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    • 2020-08-10 07:00:50
    • Article ID: 736034

    Aug. 2020 Science Snapshots

    California rainfall, EVs and the grid, a South Dakota highway

    • Credit: Shutterstock

      A new study by researchers from the Climate and Ecosystem Sciences Division at Berkeley Lab has shown that a tropical weather pattern will bring a 50% increase in winter rainfall variability to California by the year 2100.

    • Credit: Thor Swift/Berkeley Lab

      Berkeley Lab researcher Bin Wang

    • Credit: Berkeley Lab

      Ernest Lawrence in Canton, South Dakota, in 1913. Lawrence attended Canton High School and received a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from the University of South Dakota in 1922 before leaving the state for postgraduate studies.

    Scientists Say: Expect More Rainfall Variability for California

    Tropical weather phenomenon likely to bring greater rainfall – and drought – by 2100

    By Barbra Rodriguez

    California’s winter precipitation is expected to become 50% more variable by century’s end, based on a Berkeley Lab-led study of the impact of future greenhouse gas emissions on the Madden-Julian Oscillation (MJO), a rainfall pattern that covers a quarter of the globe. 

    When active, the MJO influences whether precipitation occurs for 30 to 60 days, and is already known to affect North America’s weather when it moves eastward from the Indian Ocean (sometimes driving, for example, the Pineapple Express, which brings heavy rainfall to the Pacific coast). To see how much global emissions increase would influence the MJO, Berkeley Lab faculty scientist Da Yang and postdoctoral fellow Wenyu Zhou, and colleagues at UC San Diego and Nanjing University used the 10 computer models that best capture MJO behavior to study the emissions’ impact on it. By averaging the models’ results in the paper published recently in Nature Climate Change, the researchers identified the 50% increase in winter precipitation variability throughout California by century’s end.

    “I was quite surprised to see such a huge effect, knowing that even a small change in rainfall statewide could have a significant impact,” said Yang, who is also an assistant professor of atmospheric sciences at UC Davis. “This may have substantial implications for agriculture, flood control, and water resource management.”

    Moreover, their analysis suggests that the MJO is able to transfer its precipitation-related atmospheric conditions to the West Coast of the United States via changes in strong, high-atmosphere winds of the subtropical jet stream.

    For more, click here.

    Pioneering Work Modeling How Electric Vehicles Interact with the Electric Grid

    A Q&A with scientist Bin Wang on how Berkeley Lab is helping cities prepare for a major shift in our transportation and grid sectors

    By Kiran Julin

    As the rate of electric vehicle (EV) adoption in the U.S. rises, the transportation sector will put additional pressure on the power grid. California expects more than 50% zero-emission vehicles (ZEVs), which includes battery EV, plug-in hybrid EV and fuel cell EV, in new vehicle sales by 2030 to achieve statewide emission and pollution reduction goals. This added pressure on the grid could be very disruptive, but transportation and power grid researchers at Berkeley Lab are working on solutions to help city planners prepare. 

    Berkeley Lab scientist Bin Wang knows that coming up with solutions is going to require an interdisciplinary approach, and in many ways Wang’s background represents the perfect intersection of expertise required. He has experience working on the electric grid and transportation and vehicle engineering, all of which are key domains needed to solve for EV growth. 

    Researchers really only started looking at the integration of grid and transportation research in the last couple of years, due to the growth of EVs, grid modernization, ride-sharing, and autonomous vehicles on the road. Wang is focused on developing scalable solutions to analyze EV impacts on the grid as well as maximize the benefits of EV adoption. Wang’s vision is to develop these algorithms on a large metropolitan-scale model, such as the San Francisco Bay Area. The combination of doing this analysis on a large-scale -- as well as optimizing for both the transportation and electric grid -- makes this more complex than many other computational transportation projects. 

    Click here to read the Q&A at the Energy Technologies Area website.

    Berkeley Lab Founder Ernest Lawrence to Be Honored With Memorial Highway in South Dakota

    Cyclotron inventor was born in Canton, South Dakota, in 1901

    By Glenn Roberts Jr. 

    Nobel laureate Ernest Lawrence – founder of Berkeley Lab, inventor of the cyclotron, and a native of Canton, South Dakota – will be honored with a memorial highway in his home state. 

    Mike Headley, executive director of the Sanford Underground Research Facility (SURF) in Lead, South Dakota, and Ben Jones, the state education secretary, had applied for the renaming of the highway segment, a stretch of Highway 18 that runs through Canton. Berkeley Lab has played a critical role in establishing, developing, and operating SURF, and participates in several experiments at the site.

    It was in 1931 that Lawrence designed and built the first successful cyclotron, a small round particle accelerator for which Lawrence would receive the 1939 Nobel Prize in physics. Also in 1931, Lawrence founded the UC Radiation Laboratory, which is now known as Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, or Berkeley Lab. He served as the Lab’s director until his death in 1958.

    "Not only did Lawrence invent the cyclotron, but he also changed the way scientists do research,” said Berkeley Lab Director Michael Witherell. “He showed how large teams of scientists working together could make breakthroughs that were otherwise unimaginable."

    For more information:

    Section of US Hwy 18 named for South Dakota Nobel Laureate, Sanford Lab, July 28, 2020.

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    Science Snapshots September 2020

    Science Snapshots September 2020

    2D Electronics, Plant Biofactories, Transforming Waste, and Vaccine Development.

    Scientists Capture Candid Snapshots of Electrons Harvesting Light at the Atomic Scale

    Scientists Capture Candid Snapshots of Electrons Harvesting Light at the Atomic Scale

    A team of scientists led by Berkeley Lab has gained important new insight into electrons' role in the harvesting of light in artificial photosynthesis systems.

    Machine Learning Scientists Teach Computers to Read X-Ray Images

    Machine Learning Scientists Teach Computers to Read X-Ray Images

    PNNL researchers used machine learning to develop a tool for a nonprofit to identify orthopedic implants in X-ray images to improve surgical speed and accuracy

    Argonne researchers target lithium-rich materials as key to more sustainable, cost-effective, next-generation batteries

    Argonne researchers target lithium-rich materials as key to more sustainable, cost-effective, next-generation batteries

    Researchers are developing new ways to advance lithium-rich batteries and using new materials for practical use, according to researchers with the U.S. Department of Energy's Argonne National Laboratory.

    Faced with pandemic shortages, researchers combine heat and humidity to disinfect N95 masks for reuse

    Faced with pandemic shortages, researchers combine heat and humidity to disinfect N95 masks for reuse

    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.

    Machine Learning Takes on Synthetic Biology: Algorithms Can Bioengineer Cells for You

    Machine Learning Takes on Synthetic Biology: Algorithms Can Bioengineer Cells for You

    Scientists at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory have developed a new tool that adapts machine learning algorithms to the needs of synthetic biology to guide development systematically. The innovation means scientists will not have to spend years developing a meticulous understanding of each part of a cell and what it does in order to manipulate it.

    Scientists achieve higher precision weak force measurement between protons, neutrons

    Scientists achieve higher precision weak force measurement between protons, neutrons

    Through a one-of-a-kind experiment at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, nuclear physicists have precisely measured the weak interaction between protons and neutrons. The result quantifies the weak force theory as predicted by the Standard Model of Particle Physics.

    Novel cell membrane model could be key to uncovering new protein properties

    Novel cell membrane model could be key to uncovering new protein properties

    Researchers have recently shed light on how cell membrane proteins could be influenced by the lipids around them. By developing a novel type of membrane model, they were able to show that the shape and behavior of a protein can be altered by exposure to different lipid compositions. The research team confirmed the artificial membrane's structure using x-ray and neutron scattering at the Department of Energy's (DOE's) Brookhaven (BNL) and Oak Ridge National Laboratories (ORNL).

    SLAC invention could make particle accelerators 10 times smaller

    SLAC invention could make particle accelerators 10 times smaller

    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.

    Active learning accelerates redox-flow battery discovery

    Active learning accelerates redox-flow battery discovery

    In a new study from the U.S. Department of Energy's Argonne National Laboratory, researchers are accelerating the hunt for the best possible battery components by employing artificial intelligence.


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    Leading Argonne Scientists Discuss Latest Research on Cybersecurity During the COVID-19 Pandemic

    Leading Argonne Scientists Discuss Latest Research on Cybersecurity During the COVID-19 Pandemic

    Hear firsthand from two of the U.S. Department of Energy's Argonne National Laboratory's scientific leaders how their research provides insight into cyber resilience and cybersecurity to help secure our nation's information and systems.

    American Physical Society Announces Five 2020 Fellows Affiliated with Jefferson Lab

    American Physical Society Announces Five 2020 Fellows Affiliated with Jefferson Lab

    Five researchers who are affiliated with the U.S. Department of Energy's Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility have been selected by their professional peers for the distinct honor of Fellow of the American Physical Society.

    Fermilab scientists selected as APS fellows

    Fermilab scientists selected as APS fellows

    Three Fermilab scientists have been selected 2020 fellows of the American Physical Society, a distinction awarded each year to no more than one-half of 1 percent of current APS members by their peers.

    Renowned physicist and former diagnostics developer at PPPL wins Asia Pacific plasma physics award

    Renowned physicist and former diagnostics developer at PPPL wins Asia Pacific plasma physics award

    Hyeon Park honored with 2020 Subramanyan Chandrasekhar Prize for Plasma Physics from the Division of Plasma Physics of the Association of Asia Pacific Physical Societies. The prize recognizes Park for his work developing an essential diagnostic tool for tokamak fusion facilities throughout the world.

    The American Nuclear Society designates the groundbreaking Tokamak Fusion Test Reactor a Nuclear Historic Landmark

    The American Nuclear Society designates the groundbreaking Tokamak Fusion Test Reactor a Nuclear Historic Landmark

    The record-setting PPPL tokamak that laid the foundation for future fusion power plants receives the distinguished landmark designation from the the American Nuclear Society.

    Brian O'Neill Named New Director for the Joint Global Change Research Institute

    Brian O'Neill Named New Director for the Joint Global Change Research Institute

    O'Neill to lead organization that advances scientific understanding of the ways in which human, energy and environmental systems interact, and has provided input to the White House, Congress, United Nations and other national and international governing and advising bodies.

    SLAC's Xijie Wang wins prestigious accelerator science award

    SLAC's Xijie Wang wins prestigious accelerator science award

    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.

    Argonne materials scientist Arturo Gutierrez named 2020 Luminary Honoree by HENAAC

    Argonne materials scientist Arturo Gutierrez named 2020 Luminary Honoree by HENAAC

    Argonne materials scientist Arturo Gutierrez has been recognized by HENAAC, the national organization that honors Hispanic scientists and engineers.

    DOE Funding Boosts Artificial Intelligence Research at Jefferson Lab

    DOE Funding Boosts Artificial Intelligence Research at Jefferson Lab

    Two physicists at DOE's Jefferson Lab have secured $2.16 million in funding for projects that harness the power of data analytics to make the work of studying the universe down to its smallest subatomic parts faster and more efficient.

    Argonne National Laboratory and AT&T extend climate resiliency project nationwide

    Argonne National Laboratory and AT&T extend climate resiliency project nationwide

    Argonne and AT&T have been working together to project risks from changing climate on America's Southeastern region. Today they've announced that they're extending their analysis to cover the entire contiguous U.S.


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    Harvesting Energy from Light using Bio-inspired Artificial Cells

    Harvesting Energy from Light using Bio-inspired Artificial Cells

    Scientists designed and connected two different artificial cells to each other to produce molecules called ATP (adenosine triphosphate).

    Engineering Living Scaffolds for Building Materials

    Engineering Living Scaffolds for Building Materials

    Bone and mollusk shells are composite systems that combine living cells and inorganic components. This allows them to regenerate and change structure while also being very strong and durable. Borrowing from this amazing complexity, researchers have been exploring a new class of materials called engineered living materials (ELMs).

    Excavating Quantum Information Buried in Noise

    Excavating Quantum Information Buried in Noise

    Researchers developed two new methods to assess and remove error in how scientists measure quantum systems. By reducing quantum "noise" - uncertainty inherent to quantum processes - these new methods improve accuracy and precision.

    How Electrons Move in a Catastrophe

    How Electrons Move in a Catastrophe

    Lanthanum strontium manganite (LSMO) is a widely applicable material, from magnetic tunnel junctions to solid oxide fuel cells. However, when it gets thin, its behavior changes for the worse. The reason why was not known. Now, using two theoretical methods, a team determined what happens.

    When Ions and Molecules Cluster

    When Ions and Molecules Cluster

    How an ion behaves when isolated within an analytical instrument can differ from how it behaves in the environment. Now, Xue-Bin Wang at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory devised a way to bring ions and molecules together in clusters to better discover their properties and predict their behavior.

    Tune in to Tetrahedral Superstructures

    Tune in to Tetrahedral Superstructures

    Shape affects how the particles fit together and, in turn, the resulting material. For the first time, a team observed the self-assembly of nanoparticles with tetrahedral shapes.

    Tracing Interstellar Dust Back to the Solar System's Formation

    Tracing Interstellar Dust Back to the Solar System's Formation

    This study is the first to confirm dust particles pre-dating the formation of our solar system. Further study of these materials will enable a deeper understanding of the processes that formed and have since altered them.

    Investigating Materials that Can Go the Distance in Fusion Reactors

    Investigating Materials that Can Go the Distance in Fusion Reactors

    Future fusion reactors will require materials that can withstand extreme operating conditions, including being bombarded by high-energy neutrons at high temperatures. Scientists recently irradiated titanium diboride (TiB2) in the High Flux Isotope Reactor (HFIR) to better understand the effects of fusion neutrons on performance.

    Better 3-D Imaging of Tumors in the Breast with Less Radiation

    Better 3-D Imaging of Tumors in the Breast with Less Radiation

    In breast cancer screening, an imaging technique based on nuclear medicine is currently being used as a successful secondary screening tool alongside mammography to improve the accuracy of the diagnosis. Now, a team is hoping to improve this imaging technique.

    Microbes are Metabolic Specialists

    Microbes are Metabolic Specialists

    Scientists can use genetic information to measure if microbes in the environment can perform specific ecological roles. Researchers recently analyzed the genomes of over 6,000 microbial species.


    Spotlight

    Virtual internships for physics students present challenges, build community
    Tuesday September 15, 2020, 04:35 PM

    Virtual internships for physics students present challenges, build community

    Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory

    Blocking the COVID-19 Virus's Exit Strategy
    Monday August 31, 2020, 04:05 PM

    Blocking the COVID-19 Virus's Exit Strategy

    Brookhaven National Laboratory

    Summer Students Tackle COVID-19
    Monday August 31, 2020, 03:35 PM

    Summer Students Tackle COVID-19

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    Graduate student at PPPL Ian Ochs wins top Princeton University fellowship
    Friday April 17, 2020, 05:25 PM

    Graduate student at PPPL Ian Ochs wins top Princeton University fellowship

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    Barbara Garcia: A first-generation college student spends summer doing research at PPPL
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    Argonne organization's scholarship fund blazes STEM pathway

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    Brookhaven Lab, Suffolk Girl Scouts Launch Patch Program

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    Brookhaven Lab Celebrates the Bright Future of its 2019 Interns
    Friday August 30, 2019, 10:00 AM

    Brookhaven Lab Celebrates the Bright Future of its 2019 Interns

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    PPPL apprenticeship program offers young people chance to earn while they learn high-tech careers
    Thursday August 01, 2019, 12:05 PM

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    Creating a diverse pipeline
    Friday July 19, 2019, 01:05 PM

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    JSA Awards Graduate Fellowships for Research at Jefferson Lab
    Monday July 08, 2019, 03:00 PM

    JSA Awards Graduate Fellowships for Research at Jefferson Lab

    Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility

    ILSAMP Symposium showcases benefits for diverse students, STEM pipeline
    Monday May 20, 2019, 12:05 PM

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    Integrating Scientific Computing into Science Curricula
    Monday May 13, 2019, 11:05 AM

    Integrating Scientific Computing into Science Curricula

    Brookhaven National Laboratory

    Students from Minnesota and Massachusetts Win DOE's 29th National Science Bowl(r)
    Monday April 29, 2019, 02:05 PM

    Students from Minnesota and Massachusetts Win DOE's 29th National Science Bowl(r)

    Department of Energy, Office of Science

    DOE's Science Graduate Student Research Program Selects 70 Students to Pursue Research at DOE Laboratories
    Friday April 12, 2019, 03:05 PM

    DOE's Science Graduate Student Research Program Selects 70 Students to Pursue Research at DOE Laboratories

    Department of Energy, Office of Science

    Young Women's Conference in STEM seeks to change the statistics one girl at a time
    Thursday March 28, 2019, 03:05 PM

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    Students team with Argonne scientists and engineers to learn about STEM careers
    Tuesday March 12, 2019, 05:05 PM

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    Lynbrook High wins 2019 SLAC Regional Science Bowl competition
    Wednesday February 13, 2019, 02:05 PM

    Lynbrook High wins 2019 SLAC Regional Science Bowl competition

    SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory

    Equipping the next generation for a technological revolution
    Thursday January 24, 2019, 01:05 PM

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    Chemistry intern inspired by Argonne's real-world science
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    Chasing a supernova
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    Argonne intern streamlines the beamline
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    Research on Light-Matter Interaction Could Lead to Improved Electronic and Optoelectronic Devices
    Thursday October 11, 2018, 04:00 PM

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    Innovating Our Energy Future
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    Friday August 31, 2018, 02:05 PM

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    Argonne hosts Modeling, Experimentation and Validation Summer School

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    Wednesday August 22, 2018, 10:05 AM

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    CSUMB Selected to Host Architecture at Zero Competition in 2019
    Thursday August 16, 2018, 12:05 PM

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    Argonne welcomes <em>The Martian</em> author Andy Weir
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    Creating STEM Knowledge and Innovations to Solve Global Issues Like Water, Food, and Energy
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    Friday June 15, 2018, 10:00 AM

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    Monday May 07, 2018, 10:30 AM

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