Discovering Secrets of Superfluids

Observed atomic dynamics helps explain bizarre flow without friction that has been puzzling scientists for decades.

An Exotic State of Matter Discovered in 2-D Material

Electrons are forced to the edge of the road on a thin sheet of tungsten ditelluride.

Going Organic

Using Argonne's Advanced Photon Source, researchers analyzed how organic solar cells' crystal structures develop as they are produced under different conditions. With the APS, researchers learned how certain additives affect the microstructures obtained, providing new insights that can improve the cells' efficiency.

New Catalyst for Making Fuels From Shale Gas

Methane in shale gas can be turned into hydrocarbon fuels using an innovative platinum and copper alloy catalyst, according to new research led by UCL (University College London) and Tufts University.

Ten Stories in 2017 You May Have Missed, Plus a Bonus

Article lists 10 PPPL stories, plus a bonus, that readers may have missed in 2017.

Surprising Result Shocks Scientists Studying Spin

Scientists analyzing results of spinning protons striking different sized atomic nuclei at the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider (RHIC) found an odd directional preference in the production of neutrons that switches sides as the size of the nuclei increases.The results offer new insight into the mechanisms affecting particle production in these collisions.

Real World Native Biocrusts: Microbial Metabolism

Specific compounds are transformed by and strongly associated with specific bacteria in native biological soil crust (biocrust) using a suite of tools called "exometabolomics." Understanding how microbial communities in biocrusts adapt to harsh environments could shed light on the roles of soil microbes in the global carbon cycle.

Story Tips From the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory, January 2018

Study identifies microbes to diagnose endometriosis without surgery; brain-inspired device can quickly classify data; neutrons "see" how water flows through fractured rock; new method could help with demand for electric vehicle charging stations; bio-based, shape-memory material could replace today's conductors; novel approach for studying material's magnetic behavior could boost quantum computing

A Fossil Fuel Technology That Doesn't Pollute

Engineers at The Ohio State University are developing technologies that have the potential to economically convert fossil fuels and biomass into useful products including electricity without emitting carbon dioxide to the atmosphere.

Researchers Discover Higher Environmental Impact From Cookstove Emissions

Millions of Asian families use cookstoves and often fuel them with cheap biofuels to prepare food. But the smoke emitted from these cookstoves has a definite, detrimental environmental impact, particularly in India. New research from Washington University in St. Louis offers a clearer picture of the topic's true scope.

New Study Visualizes Motion of Water Molecules, Promises New Wave of Electronic Devices

An Oak Ridge National Laboratory-led research team used a sophisticated X-ray scattering technique to visualize and quantify the movement of water molecules in space and time, which provides new insights that may open pathways for liquid-based electronics.

Alaskan Microgrids Offer Energy Resilience and Independence

The electrical grid in the contiguous United States is a behemoth of interconnected systems; if one section fails, millions could be without power. Remote villages in Alaska provide an example of how safeguards could build resilience into a larger electrical grid. These communities rely on microgrids -- small, local power stations that operate autonomously. Nine articles in the recent issue of the Journal of Renewable and Sustainable Energy, provide the first reviews of energy technologies and costs for microgrids in Alaska.

A Catalytic Balancing Act

Scientists have recently used a new and counterintuitive approach to create a better catalyst that supports one of the reactions involved in splitting water into hydrogen and oxygen. By first creating an alloy of two of the densest naturally occurring elements and then removing one, the scientists reshaped the remaining material's structure so that it better balanced three important factors: activity, stability and conductivity.

Feathering the Plasma Nest: Tiny Structures Help Prevent Short Circuits in Plasma Devices

Article describes method of preventing plasma from causing short circuits in machines such as spacecraft thrusters.

Neutrons Track Quantum Entanglement in Copper Elpasolite Mineral

A research team including Georgia Institute of Technology professor Martin Mourigal used neutron scattering at Oak Ridge National Laboratory to study copper elpasolite, a mineral that can be driven to an exotic magnetic state when subjected to very low temperatures and a high magnetic field.

Ames Laboratory-Led Research Team Maps Magnetic Fields of Bacterial Cells and Nano-Objects for the First Time

A research team led by a scientist from the U.S. Department of Energy's Ames Laboratory has demonstrated for the first time that the magnetic fields of bacterial cells and magnetic nano-objects in liquid can be studied at high resolution using electron microscopy.

'Hot' Electrons Heat Up Solar Energy Research

Argonne research has shown how hybrid nanomaterials may be used to convert light energy more efficiently for applications in photocatalysis, photovoltaics and ultrafast optics.

See What Lies Beneath

Real-time imaging shows how hydrogen causes oxygen to leave a buried surface, transforming an oxide into a metal.

When One Reference Genome is Not Enough

A pan-genome is a valuable resource for unlocking natural diversity. Having plant pan-genomes for crops important for fuel and food applications would enable breeders to harness natural diversity to improve traits such as yield, disease resistance, and tolerance of marginal growing conditions.

Microwaves Can Plug Leaks in Fusion Plasmas

Microwave heating significantly alters Alfven waves, offering insights into the physics of the waves themselves.

Currents Always Find the Fastest Detour

Scientists map electrical currents emanating from the boundary of a tokamak plasma, providing new information for reactor design.

New Physics Understanding Provides Attractive Path for Developing Fusion Energy via a Steady-State Tokamak

International collaborators advance physics basis for tokamak plasma confinement at low rotation, potentially benefiting a fusion reactor.

Neutron Star Mergers Create Heavy Elements

Gravitational wave observations combined with optical and gamma-ray data confirm earlier predictions, offer insights into how the galaxy produces lead, mercury, and other elements.

A Functional Genomics Database for Plant Microbiome Studies

In Nature Genetics, a team led by JGI researchers assembled a catalog of bacterial genomes to identify and characterize candidate genes that aid bacteria in adapting to plant environments, specifically genes involved in bacterial root colonization.

Watching a Particle in a Dangerous Crowd

A new x-ray beam technique tracks atomic-level changes under real-world operating conditions.