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.

August 26, 2016
New Math Captures Fluids in Unprecedented Detail
New Math Captures Fluids in Unprecedented Detail
Navier-Stokes equations, a set of equations that predict how fluids flow, are used everywhere from special effects in movies to industrial research
August 24, 2016
Defects, Electrons, and a Long-Standing Controversy
Defects, Electrons, and a Long-Standing Controversy
Departures from regularity—defects and imperfections—in materials are the key to their novel properties, and control over the type,
August 22, 2016
The Future of Coastal Flooding
Simulating tropical cyclone winds is challenging because they are sensitive to moist atmospheric processes such as cloud microphysics and
August 19, 2016
Improved Tests of the Weak Nuclear Force from Beta Decay
Improved Tests of the Weak Nuclear Force from Beta Decay
For the first time in over half a century, the search for a particular type of interaction, known as a tensor interaction, in nuclear beta decay
August 19, 2016
Breathable and Stretchable Protein Wafers
Breathable and Stretchable Protein Wafers
Two-dimensional (2D) crystalline materials possess unique structural, mechanical, and electronic properties that make them highly attractive in
August 19, 2016
Fast and Furious Bucket Brigade
Fast and Furious Bucket Brigade
Proton transport is important in biology and energy technology. Rapid proton transport is achieved through protons hopping along water molecules
August 17, 2016
Determining Real Molecules in Operating Batteries
Determining Real Molecules in Operating Batteries
For the first time, researchers led by the Joint Center for Energy Storage Research have directly observed structural and chemical information at
August 17, 2016
“High-Occupancy” Vehicle (HOV) Battery
“High-Occupancy” Vehicle (HOV) Battery
Batteries are composed of two electrodes, an anode (positive charge) and a cathode (negative charge), separated by an electrical insulator. As the
August 10, 2016
Sugar Hitches a Ride on Sea Spray
Scientists are interested in the composition of particles tossed into the atmosphere by sea spray, a large source of water vapor that helps to form
August 7, 2016
Finding Where the Missing Proton Goes in Water
Finding Where the Missing Proton Goes in Water
Electrically charged molecules or atoms, called ions, are the key species formed when salts (such as NaCl or table salt) or acids (such as acetic
August 7, 2016
Unmasking the Molecule
Unmasking the Molecule
The arrangement of atoms and bonds in a molecule influences its physical and chemical properties. With this in mind, a number of techniques have
August 7, 2016
The Controlling Light
The Controlling Light
Researchers at JILA, a joint research institute of the University of Colorado and the National Institute of Standards and Technology, have
August 5, 2016
New X-Ray Matter Interaction Observed at Ultra-High Intensity
New X-Ray Matter Interaction Observed at Ultra-High Intensity
The basis for atomic‐scale structure determination involves the scattering of single x‐ray photons, one at a time, from the electrons that make up
August 5, 2016
Photoelectrodes Revealed!
Photoelectrochemical cells use semiconductor photoelectrodes to convert energy directly from sunlight into storable chemical fuels. Semiconductor
August 5, 2016
Inducing Separation
Inducing Separation
Developing methods and technology to harness sunlight for energy is one of the most important tasks of researchers at the forefront of the energy
August 4, 2016
Nature-Inspired Nanotubes that Assemble Themselves, with Precision
Nature-Inspired Nanotubes that Assemble Themselves, with Precision
Scientists discovered a family of nature-inspired polymers that, when placed in water, spontaneously assemble into crystalline nanotubes. The
August 4, 2016
Making a One-Way Street for Electricity
Making a One-Way Street for Electricity
More than forty years after the original proposal of organic molecular diodes, the electrical performance of such devices remains several orders of
August 2, 2016
Estimating Global Energy Use for Water-Related Processes
Despite substantial efforts to quantify the interdependence of the water and energy sectors, global requirements of energy for water transport,
July 29, 2016
Demonstrating Strong Electric Fields in Liquid Helium for Tests of Matter-Antimatter Symmetry
Demonstrating Strong Electric Fields in Liquid Helium for Tests of Matter-Antimatter Symmetry
As part of the research and development effort for the neutron EDM experiment, which is led by Oak Ridge National Laboratory, a multi-institutional
July 29, 2016
Jet Tomography of Hot Matter
Jet Tomography of Hot Matter
Heavy nuclei are accelerated to nearly the speed of light and collide with each other to create a new state of matter called QGP that only existed
July 29, 2016
Estimating Rainfall
New Radars for Estimating Rainfall Installed at ARM Sites
High-quality rainfall accumulation maps are important variables used to provide initial conditions for numerical model simulations and to evaluate
July 29, 2016
Modeling Water Runoff
Modeling Choices and the Effects of Water Runoff on Plant Productivity
A team of scientists, led by Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, is seeking to learn how soil moisture influences climate. The investigators
July 29, 2016
Graber New Technique
New Technique Shows Protein Changes in Intact Microbial Communities
In a study of PTM-based regulation, a collaborative team of researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, and Oak Ridge National
July 28, 2016
Microbial Activity in the Subsurface Contributes to Greenhouse Gas Fluxes
While carbon dioxide fluxes from microbial activity within shallow soils (< 1-m (3 ft) depth) are well studied, relatively little is known about
July 27, 2016
Climate Study Finds Human Fingerprint in Northern Hemisphere
Significant northern-extratropical latitude (30 to 75 degrees north) land greening has been documented through satellite observations during the