The Information Age will get a major upgrade with the arrival of quantum processors faster and more powerful than today’s supercomputers. For the benefits of this new Information Age 2.0 to be fully realized, however, quantum computers will need fast and efficient multi-directional light sources. While quantum technologies remain grist for science fiction, a team of researchers has taken an important step towards efficient light generation.
A new technique developed at the Advanced Light Source could help scientists better understand...
Listen up nickel-titanium and all you other shape-memory alloys, there’s a new kid on the block...
A unique inside look at the electronic structure of a highly touted metal-organic framework (MOF) as it is adsorbing carbon dioxide gas should help in the design of new and improved MOFs for carbon capture and storage. Researchers with Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory have recorded the first in situ electronic structure observations of the adsorption of carbon dioxide inside Mg-MOF-74.
In our universe there are particle accelerators 40 million times more powerful than the Large Hadron Collider at CERN. Scientists don’t know what these cosmic accelerators are or where they are located, but new results being reported from IceCube, the neutrino observatory buried at the South Pole, may show the way. These new results should also erase any doubts as to IceCube’s ability to deliver on its promise.
Researchers at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory have demonstrated in the laboratory a lithium-sulfur battery that has more than twice the specific energy of lithium-ion batteries, and that lasts for more than 1,500 cycles of charge-discharge with minimal decay of the battery’s capacity. This is the longest cycle life reported so far for any lithium-sulfur battery.
Understanding superconductivity has proved to be one of the most persistent problems in modern physics. Scientists have struggled for decades to develop a cohesive theory of superconductivity, largely spurred by the game-changing prospect of creating a superconductor that works at room temperature, but it has proved to be a tremendous tangle of complex physics.
From the production of tougher, more durable smartphones and other electronic devices, to a wider variety of longer lasting biomedical implants, bulk metallic glasses are poised to be mainstay materials for the 21st Century. Featuring a non-crystalline amorphous structure, bulk metallic glasses can be as strong or stronger than steel, as malleable as plastics, conduct electricity and resist corrosion.
Despite their almost incomprehensibly small size, single-walled carbon nanotubes come in a plethora of different “species,” each with its own structure and unique combination of electronic and optical properties. Characterizing the structure and properties of an individual carbon nanotube has involved a lot of guesswork, until now.
“Function follows form” might have been written to describe proteins, as the M. C. Escher-esque folds and twists of nature’s workhorse biomolecules enables each to carry out its specific responsibilities. X-ray protein crystallography determines protein structures by creating a diffraction pattern of dots that can be reconstructed by computer into a 3-D model.
From supersensitive detections of magnetic fields to quantum information processing, the key to a number of highly promising advanced technologies may lie in one of the most common defects in diamonds. Researchers have taken an important step towards unlocking this key with the first ever detailed look at critical ultra-fast processes in these diamond defects.
Taking inspiration from the human immune system, researchers at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory have created a new material that can be programmed to identify an endless variety of molecules. The new material resembles tiny sheets of Velcro, each just one-hundred nanometers across. But instead of securing your sneakers, this molecular Velcro mimics the way natural antibodies recognize viruses and toxins.
What does the coastal community of Bolinas, Calif., have in common with the impoverished island nation of Haiti? The surprising answer is a fledgling sanitation strategy whereby human waste is composted into nutrient-rich fertilizer, all supported by research from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory scientist Gary Andersen.
The first dynamic regulatory system that prevents the build-up of toxic metabolites in engineered microbes has been reported by a team of researchers with the Joint BioEnergy Institute (JBEI). The JBEI researchers used their system to double the production in Escherichia coli (E. coli) of amorphadiene, a precursor to the premier antimalarial drug artemisinin.
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory researchers found thousands of gene enhancers, regulatory sequences of DNA that act to turn-on or amplify the expression of a specific gene, that are involved in the development of the human face. These enhancers help explain why every human face is as unique as a fingerprint.
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory researchers at the Advanced Light Source (ALS) have invented a new technique for studying the process by which certain errors in the genetic code are detected and repaired. The technique is based on a combination of hybrid nanomaterials and SAXS imaging at the ALS SIBYLS beamline.
The universe is a vast and mysterious place, but thanks to high-performance computing technology scientists around the world are beginning to understand it better. They are using supercomputers to simulate how the Big Bang generated the seeds that led to the formation of galaxies such as the Milky Way.
Vanadium dioxide is one of the few known materials that acts like an insulator at low temperatures but like a metal at warmer temperatures starting around 67 C. This temperature-driven metal-insulator transition, the origin of which is still intensely debated, could be induced by the application of an external electric field. Beamline studies at the Advanced Light Source has shed some light on this potential avenue for faster electronics.
The Kavli Foundation has endowed a new institute at the Univ. of California, Berkeley, and the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory to explore the basic science of how to capture and channel energy on the molecular or nanoscale and use this information to discover new ways of generating energy for human use.
Autumn is usually not such a great time for big special effects movies as the summer blockbusters have faded and those for the holiday season have not yet opened. Fall is more often the time for thoughtful films about small subjects, which makes it perfect for the unveiling of a new movie produced by researchers at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.
At some point in elementary school you were shown that opposite charges attract and like charges repel. This is a universal scientific truth—except when it isn’t. A research team led by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory chemist Richard Saykally and theorist David Prendergast, working at the Advanced Light Source, has shown that, when hydrated in water, positively charged ions (cations) can actually pair up with one another.
An international collaboration at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory’s Advanced Light Source has induced high-temperature superconductivity in a toplogical insulator, an important step on the road to fault-tolerant quantum computing.
Bionic leaves that could produce fuels from nothing more than sunlight, water and carbon dioxide, with no byproducts other than oxygen, represent an ideal alternative to fossil fuels but also pose numerous scientific challenges. In a major advance, researchers at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory have developed a method by which molecular hydrogen-producing catalysts can be interfaced with a semiconductor that absorbs visible light.
Modern, large-scale science requires high-bandwidth, reliable networks that interconnect globally distributed instruments, facilities and collaborators, allowing them to function as if they are one system in one location. This isn’t always possible, so to ensure that scientists can reliably meet the time-critical needs of their research, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory’s Energy Sciences Network (ESnet) developed the On-demand Secure Circuits and Advance Reservation System (OSCARS) 0.6.
Scanning probe technologies such as atomic force microscopes (AFMs) return spatial maps with atomic-scale detail; but until now, no equivalently accessible tool to investigate chemical and physical properties at such a length scale was available. Scientists at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory have overcome this challenge by developing a tool to perform optical spectroscopy with a spatial resolution less than 10 nm, two orders of magnitude better than is possible with current technologies.
Improvements to lithium-ion batteries have been difficult in part because of the relative simplicity of the battery. However, the glue-like binders used to hold electrode materials in place have been identified as a potential area for improvements. Typically, these anodic materials have been based on graphite. At Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, a Conducting Polymer Binder has been developed based on silicon and offers four features of improvement over previous technologies.
The U.S.’s nascent status as an energy-independent nation and net producer of energy depends on technologies for the efficient discovery and extraction of oil and natural gas. Increasingly, imaging tools are the key to developing chemically and physically sensitive well-logging methods and techniques for fracturing. Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory’s OWL-MRI technology for MRI oil-well logging represents a significant advance in this technology area.
Fuel cells are typically viewed as complex or expensive devices. However, Point Source Power and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory’s VOTO rugged metal-supported solid-oxide fuel cell is a simple, affordable technology that can operate directly on hydrocarbon fuels in the relatively uncontrolled environment of a cookstove.
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