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.

September 5, 2018
Carbon Nanotubes Give Two Excitons for the Price of One
Tuning the electronic properties of single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWCNTs), a process known as doping, is emerging as an effective means for
September 4, 2018
Small, Short-Lived Drops of Early Universe Matter
In semi-overlapping gold-gold collisions at RHIC, more particles emerge from the “equator” than perpendicular to the collision
September 4, 2018
Modular Fluidic System Developed to Supply Radioisotope Used in Targeted Alpha Therapy
Astatine-211 is produced by alpha beam irradiation of bismuth target material. The University of Washington has one of only a few cyclotrons in the
August 29, 2018
Thorium: A Source of Multiple Medical Isotopes
Radium is a bone-seeking radioelement, due to its chemical similarity to calcium, the main component of hydroxyapatite, the bone mineral. Radium is
August 28, 2018
Beautiful Higgs Decays
The 2012 discovery of the Higgs boson marked the beginning of an experimental program aimed at determining the properties of the newly discovered
August 28, 2018
ATLAS Experiment Uncovers Higgs Boson Interactions with Heaviest Quarks
The discovery of the Higgs boson by the ATLAS and CMS collaborations at the Large Hadron Collider in 2012 relied on the observation of Higgs bosons
August 28, 2018
Highest Precision Prediction of Muon “Wobble”
Scientists at Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL) ran a version of the “muon wobble” experiment, known as “Muon g-2,” in
August 27, 2018
Protactinium and Its Periodic Intersection
Researchers investigated the chemistry of protactinium to understand the impact of having the most energetic electrons in orbitals derived from
August 27, 2018
Riding the Wave of Liquid:Liquid Interfaces
Decades of research have empirically shown optimal conditions for a variety of separations applications, making use of specific combinations of
August 22, 2018
KBase: The Department of Energy Systems Biology Knowledgebase
KBase is an open-source, extensible community resource that enables data sharing, integration, and analysis of genomic information of microbes,
August 22, 2018
Locating the Production Site of Glucan in Grass Cell Walls
Mixed-linkage glucan (MLG), a (1,3;1,4)-β-linked glucose polymer, is important for the structural integrity of the plant and a source of
August 22, 2018
Kernels of Knowledge: How Land-Use Decisions Affect Crop Productivity
Numerous studies using statistical approaches have confirmed a link between crop yield and climate variability. A crucial assumption in these
August 21, 2018
Reducing Friction with an Onion-Like Carbon Material
In 2015, a multidisciplinary team from Argonne National Laboratory created a material consisting of graphene, nanodiamond particles, and diamond
August 21, 2018
Auroras on the Moon? Which Moon?
High-energy electrons play an important role in auroras. However, previous dynamical simulations either did not incorporate critical electron
August 21, 2018
Higher Plasma Densities, More Efficient Tokamaks
In this work, the classical expression for the growth of a magnetic island’s size is extended to include the effect of island asymmetry
August 21, 2018
Neutral Particle Beams Work Better by Working Smarter
In recent experiments, the DIII-D team has shown that reducing the injection energy of neutral particle beams late in a plasma discharge can
August 21, 2018
Flying Focus: Controlling Lasers over Long Distances
A novel focusing scheme, called a flying focus, uses a chromatic focusing system combined with chirped laser pulses to enable a small-diameter
August 13, 2018
Deep Learning Stretches Up to Scientific Supercomputers
Machine learning techniques hold potential for enabling scientists to extract valuable insights from large, complex data sets being produced by
August 9, 2018
Complex Networks Identify Genes for Biofuel Crops
Biological organisms are complex systems composed of functional networks of interacting molecules and macromolecules. Complex traits (phenotypes)
August 6, 2018
Quantum Computing of an Atomic Nucleus
Quantum computers promise to solve “exponentially hard” problems, such as computing the structure of molecules, atoms, or atomic nuclei
July 18, 2018
Sugar-Coated Sheets Selectively Target Pathogens
In nature, multivalency, or the ability to bind to multiple sites at once, is important for selective binding and plays a significant role in a
July 18, 2018
Steering Light with Dynamic Lens-on-MEMS
An optical metasurface is a designer interface that packs together multiple materials carefully selected for their ability to control light. The
June 22, 2018
Predicting Magnetic Explosions: From Plasma Current Sheet Disruption to Fast Magnetic Reconnection
The computer simulations are fully corroborated by the theoretical predictions of a new phenomenological theory, putting the conclusions on a solid
June 20, 2018
Is Nature Exclusively Left Handed? Using Chilled Atoms to Find Out
Using the TRIUMF Neutral Atom Trap (TRINAT) facility, a collaboration from Texas A&M University, TRIUMF (Canada's national particle accelerator
June 19, 2018
As Future Batteries, Hybrid Supercapacitors Are Super-Charged
Capacitors are electrical components that store energy and are widely used in electronic devices. Typical supercapacitors, named for their ability