In the most comprehensive analysis of electricity reliability trends in the United States, researchers at Berkeley Lab and Stanford University have found that, while, on average, the frequency of power outages has not changed in recent years, the total number of minutes customers are without power each year has been increasing over time.
A team led by James Vary of Iowa State University simulated clusters of neutrons called "neutron drops" to understand their properties better. The ab initio calculations, or calculations based on fundamental forces and principles, were performed on the Titan supercomputer at the US Department of Energy's (DOE's) Oak Ridge National Laboratory. Titan is the flagship machine of the Oak Ridge Leadership Computing Facility (OLCF), a DOE Office of Science User Facility. Leveraging Titan's massive memory and computing power, the team was able to determine the ground-state energies and other properties of systems of up to 40 neutrons. The results were published in the December 2014 issue of Physics Letters B.
Scientists have revealed never-before-seen details of how our brain sends rapid-fire messages between its cells. They mapped the 3-D atomic structure of a two-part protein complex that controls the release of signaling chemicals, called neurotransmitters, from brain cells. Understanding how cells release those signals in less than one-thousandth of a second could help launch a new wave of research on drugs for treating brain disorders.
Using physical chemistry methods to look at biology at the nanoscale, a Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory researcher has invented a new technology to image single molecules with unprecedented spectral and spatial resolution, thus leading to the first "true-color" super-resolution microscope.
Scientists on the Dark Energy Survey, using one of the world's most powerful digital cameras, have discovered eight more faint celestial objects hovering near our Milky Way galaxy. If these new discoveries are representative of the entire sky, there could be many more galaxies hiding in our cosmic neighborhood.
Working at the Molecular Foundry, Berkeley Lab researchers used their "Campanile" nano-optical probe to make some surprising discoveries about molybdenum disulfide, a member of the "transition metal dichalcogenides (TMDCs) semiconductor family whose optoelectronic properties hold great promise for future nanoelectronic and photonic devices.
Another barrier to commercially viable biofuels from sources other than corn has fallen with the engineering of a microbe that improves isobutanol yields by a factor of 10.
Researchers from the Department of Energy's SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory and Stanford University have developed a manufacturing technique that could double the electricity output of inexpensive solar cells by using a microscopic rake when applying light-harvesting polymers.
The installed price of distributed solar photovoltaic (PV) power systems in the United States continues to fall precipitously. This is according to the latest edition of Tracking the Sun, an annual PV cost tracking report produced by the Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab).
A microscope that will allow scientists studying biological and synthetic materials to simultaneously observe chemical and physical properties on and beneath the surface.
Study Finds that the Price of Wind Energy in the United States is at an All-time Low, Averaging under 2.5 cents/kWh
Wind energy pricing is at an all-time low, according to a new report released by the U.S. Department of Energy and prepared by Berkeley Lab. The prices offered by wind projects to utility purchasers averaged under 2.5 cents/kWh for projects negotiating contracts in 2014, spurring demand for wind energy.
An emerging technique called fluctuation X-ray scattering (FXS) could provide much more detail about a protein's molecular structure than traditional solution scattering. But a major limitation for FXS has been a lack of math methods to efficiently interpret the data. That's where Berkeley Lab's M-TIP comes in.
The chemical reactions that make methanol from carbon dioxide rely on a catalyst to speed up the conversion, and Argonne scientists identified a new material that could fill this role. With its unique structure, this catalyst can capture and convert carbon dioxide in a way that ultimately saves energy.
Scientists on the NOvA experiment saw their first evidence of oscillating neutrinos, confirming that the extraordinary detector built for the project not only functions as planned but is also making great progress toward its goal of a major leap in our understanding of these ghostly particles.
Researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy's Argonne National Laboratory are developing lithium-ion batteries containing silicon-based materials so that they charge faster and last longer between charges. The most commonly used commercial lithium-ion batteries are graphite-based, but scientists are becoming increasingly interested in silicon because it can store roughly 10 times more lithium than graphite.
A new scientific instrument at the Department of Energy's SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory promises to capture some of nature's speediest processes. It uses a method known as ultrafast electron diffraction (UED) and can reveal motions of electrons and atomic nuclei within molecules that take place in less than a tenth of a trillionth of a second - information that will benefit groundbreaking research in materials science, chemistry and biology.
A study conducted by researchers at Brookhaven and Oak Ridge national laboratories describes how an iron-telluride material related to a family of high-temperature superconductors develops superconductivity with no long-range electronic or magnetic order. In fact, the material displays a liquid-like magnetic state consisting of two coexisting and competing disordered magnetic phases. The results challenge a number of widely accepted paradigms into how unconventional superconductors work.
Researchers walk a fine line in stressing algae just enough to produce lipids that can be converted into biofuel without killing them. In Nature Plants, a team led by U.S. Department of Energy Joint Genome Institute (DOE JGI) scientists analyzed the genes that are being activated during algal lipid production.
A study including researchers from the U.S. Department of Energy's Argonne National Laboratory and the University of Chicago found evidence that gut microbes affect circadian rhythms and metabolism in mice.
Scientist Elena Belova of the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL) and a team of collaborators have proposed an explanation for why the hot plasma within fusion facilities called tokamaks sometimes fails to reach the required temperature, even as researchers pump beams of fast-moving neutral atoms into the plasma in an effort to make it hotter.
Intelligent agent-based software to be showcased at Smithsonian; Supercomputer speeding design, deployment of lightweight powertrain materials; ORNL process produces hydrogen from switchgrass; Sampling probe system identifies bioactive compounds in fungi; ORNL technique could accelerate advances in materials science
PNNL has developed a new tool to forecast for future energy needs that is up to 50 percent more accurate than several commonly used industry tools, showing potential to save millions in wasted electricity. The advancement was selected a 'best paper' at the IEEE Power & Energy general meeting.
Argonne has collaborated with Bombardier Recreational Products and the National Marine Manufacturers Association to demonstrate the effectiveness of a fuel blend with 16 percent butane. This blend would incorporate more biofuels into marine fuel without the issues caused by increasing levels of ethanol, which can cause difficulties in marine engines at high concentrations.
Researchers from Berkeley Lab and Columbia University have created the world's highest-performance single-molecule diode. Development of a functional single-molecule diode is a major pursuit of the electronics industry.
Using a climate model that can tag sources of soot and track where it lands, researchers have determined which areas around the Tibetan Plateau contribute the most soot -- and where. The model can also suggest the most effective way to reduce soot on the plateau, easing the amount of warming the region undergoes. The study, which appeared in Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics in June, might help policy makers target pollution reduction efforts.