Researchers switch material from one state to another with a single flash of light

Scientists from the Department of Energy's SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have demonstrated a surprisingly simple way of flipping a material from one state into another, and then back again, with single flashes of laser light.

The Stories Behind the Science: How Does the Ocean's Saltiness Affect Tropical Storms?

Two researchers with personal experience of hurricanes set out to investigate the role of an underestimated factor in storm's strength - salinity. They found that salinity plays a larger role than anyone thought, including them.

Surprise finding: Discovering a previously unknown role for a source of magnetic fields

Feature describes unexpected discovery of a role the process that seeds magnetic fields plays in mediating a phenomenon that occurs throughout the universe and can disrupt cell phone service and knock out power grids on Earth.

Genetic behavior reveals cause of death in poplars essential to ecosystems, industry

Scientists studying a valuable, but vulnerable, species of poplar have identified the genetic mechanism responsible for the species' inability to resist a pervasive and deadly disease. Their finding could lead to more successful hybrid poplar varieties for increased biofuels and forestry production and protect native trees against infection.

Pushing the (Extra Cold) Frontiers of Superconducting Science

Ames Laboratory has developed a method to measure magnetic properties of superconducting and magnetic materials that exhibit unusual quantum behavior at very low temperatures in high magnetic fields.

Scientists Find Unusual Behavior in Topological Material

Argonne scientists have identified a new class of topological materials made by inserting transition metal atoms into the atomic lattice of a well-known two-dimensional material.

Wind Farms and Reducing Hurricane Precipitation

New research reveals an unexpected benefit of large-scale offshore wind farms: the ability to lessen precipitation from hurricanes.

New simulations confirm efficiency of waste-removal process in plasma device

PPPL scientists have found evidence suggesting that a process could remove the unwanted ash produced during fusion reactions and make the fusion processes more efficient within a type of fusion facility known as a field-reversed configuration device.

How Animals Use Their Tails to Swish and Swat Away Insects

A new study shows how animals use their tails to keep mosquitoes at bay by combining a swish that blows away most of the biting bugs and a swat that kills the ones that get through.

Missing gamma-ray blobs shed new light on dark matter, cosmic magnetism

Scientists, including researchers from the Department of Energy's SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, have compiled the most detailed catalog of such blobs using eight years of data collected with the Large Area Telescope (LAT) on NASA's Fermi Gamma-Ray Space Telescope. The blobs, including 19 gamma-ray sources that weren't known to be extended before, provide crucial information on how stars are born, how they die, and how galaxies spew out matter trillions of miles into space.

Applying Auto Industry's Fuel-Efficiency Standards to Agriculture Could Net Billions in Corn Sector, Researchers Conclude

Adopting benchmarks similar to the fuel-efficiency standards used by the auto industry in the production of fertilizer could yield $5-8 billion in economic benefits for the U.S. corn sector alone, researchers have concluded in a new analysis.

Research on Light-Matter Interaction Could Lead to Improved Electronic and Optoelectronic Devices

A paper published in Nature Communications by Sufei Shi, assistant professor of chemical and biological engineering at Rensselaer, increases our understanding of how light interacts with atomically thin semiconductors and creates unique excitonic complex particles, multiple electrons, and holes strongly bound together.

Next-Gen Ultrafast Optical Fiber-Based Electron Gun to Reveal Atomic Motions During Transition State

A new method enables researchers to directly observe and capture atomic motions at surfaces and interfaces in real time.

Intense Microwave Pulse Ionizes Its Own Channel Through Plasma

Researchers experimentally observed the ionization-induced channeling of an intense microwave beam propagating through a neutral gas (>103 Pa).

Ancient Pigment Can Boost Energy Efficiency

Egyptian blue, derived from calcium copper silicate, was routinely used on ancient depictions of gods and royalty. Previous studies have shown that when Egyptian blue absorbs visible light, it then emits light in the near-infrared range. Now a team led by researchers at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory has confirmed the pigment's fluorescence can be 10 times stronger than previously thought.

Expanding Fungal Diversity, One Cell at a Time

Reported October 8, 2018, in Nature Microbiology, a team led by U.S. Department of Energy Joint Genome Institute researchers developed a pipeline to generate genomes from single cells of uncultivated fungi. The approach was tested on several uncultivated species representing early diverging fungi.

Columbia Engineers Build Smallest Integrated Kerr Frequency Comb Generator

Optical frequency combs can enable ultrafast processes in physics, biology, and chemistry, as well as improve communication and navigation, medical testing, and security. Columbia Engineers have built a Kerr frequency comb generator that, for the first time, integrates the laser with the microresonator, significantly shrinking the system's size and power requirements. They no longer need to connect separate devices using fiber--they can now integrate it all on compact and energy efficient photonic chips.

Scientists Present New Clues to Cut Through the Mystery of Titan's Atmospheric Haze

Experiments at Berkeley Lab helped scientists zero in on a low-temperature chemical mechanism that may help to explain the complex molecular compounds that make up the nitrogen-rich haze layer surrounding Titan, Saturn's largest moon.

Consumers willing to pay more for sustainably brewed beer, study finds

More and more breweries are investing in practices to save energy and reduce greenhouse gases. Will it pay off? A study by Indiana University researchers suggests it may.

Battery testing and prototyping facility grows to meet demand for next-generation technologies

Argonne recently held a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the expanded Cell Analysis, Modeling and Prototyping (CAMP) facility.

Solving a Plasma Physics Mystery: Magnetic Reconnection

Magnetic reconnection causes space storms that can damage satellites and disrupt the grid. While it's a common process in the universe, plasma physics researchers don't fully understand why it occurs so abruptly and quickly. New research is supporting a theory that may hold the key.

Buy or lease? In going solar, third-party systems perform better, research finds

An analysis of 2,000 nonresidential solar systems in California found that third-party installations have a 4 percent better production yield than systems owned directly by the businesses.

Making a Movie of Nanocrystals' Structural Evolution

Capturing ultrafast atomic-scale motion could help scientists optimize the performance of materials with strong electronic correlations.

Newly Detected Microquasar Gamma-Rays 'Call for New Ideas'

The first-ever detection of highly energetic radiation from a microquasar has astrophysicists scrambling for new theories to explain the extreme particle acceleration. A microquasar is a black hole that gobbles up debris from a nearby companion star and blasts out powerful jets of material.

Flowing salt water over this super-hydrophobic surface can generate electricity

Engineers have developed a super-hydrophobic surface that can be used to generate electrical voltage. When salt water flows over this specially patterned surface, it can produce at least 50 millivolts. The proof-of-concept work could lead to the development of new power sources for lab-on-a-chip platforms and other microfluidics devices. It could someday be extended to energy harvesting methods in water desalination plants, researchers said.