Uncrowded Coils

A new fast and robust algorithm for computing stellarator coil shapes yields designs that are easier to build and maintain.

Fast Electrons and the Seeds of Disruption

Physicists measured fast electron populations. They achieved this first-of-its-kind result by seeing the effect of the fast electrons on the ablation rate of small frozen argon pellets.

Special Delivery: First Shipment of Magnetic Devices for Next-Gen X-Ray Laser

The first shipment of powerful magnetic devices for a next-generation laser project arrived at their destination on Wednesday after a nearly 3,000-mile journey. Berkeley Lab is overseeing the development and delivery of these devices, called undulator segments.

Plasma Turbulence Generates Flow in Fusion Reactors

Heating the core of fusion reactors causes them to develop sheared rotation that can improve plasma performance.

Light Has New Capacity for Electronics

In "Minority Report," the protagonist uses gloves that give him the power of virtual manipulation. The light seems to allow him to control the screen as if it were a touchscreen, but he's touching nothing but air. That technology is still science fiction, but a new study may bring it closer to reality. Researchers report in Applied Physics Letters that they have discovered the photodielectric effect, which could lead to laser-controlled touch displays.

Where Scientist Meets Machine: A Fresh Approach to Experimental Design at SLAC X-Ray Laser

Big leaps in technology require big leaps in design ­- entirely new approaches that can take full advantage of everything the technology has to offer. That's the thinking behind a new initiative at the Department of Energy's SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory.

UCI's New 2-D Materials Conduct Electricity Near the Speed of Light

Physicists at the University of California, Irvine and elsewhere have fabricated new two-dimensional materials with breakthrough electrical and magnetic attributes that could make them building blocks of future quantum computers and other advanced electronics.

Study Offers New Theoretical Approach to Describing Non-Equilibrium Phase Transitions

Two physicists at Argonne offered a way to mathematically describe a particular physics phenomenon called a phase transition in a system out of equilibrium. Such phenomena are central in physics, and understanding how they occur has been a long-held and vexing goal; their behavior and related effects are key to unlocking possibilities for new electronics and other next-generation technologies.

'Ageless' Silicon Throughout Milky Way May Indicate a Well-Mixed Galaxy

New surveys with the National Science Foundation's (NSF) Green Bank Telescope (GBT) in West Virginia, of the element silicon may mean that the Milky Way is more efficient at mixing its contents than previously thought, thereby masking the telltale signs of chemical aging.

Modeling Reveals How Policy Affects the Adoption of Solar Energy Photovoltaics in California

Researchers at the University of California, Riverside, inspired by efforts to promote green energy, are exploring the factors driving commercial customers in Southern California, both large and small, to purchase and install solar photovoltaic (PV) systems. As the group reports this week in the Journal of Renewable and Sustainable Energy, they built a model for commercial solar PV adoption to quantify the impact of government incentives and solar PV costs.

Ames Laboratory Hosts Its First Office of Science Graduate Student Program Researcher

Elizabeth Wille learned crystal growth techniques from Ames Laboratory senior physicist Paul Canfield as Ames Laboratory's first Office of Science Graduate Student Research program participant.

S&T Physicist Improves Particle Interaction Modeling

Quantum electrodynamics is a lot like baking a cake. At least, that is what physicist Dr. Ulrich Jentschura equates to the process of creating an equation that can couple particles' and antiparticles' predicted masses at the same time.

With $1 Million Gift, UCI Aims to Become First University to Launch Rocket Into Space

University of California, Irvine students will "shoot for the moon" thanks to a $1 million gift from Base 11, a nonprofit STEM workforce development and entrepreneur accelerator. The "Moonshot Initiative" will establish a rocketry program at The Henry Samueli School of Engineering, with the intent of making UCI the first academic institution to launch a liquid-fuel rocket into space.

The Roadmap to Quark Soup

Scientists discover new signposts in the quest to determine how matter from the early universe turned into the world we know today.

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

Electric and magnetic properties of a radioactive atom provide unique insight into the nature of proton and neutron motion.

Growth Under Pressure: New Metamaterial Designed with Counterintuitive Property

Inspired by 3-D printing, researchers explored development of one mechanical property called effective static compressibility. As they now report in Applied Physics Letters, by using a single cartridge it's possible to print a metamaterial which expands in size under hydrostatic pressure, even though it's made up of material which behaves normally under hydrostatic pressure -- that is, it shrinks. In principle, there is no limit to the negative value this material's effective compressibility can take.

Nature Plants a Seed of Engineering Inspiration

Researchers in South Korea have quantitatively deconstructed what they describe as the "ingenious mobility strategies" of seeds that self-burrow rotationally into soil. Seeds maneuvered to dig into soil using a coiled appendage, known as an awn, that responds to humidity. The team investigated this awn's burrowing and discovered how the nubile sprouts seem to mimic a drill to bury themselves. Their findings, published in Physics of Fluids, could have dramatic implications for improving agricultural robotics.

Study Highlights Deadliest Effects of Hypothetical Asteroid Strike

Violent winds and shockwaves would account for more than 60 per cent of lives lost if an asteroid were to hit the Earth, according to a new University of Southampton-led study.

New Study Reveals the Mystery Behind the Formation of Hollowed Nanoparticles During Metal Oxidation

In a newly published <i>Science</i> paper, Argonne and Temple University researchers reveal new knowledge about the behavior of metal nanoparticles when they undergo oxidation, by integrating X-ray imaging and computer modeling and simulation. This knowledge adds to our understanding of fundamental processes like oxidation and corrosion.

What Can You Study in Femtoseconds? High Energy Density Physics

It might be difficult to imagine a job that spans understanding the cosmos, bringing fusion energy to Earth, and treating cancer, but that's exactly what Siegfried Glenzer does.

Rare Supernova Discovery Ushers in New Era for Cosmology

With help from a supernova-hunting pipeline based at NERSC, astronomers captured multiple images of a gravitationally lensed Type 1a supernova. This is currently the only one, but if astronomers can find more they may be able to measure Universal expansion within four percent accuracy. Luckily, Berkeley Lab researchers do have a method for finding more.

New High-Tech Lab Enables NAU Researchers, Students to Command Mars Curiosity Rover

Christopher Edwards, Assistant Professor of Physics and Astronomy at Northern Arizona University, just opened the new Mars Rover Operations and Analysis Laboratory on the NAU campus, where faculty researchers and students will use sophisticated equipment to help command the day-to-day activities of NASA's Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity Rover (MSL) currently operating on the surface of Mars.