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Searching for a solid that flows like a liquid

February 2, 2012 8:06 am | News | Comments

A series of neutron scattering experiments at Oak Ridge National Laboratory and other research centers is exploring the key question about a long-sought quantum state of matter called supersolidity: Does it exist?

ORNL microscopy reveals atomic antenna behavior in graphene

January 31, 2012 7:12 am | News | Comments

Atomic-level defects in graphene could be a path forward to smaller and faster electronic devices, according to a study led by researchers at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. The study suggests that point defects, composed of silicon atoms that replace individual carbon atoms in graphene, could aid attempts to transfer data on an atomic scale by coupling light with electrons.

Metadynamics technique offers insight into mineral growth and dissolution

January 24, 2012 3:42 am | News | Comments

By using a novel technique to better understand mineral growth and dissolution, researchers at Oak Ridge National Laboratory are improving predictions of mineral reactions and laying the groundwork for applications ranging from keeping oil pipes clear to sequestering radium.

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Neutron scattering provides window into surface interactions

January 17, 2012 10:36 am | News | Comments

To better understand the fundamental behavior of molecules at surfaces, researchers at Oak Ridge National Laboratory are combining the powers of neutron scattering with chemical analysis. Scientists have a fundamental interest in how molecules behave at solid surfaces because surface interactions influence chemistry. Understanding these interactions allows researchers to tailor materials for a specific desirable outcome.

ORNL experiments prove nanoscale metallic conductivity in ferroelectrics

January 9, 2012 10:00 am | News | Comments

The prospect of electronics at the nanoscale may be even more promising with the first observation of metallic conductance in ferroelectric nanodomains by researchers at Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

ORNL technology could mean improved prosthesis design

January 3, 2012 8:37 am | News | Comments

Soldiers returning from war who have lost a leg could lead a more active lifestyle with the help of a technology being developed by Oak Ridge National Laboratory researchers. The researchers are perfecting a portable, wearable system to measure walking patterns that can be applied to real-world activities in a variety of settings.

Supercomputer reveals details behind drug-processing protein model

December 7, 2011 4:22 am | News | Comments

Supercomputer simulations at Oak Ridge National Laboratory are giving scientists access to a key class of proteins involved in drug detoxification. Researchers have performed simulations to observe the motions of water molecules in a class of enzymes called P450s, which are responsible for processing a large fraction of drugs taken by humans.

Carbon dioxide emissions rebound quickly after global financial crisis

December 5, 2011 8:09 am | News | Comments

The sharp decrease in global carbon dioxide emissions attributed to the worldwide financial crisis in 2009 quickly rebounded in 2010, according to research supported by the Carbon Dioxide Information Analysis Center at Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

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DOE captures fugitives to reduce its carbon emissions

November 16, 2011 10:00 am | News | Comments

In terms of emissions, just one pound of sulfur hexafluoride, a nontoxic gas used in electric insulation, is equivalent to about 11 tons of carbon dioxide. Energy Department experts are hunting down this and other fugitive carbon emissions and have already prevented the release of 600,000 metric tons of carbon equivalent.

NICS to begin strategic engagement with Intel

November 15, 2011 12:14 pm | News | Comments

The University of Tennessee's National Institute for Computational Sciences announced at the SC11 conference that it has entered a multi-year strategic engagement with Intel Corporation to pursue development of next-generation, high-performance computing solutions based on the Intel’s Many Integrated Core architecture.

'A little chaos near the edge'

November 2, 2011 8:56 am | News | Comments

Heated to extreme temperatures of up to 150 million C, the plasma in ITER's giant experimental fusion reactor will be fed a fuel of frozen pellets of deuterium-tritium, fired into the tokamak vacuum vessel by pellet injectors. This new system, now under testing, is a key component for what will be the largest-ever tokamak.

First-of-a-kind tension wood study broadens biofuel R & D

October 25, 2011 12:44 pm | News | Comments

Tension wood, which forms naturally in hardwood trees in response to bending stress, possesses unique features, such as double the cellulose density of regular wood, that make it attractive as a bioenergy feedstock. For the first time, a comprehensive study of this wood and it’s suitability for sugar release has been conducted.

Unexpected magnetic excitations in doped insulator surprise researchers

October 24, 2011 4:46 am | News | Comments

When doping a disordered magnetic insulator material with atoms of a nonmagnetic material, the conventional wisdom is that the magnetic interactions between the magnetic ions in the material will be weakened. However, when the antiferromagnetic insulator barium manganate was doped, the barium manganate's magnetic excitations were surprisingly unreduced in strength and energy.

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ORNL awards contract to Cray for Titan supercomputer

October 11, 2011 8:51 am | News | Comments

Oak Ridge National Laboratory has awarded a contract to Cray Inc. to increase the Jaguar supercomputer's science impact and energy efficiency. The upgrade, which will provide advanced capabilities in modeling and simulation, will transform the DOE Office of Science-supported Cray XT5 system, currently capable of 2.3 million billion calculations per second (petaflops), into a Cray XK6 system with a peak speed between 10 and 20 petaflops.

Contract awarded for ITER early delivery cooling water system equipment

October 10, 2011 4:49 am | News | Comments

Oak Ridge National Laboratory has awarded a $13.2 million task order to AREVA Federal Services for fabrication of five drain tanks for the ITER tokamak cooling water system. ITER is an international project to demonstrate the feasibility of commercial fusion energy.

High-performance simulation uncovers three classes of protein motion

September 30, 2011 5:53 am | News | Comments

Molecular motion in proteins comes in three distinct classes, according to a collaboration by researchers at Oak Ridge National Laboratory and the University of Tennessee. The research team combined high-performance computer simulation with neutron scattering experiments to understand atomic-level motions that underpin the operations of proteins.

'Low tech' light in neutron beam illuminates photosynthesis in bacteria

September 28, 2011 4:46 am | News | Comments

Researchers at the Bio-SANS instrument at the High Flux Isotope Reactor are getting a leg up in their research from a "low tech" lighting tool that can be fixed to their samples and then pushed directly into the neutron beam, to illuminate the response of layers of cyanobacteria to changes in light.

ORNL discovers amazing electrical properties in polymers

September 22, 2011 9:24 am | News | Comments

Crystals and ceramics pale when compared to a material researchers at Oak Ridge National Laboratory discovered that has 10 times their piezoelectric effect, making it suitable for perhaps hundreds of everyday uses.

Simulating turbulent combustion speeds design

September 22, 2011 5:04 am | News | Comments

Multiscale complexity is common across all combustion applications—internal combustion engines, rockets, and industrial boilers—and can range from tens of meters to billionths of meters. New techniques being employed at supercomputers covers this huge scale range using fewer computer hours, and could benefit efficiency levels in the combustion industry.

ORNL invention unravels mystery of protein folding

September 14, 2011 9:22 am | News | Comments

An Oak Ridge National Laboratory invention able to quickly predict 3D structure of protein could have huge implications for drug discovery and human health. While scientists have long studied protein structure and the mechanism of folding, this marks the first time they are able to computationally predict 3D structure independent of size of the protein.

New material possible boon for lithium-ion batteries

September 8, 2011 10:22 am | News | Comments

Batteries could get a boost from an Oak Ridge National Laboratory discovery that increases power, energy density, and safety while dramatically reducing charge time. The Oak Ridge team found that titanium dioxide creates a highly desirable material that increases surface area and features a fast charge-discharge capability for lithium-ion batteries.

Novel superconductor fibers carry 40 times more electricity

September 7, 2011 8:11 am | News | Comments

A team from Tel Aviv University has developed superconducting wires using fibers made of single crystals of sapphire to be used in high powered cables. Factoring in temperature requirements, each tiny wire can carry approximately 40 times more electricity than a copper wire of the same size.

Neutron analysis reveals unique atom-scale behavior of 'cobalt blue'

September 7, 2011 4:40 am | News | Comments

Neutron scattering studies of "cobalt blue," a compound prized by artists for its lustrous blue hue, are revealing unique magnetic characteristics that could answer questions about mysterious properties in other materials.

SNS, HFIR experiments help refine thin-film solar cells

September 2, 2011 4:27 am | News | Comments

Solar cells that convert sunlight into electricity could be a widely used renewable energy source. Getting to that point, though, requires breakthroughs in their cost and their efficiency at turning sunbeams into electric current. Neutron scattering experiments conducted at Oak Ridge National Laboratory are helping solar cell makers obtain the hard data they need to refine their materials and manufacturing processes.

Dow Kokam, ORNL sign agreement to boost battery performance

August 25, 2011 7:47 am | News | Comments

Dow Kokam and the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory are working together to enhance the Michigan-based company's capabilities to develop and commercialize advanced lithium ion batteries.

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