to better quantify the processes controlling the life cycles of aerosol and clouds, and how clouds respond to aerosol changes,” said Wang.

The ARM Climate Research Facility is a DOE Office of Science User Facility. The ARM Facility is operated by nine DOE national laboratories.

Brookhaven National Laboratory is supported by the Office of Science of the U.S. Department of Energy.  The 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, please visit science.energy.gov.