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  • 2017-07-05 12:05:38
  • Article ID: 677433

Story Tips From the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory, July 2017

  • Credit: Illustration by Brett Hopwood, Oak Ridge National Laboratory/Dept. of Energy.

    A new integrated climate model developed by Oak Ridge National Laboratory and other institutions is designed to reduce uncertainties in future climate predictions as it bridges Earth systems with energy and economic models and large-scale human impact data.

  • Credit: Oak Ridge National Laboratory/Dept. of Energy

    An ORNL-developed secure platform to analyze large health datasets maintained by Department of Veterans Affairs holds promise for better outcomes, a deeper understanding of disease and improved operations.

  • Credit: Image by Marios Demetriou, California Institute of Technology.

    A California Institute of Technology-led experiment used neutron scattering at ORNL to resolve a decades-old debate whether the source of entropy in metallic glass materials was caused by the atoms’ vibrations or configuration.

  • Credit: Photo courtesy of Polynt Composites USA.

    Researchers are optimizing reactive composites like this vinylester for use in large scale additive manufacturing—printing with the material as a viscous liquid at room temperature.

  • Credit: Oak Ridge National Laboratory/Dept. of Energy

    A new calculator developed by Oak Ridge National Laboratory can identify air leaks throughout a building’s envelope, demonstrating the energy-savings potential in airtight building construction.

  • Credit: Oak Ridge National Laboratory/Dept. of Energy

    Oak Ridge National Laboratory researchers modified the shape and density of 3D-printed lattice structures to achieve desired material properties in metal composites.

Climate – Bridging human impacts

A new integrated computational model reduces uncertainty in climate predictions by bridging Earth systems with energy and economic models and large-scale human impact data. Co-developed by Oak Ridge National Laboratory, the novel integrated Earth system model, or iESM, leverages the power of supercomputers, including ORNL’s Titan, to couple biospheric feedbacks from oceans, atmosphere and land with human activity, such as greenhouse gas emissions, agriculture and land use. “The resulting model provides comprehensive predictions of projected climate outcomes, eliminating important sources of uncertainty from those predictions,” ORNL’s Peter Thornton said. The ORNL-led team detailed the modeling results in Nature Climate Change. They will continue using Titan to further develop, evaluate and apply iESM, delivering new knowledge and capabilities to the broader climate science community. [Contact: Sara Shoemaker, (865) 576-9219; shoemakerms@ornl.gov]

Image: https://www.ornl.gov/sites/default/files/ORNL_iESM_model_2.jpg

Caption: A new integrated climate model developed by Oak Ridge National Laboratory and other institutions is designed to reduce uncertainties in future climate predictions as it bridges Earth systems with energy and economic models and large-scale human impact data. Illustration by Brett Hopwood, Oak Ridge National Laboratory/Dept. of Energy.

Computing – Data-driven healthcare for veterans

Oak Ridge National Laboratory has partnered with the Department of Veterans Affairs to develop methods and algorithms to mine the VA’s health data more efficiently. The resulting novel, secure platform promises to improve the health and wellbeing of millions of veterans through better understanding of underlying causes of diseases and conditions, hereditary factors and health history. “The transfer of such large volumes of data, and its continued security, requires ORNL’s platform to be thoroughly vetted and tested before it is made available to researchers,” said Edmon Begoli who leads the lab’s involvement in the Million Veterans Program-Computational Health Analytics for Medical Precision to Improve Outcomes Now, or MVP-CHAMPION. [Contact: Scott Jones, (865) 241-6491; jonesg@ornl.gov]

Image: https://www.ornl.gov/sites/default/files/VA_healthcare_dataset.jpg

Caption: An ORNL-developed secure platform to analyze large health datasets maintained by Department of Veterans Affairs holds promise for better outcomes, a deeper understanding of disease and improved operations.

Neutrons – Beating the clock

Using neutron scattering at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, a research team captured a time-sensitive phenomenon to prove that the entropy, or randomness, of atoms in a metallic glass when exposed to intense heat is linked to how atoms self-configure versus their vibration. The large neutron flux of ORNL’s Wide Angular Range Chopper Spectrometer continuously recorded changes in the sample’s vibrations as the temperature slowly increased—a technique not possible a decade ago. “It’s only thanks to the incredibly intense neutron beams available at ORNL that we could do this experiment and put to rest a decades-old, much-debated theory that had never been tested,” said Hillary L. Smith from California Institute of Technology who led the paper published in Nature Physics. Understanding the material’s behavior could help in developing better quality metallic glass alloys. [Contact: Sara Shoemaker, (865) 576-9219; shoemakerms@ornl.gov]

Image: https://www.ornl.gov/sites/default/files/Neutrons_beating_clock.jpg

Caption: A California Institute of Technology-led experiment used neutron scattering at ORNL to resolve a decades-old debate whether the source of entropy in metallic glass materials was caused by the atoms’ vibrations or configuration. Image by Marios Demetriou, California Institute of Technology.

Buildings – Airtight savings

A new tool developed at Oak Ridge National Laboratory can help homeowners and builders calculate energy loss when air leaks through a building’s envelope, the physical barrier separating the interior and exterior. Starting with specific building metrics, the calculator analyzes multizone airflow and ventilation and then determines the associated energy loss through a whole building energy simulation tool. “Air leaks are responsible for over four percent of all energy used in the United States,” ORNL’s Som Shrestha said. “This energy-savings calculator can demonstrate the benefit of constructing airtight buildings.” The free, web-based tool was developed in conjunction with the Air Barrier Association of America and the National Institute of Science and Technology. [Contact: Jennifer Burke, (865) 576-3212; burkejj@ornl.gov]

Image: https://www.ornl.gov/news/buildings-air-tight-savings

Caption: A new calculator developed by Oak Ridge National Laboratory can identify air leaks throughout a building’s envelope, demonstrating the energy-savings potential in airtight building construction.

Manufacturing – Tailoring performance

A new manufacturing method created by Oak Ridge National Laboratory and Rice University combines 3D printing with traditional casting to produce damage-tolerant components composed of multiple materials. Composite components made by pouring an aluminum alloy over a printed steel lattice showed an order of magnitude greater damage tolerance than aluminum alone. The process, published in Materials and Design, was developed for potential automotive and other applications where thermal and mechanical properties must be optimized simultaneously. “This scalable processing strategy can be used to fulfill specific component functions, giving materials designers unprecedented control over both microstructure and material properties,” said ORNL’s Amit Shyam. [Contact: Kim Askey, (865) 946-1861; askeyka@ornl.gov

Image #1: https://www.ornl.gov/sites/default/files/news/images/Manufacturing_tailoring_performance.jpg

Caption: Oak Ridge National Laboratory researchers modified the shape and density of 3D-printed lattice structures to achieve desired material properties in metal composites.

Image #2: https://www.ornl.gov/sites/default/files/Manufacturing_tailoring_performance2.jpg

Caption: Composite components created by pouring an aluminum alloy over a printed steel lattice showed an order of magnitude greater damage tolerance than aluminum alone.

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Rutgers Scientists Discover 'Legos of Life'

Rutgers scientists have found the "Legos of life" - four core chemical structures that can be stacked together to build the myriad proteins inside every organism - after smashing and dissecting nearly 10,000 proteins to understand their component parts. The four building blocks make energy available for humans and all other living organisms, according to a study published online today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Small Hydroelectric Dams Increase Globally with Little Research, Regulations

University of Washington researchers have published the first major assessment of small hydropower dams around the world -- including their potential for growth -- and highlight the incredibly variability in how dams of varying sizes are categorized, regulated and studied.

Researchers Reveal How Microbes Cope in Phosphorus-Deficient Tropical Soil

A team led by the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory has uncovered how certain soil microbes cope in a phosphorus-poor environment to survive in a tropical ecosystem. Their novel approach could be applied in other ecosystems to study various nutrient limitations and inform agriculture and terrestrial biosphere modeling.

Scientists Discover Material Ideal for Smart Photovoltaic Windows

Researchers at Berkeley Lab discovered that a form of perovskite, one of the hottest materials in solar research due to its high conversion efficiency, works surprisingly well as a stable and photoactive semiconductor material that can be reversibly switched between a transparent state and a non-transparent state, without degrading its electronic properties.

Biofuels Feedstock Study Supports Billion-Ton Estimate

Can farmers produce at least 1 billion tons of biomass per year that can be used as biofuels feedstock? The answer is yes.

On the Rebound

New research from the U.S. Department of Energy's Argonne National Laboratory and Stanford University has found that palladium nanoparticles can repair atomic dislocations in their crystal structure, potentially leading to other advances in material science.

Coupling Experiments to Theory to Build a Better Battery

A Berkeley Lab-led team of researchers has reported that a new lithium-sulfur battery component allows a doubling in capacity compared to a conventional lithium-sulfur battery, even after more than 100 charge cycles.

DRIFTing to Fast, Precise Data

Non-destructive technique identifies key variations in Alaskan soils, quickly providing insights into carbon levels.

A Shortcut to Modeling Sickle Cell Disease

Using Oak Ridge National Laboratory's Titan supercomputer, a team led by Brown University's George Karniadakis devised a multiscale model of sickle cell disease that captures what happens inside a red blood cell affected by the disease.

Remotely Predicting Leaf Age in Tropical Forests

New approach offers data across species, sites, and canopies, providing insights into carbon uptake by forests.


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Theoretical Physicist Elena Belova Named to Editorial Board of Physics of Plasmas

Theoretical physicist Elena Belova named to editorial board of Physics of Plasmas

Superconducting X-Ray Laser Takes Shape in Silicon Valley

An area known for high-tech gadgets and innovation will soon be home to an advanced superconducting X-ray laser that stretches 3 miles in length, built by a collaboration of national laboratories. On January 19, the first section of the machine's new accelerator arrived by truck at SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory in Menlo Park after a cross-country journey that began in Batavia, Illinois, at Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory.

Kelsey Stoerzinger Earns Young Investigator Lectureship

Kelsey Stoerzinger, Pauling Fellow at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, is one of the 2018 Caltech Young Investigator Lecturers in Engineering and Applied Physics.

North Dakota State University Joins Two National Distributed Computing Groups

The NDSU Center for Computationally Assisted Science and Technology (CCAST) joins OSG (Open Science Grid) and XSEDE (Extreme Science and Engineering Discovery Environment).

DOE Announces Funding for New HPC4Manufacturing Industry Projects

The Department of Energy's Advanced Manufacturing Office (AMO) today announced the funding of $1.87 million for seven new industry projects under an ongoing initiative designed to utilize DOE's high-performance computing (HPC) resources and expertise to advance U.S. manufacturing and clean energy technologies.

DOE Announces First Awardees for New HPC4Materials for Severe Environments Program

The Department of Energy's Office of Fossil Energy (FE) today announced the funding of $450,000 for the first two private-public partnerships under a brand-new initiative aimed at discovering, designing and scaling up production of novel materials for severe environments.

Two Argonne Scientists Recognized for a Decade of Breakthroughs

Two scientists with the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Argonne National Laboratory have been named to the Web of Science's Highly Cited List of 2017, ranking in the top 1 percent of their peers by citations and subject area. Materials Scientist Khalil Amine and Energy and Environmental Policy Scientist David Streets say they are thrilled to see their work -- and the laboratory -- recognized in such a way.

Argonne Welcomes Department of Energy Secretary Perry

U.S. Department of Energy Secretary Rick Perry visited Argonne National Laboratory yesterday, getting a first-hand view of the multifaceted and interdisciplinary research program laboratory of the Department.

Argonne names John Quintana Deputy Laboratory Director for Operations and COO

John Quintana has been named Deputy Laboratory Director for Operations and Chief Operations Officer (COO) of the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Argonne National Laboratory.

Developing Next-Generation Sensing Technologies

Recently, the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) announced $20 million in funding for 15 projects that will develop a new class of sensor systems to enable significant energy savings via reduced demand for heating and cooling in residential and commercial buildings.


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Exploring Past, Present, and Future Water Availability Regionally, Globally

New open-source software simulates river and runoff resources.

Arctic Photosynthetic Capacity and Carbon Dioxide Assimilation Underestimated by Terrestrial Biosphere Models

New measurements offer data vital to projecting plant response to environmental changes.

DRIFTing to Fast, Precise Data

Non-destructive technique identifies key variations in Alaskan soils, quickly providing insights into carbon levels.

Superconducting Tokamaks Are Standing Tall

Plasma physicists significantly improve the vertical stability of a Korean fusion device.

Graphene Flexes Its Muscle

Crumpling reduces rigidity in an otherwise stiff material, making it less prone to catastrophic failure.

Remotely Predicting Leaf Age in Tropical Forests

New approach offers data across species, sites, and canopies, providing insights into carbon uptake by forests.

What's the Noise Eating Quantum Bits?

The magnetic noise caused by adsorbed oxygen molecules is "eating at" the phase stability of quantum bits, mitigating the noise is vital for future quantum computers.

Rewritable Wires Could Mean No More Obsolete Circuitry

An electric field switches the conductivity on and off in atomic-scale channels, which could allow for upgrades at will.

Filtering Water Better than Nature

Water passes through human-made straws faster than the "gold standard" protein, allowing us to filter seawater.

Machine Learning Provides a Bridge to the Texture of the Quantum World

Machine learning and neural networks are the foundation of artificial intelligence and image recognition, but now they offer a bridge to see and recognize exotic insulating phases in quantum materials.


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Bringing Diversity Into Computational Science Through Student Outreach

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From Science to Finance: SLAC Summer Interns Forge New Paths in STEM

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Friday April 07, 2017, 11:05 AM

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