Latest News from: SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory

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Newswise: Scientists Discover How Oxygen Loss Saps a Lithium-ion Battery’s Voltage
Released: 14-Jun-2021 12:05 PM EDT
Scientists Discover How Oxygen Loss Saps a Lithium-ion Battery’s Voltage
SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory

SLAC and Stanford scientists took a unique and detailed nanoscale look at how oxygen seeps out of lithium-ion battery electrodes, sapping their energy over time. The results could suggest a fix.

Newswise: SLAC’s Panofsky fellows talk about what makes their research so exciting
Released: 3-Jun-2021 1:20 PM EDT
SLAC’s Panofsky fellows talk about what makes their research so exciting
SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory

Among the many scientists who push the frontiers of knowledge at the Department of Energy’s SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, the Panofsky fellows stand out.

Newswise: First nanoscale look at a reaction that limits the efficiency of generating clean hydrogen fuel
Released: 5-May-2021 5:05 PM EDT
First nanoscale look at a reaction that limits the efficiency of generating clean hydrogen fuel
SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory

Transitioning to a hydrogen economy will require massive production of cheap, clean hydrogen gas for fuel and chemical feedstocks. New tools allow scientists to zoom in on a catalytic reaction that’s been a bottleneck in efforts to generate hydrogen from water more efficiently.

Newswise: First Detailed Look at How Charge Transfer Distorts a Molecule’s Structure
Released: 4-May-2021 6:05 PM EDT
First Detailed Look at How Charge Transfer Distorts a Molecule’s Structure
SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory

When light hits certain molecules, it dislodges electrons and creates areas of positive and negative charge. An X-ray free-electron laser study has directly observed how this charge transfer affects a molecule's structure for the first time.

Newswise: Scientists uncover surprising behavior of a fatty acid enzyme with potential biofuel applications
Released: 22-Apr-2021 1:25 PM EDT
Scientists uncover surprising behavior of a fatty acid enzyme with potential biofuel applications
SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory

Although many organisms capture and respond to sunlight, enzymes – proteins that catalyze biochemical reactions – are rarely driven by light. A new study captures the full cycle of complex structural changes in an light-driven enzyme called FAP as it transforms a fatty acid into alkanes or alkenes.

Newswise: Scientists glimpse signs of a puzzling state of matter in a superconductor
Released: 22-Apr-2021 8:05 AM EDT
Scientists glimpse signs of a puzzling state of matter in a superconductor
SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory

High-temperature superconductors conduct electricity with no loss, but no one knows how they do it. SLAC scientists observed the signature of an exotic state of matter called “pair density waves” in a cuprate superconductor and confirmed that it intertwines with another exotic state.

Newswise: Scientists uncover a process that stands in the way of making quantum dots brighter
Released: 25-Mar-2021 1:50 PM EDT
Scientists uncover a process that stands in the way of making quantum dots brighter
SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory

Bright semiconductor nanocrystals known as quantum dots give QLED TV screens their vibrant colors. But attempts to increase the intensity of that light generate heat instead, reducing the dots’ light-producing efficiency. A new study explains why, and the results have broad implications for developing future quantum and photonics technologies where light replaces electrons in computers and fluids in refrigerators, for example.

Newswise: New machine learning tool diagnoses electron beams in an efficient, non-invasive way
Released: 24-Mar-2021 12:45 PM EDT
New machine learning tool diagnoses electron beams in an efficient, non-invasive way
SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory

For the past few years, researchers at the Department of Energy’s SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory have been developing “virtual diagnostics” that use machine learning to obtain crucial information about electron beam quality in an efficient, non-invasive way. Now, a new virtual diagnostic approach incorporates additional information about the beam that allows the method to work in situations where conventional diagnostics have failed.

Newswise: First closeups of how a lithium-metal electrode ages
Released: 22-Mar-2021 3:05 PM EDT
First closeups of how a lithium-metal electrode ages
SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory

They discovered that the nature of the battery electrolyte, which carries charge between the electrodes, has a big impact on aging – a factor that needs to be taken into account when developing electrolytes that maximize a battery’s performance.

Newswise:Video Embedded in-a-leap-for-battery-research-machine-learning-gets-scientific-smarts
VIDEO
5-Mar-2021 1:45 PM EST
In a leap for battery research, machine learning gets scientific smarts
SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory

Researchers combined machine learning with knowledge gained from experiments and equations guided by physics to discover and explain a process that shortens the lifetimes of fast-charging lithium-ion batteries.

Newswise: A new hands-off probe uses light to explore the subtleties of electron behavior in a topological insulator
Released: 2-Feb-2021 1:10 PM EST
A new hands-off probe uses light to explore the subtleties of electron behavior in a topological insulator
SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory

Topological insulators are electron are superhighways on their edges and insulators everywhere else. Researchers used a process called high harmonic generation to separately probe electron behavior in both of those domains.

Newswise: Squeezing a rock-star material could make it stable enough for solar cells
Released: 21-Jan-2021 1:35 PM EST
Squeezing a rock-star material could make it stable enough for solar cells
SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory

A promising lead halide perovskite is great at converting sunlight to electricity, but it breaks down at room temperature. Now scientists have discovered how to stabilize it with pressure from a diamond anvil cell. The required pressure is well within the reach of today's manufacturing processes.

Released: 19-Jan-2021 1:55 PM EST
Researchers discover long-sought mechanism behind most severe cases of a common blood disorder
SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory

G6PD deficiency affects about 400M people worldwide and can pose serious health risks. Uncovering the causes of the most severe cases could finally lead to treatments.

Newswise: Study shows tweaking one layer of atoms on a catalyst’s surface can make it work better
Released: 11-Jan-2021 12:40 PM EST
Study shows tweaking one layer of atoms on a catalyst’s surface can make it work better
SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory

When an LNO catalyst with a nickel-rich surface carries out a water-splitting reaction, its surface atoms rearrange from a cubic to a hexagonal pattern and its efficiency doubles. Deliberately engineering the surface to take advantage of this phenomenon offers a way to design better catalysts.

Newswise: First glimpse of polarons forming in a promising next-gen energy material
Released: 4-Jan-2021 12:25 PM EST
First glimpse of polarons forming in a promising next-gen energy material
SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory

Polarons affect a material’s behavior, and may even be the reason that solar cells made with lead hybrid perovskites achieve extraordinarily high efficiencies in the lab. Now scientists have directly seen and measured their formation for the first time.

Newswise: Scientists get the most realistic view yet of a coronavirus spike’s protein structure
Released: 18-Dec-2020 12:55 PM EST
Scientists get the most realistic view yet of a coronavirus spike’s protein structure
SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory

The first detailed images of coronavirus spikes in their natural state, while still attached to the virus and without using chemical fixatives that might distort their shape, provide quicker, more realistic snapshots of the infection apparatus.

Newswise: SLAC, Stanford to host national service center for cryo-ET sample preparation
Released: 4-Nov-2020 4:50 PM EST
SLAC, Stanford to host national service center for cryo-ET sample preparation
SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory

The NIH is establishing a national service center at the SLAC and Stanford where biomedical researchers can learn how to prepare extremely thin specimens that are frozen into a glassy state for cryogenic electron tomography (cryo-ET), a powerful tool for directly visualizing cellular components in 3D.

Newswise: Scientists launch quest to develop quantum sensors for probing quantum materials
Released: 29-Oct-2020 12:40 PM EDT
Scientists launch quest to develop quantum sensors for probing quantum materials
SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory

When it comes to fully understanding the hidden secrets of quantum materials, it takes one to know one, scientists say: Only tools that also operate on quantum principles can get us there. A new Department of Energy research center will focus on developing those tools.

Newswise: A new approach boosts lithium-ion battery efficiency and puts out fires, too
14-Oct-2020 2:15 PM EDT
A new approach boosts lithium-ion battery efficiency and puts out fires, too
SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory

This new technology addresses two major goals of battery research: extending the driving range of electric vehicles and reducing the danger that laptops, cell phones and other devices will burst into flames.

Newswise: SLAC starts up new facility to revolutionize particle accelerators
9-Oct-2020 3:00 PM EDT
SLAC starts up new facility to revolutionize particle accelerators
SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory

FACET-II will pave the way for a future generation of particle colliders and powerful light sources, opening avenues in high-energy physics, medicine, and materials, biological and energy science.

Newswise: First detailed look at how molecular Ferris wheel delivers protons to cellular factories
Released: 7-Oct-2020 2:35 PM EDT
First detailed look at how molecular Ferris wheel delivers protons to cellular factories
SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory

All cells with nuclei, from yeast to humans, use molecular machines called protons to regulate the acidity of compartments called organelles where various types of work are done. A new study reveals a key step in how these Ferris wheel-like pumps operate.

Newswise: Q&A: How machine learning helps scientists hunt for particles, wrangle floppy proteins and speed discovery
Released: 30-Sep-2020 1:20 PM EDT
Q&A: How machine learning helps scientists hunt for particles, wrangle floppy proteins and speed discovery
SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory

At the Department of Energy’s SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, machine learning is opening new avenues to advance the lab’s unique scientific facilities and research.

Released: 25-Sep-2020 4:15 PM EDT
Faced with pandemic shortages, researchers combine heat and humidity to disinfect N95 masks for reuse
SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory

They found that gently heating N95 masks in high relative humidity could inactivate SARS-CoV-2 virus trapped within the masks, without degrading the masks’ performance.

Newswise: SLAC’s Xijie Wang wins prestigious accelerator science award
Released: 24-Sep-2020 1:20 PM EDT
SLAC’s Xijie Wang wins prestigious accelerator science award
SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory

Xijie Wang, an accelerator physicist at the Department of Energy’s SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, will receive the 2021 Nuclear and Plasma Science Society’s Particle Accelerator Science and Technology Award. Bestowed by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), the prestigious award recognizes individuals who have made outstanding contributions to the development of particle accelerator science and technology.

Newswise: SLAC invention could make particle accelerators 10 times smaller
Released: 23-Sep-2020 4:15 PM EDT
SLAC invention could make particle accelerators 10 times smaller
SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory

A team led by scientists at the Department of Energy’s SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory has invented a new type of accelerator structure that could make accelerators used for a given application 10 times shorter.

Newswise: Scientists probe the chemistry of a single battery electrode particle both inside and out
Released: 8-Sep-2020 4:00 PM EDT
Scientists probe the chemistry of a single battery electrode particle both inside and out
SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory

Cracks and chemical reactions on a battery particle’s surface can sap its ability to store and release energy. Scientists probed a single charged particle the size of a red blood cell to see how interior and surface damage influence each other.

Newswise:Video Embedded sensors-of-world-s-largest-digital-camera-snap-first-3-200-megapixel-images-at-slac
VIDEO
2-Sep-2020 10:05 AM EDT
Sensors of world’s largest digital camera snap first 3,200-megapixel images at SLAC
SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory

Crews at the Department of Energy’s SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory have taken the first 3,200-megapixel digital photos – the largest ever taken in a single shot – with an extraordinary array of imaging sensors that will become the heart and soul of the future camera of Vera C. Rubin Observatory.

Newswise: SLAC researchers find evidence for quantum fluctuations near a quantum critical point in a superconductor
Released: 31-Aug-2020 12:10 PM EDT
SLAC researchers find evidence for quantum fluctuations near a quantum critical point in a superconductor
SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory

Theory suggests that quantum critical points may be analogous to black holes as places where all sorts of strange phenomena can exist in a quantum material. Now scientists say that they have found strong evidence that QCPs and their associated fluctuations exist in a cuprate superconductor.

Newswise: SLAC and Stanford join Q-NEXT national quantum center
Released: 26-Aug-2020 3:05 PM EDT
SLAC and Stanford join Q-NEXT national quantum center
SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory

Q-NEXT will bring together nearly 100 world-class researchers from three national laboratories, 10 universities and 10 leading U.S. technology companies with the single goal of developing the science and technology to control and distribute quantum information. These activities, along with a focus on rapid commercialization of new technologies, will support the emerging “quantum economy” and ensure that the U.S. remains at the forefront in this rapidly advancing field.

Newswise: Auralee Edelen and Wai Ling Wu receive 2020 Panofsky Fellowships at SLAC
Released: 25-Aug-2020 2:05 PM EDT
Auralee Edelen and Wai Ling Wu receive 2020 Panofsky Fellowships at SLAC
SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory

Their work uses machine learning to transform the way scientists tune particle accelerators for experiments and solve longstanding mysteries in astrophysics and cosmology.

Newswise:Video Embedded a-new-x-ray-detector-snaps-1-000-atomic-level-pictures-per-second-of-nature-s-ultrafast-processes
VIDEO
Released: 20-Aug-2020 2:45 PM EDT
A new X-ray detector snaps 1,000 atomic-level pictures per second of nature's ultrafast processes
SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory

A new generation of X-ray detectors developed at the Department of Energy’s SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, called ePix10k, can take up to 1,000 of these snapshots per second – almost 10 times more than previous generations – to make more efficient use of light sources that fire thousands of X-ray flashes per second.

Newswise: Cryo-EM study yields new clues to chicken pox infection
Released: 18-Aug-2020 3:20 PM EDT
Cryo-EM study yields new clues to chicken pox infection
SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory

Stanford and SLAC scientists studying the varicella zoster virus found that an antibody that blocks infection doesn’t work exactly as they’d thought.

Newswise:Video Embedded slac-scientists-invent-low-cost-emergency-ventilator-and-share-the-design-for-free
VIDEO
Released: 13-Aug-2020 8:45 AM EDT
SLAC scientists invent low-cost emergency ventilator and share the design for free
SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory

Researchers at the Department of Energy’s SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory have invented an emergency ventilator that could help save the lives of patients suffering from COVID-19, the disease caused by novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2.

Released: 28-Jul-2020 2:05 PM EDT
How clean water technologies could get a boost from X-ray synchrotrons
SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory

In a new perspective, SLAC and University of Paderborn scientists argue that research at synchrotrons could help improve water-purifying materials in ways that might not otherwise be possible.

Newswise: SLAC’s upgraded X-ray laser facility produces first light
Released: 20-Jul-2020 2:25 PM EDT
SLAC’s upgraded X-ray laser facility produces first light
SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory

The LCLS-II upgrade project will increase the X-ray laser's power by thousands of times, producing a million pulses per second compared to 120 per second today. Now, the first phase of the upgrade has come into operation, producing an X-ray beam for the first time using newly installed undulators. The full upgrade is due to be completed within the next two years.

Newswise: SLAC and Stanford scientists home in on pairs of atoms that boost a catalyst’s activity
Released: 22-Jun-2020 2:05 PM EDT
SLAC and Stanford scientists home in on pairs of atoms that boost a catalyst’s activity
SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory

A study identified which pairs of atoms in a catalyst nanoparticle are most active in a reaction that breaks down a harmful exhaust gas in catalytic converters. The results are a step toward engineering cheaper, more efficient catalysts.

Newswise:Video Embedded researchers-map-out-intricate-processes-that-activate-key-brain-molecule
VIDEO
15-Jun-2020 4:35 PM EDT
Researchers map out intricate processes that activate key brain molecule
SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory

For the first time, scientists have revealed the steps needed to turn on a receptor that helps regulate neuron firing. The findings might help researchers understand and someday treat addiction, psychosis and other neuropsychological diseases.

Newswise: Scientists Marry Two Powerful Techniques to Pinpoint Locations of Individual Molecules in Their Cellular Neighborhoods
Released: 8-Jun-2020 3:45 PM EDT
Scientists Marry Two Powerful Techniques to Pinpoint Locations of Individual Molecules in Their Cellular Neighborhoods
SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory

Developed in the lab of Stanford University Nobelist W.E. Moerner, the technique combines cryoelectron tomography and low temperature single-molecule microscopy. It has potential to answer fundamental questions about the molecular machinery of viruses, parasites, and processes like photosynthesis.

Newswise: Shock Waves Created in the Lab Mimic Supernova-Powered Particle Accelerators
Released: 8-Jun-2020 1:00 PM EDT
Shock Waves Created in the Lab Mimic Supernova-Powered Particle Accelerators
SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory

In experiments at the National Ignition Facility, a SLAC-led team found new details about how supernovas boost charged particles to nearly the speed of light.

Newswise: Researchers capture the coordinated dance between electrons and nuclei in a light-excited molecule
Released: 21-May-2020 2:40 PM EDT
Researchers capture the coordinated dance between electrons and nuclei in a light-excited molecule
SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory

Using SLAC's high-speed “electron camera," scientists simultaneously captured the movements of electrons and nuclei in a light-excited molecule. This marks the first time this has been done with ultrafast electron diffraction, which scatters a powerful beam of electrons off materials to pick up tiny molecular motions.

Newswise: Untangling a key step in photosynthetic oxygen production
Released: 20-May-2020 3:30 PM EDT
Untangling a key step in photosynthetic oxygen production
SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory

Researchers zeroed in on a key step in photosynthesis in which a water molecule moves in to bridge manganese and calcium atoms in the catalytic complex that splits water to produce breathable oxygen. What they learned brings them one step closer to obtaining a complete picture of this natural process, which could inform the next generation of artificial photosynthetic systems that produce clean and renewable energy from sunlight and water. Their results were published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences today.

Newswise: To decipher Earth’s evolutionary tale, researchers probe materials at deep-Earth conditions
Released: 18-May-2020 1:35 PM EDT
To decipher Earth’s evolutionary tale, researchers probe materials at deep-Earth conditions
SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory

Scientists have developed a way to study liquid silicates at the extreme conditions found in the core-mantle boundary. This could lead to a better understanding of the Earth’s early molten days, which could even extend to other rocky planets.

Newswise: In a step forward for orbitronics, scientists break the link between a quantum material's spin and orbital states
Released: 15-May-2020 1:10 PM EDT
In a step forward for orbitronics, scientists break the link between a quantum material's spin and orbital states
SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory

Until now, electron spins and orbitals were thought to go hand in hand in a class of materials that’s the cornerstone of modern information technology; you couldn’t quickly change one without changing the other. This study raises the possibility of controlling them separately.

Newswise: Computer vision helps SLAC scientists study lithium ion batteries
6-May-2020 4:10 PM EDT
Computer vision helps SLAC scientists study lithium ion batteries
SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory

New machine learning methods bring insights into how lithium ion batteries degrade, and show it’s more complicated than many thought.

Newswise: First direct look at how light excites electrons to kick off a chemical reaction
Released: 1-May-2020 11:55 PM EDT
First direct look at how light excites electrons to kick off a chemical reaction
SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory

The first step in many light-driven chemical reactions, like the ones that power photosynthesis and human vision, is a shift in the arrangement of a molecule’s electrons as they absorb the light’s energy. Now scientists have directly observed this first step.

Newswise: A New Machine Learning Method Streamlines Particle Accelerator Operations
Released: 29-Apr-2020 1:45 PM EDT
A New Machine Learning Method Streamlines Particle Accelerator Operations
SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory

SLAC researchers have developed a new tool, using machine learning, that may make part of the accelerator tuning process five times faster compared to previous methods.

Newswise:Video Embedded slac-joins-the-global-fight-against-covid-19
VIDEO
Released: 17-Apr-2020 8:15 AM EDT
SLAC joins the global fight against COVID-19
SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory

The lab is responding to the coronavirus crisis by imaging disease-related biomolecules, developing standards for reliable coronavirus testing and enabling other essential research.

Newswise: The Milky Way’s Satellites Help Reveal Link Between Dark Matter Halos and Galaxy Formation
Released: 6-Apr-2020 1:15 PM EDT
The Milky Way’s Satellites Help Reveal Link Between Dark Matter Halos and Galaxy Formation
SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory

Just like we orbit the sun and the moon orbits us, the Milky Way has satellite galaxies with their own satellites. Drawing from data on those galactic neighbors, a new model suggests the Milky Way should have an additional 100 or so very faint satellite galaxies awaiting discovery.

Newswise: A new way to fine-tune exotic materials: Thin, stretch and clamp
Released: 2-Apr-2020 2:30 PM EDT
A new way to fine-tune exotic materials: Thin, stretch and clamp
SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory

Turning a brittle oxide into a flexible membrane and stretching it on a tiny apparatus flipped it from a conducting to an insulating state and changed its magnetic properties. The technique can be used to study and design a broad range of materials for use in things like sensors and detectors.

Newswise:Video Embedded slac-researcher-discovers-giant-cavity-in-key-tuberculosis-molecule
VIDEO
19-Mar-2020 1:40 PM EDT
SLAC researcher discovers giant cavity in key tuberculosis molecule
SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory

Researchers were looking into a protein that tuberculosis bacteria need to thrive, but when they finally solved its structure, they discovered a gigantic cavity that could help shuttle a variety of molecules into TB bacteria.


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