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ORNL debuts Titan supercomputer

October 30, 2012 1:36 pm | News | Comments

The U.S. Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory launched a new era of scientific supercomputing on Tuesday with Titan, a system capable of churning through more than 20,000 trillion calculations each second—or 20 petaflops—by employing a family of processors called graphic processing units first created for computer gaming. Titan will be 10 times more powerful than ORNL's last world-leading system, Jaguar.

Tiny pores in graphene could give rise to membranes

October 23, 2012 12:22 pm | by Jennifer Chu, MIT News Office | News | Comments

Much has been made of graphene’s exceptional qualities, particularly its phenomenal strength and impermeability. But the material may not be as impenetrable as scientists have thought. Recent analysis shows that the material bears intrinsic defects, or holes in its atom-sized armor. Experiments demonstrate small molecules like salts can pass easily through a graphene membrane’s tiny pores, while larger molecules were unable to penetrate.

Neutron experiments give unprecedented look at quantum oscillations

October 23, 2012 12:03 pm | News | Comments

Researchers at Oak Ridge National Laboratory have found that nitrogen atoms in the compound uranium nitride exhibit unexpected, distinct vibrations that form a nearly ideal realization of a physics textbook model known as the isotropic quantum harmonic oscillator.

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Study confirms magnetic properties of silicon nanoribbons

October 18, 2012 7:32 am | News | Comments

Nanoribbons of silicon configured so the atoms resemble chicken wire could hold the key to ultrahigh density data storage and information processing systems of the future. This was a key finding of an Oak Ridge National Laboratory team who used scanning tunneling microscopy and spectroscopy to validate first principle calculation that for years had predicted this outcome.

ORNL wins grants for solar power research

October 11, 2012 2:31 pm | News | Comments

In a push to lower the cost of solar power, the U.S. Department of Energy has funded two projects at Oak Ridge National Laboratory focused on improving concentrating solar power collector and receiver performance.

Research uncovers path to defect-free thin films

September 20, 2012 9:04 am | News | Comments

A team led by Oak Ridge National Laboratory has discovered a strain relaxation phenomenon in cobaltites that has eluded researchers for decades and may lead to advances in fuel cells, magnetic sensors, and a host of energy-related materials. The finding could change the conventional wisdom that accommodating the strain inherent during the formation of epitaxial thin films involves structural defects.

SNS researchers overcome the freezing sample problem in biostudies

September 13, 2012 10:07 am | News | Comments

Researchers at the Spallation Neutron Source BASIS beam line at Oak Ridge National Laboratory have successfully developed a method to study biomolecules (proteins) at temperatures far below freezing using a lithium chloride preparation in the aqueous solvent that prevents freezing.

ORNL roof and attic design proves efficient

September 11, 2012 6:22 am | News | Comments

A new kind of roof-and-attic system field tested at Oak Ridge National Laboratory keeps homes cool in summer and prevents heat loss in winter, a multiseasonal efficiency uncommon in roof and attic design. The system improves efficiency using controls for radiation, convenction, and insulation, including a passive ventilation system that pulls air from the underbelly of the attic into an inclined air space above the roof.

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Newly licensed neutron detector will advance human disease research

September 6, 2012 11:08 am | News | Comments

A neutron detector developed for studies focused on life science, drug discovery, and materials technology has been licensed by PartTec Ltd. The Indiana-based manufacturer of radiation detection technologies is moving the technology developed at Oak Ridge National Laboratory toward the commercial marketplace.

Oak Ridge partnership merges strengths of lab, private sector

August 27, 2012 10:29 am | News | Comments

An Oak Ridge engineering services firm with an international footprint has teamed with three Oak Ridge National Laboratory scientists to form a subsidiary and market a text analysis system. The subsidiary, Global Security Information Analysts LLC, is the product of Professional Project Services and the inventors of Piranha, software used by military and Department of Homeland Security to analyze large sets of streaming data.

Researchers probe invisible vacancies in fuel cell materials

August 22, 2012 11:34 am | News | Comments

Knowing the position of missing oxygen atoms could be the key to cheaper solid oxide fuel cells with longer lifetimes. New microscopy research from Oak Ridge National Laboratory is enabling scientists to map these vacancies at an atomic scale.

Researchers improve soil carbon cycling models

August 17, 2012 3:35 am | News | Comments

A new carbon cycling model developed at Oak Ridge National Laboratory better accounts for the carbon dioxide-releasing activity of microbes in the ground, improving scientists' understanding of the role soil will play in future climate change.

Curiosity’s power pack contains rugged technology

August 8, 2012 6:04 am | by Bill Cabage | News | Comments

The mobile instrument platform on NASA’s Curiosity rover, which recently landed on Mars, is too large to rely on solar-powered batteries and uses a plutonium oxide-powered generator. Oak Ridge National Laboratory developed and fabricated protective iridium alloy cladding that is designed to be so resistant to heat and impact that it remains intact even during an unplanned reentry during the spacecraft's launch or subsequent gravitational-assist flybys.

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Networcsim hoping to broaden wireless revolution

July 30, 2012 3:50 am | News | Comments

A Tennessee company has licensed award-winning software from Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) that will help industries install wireless networks more cost-effectively in challenging environments such as mines, offshore drilling platforms and factory floors. Networcsim signed an agreement today to license the Radio Channel Simulator software, which won an R&D 100 Award this month.

Arcam, ORNL sign cooperation agreement

July 25, 2012 11:18 am | News | Comments

Arcam and Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) have signed a cooperation agreement under which the parties will facilitate the introduction of Arcam's EBM technology to U.S. industry through a manufacturing demonstration facility.

DataONE portal streamlines access to environmental data

July 24, 2012 3:41 am | News | Comments

Environmental researchers who investigate climate change, invasive species, infectious diseases, and other data-intensive topics can now benefit from easy access to diverse data sets through technology released by the Data Observation Network for Earth, or DataONE.

Titan supercomputer hours awarded to collaborative protein project

July 16, 2012 11:01 am | News | Comments

Scientists at Brookhaven National Laboratory and Stony Brook University have been awarded processing time on a new supercomputer at Oak Ridge National Laboratory to study how proteins fold into their 3D shapes.

Peering into protein dynamics

June 28, 2012 3:56 am | News | Comments

Researchers donned safety glasses and put their arms into a high-purity, inert atmosphere glove box recently, to prepare protein samples for neutron scattering on the Cold Neutron Chopper Spectrometer at the Spallation Neutron Source at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. In their experiment, they are using picosecond time lengths to study the dynamics of green fluorescent protein.

ORNL, UTK team maps the nuclear landscape

June 27, 2012 10:38 am | News | Comments

An Oak Ridge National Laboratory and University of Tennessee team has used the Jaguar supercomputer to calculate the number of isotopes allowed by the laws of physics. The team used a quantum approach known as density functional theory, applying it independently to six models of the nuclear interaction to determine that there are about 7,000 possible combinations of protons and neutrons allowed in bound nuclei with up to 120 protons.

ORNL home to new battery manufacturing R & D facility

June 26, 2012 9:04 am | News | Comments

Future automotive batteries could cost less and pack more power because of a new manufacturing research and development facility at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. The $3 million Department of Energy facility allows for collaboration with industry and other national labs while protecting intellectual property of industrial partners.

Food, water safety provide new challenges for sensors

May 25, 2012 4:07 am | News | Comments

Sensors that work flawlessly in laboratory settings may stumble when it comes to performing in real-world conditions, according to researchers at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. These shortcomings are important as they relate to safeguarding the nation's food and water supplies.

Studying the internal mechanisms of shape-memory alloys

May 9, 2012 6:29 am | News | Comments

Shape-memory alloys are an engineer's dream, able to shape-shift spontaneously to accommodate changing operating conditions. A research team from NASA and the University of Central Florida is studying the internal mechanisms of these real-life "transformers" at the Spallation Neutron Source at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, with an eye toward increasing their use in everyday scenarios.

ORNL, Yale take steps toward low-cost DNA sequencing device

April 24, 2012 7:23 am | News | Comments

Researchers at Oak Ridge National Laboratory and Yale University have developed a new concept for use in a high-speed genomic sequencing device that may have the potential to substantially drive down costs. The researchers have created nanopores with a radio frequency electric field capable of trapping segments of DNA and other biomolecules.

ORNL microscopy yields first proof of ferroelectricity in simplest amino acid

April 19, 2012 7:46 am | News | Comments

The boundary between electronics and biology is blurring with the first detection by researchers at Oak Ridge National Laboratory of ferroelectric properties in an amino acid called glycine. A multi-institutional research team used a combination of experiments and modeling to identify and explain the presence of ferroelectricity in the simplest known amino acid—glycine.

New process improves catalytic rate of enzymes by 3,000%

April 18, 2012 5:21 am | News | Comments

According to recent research at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, light of specific wavelengths can be used to boost an enzyme's function by as much as 30-fold, potentially establishing a path to less expensive biofuels, detergents and a host of other products.

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