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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.


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.

Electron microscopy research furthers flexoelectric theory

April 16, 2012 3:43 am | News | Comments

Materials such as bismuth samarium ferrite and lead zirconium titanate are often called "materials on the brink" in reference to their enigmatic behavior, which is closely tied to the transition between two different phases. Recent electron microscopy sponsored by Oak Ridge National Laboratory has helped build knowledge about these materials and related flexoelectric theory, which describes materials that change polarization when bent.

First message transmitted via neutrinos

April 11, 2012 11:30 am | by Kurt Riesselmann | News | Comments

Scientists have for decades contemplated communicating via neutrinos when other methods won’t do. For the first time, physicists and engineers at Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory’s MINERvA detector have successfully transmitted a message through 240 m of rock using these ghost-like particles.

Neutron scattering unlocks milk protein

April 4, 2012 6:05 pm | by Agatha Bardoel | News | Comments

Small-angle neutron scattering instrument at the High Flux Isotope Reactor at Oak Ridge National Laboratory can be used for a surprising variety of biological studies. Recently, researchers in The Netherlands successfully analyzed and characterized the internal protein structure and composite particles of a cow named Martha.

Neutrons uncover new density waves in fermion liquids

March 29, 2012 4:14 am | News | Comments

Scientists have recently carried out the first investigation of 2D fermion liquids using neutron scattering, and discovered a new type of very short wavelength density wave. The team believes their discovery will interest researchers looking at electronic systems, since high temperature superconductivity could result from this type of density fluctuations.

ORNL process converts polyethylene into carbon fiber

March 27, 2012 10:35 am | News | Comments

Common material such as polyethylene used in plastic bags could be turned into something far more valuable through a process being developed at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. In a recently published paper, a team led by Amit Naskar of the Materials Science and Technology Division outlined a method that allows not only for production of carbon fiber but also the ability to tailor the final product to specific applications.

New software tool to assess global freshwater stress

March 23, 2012 8:39 am | News | Comments

While several recent studies suggest that much of the world is likely to experience freshwater shortages as the population increases and temperatures rise, determining the relative impact of each has been difficult. A recent Oak Ridge National Laboratory paper outlines a process that might help.

Standoff sensing enters new realm with dual-laser technique

March 22, 2012 12:36 pm | News | Comments

Identifying chemicals from a distance could take a step forward with the introduction of a two-laser system being developed at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. The technique uses a quantum cascade laser to "pump," or strike, a target, and another laser to monitor the material's response as a result of temperature-induced changes. That information allows for the rapid identification of chemicals and biological agents.

Performing under pressure

March 15, 2012 7:29 am | News | Comments

Oak Ridge National Laboratory's Spallation Neutron Source's Spallation Neutrons and Pressure Diffractometer (SNAP) puts the squeeze on methane hydrate cages, unraveling their high-pressure structure.

ORNL-led team advances science of carbon accounting

March 6, 2012 9:43 am | News | Comments

Determining with precision the carbon balance of North America is complicated, but researchers at Oak Ridge National Laboratory have devised a method that considerably advances the science. In developing their approach, the team took advantage of inventory records from the U.S., Canada, and Mexico that track changes in the amount of carbon in various reservoirs such as plants, soils, and wood.

ORNL completes first phase of Titan supercomputer transition

March 1, 2012 7:04 am | News | Comments

Oak Ridge National Laboratory's Jaguar supercomputer has completed the first phase of an upgrade that will keep it among the most powerful scientific computing systems in the world. When the upgrade process is completed this autumn, the system will be renamed Titan and will be capable of 10 to 20 petaflops.

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