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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.

Neutron science community has reason to SING

August 17, 2011 2:43 pm | News | Comments

SING, which stands for SNS Instruments, Next Generation, is a project to outfit Oak Ridge National Laboratory’s advanced Spallation Neutron Source with 24 neutron instruments. The latest project to outfit the facility with five new instruments has been a success.

Ions control shape of nanofibers grown on clear substrate

August 16, 2011 5:13 am | News | Comments

Researchers from North Carolina State University, the Oak Ridge National Laboratory, and CFD Research Corporation have found a new way to develop straight carbon nanofibers on a transparent substrate. The technique utilizes a charged chromium grid, and relies on ions to ensure the nanofibers are straight, rather than curling—which limits their utility.

Microscopy generates a new view of fuel cells

August 16, 2011 4:25 am | News | Comments

A novel microscopy method at the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory is helping scientists probe the reactions that limit widespread deployment of fuel cell technologies.


Self-assembly overcomes superparamagnetism

August 14, 2011 8:00 pm | Award Winners

The development of ultra-high magnetic storage devices has been hampered by superparamagnetism, a nanoscale phenomenon that causes data loss. A new type of magnetic media and fabrication process invented at Oak Ridge National Laboratory overcomes this problem.

Alloy promises better tooling for aerospace parts

August 14, 2011 8:00 pm | Award Winners

The developers of New Stainless Steel Alloy Tooling For High Temperature Presses that Form Aircraft Components estimate that tools made with this alloy will have an increase in lifetime over those made using the closest competing alloy.

A palladium solution for hydrogen leaks

August 14, 2011 8:00 pm | Award Winners

Oak Ridge National Laboratory's, Oak Ridge, Tenn., Hydrogen safety sensor with nanostructured palladium cantilevers provides rapid detection of hydrogen gas in atmospheric environments, and measures its concentration.

Uniform aerogel gets the salt out

August 14, 2011 8:00 pm | Award Winners

The future of clean water may depend on desalination technology, and engineers at Oak Ridge National Laboratory have championed capacitive deionization, by inventing a mesoporous carbon material that more effectively removes salts and minerals.

Faster, cheaper way to clad metal

August 14, 2011 8:00 pm | Award Winners

CermaClad: Rapid Metal Cladding Process offers a faster process for cladding corrosion resistant alloy, wear resistant alloys, cermet, ceramic, and metal powders on large metal surfaces, and is 25 to 50% cheaper than current technology.

Heat pump saves with gas

August 14, 2011 8:00 pm | Award Winners

Typical heat pumps are powered from the electrical grid, but the NextAire Packaged Gas Heat Pump from Oak Ridge National Laboratory and partners uses natural gas as its primary fuel, allowing users to avoid high kilowatt demands and time-of-use rates.

ORNL's LandScan population dataset licensed to EVC

July 29, 2011 5:27 am | News | Comments

UT-Battelle has entered into an exclusive distributorship license with East View Cartographic (EVC) for a population distribution database. The LandScan High Resolution Global Population DataSet, developed at the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory, has already seen success in a number of research, educational, humanitarian, and corporate applications.

New spin on friction-stir

July 26, 2011 5:03 am | News | Comments

Researchers Zhili Feng, Alan Frederic, and Stan David in Oak Ridge National Laboratory's Materials S&T Division have made significant progress toward a new metal processing technique, called friction-stir extrusion, that could represent a major advance in converting recyclable materials to useful products.

US ITER awards contract to General Atomics for superconducting magnets

July 20, 2011 5:15 am | News | Comments

The US ITER Project Office at Oak Ridge National Laboratory competitively awarded a multi-year contract to General Atomics to produce superconducting magnets for the central solenoid of ITER, an experimental fusion facility that aims to demonstrate the feasibility of fusion energy for the commercial power grid.

Hydrogen: The key to growing high-quality graphene?

July 19, 2011 4:16 am | by Ron Walli | News | Comments

A new approach to growing graphene greatly reduces problems that have plagued researchers in the past, clearing a path to the crystalline form of graphite's use in sophisticated electronic devices of tomorrow.

It takes three to tango

July 13, 2011 5:47 am | News | Comments

The nucleus of an atom, like most everything else, is more complicated than we first thought. Just how much more complicated is the subject of a Petascale Early Science project led by Oak Ridge National Laboratory's David Dean. According to findings outlined in Physical Review Letters , researchers who want to understand how and why a nucleus hangs together as it does and disintegrates when and how it does have a very tough job ahead of them.

Increased production of sulfur compound tied to climate change

June 24, 2011 11:53 am | News | Comments

An organic compound that smells like cabbage and has been called the "smell of the sea" could be more sensitive to global climate change than commonly believed. In a recent report, a Livermore researcher, along with colleagues from Los Alamos and Oak Ridge national laboratories and the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology, found through computer modeling that dimethyl sulfide (DMS) will increase significantly in certain parts of the ocean and decrease in others if the world continues with a business-as-usual fossil fuel dependency.

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