Warmer Temperatures Lengthen Growing Season, Increase Plants' Vulnerability to Frost

Experimental warming treatments show how peatland forests may respond to future environmental change.

Growing Magnetic Fields in Deep Space: Just Wiggle the Plasma

Astrophysicists have long wondered how cosmic magnetic fields fields are produced, sustained, and magnified. PPPL scientists have shown that plasma turbulence might be responsible, providing a possible answer to what has been called one of the most important unsolved problems in plasma astrophysics.

Laser Blasting Antimatter into Existence

Antimatter is an exotic material that vaporizes when it contacts regular matter. If you hit an antimatter baseball with a bat made of regular matter, it would explode in a burst of light. It is rare to find antimatter on Earth, but it is believed to exist in the furthest reaches of the universe.

Peak Performance: New Stellarator Experiments Show Promising Results

Imagine building a machine so advanced and precise you need a supercomputer to help design it. That's exactly what scientists and engineers in Germany did when building the Wendelstein 7-X experiment.

Magnetic Pumping Pushes Plasma Particles to High Energies

As you walk away from a campfire on a cool autumn night, you quickly feel colder. The same thing happens in outer space. As it spins, the sun continuously flings hot material into space, out to the furthest reaches of our solar system.

Taming Plasmas: Improving Fusion using Microwaves

We all know microwaves are good for cooking popcorn, but scientists have recently shown they can also prevent dangerous waves in plasmas and help produce clean, nearly limitless energy with fusion.

Inside Job: A New Technique to Cool a Fusion Reactor

Fusion offers the potential of near limitless energy by heating a gas trapped in a magnetic field to incredibly high temperatures where atoms are so energetic that they fuse together when they collide. But if that hot gas, called a plasma, breaks free from the magnetic field, it must be safely put back in place to avoid damaging the fusion device--this problem has been one of the great challenges of magnetically confined fusion.

A Faster, Cheaper Path to Fusion Energy

Scientists are working to dramatically speed up the development of fusion energy in an effort to deliver power to the electric grid soon enough to help mitigate impacts of climate change. The arrival of a breakthrough technology

Under Pressure, Opposites Attract

Researchers have uncovered a new material that can produce both magnetism and superconductivity.

In Materials Hit with Light, Individual Atoms and Vibrations Take Disorderly Paths

Revealed for the first time by a new X-ray laser technique, their surprisingly unruly response has profound implications for designing and controlling materials.

Story Tips from the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory, November 2018

ORNL story tips: ORNL's simulation shows 40 percent fuel savings when cars drive themselves; colliding tin isotopes helps scientists better understand unstable nuclei in exploding stars; new method to control HVACs in buildings provides grid stability, occupant comfort; AK Steel uses neutrons to see how new steel for vehicle components performs during various manufacturing processes.

Scientists make first detailed measurements of key factors related to high-temperature superconductivity

In independent studies reported in Science and Nature, scientists from the Department of Energy's SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory and Stanford University report two important advances: They measured collective vibrations of electrons for the first time and showed how collective interactions of the electrons with other factors appear to boost superconductivity.

$6.8M initiative to enable American laser renaissance

In an effort to improve American competitiveness in high-intensity laser research, the Department of Energy has established LaserNetUS, a $6.8 million initiative that involves the University of Michigan--one of the field's pioneers.

Photosynthesis Like a Moss

Moss evolved after algae but before vascular land plants, such as ferns and trees, making them an interesting target for scientists studying photosynthesis, the process by which plants convert sunlight to fuel. Now researchers at the Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory have made a discovery that could shed light on how plants evolved to move from the ocean to land.

Study: Want to Make Hydrogen Fuel Cells More Affordable? Try Manganese

Manganese could advance one of the most promising sources of renewable energy: hydrogen fuel cells. In a study published today (Oct. 29, 2018) in Nature Catalysis, a University at Buffalo-led research team reports on catalysts made from the widely available and inexpensive metal. The advancement could eventually help solve hydrogen fuel cells' most frustrating problem: namely, they're not affordable because most catalysts are made with platinum, which is both rare and expensive.

Finally, a Robust Fuel Cell that Runs on Methane at Practical Temperatures

Either exorbitantly expensive fuel or insanely hot temperatures have made fuel cells a boutique proposition, but now there's one that runs on cheap methane and at much lower temperatures. This is a practical, affordable fuel cell and a "sensation in our world," the engineers say.

A Solar Cell That Does Double Duty for Renewable Energy

Researchers at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and the Joint Center for Artificial Photosynthesis have developed an artificial photosynthesis device called a "hybrid photoelectrochemical and voltaic cell" that turns sunlight and water into two types of energy - hydrogen fuel and electricity.

Improving Climate Models to Account for Plant Behavior Yields 'Goodish' News

Climate scientists have not been properly accounting for what plants do at night, and that, it turns out, is a mistake. A new study from the Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) has found that plant nutrient uptake in the absence of photosynthesis affects greenhouse gas emissions to the atmosphere.

New driverless car technology could make traffic lights and speeding tickets obsolete

New driverless car technologies developed at a University of Delaware lab could lead to a world without traffic lights and speeding tickets. Researchers hope the innovations will bring about the development of driverless cars that use 19 to 22 percent less fuel.

Argonne Scientists Create New Oil-Resistant Filter Technology

A novel new way to keep oil from clogging filters and equipment

Whiskers, Surface Growth and Dendrites in Lithium Batteries

Researchers at Washington University in St. Louis take a closer look at lithium metal plating and make some surprising findings that might lead to the next generation of batteries.

Scientists Unravel the Mysteries of Polymer Strands in Fuel Cells

Fuel cell efficiency of hydrogen fuel cells decreases as the Nafion membrane, used to separate the anode and cathode within a fuel cell, swells as it interacts with water. Russian and Australian researchers have now shown that this Nafion separator membrane partially unwinds some of its constituent fibers, which then protrude away from the surface into the bulk water phase for hundreds of microns. Their results were published in this week's Journal of Chemical Physics.

Seeing a Salt Solution's Structure Supports One Hypothesis About How Minerals Form

Oak Ridge National Laboratory scientists used neutrons, isotopes and simulations to "see" the atomic structure of a saturated solution and found evidence supporting one of two competing hypotheses about how ions come together to form minerals.

New PMLD Technique Improves Tools to Form Organic Multilayers

Researchers have developed a new class of molecular layer deposition chemistry that paves the way for a new photoactivated molecular layer deposition technique. They report that their new method will expand the tool kit for forming covalently bound organic multilayers at surfaces. These emerging deposition techniques have enabled engineers to produce organic thin films with improved conformality. Richard Closser, Stanford University, will present the findings at the AVS 65th International Symposium and Exhibition, Oct. 21-26, 2018.

Spotlighting Differences in Closely-Related Species

Aspergillus fungi play roles in fields including bioenergy, health, and biotechnology. In Nature Genetics, a team led by scientists at the Technical University of Denmark, the DOE Joint Genome Institute, and the Joint Bioenergy Institute, present the first large analysis of an Aspergillus fungal subgroup, section Nigri.