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    ORNL Technique Could Set New Course for Extracting Uranium From Seawater

    ORNL Technique Could Set New Course for Extracting Uranium From Seawater

    An ultra-high-resolution technique used for the first time to study polymer fibers that trap uranium in seawater may cause researchers to rethink the best methods to harvest this potential fuel for nuclear reactors.

    Some Like It Hot: Simulating Single Particle Excitations

    Some Like It Hot: Simulating Single Particle Excitations

    Understanding and manipulating plasmons is important for their potential use in photovoltaics, solar cell water splitting, and sunlight-induced fuel production from CO2. Now, for the first time, the interplay between the plasmon mode and the single particle excitation within a small metal cluster has been simulated directly. Researchers with Berkeley Lab used a real-time numerical algorithm to study both the plasmon and hot carrier within the same framework. That is critical for understanding how long a particle stays excited, and whether there is energy backflow from hot carrier to plasmon.

    LUX Experiment Draws Best Picture Yet of What Dark Matter Particles Cannot Be

    LUX Experiment Draws Best Picture Yet of What Dark Matter Particles Cannot Be

    The Large Underground Xenon (LUX) dark matter experiment, which operates nearly a mile underground at the Sanford Underground Research Facility (SURF) in the Black Hills of South Dakota, has already proven itself to be the most sensitive dark matter detector in the world. Now scientists have significantly enhanced its ability to look for WIMPs, or weakly interacting massive particles, which are among the leading candidates for dark matter.

    New Results From World's Most Sensitive Dark Matter Detector

    New Results From World's Most Sensitive Dark Matter Detector

    The Large Underground Xenon dark matter experiment, which operates nearly a mile underground at the Sanford Underground Research Facility in the Black Hills of South Dakota, has already proven itself to be the most sensitive detector in the hunt for dark matter, the unseen stuff believed to account for most of the matter in the universe. Now, a new set of calibration techniques employed by LUX scientists has again dramatically improved the detector's sensitivity.

    To Get More Oomph From an Electron Gun, Tip It with Diamondoids

    To Get More Oomph From an Electron Gun, Tip It with Diamondoids

    They sound like futuristic weapons, but electron guns are actually workhorse tools for research and industry: They emit streams of electrons for electron microscopes, semiconductor patterning equipment and particle accelerators, to name a few important uses. Now scientists at Stanford University and the Department of Energy's SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory have figured out how to increase these electron flows 13,000-fold by applying a single layer of diamondoids - tiny, perfect diamond cages - to an electron gun's sharp gold tip.

    Innovation Boosts Study of Fragile Biological Samples at SLAC's X-Ray Laser

    Innovation Boosts Study of Fragile Biological Samples at SLAC's X-Ray Laser

    Researchers at the Department of Energy's SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory have found a simple new way to study very delicate biological samples - like proteins at work in photosynthesis and components of protein-making machines called ribosomes - at the atomic scale using SLAC's X-ray laser.

    Titan Helps Researchers Explore Explosive Star Scenarios

    Titan Helps Researchers Explore Explosive Star Scenarios

    A team led by Michael Zingale of Stony Brook University is exploring the physics of Type Ia supernovas using the Titan supercomputer at the US Department of Energy's (DOE's) Oak Ridge National Laboratory. The team's latest research focuses on a specific class of Type Ia supernovas known as double-detonation supernovas. This year, the team completed a three-dimensional (3-D), high-resolution investigation of the thermonuclear burning a double-detonation white dwarf undergoes before explosion. The study expands upon the team's initial 3-D simulation of this supernova scenario, which was carried out in 2013.

    RHIC Particle Smashups Find that Shape Matters

    RHIC Particle Smashups Find that Shape Matters

    Peering into the seething soup of primordial matter created in particle collisions at the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider (RHIC) -- an "atom smasher" dedicated to nuclear physics research at the U.S. Department of Energy's Brookhaven National Laboratory -- scientists have come to a new understanding of how particles are produced in these collisions.

    High-Energy X-Rays Give Industry Affordable Way to Optimize Cast Iron

    High-Energy X-Rays Give Industry Affordable Way to Optimize Cast Iron

    Researchers from Caterpillar and the U.S. Department of Energy's Argonne National Laboratory conducted a proof of principle study that shows that high-energy synchrotron X-rays from the Advanced Photon Source can provide a new, affordable way for industry to optimize the mechanical and physical properties of cast iron in the manufacturing process.

    A Cure for Medical Researchers' Big Data Headache

    A Cure for Medical Researchers' Big Data Headache

    Oak Ridge Graph Analytics for Medical Innovation (ORiGAMI) supplies researchers with an advanced data tool for literature-based discovery that has the potential to accelerate medical research and discovery. The result of collaboration between Oak Ridge National Laboratory and the US National Library of Medicine, ORiGAMI unites three emerging technologies that are shaping the future of health care: big data, graph computing, and the Semantic Web

    New Clues for Battling Botulism

    New Clues for Battling Botulism

    Scientists have discovered new details about how "cloaking" proteins protect the toxin that causes botulism, a fatal disease caused most commonly by consuming improperly canned foods. That knowledge and the cloaking proteins themselves might now be turned against the toxin -- the deadliest known to humankind.

    Story Tips from the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory, December 2015

    Story Tips from the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory, December 2015

    Higher cost of electricity not necessarily deterrent to usage; Finding opens door for lead-free electromechanics; Neutron measurements provide insight into quantum magnets.

    PPPL Physicists Propose New Plasma-Based Method to Treat Radioactive Waste

    PPPL Physicists Propose New Plasma-Based Method to Treat Radioactive Waste

    Article about a proposed plasma-based method for treating nuclear waste.

    ORNL Process Could Be White Lightning to Electronics Industry

    ORNL Process Could Be White Lightning to Electronics Industry

    A new era of electronics and even quantum devices could be ushered in with the fabrication of a virtually perfect single layer of "white graphene."

    DOE Pulse

    DOE Pulse

    Science and Technology Highlights from the DOE National Laboratories

    Can Paris Pledges Avert Severe Climate Change?

    Can Paris Pledges Avert Severe Climate Change?

    In a study published in Science today, PNNL scientists and their colleagues show that nations' pledges to reduce greenhouse gases have the potential to reduce the probability of the highest levels of warming, and increase the probability of limiting global warming to 2 degrees Celsius.

    Identifying New Sources of Turbulence in Spherical Tokamaks

    Identifying New Sources of Turbulence in Spherical Tokamaks

    This article describes the discovery of two new sources of turbulence in compact spherical tokamaks.

    New Supercomputer Simulations Enhance Understanding of Protein Motion and Function

    New Supercomputer Simulations Enhance Understanding of Protein Motion and Function

    Supercomputing simulations could change how researchers understand the internal motions of proteins that play functional, structural and regulatory roles in all living organisms. The team's results are featured in Nature Physics.

    Atom-Sized Craters Make a Catalyst Much More Active

    Atom-Sized Craters Make a Catalyst Much More Active

    Bombarding and stretching an important industrial catalyst opens up tiny holes on its surface where atoms can attach and react, greatly increasing its activity as a promoter of chemical reactions, according to a study by scientists at Stanford University and the Department of Energy's SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory.

    Innovative Report Series to Help Inform Decisions by Utility Regulators, Policymakers and Electric Industry

    Innovative Report Series to Help Inform Decisions by Utility Regulators, Policymakers and Electric Industry

    The electric industry in the U.S. is undergoing significant changes for a number of reasons, including new and improved technologies, changing customer desires, low load growth in many regions, and changes in federal and state policies and regulations. A new series of reports will advance the discussion by examining issues related to electric industry regulation and utility business models.

    Supercomputing the Strange Difference Between Matter and Antimatter

    Supercomputing the Strange Difference Between Matter and Antimatter

    An international team of physicists including theorists from the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Brookhaven National Laboratory has published the first calculation of direct "CP" symmetry violation--how the behavior of subatomic particles (in this case, the decay of kaons) differs when matter is swapped out for antimatter. Should the prediction represented by this calculation not match experimental results, it would be conclusive evidence of new, unknown phenomena that lie outside of the Standard Model--physicists' present understanding of the fundamental particles and the forces between them.

    ORNL Microscopy Captures Real-Time View of Evolving Fuel Cell Catalysts

    ORNL Microscopy Captures Real-Time View of Evolving Fuel Cell Catalysts

    Atomic-level imaging of catalysts by scientists at Oak Ridge National Laboratory could help manufacturers lower the cost and improve the performance of emission-free fuel cell technologies.

    Quantum Spin Could Create Unstoppable, One-Dimensional Electron Waves

    Quantum Spin Could Create Unstoppable, One-Dimensional Electron Waves

    Scientists from Brookhaven National Laboratory and Ludwig Maximilian University have proposed a solution to the subatomic stoppage of electron flow due to defects in materials: a novel way to create a more robust electron wave by binding together the electron's direction of movement and its spin.

    Using Powerful Computers, Physicists Uncover Mechanism That Stabilizes Plasma Within Tokamaks

    Using Powerful Computers, Physicists Uncover Mechanism That Stabilizes Plasma Within Tokamaks

    A team of physicists led by Stephen Jardin of the U.S. Department of Energy's Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL) has discovered a mechanism that prevents the electrical current flowing through fusion plasma from repeatedly peaking and crashing. This behavior is known as a "sawtooth cycle" and can cause instabilities within the plasma's core.

    X-ray Microscope Reveals 'Solitons,' a Special Type of Magnetic Wave

    X-ray Microscope Reveals 'Solitons,' a Special Type of Magnetic Wave

    Researchers used a powerful, custom-built X-ray microscope at the Department of Energy's SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory to directly observe the magnetic version of a soliton, a type of wave that can travel without resistance. Scientists are exploring whether such magnetic waves can be used to carry and store information in a new, more efficient form of computer memory that requires less energy and generates less heat.