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The DOE Science News Source is a Newswise initiative to promote research news from the Office of Science of the DOE to the public and news media.
  • 2018-02-01 10:05:00
  • Article ID: 688798

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

  • Credit: Fahd Mohiyaddin/Oak Ridge National Laboratory, U.S. Dept. of Energy

    ORNL scientists estimated quantum computing energy usage from a detailed modeling technique. In a study, the team found that quantum computers could reduce energy usage by more than 20 orders of magnitude compared to conventional computers.

  • Credit: Jason Richards/Oak Ridge National Laboratory, U.S. Dept. of Energy

    Oak Ridge National Laboratory researcher Halil Tekinalp combines silanes and polylactic acid, or PLA, to create supertough renewable plastic.

  • Credit: Rachel Brooks/Oak Ridge National Laboratory, U.S. Dept. of Energy

    An ORNL-led team conducts moisture durability simulations on construction materials, which will add real-world data to a new system developed to help builders and home designers make informed decisions.

Energy—Quantum computing efficiency 

New research from Oak Ridge National Laboratory indicates that quantum computers will use dramatically less energy than current supercomputers, which could lead to cost savings for computing equipment manufacturers and data centers. “High-performance computers with thousands of processors currently use lots of power to perform complex scientific calculations,” ORNL’s Travis Humble said. Using a sophisticated simulation technique, the team compared the expected energy usage of a quantum processor that uses quantum physics to the energy usage of a conventional processor found in today’s modern supercomputers. “Along with an unprecedented ability to solve big problems, we found that quantum computers have the potential to reduce energy usage by more than one million kilowatt hours,” he said. The team presented their results during the IEEE Rebooting Computing conference. [Contact: Sara Shoemaker, (865) 576-9219; shoemakerms@ornl.gov]

Image: https://www.ornl.gov/sites/default/files/news/images/01%20Energy-Quantum_computing_efficiency_ORNL.jpg

Caption: ORNL scientists estimated quantum computing energy usage from a detailed modeling technique. In a study, the team found that quantum computers could reduce energy usage by more than 20 orders of magnitude compared to conventional computers. Credit: Fahd Mohiyaddin/Oak Ridge National Laboratory, U.S. Dept. of Energy

Materials—Supertough bioplastic

A novel method developed at Oak Ridge National Laboratory creates supertough renewable plastic with improved manufacturability. Working with polylactic acid, a biobased plastic often used in packaging, textiles, biomedical implants and 3D printing, the research team added tiny amounts of silicon-based materials called silanes to design a new polymer. “Our fast, scalable approach makes a new form of PLA that is 10 times tougher without sacrificing strength or stiffness,” said ORNL’s Soydan Ozcan. “This could broaden applications where polymer toughness is critical.” The research team detailed the underlying chemical reactions in ACS Sustainable Chemistry & Engineering. The team plans to tailor the new polymer for additive manufacturing and packaging. [Contact: Kim Askey, (865) 576-2841; askeyka@ornl.gov]

Image: https://www.ornl.gov/sites/default/files/news/images/02%20Materials-Supertough_bioplastic.jpg

Caption: Oak Ridge National Laboratory researcher Halil Tekinalp combines silanes and polylactic acid, or PLA, to create supertough renewable plastic. Credit: Jason Richards/Oak Ridge National Laboratory, U.S. Dept. of Energy

Buildings—The right stuff

A new system being developed at Oak Ridge National Laboratory will help builders and home designers select the best construction materials for long-term moisture durability. “It has become challenging to make informed decisions because of modern building code requirements and new products and materials hitting the market,” ORNL’s Philip Boudreaux said. Researchers will couple input from structural and materials experts with data gleaned from running approximately 800,000 building envelope simulations on ORNL’s Titan supercomputer, accounting for choice of materials, climate, orientation, air tightness and indoor conditions. “The resulting comprehensive database will be accessible via a user-friendly web-based tool, which is undergoing beta testing,” Boudreaux said. ORNL detailed their method in the Journal of Building Physics. The team will further fine-tune the system with data from real-world moisture durability simulations performed on wall assemblies using the lab’s Heat, Air and Moisture Penetration Test Chambers. [Contact: Sara Shoemaker, (865) 576-9219; shoemakerms@ornl.gov]

Image: https://www.ornl.gov/sites/default/files/news/images/03%20Buildings-The_right_stuff.jpg

Caption: An ORNL-led team conducts moisture durability simulations on construction materials, which will add real-world data to a new system developed to help builders and home designers make informed decisions. Credit: Rachel Brooks/Oak Ridge National Laboratory, U.S. Dept. of Energy

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Is Nature Exclusively Left Handed? Using Chilled Atoms to Find Out

Elegant techniques of trapping and polarizing atoms open vistas for beta-decay tests of fundamental symmetries, key to understanding the most basic forces and particles constituting our universe.

Forever Young Catalyst Reduces Diesel Emissions

Atom probe tomography reveals key explanations for stable performance over a cutting-edge diesel-exhaust catalyst's lifetime.

Sense Like a Shark: Saltwater-Submersible Films

A nickelate thin film senses electric field changes analogous to the electroreception sensing organ in sharks, which detects the bioelectric fields of prey.

Enhanced Detection of Nuclear Events, Thanks to Deep Learning

Scientists at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory are exploring deep learning to interpret data related to national security, the environment, the cosmos, and breast cancer. In one project a deep neural network is interpreting data about nuclear events as well as - sometimes better than - today's best automated methods or human experts.

A Bit of Quantum Logic--What Did the Atom Say to the Quantum Dot?

Let's talk! Scientists demonstrate coherent coupling between a quantum dot and a donor atom in silicon, vital for moving information inside quantum computers.

Sodium- and Potassium-based Batteries Hold Promise for Cheap Energy Storage

Researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology have found new evidence suggesting that batteries based on sodium and potassium hold promise as a potential alternative to lithium-based batteries.

ORNL researchers use AI to improve mammogram interpretation

In an effort to reduce errors in the analyses of diagnostic images by health professionals, a team of researchers from Oak Ridge National Laboratory has improved understanding of the cognitive processes involved in image interpretation, work that has enormous potential to improve health outcomes for the hundreds of thousands of American women affected by breast cancer each year. The ORNL-led team found that analyses of mammograms by radiologists were significantly influenced by context bias, or the radiologist's previous diagnostic experiences.

Scientists Make the First Molecular Movie of One of Nature's Most Widely Used Light Sensors

Scientists have made the first molecular movie of the instant when light hits a sensor that's widely used in nature for probing the environment and harvesting energy from light. The sensor, a form of vitamin A known as retinal, is central to a number of important light-driven processes in people, animals, microbes and algae, including human vision and some forms of photosynthesis, and the movie shows it changing shape in a trillionth of an eye blink.

Scientists isolate protein data from the tiniest of caches - single human cells

Scientists have captured the most information yet about proteins within a single human cell, giving scientists one of their clearest looks yet at the molecular happenings inside a human cell. The team detected on average more than 650 proteins in each cell - many times more than conventional techniques capture from single cells.

Researchers Generate Electricity and Hydrogen from Live Bacteria

Using a family of photosynthetic bacteria that commonly live in lakes and seas, researchers at the Technion have developed a technology to generate electricity and hydrogen energy. The researchers believe their technology can serve as a promising source of clean, environment-friendly energy that will not emit pollutants during production or use (hydrogen fuel).


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Department of Energy Selects 84 Scientists to Receive Early Career Research Program Funding

The Department of Energy (DOE) has selected 84 scientists from across the nation - including 30 from DOE's national laboratories and 54 from U.S. universities - to receive significant funding for research as part of the DOE Office of Science's Early Career Research Program.

Three Argonne Scientists Receive DOE Early Career Awards

Three Argonne researchers have earned the DOE's 2018 Early Career Research Program awards.

Four SLAC Scientists Awarded Prestigious DOE Early Career Research Grants

Four scientists at the Department of Energy's SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory will receive Early Career Research Program awards for research that's developing new ways to study fundamental particles with machine learning and study nanoscale objects and quantum materials with powerful X-ray laser beams.

PPPL Physicists Aim to Unlock Mysteries of Fusion with Early Career Research Awards

Article describes PPPL winner of DOE Early Career Awards.

Ames Laboratory's Ke Earns DOE Early Career Research Award

Ames Laboratory scientist Liqin Ke is one of 30 scientists from the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) national laboratories to be selected for funding as part of the DOE's Early Career Research Program.

6 Berkeley Lab Researchers Receive DOE Early Career Research Awards

Six scientists at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) have been selected by the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE's) Office of Science to receive significant funding for research through its Early Career Research Program.

´╗┐Stony Brook's AERTC Selected for Leadership Role in Nationwide Consortium on Offshore Wind Industry

Stony Brook's Advanced Energy Research and Technology Center (AERTC) will play a key role in a nationwide research and development consortium for the offshore wind industry. The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority was awarded a $18.5 million U.S. Department of Energy grant to establish the National Offshore Wind Research and Development Consortium, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced last week. New York State, through NYSERDA, has committed an additional $20.5 million to fund the consortium supporting Gov. Cuomo's initiative Reforming the Energy Vision (REV).

Professor Emily Liu Receives $1.8 Million DoE Award for Solar Power Systems Research

Li (Emily) Liu, associate professor of nuclear engineering and engineering physics in the Department of Mechanical, Aerospace, and Nuclear Engineering at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, has been selected by the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Energy Technologies Office (SETO) to receive a $1.8 million award to study high-temperature molten-salt properties and corrosion mechanisms.

Vasilis Fthenakis Receives IEEE's William R. Cherry Award

UPTON, NY; Vasilis Fthenakis, a Senior Scientist Emeritus at the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Brookhaven National Laboratory and Founder and Director of the Center for Life Cycle Analysis at Columbia University, will receive the 2018 William R. Cherry Award from the Institute of Electrical & Electronics Engineers (IEEE).

New PPPL director Steve Cowley is honored with knighthood by Queen Elizabeth II

Steven Cowley, newly named director of the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL) effective July 1, has received a knighthood from Queen Elizabeth "for services to science and the development of nuclear fusion."


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Is Nature Exclusively Left Handed? Using Chilled Atoms to Find Out

Elegant techniques of trapping and polarizing atoms open vistas for beta-decay tests of fundamental symmetries, key to understanding the most basic forces and particles constituting our universe.

As Future Batteries, Hybrid Supercapacitors Are Super-Charged

A new supercapacitor could be a competitive alternative to lithium-ion batteries.

Forever Young Catalyst Reduces Diesel Emissions

Atom probe tomography reveals key explanations for stable performance over a cutting-edge diesel-exhaust catalyst's lifetime.

Sense Like a Shark: Saltwater-Submersible Films

A nickelate thin film senses electric field changes analogous to the electroreception sensing organ in sharks, which detects the bioelectric fields of prey.

A Bit of Quantum Logic--What Did the Atom Say to the Quantum Dot?

Let's talk! Scientists demonstrate coherent coupling between a quantum dot and a donor atom in silicon, vital for moving information inside quantum computers.

New Tech Uses Isomeric Beams to Study How and Where the Galaxy Makes One of Its Most Common Elements

A new measurement using a beam of aluminum-26 prepared in a metastable state allows researchers to better understand the creation of the elements in our galaxy.

Simulations of Magnetically Confined Plasmas Reveal a Self-Regulating Stabilizing Mechanism

A mysterious mechanism that prevents instabilities may be similar to the process that maintains the Earth's magnetic field.

Seeing All the Colors of the Plasma Wind

2-D velocity imaging helps fusion researchers understand the role of ion winds (aka flows) in the boundary of tokamak plasmas.

Renewable Solvents Derived From Lignin Lowers Waste in Biofuel Production

New class of solvents breaks down plant biomass into sugars for biofuels and bioproducts in a closed-loop biorefinery concept.

Scientists Studying Nuclear Spin Make a Surprising Discovery

The size of a nucleus appears to influence the direction of certain particles emitted from collisions with spinning protons.


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Friday June 15, 2018, 10:00 AM

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Thursday June 07, 2018, 03:05 PM

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Ivy League Graduate, Writer and Activist with Dyslexia Visits CSUCI to Reframe the Concept of Learning Disabilities

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