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    PPPL Physicists Make First-Ever Direct Observation of Collisional Plasmoid Instability During Magnetic Reconnection in a Laboratory Setting

    PPPL Physicists Make First-Ever Direct Observation of Collisional Plasmoid Instability During Magnetic Reconnection in a Laboratory Setting

    PPPL physicists have for the first time directly observed a phenomenon that had previously only been hypothesized to exist. The phenomenon, plasmoid instabilities that occur during collisional magnetic reconnection, had until this year only been observed indirectly using remote-sensing technology.

    Confined Water at Fahrenheit -451

    Confined Water at Fahrenheit -451

    Scientists discovered a new kind of water molecule whose shape has been altered to conform to the symmetry of the environment in which it is trapped.

    SLAC Study: Light Can Switch on Topological Materials

    SLAC Study: Light Can Switch on Topological Materials

    Theoretical physicists at the Department of Energy's SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory used computer simulations to show how special light pulses could create robust channels where electricity flows without resistance in an atomically thin semiconductor.

    Increasing Rainfall in a Warmer World Will Likely Intensify Typhoons in Western Pacific

    Increasing Rainfall in a Warmer World Will Likely Intensify Typhoons in Western Pacific

    An analysis of the strongest tropical storms over the last half-century reveals that higher global temperatures have intensified the storms via enhanced rainfall. Rain that falls on the ocean reduces salinity and allows typhoons to grow stronger.

    Electrons "Puddle" Under High Magnetic Fields, Study Reveals

    Electrons "Puddle" Under High Magnetic Fields, Study Reveals

    In a new study from the U.S. Department of Energy's Argonne National Laboratory, researchers used extremely high magnetic fields - equivalent to those found in the center of neutron stars - to alter electronic behavior. By observing the change in the behavior of these electrons, scientists may be able to gain an enriched understanding of material behavior.

    Story Tips from the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory, January 2017

    Story Tips from the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory, January 2017

    Researchers identify patterns that could be valuable resource for superconductivity research; ORNL researchers developing approaches to preserve forests, wildlife; ORNL supercomputer helping scientists push boundaries; New measurement technique opens pathway to new graphene-based energy, electronic applications; ORNL cryogenic memory cell circuit could advance pathway to quantum computing;

    Researchers Use World's Smallest Diamonds to Make Wires Three Atoms Wide

    Researchers Use World's Smallest Diamonds to Make Wires Three Atoms Wide

    Scientists at Stanford University and the Department of Energy's SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory have discovered a way to use diamondoids - the smallest possible bits of diamond - to assemble atoms into the thinnest possible electrical wires, just three atoms wide.

    Feeding the Ravenous Black Hole at the Center of Our Galaxy

    Feeding the Ravenous Black Hole at the Center of Our Galaxy

    Feature describes improved method for simulating collisionless accretion disk around supermassive Sagittarius A* at center of Milky Way.

    Nanoscale 'Conversations' Create Complex, Multi-Layered Structures

    Nanoscale 'Conversations' Create Complex, Multi-Layered Structures

    Scientists have developed a way to efficiently create scalable, multilayer, multi-patterned nanoscale structures with unprecedented complexity. The method introduces a significant leap in material intelligence, because each self-assembled layer guides the configuration of additional layers.

    Ames Laboratory Develops Solvent-, 
Catalyst-Free Way to Produce Alkali Metal Hydrides

    Ames Laboratory Develops Solvent-, Catalyst-Free Way to Produce Alkali Metal Hydrides

    Researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy's Ames Laboratory have found a way to create alkali metal hydrides without the use of solvents or catalysts. The process, using room temperature mechanical ball milling, provides a lower cost method to produce these alkali metals which are widely used in industrial processes as reducing and drying agents, precursors in synthesis of complex metal hydrides, hydrogen storage materials, and in nuclear engineering.

    Scientists Bear Witness to Birth of an Ice Cloud

    Scientists Bear Witness to Birth of an Ice Cloud

    Scientists have witnessed the birth of atmospheric ice clouds, creating ice cloud crystals in the laboratory and then taking images of the process through a microscope, essentially documenting the very first steps of cloud formation.

    Laser Pulses Help Scientists Tease Apart Complex Electron Interactions

    Laser Pulses Help Scientists Tease Apart Complex Electron Interactions

    Using a new laser-driven "stop-action" technique for studying complex electron interactions under dynamic conditions, scientists have identified an unusual form of energy loss in a material related to superconductors.

    New Leaf Study Sheds Light on 'Shady' Past

    New Leaf Study Sheds Light on 'Shady' Past

    A new study led by a Berkeley Lab research scientist highlights a literally shady practice in plant science that has in some cases underestimated plants' rate of growth and photosynthesis, among other traits.

    Scientists Boost Catalytic Activity for Key Chemical Reaction in Fuel Cells

    Scientists Boost Catalytic Activity for Key Chemical Reaction in Fuel Cells

    New catalysts containing platinum and lead could improve the efficiency of fuel cells--a promising technology for producing clean energy.

    New Graphene-Based System Could Help Us 'See' Electrical Signaling in Heart and Nerve Cells

    New Graphene-Based System Could Help Us 'See' Electrical Signaling in Heart and Nerve Cells

    Scientists have enlisted the exotic properties of graphene to function like the film of an incredibly sensitive camera system in visually mapping tiny electric fields. They hope to enlist the new method to image electrical signaling networks in our hearts and brains.

    Scientists Develop a Path Toward Improved High-Energy Accelerators

    Scientists Develop a Path Toward Improved High-Energy Accelerators

    Article describes new theoretical framework for stabilizing high-energy accelerators.

    Supercomputer Simulations Confirm Observations of 2015 India/Pakistan Heat Waves

    Supercomputer Simulations Confirm Observations of 2015 India/Pakistan Heat Waves

    A paper released December 15 during the American Geophysical Union fall meeting points to new evidence of human influence on extreme weather events. After examining observational and simulated temperature and heat indexes, the research team--which included three scientists from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory--concluded that two separate deadly heat waves that occurred in India and Pakistan in the summer of 2015 "were exacerbated by anthropogenic climate change."

    Study: Warming Could Slow Upslope Migration of Trees

    Study: Warming Could Slow Upslope Migration of Trees

    Scientists expect trees will advance upslope as global temperatures increase, shifting the tree line--the mountain zone where trees become smaller and eventually stop growing--to higher elevations. Subalpine forests will follow their climate up the mountain, in other words. But new research published Dec. 15 in the journal Global Change Biology suggests this may not hold true for two subalpine tree species of western North America.

    Water: Finding the Normal Within the Weird

    Water: Finding the Normal Within the Weird

    RICHLAND, Wash. - Water has many unusual properties, such as its solid form, ice, being able to float in liquid water, and they get weirder below its freezing point. Supercooled water -- below freezing but still a liquid -- is notoriously difficult to study. Some researchers thought supercooled water behaved oddly within a particularly cold range, snapping from a liquid into a solid, instantaneously crystallizing at a particular temperature like something out of a Kurt Vonnegut novel.

    Laser R&D Focuses on Next-Gen Particle Collider

    Laser R&D Focuses on Next-Gen Particle Collider

    A set of new laser systems and proposed upgrades at Berkeley Lab's BELLA Center will propel long-term plans for a more compact and affordable ultrahigh-energy particle collider.

    Sawdust Reinvented Into Super Sponge for Oil Spills

    Sawdust Reinvented Into Super Sponge for Oil Spills

    Oil spills could be cleaned up in the icy, rough waters of the Arctic with a chemically modified sawdust material that absorbs up to five times its weight in oil and stays afloat for at least four months.

    Neutrons Identify Key Ingredients of the Quantum Spin Liquid Recipe

    Neutrons Identify Key Ingredients of the Quantum Spin Liquid Recipe

    Neutron scattering studies of a rare earth metal oxide have identified fundamental pieces to the quantum spin liquid puzzle, revealing a better understanding of how and why these materials exhibit exotic behaviors such as failing to fully freeze when exposed to sub-zero temperatures. In a paper published in Nature Physics, a team of researchers from the Georgia Institute of Technology, the University of Tennessee and the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory used neutrons to examine the origins of unusual magnetic behavior in a rare earth-based metal oxide, ytterbium-magnesium-gallium-tetraoxide (YbMgGaO4). The material, discovered in 2015, is known to have strange magnetic properties, putting it in a unique category of materials classified as quantum spin liquids.

    Scientists Track Chemical and Structural Evolution of Catalytic Nanoparticles in 3D

    Scientists Track Chemical and Structural Evolution of Catalytic Nanoparticles in 3D

    To help tackle the challenge of finding effective, inexpensive catalysts for fuel cells, scientists at Brookhaven Lab have produced dynamic, 3D images that reveal how catalytic nanoparticles evolve as they are processed.

    Story Tips From the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory, December 2016

    Story Tips From the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory, December 2016

    Almeria Analytics adds a capability with ORNL technology; Wireless sensor network provides insight into population density, movement; New ORNL technology quickly detects cracks in walls, roofs; ORNL motor boasts 75 percent power gain over competing designs; New microscopy technique features unprecedented resolution; Livestock feed gets a bioenergy boost

    New Study of Water-Saving Plants Advances Efforts to Develop Drought-Resistant Crops

    New Study of Water-Saving Plants Advances Efforts to Develop Drought-Resistant Crops

    As part of an effort to develop drought-resistant food and bioenergy crops, scientists at the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory have uncovered the genetic and metabolic mechanisms that allow certain plants to conserve water and thrive in semi-arid climates.