Laboratory Highlights

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May 23, 2018
Powering Up With a Smart Window
Powering Up With a Smart Window
Smart windows were developed in the 1970s. They are used to reduce building energy consumption by minimizing unwanted solar heating. Typically,
May 22, 2018
Remnant Superconductivity From Invisible Stripes
Remnant Superconductivity From Invisible Stripes
In the 1980s, scientists discovered that copper-oxide compounds exhibit superconductivity at higher temperatures than traditional superconductors,
May 22, 2018
Cracking the Code of Superconductivity and Magnetism
Cracking the Code of Superconductivity and Magnetism
Strongly correlated electron systems have been studied for over five decades. Scientists predicted that at high temperatures, electrons in
May 16, 2018
Perfecting the Noise-Canceling Neutrino Detector
Perfecting the Noise-Canceling Neutrino Detector
The primary component of the MicroBooNE detector is the TPC—a large, rectangular structure that includes a set of wire planes and readout
May 9, 2018
Huge “Thermometer” Takes Temperatures of Tiny Samples
Huge “Thermometer” Takes Temperatures of Tiny Samples
Atoms are always shaking. The higher the temperature, the more the atoms shake. In this study, scientists used a specialized instrument made by the
May 8, 2018
Water, Water, Everywhere, but How Does It Flow?
Water, Water, Everywhere, but How Does It Flow?
Viscosity is one of the most fundamental physical properties of a liquid. Yet, its atomic and molecular origins are not well understood. Recently,
May 4, 2018
Magnetized Plasmas That “Twist Light” Can Produce Powerful Microscopes and More
Magnetized Plasmas That “Twist Light” Can Produce Powerful Microscopes and More
Light is a travelling wave of electric and magnetic fields. We all know that when a stone is thrown into a pond, the wavefronts form concentric
May 2, 2018
Whistling While You Work: Fusion Scientists Find Inspiration in Atmospheric Whistles
Whistling While You Work: Fusion Scientists Find Inspiration in Atmospheric Whistles
For more than a century, mysterious electromagnetic waves that occur naturally in the earth’s ionosphere—generally caused by lightning
May 2, 2018
Zero Tolerance in Tokamaks: Eliminating Small Instabilities Before They Become Disruptions
Zero Tolerance in Tokamaks: Eliminating Small Instabilities Before They Become Disruptions
Advanced tokamaks achieve high-thermal-energy plasmas by injecting beams of hot ions that collide with, and thereby heat, the background plasma.
May 1, 2018
Tracking Down Helium-4’s Quarks and Gluons
Tracking Down Helium-4’s Quarks and Gluons
The researchers’ new measurements provided the first beam-spin asymmetry data on exclusive DVCS from helium-4 using a highly polarized
April 25, 2018
Keeping Tabs on Polysulfides in Batteries
Keeping Tabs on Polysulfides in Batteries
The lithium-sulfur battery has a theoretical energy density much greater than commercial lithium-ion batteries; however, the technology exhibits
April 24, 2018
A Functional Genomics Database for Plant Microbiome Studies
A Functional Genomics Database for Plant Microbiome Studies
To facilitate crop-breeding strategies for making plants more productive on marginal lands and more tolerant of stresses such as drought and low
April 24, 2018
A Novel Method for Comparing Plant Genes
A Novel Method for Comparing Plant Genes
The water-saving characteristics developed by CAM plants allow for survival in arid climates. Plant species such as orchid, pineapple, and
April 23, 2018
A Game Changer: Protein Clustering Powered by Supercomputers
A Game Changer: Protein Clustering Powered by Supercomputers
Given an arbitrary graph or network, it is difficult to know the most efficient way to visit all of the nodes and links. A random walk gets a sense
April 11, 2018
Getting Magnesium Ions to Pick Up the Pace
Getting Magnesium Ions to Pick Up the Pace
The remarkable mobility of lithium ions in solids has been a key factor in the development of commercial lithium-ion batteries. A generally
April 11, 2018
Seeing How Next-Generation Batteries Power-Up
Seeing How Next-Generation Batteries Power-Up
Batteries based on magnesium metal as the negative electrode (anode) promise much higher energy density compared to lithium-ion systems and are, at
April 9, 2018
How to Turn Light Into Atomic Vibrations
How to Turn Light Into Atomic Vibrations
Light could induce desirable structural changes in thin sheets of materials. These materials could have applications ranging from data storage
April 6, 2018
Scientists demonstrated that powerful acids heal certain structural defects in synthetic films.
Superacids Are Good Medicine for Super Thin Semiconductors
The atomically thin nature of layered 2-D semiconductors gives rise to a gamut of unique physical properties, which often do not exist in
April 6, 2018
Tubular Science Improves Polymer Solar Cells
Tubular Science Improves Polymer Solar Cells
Low-cost, large-area scalability by solution processing is an important advantage of organic polymer solar cells. Typical organic solar cells,
April 6, 2018
Fast! Hard X-Ray Flash Breaks Speed Record
Fast! Hard X-Ray Flash Breaks Speed Record
To capture the fast motions of electrons that govern many chemical processes, x-ray pulses in the attosecond range are required. Two methods have
March 26, 2018
Rewriting Resistance: Genetic Changes Increase Crops’ Biomass and Sugar Release
Rewriting Resistance: Genetic Changes Increase Crops’ Biomass and Sugar Release
Scientists at the BioEnergy Science Center used targeted engineering of plant cell wall polymers to genetically modify switchgrass and poplar,
March 26, 2018
Measuring the Glow of Plants from Below
Measuring the Glow of Plants from Below
Quantifying gross primary production (GPP) remains a major challenge in global carbon cycle research. Space-borne monitoring of solar-induced
March 26, 2018
Scientists Have Overestimated Meteor Sizes
Scientists Have Overestimated Meteor Sizes
Using the high brightness, short-pulse X-ray free-electron laser at the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, the team measured the speed at which
March 20, 2018
Small Poke—Huge Unexpected Response
Small Poke—Huge Unexpected Response
Weyl fermions are novel particles that were predicted to be seen in high-energy physics experiments but have not been observed. However, scientists
March 19, 2018
Scaling Plant Traits Stymied by Uncertainty in Measured Global Photosynthesis
Scaling Plant Traits Stymied by Uncertainty in Measured Global Photosynthesis
An international team of researchers investigated the impact of four trait-scaling hypotheses (plant functional type, nutrient limitation,