Captured Electrons Excite Nuclei to Higher Energy States

For the first time, scientists demonstrated a long-theorized nuclear effect called nuclear excitation by electron capture. This advance tests theoretical models that describe how nuclear and atomic realms interact and may also provide new insights into how star elements are created.

Your Gadget's Next Power Supply? Your Body

Searching for a power outlet may soon become a thing of the past. Instead, devices will receive electricity from a small metallic tab that, when attached to the body, is capable of generating electricity from bending a finger and other simple movements. That's the idea behind a collaborative research project led by University at Buffalo and Institute of Semiconductors (IoP) at Chinese Academy of Science (CAS).

GM Revs up Diesel Combustion Modeling on Titan Supercomputer

Grover and GM colleagues Jian Gao, Venkatesh Gopalakrishnan, and Ramachandra Diwakar are using the Titan supercomputer at the Oak Ridge Leadership Computing Facility to improve combustion models for diesel passenger car engines with an ultimate goal of accelerating innovative engine designs while meeting strict emissions standards.

Particle Interactions Calculated on Titan Support the Search for New Physics Discoveries

Nuclear physicists are using the nation's most powerful supercomputer, Titan, at the Oak Ridge Leadership Computing Facility (OLCF) to study particle interactions important to energy production in the Sun and stars and to propel the search for new physics discoveries. The research team using Titan, including principal investigator William Detmold of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), is calculating proton-proton fusion--a process that powers the Sun and other stars in which two protons fuse to form a deuteron--and double beta decay, a rare process which occurs when an unstable nucleus decays by emitting two electrons with or without neutrinos (subatomic particles with near-zero mass).

Lithium -- It's Not Just for Batteries: The Powdered Metal Can Reduce Instabilities in Fusion Plasmas, Scientists Find

Scientists have found that lithium powder can eliminate instabilities known as edge-localized modes (ELMs) when used to coat a tungsten plasma-facing component called the "divertor."

Researchers Demonstrate First Experimental Evidence for Superionic Ice

A research team from Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, the University of California, Berkeley and the University of Rochester have provided the first experimental evidence for superionic conduction in water ice at planetary interior conditions, verifying a 30-year-old prediction.

Farm Sunshine, Not Cancer: Replacing Tobacco Fields with Solar Arrays

Michigan Tech researchers contend that tobacco farmers could increase profits by converting their land to solar farms, which in turn provides renewable energy generation.

Team Develops New Type of Powerful Battery

A multi-institution team of scientists led by Texas A&M University chemist Sarbajit Banerjee has discovered an exceptional metal-oxide magnesium battery cathode material, moving researchers one step closer to delivering batteries that promise higher density of energy storage on top of transformative advances in safety, cost and performance in comparison to their ubiquitous lithium-ion (Li-ion) counterparts.

Scientists Discover 'Chiral Phonons' - Atomic Rotations in a 2-D Semiconductor Crystal

A research team has found the first evidence that a shaking motion in the structure of an atomically thin material possesses a naturally occurring circular rotation that could become the building block for a new form of information technology and molecular-scale machines.

Tracking Microbial Diversity Through the Terrestrial Subsurface

In Nature Microbiology, DOE Joint Genome Institute researchers partnered with a team led by University of California, Berkeley's Jill Banfield and University of Calgary's Cathy Ryan to investigate samples collected at Utah's Crystal Geyser over one of its complex, five-day eruption cycles.

Study of Salts in Water Causing Stir

A pair of Argonne scientists uncover fresh insights about the structure of saltwater.

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

* ORNL research says quantum computers will use much less energy than current supercomputers, a potential cost benefit to equipment manufacturers and data centers * ORNL creates supertough renewable plastic with improved manufacturability. * A new ORNL system will help builders and home designers select the best construction materials for long-term moisture durability.

New MXene Materials Could Capture Wasted Frictional Energy From Smartphones, and More

Imagine that every time you tapped out a message on your smartphone, it would create electric power instead of sapping your phone's battery. That scenario could one day be a reality, according to a researcher at Missouri University of Science and Technology.

Magnetic Trick Triples the Power of SLAC's X-Ray Laser

Scientists at the Department of Energy's SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory have discovered a way to triple the amount of power generated by the world's most powerful X-ray laser. The new technique, developed at SLAC's Linac Coherent Light Source (LCLS), will enable researchers to observe the atomic structure of molecules and ultrafast chemical processes that were previously undetectable at the atomic scale.

Gene Enhancers Are Important Despite Apparent Redundancy

Scientists answered a long-standing question about the role of enhancers. And by better linking the genomic complement of an organism with its expressed characteristics, their work offers new insights that further the growing field of systems biology, which seeks to gain a predictive understanding of living systems.

Columbia Engineers Develop Flexible Lithium Battery for Wearable Electronics

Columbia Engineering researchers have developed a prototype of a high-performance flexible lithium-ion battery that demonstratesconcurrentlyboth good flexibility and high energy density. The battery is shaped like the human spine and allows remarkable flexibility, high energy density, and stable voltage no matter how it is flexed or twisted. The device could help advance applications for wearable electronics. (Advanced Materials.)

Applying Machine Learning to the Universe's Mysteries

Berkeley Lab physicists and their collaborators have demonstrated that computers are ready to tackle the universe's greatest mysteries - they used neural networks to perform a deep dive into data simulating the subatomic particle soup that may have existed just microseconds after the big bang.

Berkeley Lab Researchers Contribute to Making Blockchains Even More Robust

In the last few years, researchers at Berkeley Lab, UC Davis and University of Stavanger in Norway have developed a new protocol, called BChain, which makes private blockchain even more robust. The researchers are also working with colleagues at Berkeley Lab and beyond to adapt this tool to support applications that are of strategic importance to the Department of Energy's Office of Science.

Silencing Is Golden: Scientists Image Molecules Vital for Gene Regulation

Lab scientists use cryo-electron microscopy to gain a deeper understanding of the structure of a regulatory complex. Their research could open up new possibilities for cancer therapies.

Scientists Get Better Numbers on What Happens When Electrons Get Wet

A particular set of chemical reactions governs many of the processes around us--everything from bridges corroding in water to your breakfast breaking down in your gut. One crucial part of that reaction involves electrons striking water, and despite how commonplace this reaction is, scientists still have to use ballpark numbers for certain parts of the equation when they use computers to model them. A study offers a new and better set of numbers, which may help scientists and engineers create better ways to split water for hydrogen fuel and other chemical processes.

Scientists Catch Light Squeezing and Stretching Next-Gen Data Storage Material

Scientists at the Department of Energy's SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory have seen for the first time how atoms in iron-platinum nanoparticles - a next-generation material for magnetic data storage devices - respond extremely rapidly to brief laser flashes. Understanding these fundamental motions could potentially lead to new ways of manipulating and controlling such devices with light.

X-Ray Experiments Suggest High Tunability of 2-D Material

Researchers used MAESTRO, an X-ray platform at Berkeley Lab, to zero in on signatures of exotic electronic behavior in a 2-D material. They found that the material may be highly tunable, with potential applications in spintronics and other emerging fields.

Tiny Particles Have Outsize Impact on Storm Clouds, Precipitation

Tiny particles fuel powerful storms and influence weather much more than has been appreciated, according to a study in the Jan. 26 issue of the journal Science. The tiny pollutants - long considered too small to have much impact on droplet formation - are, in effect, diminutive downpour-makers.

Recycling and Reusing Worn Cathodes to Make New Lithium Ion Batteries

Nanoengineers at the University of California San Diego have developed an energy-efficient recycling process that restores used cathodes from spent lithium ion batteries and makes them work just as good as new. The process involves harvesting the degraded cathode particles from a used battery and then boiling and heat treating them. Researchers built new batteries using the regenerated cathodes. Charge storage capacity, charging time and battery lifetime were all restored to their original levels.

New Discovery Could Improve Organic Solar Cell Performance

Scientists who are members of a new energy materials-related science center based at Berkeley Lab have solved a mystery that could lead to gains in efficiency for organic solar cells.