A Challenging Future for Tropical Forests

Mortality rates of moist tropical forests are on the rise due to environmental drivers and related mechanisms.

Stronger, lighter, greener

A new award-winning magnet technology invented at the U.S. Department of Energy's Argonne National Laboratory could help drive the nation's transition from gas-powered vehicles to electric and hybrid power more rapidly, at lower cost, and in a more environmentally friendly way.

Science Up-Close: Developing a Cookbook for Efficient Fusion Energy

To develop a future fusion reactor, scientists need to understand how and why plasma in fusion experiments moves into a "high-confinement mode" where particles and heat can't escape. Scientists at the Department of Energy's Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory simulated the transition into that mode starting from the most basic physics principles.

Peering into the Mist: How Water Vapor Changes Metal at the Atomic Level

New insights into molecular-level processes could help prevent corrosion and improve catalytic conversion.

Neutron science publications reach new highs at ORNL's flagship facilities

The High Flux Isotope Reactor and the Spallation Neutron Source at the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory have reached new levels of increased science productivity. In 2018, a record high of more than 500 scientific instrument publications were produced between HFIR and SNS--based on neutron beamline experiments conducted by more than 1,200 US and international researchers who used the world-leading facilities.

Fiery sighting: A new physics of eruptions that damage fusion experiments

Feature describes first direct sighting of a trigger for bursts of heat that can disrupt fusion reactions.

Microbial Types May Prove Key to Gas Releases from Thawing Permafrost

Scientists discover key types of microbes that degrade organic matter and release carbon dioxide and methane into the atmosphere.

An effect that Einstein helped discover 100 years ago offers new insight into a puzzling magnetic phenomenon

Experiments at the Department of Energy's SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory have seen for the first time what happens when magnetic materials are demagnetized at ultrafast speeds of millionths of a billionth of a second: The atoms on the surface of the material move, much like the iron bar did. The work, done at SLAC's Linac Coherent Light Source (LCLS) X-ray laser, was published in Nature earlier this month.

Found: A precise method for determining how waves and particles affect fusion reactions

Like surfers catching ocean waves, particles within plasma can ride waves oscillating through the plasma during fusion energy experiments. Now a team of physicists led by PPPL has devised a faster method to determine how much this interaction contributes to efficiency loss in tokamaks.

Discovery adapts natural membrane to make hydrogen fuel from water

In a recent study from the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Argonne National Laboratory, scientists have combined two membrane-bound protein complexes to perform a complete conversion of water molecules to hydrogen and oxygen.

How Plants Regulate Sugar Deposition in Cell Walls

Identified genes involved in plant cell wall polysaccharide production and restructuring could aid in engineering bioenergy crops.

Scientists Identify Gene Cluster in Budding Yeasts with Major Implications for Renewable Energy

How yeast partition carbon into a metabolite may offer insights into boosting production for biofuels.

Nanocrystals Get Better When They Double Up With MOFs

Researchers from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) have designed a dual-purpose material out of a self-assembling MOF (metal-organic framework)-nanocrystal hybrid that could one day be used to store carbon dioxide gas molecules for the manufacture of new chemicals and fuels.

Turn, turn, turn: New findings bring physicists closer to understanding the formation of planets and stars

New findings further the understanding of a machine known as the magnetorotational instability experiment, which is named for and brings us closer to detecting the source of the instability that causes interstellar gas and dust to collapse into celestial bodies.

Scientists inch closer to fusion energy with discovery of a process that stabilizes plasmas

Feature describes newly discovered stabilizing effect of underappreciated 1983 finding that variations in plasma temperature can influence the growth of magnetic islands that lead to disruption of fusion plasmas.

Ten PPPL stories you may have missed from 2018 -- plus a special bonus

Feature summarizes and links to discoveries and breakthroughs at the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory in 2018, plus a profile of the knight who leads the laboratory.

Story Tips from the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory, January 2019

ORNL story tips: Automated pellet press speeds production of Pu-238 to fuel NASA's deep space exploration; new memory cell circuit design may boost storage with less energy in exascale, quantum computing; free app eases installation, repair of HVAC systems that use low GWP refrigerants; and more.

SLAC/Stanford team discovers new way of switching exotic properties on and off in topological material

A weird feature of certain exotic materials allows electrons to travel from one surface of the material to another as if there were nothing in between. Now, researchers have shown that they can switch this feature on and off by toggling a material in and out of a stable topological state with pulses of light. The method could provide a new way of manipulating materials that could be used in future quantum computers and devices that carry electric current with no loss.

Study Shows Single Atoms Can Make More Efficient Catalysts

Scientists have their first direct, detailed look at how a single atom catalyzes a chemical reaction. The reaction is the same one that strips poisonous carbon monoxide out of car exhaust, and individual atoms of iridium did the job up to 25 times more efficiently than the iridium nanoparticles containing 50 to 100 atoms that are used today.

More Designer Peptides, More Possibilities

A combined experimental and modeling approach contributes to understanding small proteins with potential use in industrial, therapeutic applications.

Novel fiber-optic device lays foundation for quantum-enhanced measurements

Interferometers--instruments that precisely measure the intersection of two beams of light--are useful for both fundamental science studies and practical applications such as gyroscopes and hydrophones. A team of researchers at ORNL developed and tested a new interferometer that shows potential for improved sensitivity at the quantum scale. Their paper was selected as an APS Editor's Pick, a distinction reserved for especially noteworthy publications.

Revealing Hidden Spin: Unlocking New Paths Toward High-Temperature Superconductors

Researchers from the Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory have discovered that electron spin is key to understanding how cuprate superconductors can conduct electricity without loss at high temperature.

Physicists Uncover New Competing State of Matter in Superconducting Material

A team of experimentalists at the U.S. Department of Energy's Ames Laboratory and theoreticians at University of Alabama Birmingham discovered a remarkably long-lived new state of matter in an iron pnictide superconductor, which reveals a laser-induced formation of collective behaviors that compete with superconductivity.

New Discovery Is Big on Nanoscale

Is it possible to predict what type of material an unidentified element will be in bulk quantities solely based on the properties it exhibits over a limited range of the subnano to nano size regime? It is, according to Argonne scientists.

Scientists Move Quantum Optic Networks a Step Closer to Reality

A crucial step has been achieved in understanding quantum optical behavior of semiconductor nanomaterials.