Science Highlights

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Each year, scientists with the Office of Science, at our national laboratories, and supported by the Office of Science at the nation’s colleges and universities, publish thousands of research findings in the scientific literature. About 200 of these are selected annually by their respective program areas in the Office of Science as publication highlights of special note.

For the archive of past publication highlights, click here.

February 12, 2018
Squeezing Into the Best Shape
Squeezing Into the Best Shape
Biological cells compartmentalize the functions of proteins and enzymes within organelles and organize into tissues that coordinate to perform work
February 12, 2018
Forcing the Hand of Elusive Electrons
Forcing the Hand of Elusive Electrons
An elusive massless particle with charge and spin ½, a.k.a. Weyl fermion, was predicted nearly 100 years ago. It still has not been observed
February 12, 2018
Unwavering Juggler With Three Extra Electrons
Unwavering Juggler With Three Extra Electrons
Researchers have found a new way to predict the stability of multiply charged molecules using high-throughput simulations, which are becoming an
February 12, 2018
Deep Dive into How Electrons Behave
Deep Dive into How Electrons Behave
The energy and momentum of electrons influence their motion through a material, which, in turn, determines its electrical and optical properties.
February 10, 2018
How Bacteria Produce Manganese Oxide Nanoparticles
How Bacteria Produce Manganese Oxide Nanoparticles
In numerous elemental cycles vital to life, Mn cycles between its reduced primarily soluble form (Mn(II)) and its oxidized insoluble forms (Mn(III
February 10, 2018
From 100,000 to 8: Representing Complex Aerosol Patterns with Far Fewer Particles
From 100,000 to 8: Representing Complex Aerosol Patterns with Far Fewer Particles
Scientists describe a new technique for constructing sparse representations of realistically complex aerosol populations from distribution moments.
February 2, 2018
Atomic Vibes During Melting?
Atomic Vibes During Melting?
Glasses we encounter in everyday life are mostly transparent and used for everything from window panes to phone screens. Glasses are solids that
February 2, 2018
Taking Solar Energy to the Edge
Taking Solar Energy to the Edge
Hybrid perovskites are a new class of low-cost materials that can capture and emit light. This material can be synthesized in several forms: bulk 3
February 2, 2018
Putting the P in Photosynthesis of Tropical Forests
Putting the P in Photosynthesis of Tropical Forests
While tropical forests cover only 7 percent of the Earth’s surface, they are vital to understanding the global circulation of carbon dioxide
January 16, 2018
Superconducting Tokamaks Are Standing Tall
Superconducting Tokamaks Are Standing Tall
The shape of the plasma boundary in fusion energy experiments, such as KSTAR and ITER, must be carefully controlled to achieve the plasma
January 16, 2018
Graphene Flexes Its Muscle
Graphene Flexes Its Muscle
Although graphene is considered a 2-D material, it never exists in a perfectly flat state. Like wrinkled skin, when this atomically thin carbon is
January 16, 2018
Exploring Past, Present, and Future Water Availability Regionally, Globally
Exploring Past, Present, and Future Water Availability Regionally, Globally
Xanthos, an open-source hydrologic model written in Python, simulates historical and future global water availability on a monthly time step at a
January 16, 2018
Arctic Photosynthetic Capacity and Carbon Dioxide
Arctic Photosynthetic Capacity and Carbon Dioxide Assimilation Underestimated by Terrestrial Biosphere Models
The researchers measured the maximum carboxylation rate and maximum electron transport rate in seven species representative of the dominant
January 16, 2018
DRIFTing to Fast, Precise Data
DRIFTing to Fast, Precise Data
Researchers led by Argonne National Laboratory investigated the suitability of diffuse reflectance Fourier transform mid-infrared (DRIFT)
January 10, 2018
Remotely Predicting Leaf Age in Tropical Forests
Remotely Predicting Leaf Age in Tropical Forests
Knowing the age of leaves in a forest offers valuable information regarding the volume of carbon dioxide “consumed” by photosynthesis.
January 6, 2018
What’s the Noise Eating Quantum Bits?
What’s the Noise Eating Quantum Bits?
In quantum computing, quantum information is lost due to a loss of synchronization (dephasing) in the electronic flow and energy relaxation.
January 6, 2018
Filtering Water Better than Nature
Filtering Water Better than Nature
To meet global demand for clean drinking water, scientists are actively pursuing next generation energy-efficient water purification membranes. The
January 6, 2018
Rewritable Wires Could Mean No More Obsolete Circuitry
Rewritable Wires Could Mean No More Obsolete Circuitry
Ferroelectric materials have spontaneous electrical ordering that can be changed by applying an electric field. Where two domains of different
January 4, 2018
A Rare Quantum State Realized in a New Material
A Rare Quantum State Realized in a New Material
A 3-D analog of graphene (a 2-D material
January 4, 2018
Machine Learning Provides a Bridge to the Texture of the Quantum World
Machine Learning Provides a Bridge to the Texture of the Quantum World
There is growing interest in harnessing machine learning to answer questions about the physics of condensed matter, like metals and insulators,
December 31, 2017
Discovering Secrets of Superfluids
Discovering Secrets of Superfluids
Superfluidity is the odd property of a liquid in which it has zero-resistance for flow, and thus flows without loss of kinetic energy. The most
December 29, 2017
An Exotic State of Matter Discovered in 2-D Material
An Exotic State of Matter Discovered in 2-D Material
Like graphene, the semi-metal tungsten ditelluride (WTe2) can be prepared in a single monolayer. Tellurium atoms sandwich the transition
December 21, 2017
Studying Crowd Behavior at MINERvA
Studying Crowd Behavior at MINERvA
In the energy range of many oscillation experiments, the dominant interaction process is one in which a neutrino completely scatters off a neutron
December 19, 2017
Microwave heating significantly alters Alfvén waves
Microwaves Can Plug Leaks in Fusion Plasmas
Localized electron heating by microwaves has been shown to be an effective tool for modifying Alfvén waves in the DIII-D National Fusion
December 19, 2017
Developing Fusion Energy via a Steady-State Tokamak
Currents Always Find the Fastest Detour
The walls of fusion energy experiments, such as ITER, must be carefully designed to handle large electromagnetic forces. During the abrupt