Science Highlights

You are here

RSS

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.

June 19, 2018
Forever Young Catalyst Reduces Diesel Emissions
Decreasing fuel consumption and emissions in diesel vehicles requires end-of-tailpipe technologies. To reduce emissions of nitrogen oxide
June 19, 2018
Sense Like a Shark: Saltwater-Submersible Films
Designing materials for sensors that function at peak performance in relatively harsh environments, such as saltwater, is of interest to
June 18, 2018
A Bit of Quantum Logic—What Did the Atom Say to the Quantum Dot?
Qubits form the basis of quantum computation. Building a practical quantum computer demands two important features: the maintenance of coherent
June 18, 2018
Can You See the Invisible Glass?
Most optoelectronic components and consumer display devices require glass or plastic covers for protection against the environment. Optical
June 18, 2018
New Tech Uses Isomeric Beams to Study How and Where the Galaxy Makes One of Its Most Common Elements
Satellites equipped with gamma-ray telescopes have proven to be powerful tools for finding evidence that elements are continually being produced in
June 1, 2018
Simulations of Magnetically Confined Plasmas Reveal a Self-Regulating Stabilizing Mechanism
The mechanism behind the magnetic flux pumping in the numerical simulations works as follows: if the central current profile is flat and if the
June 1, 2018
Seeing All the Colors of the Plasma Wind
Coherence imaging measures red- and blue-shifted emission from ions radiating in the visible spectrum by combining an interferometer with a fast
June 1, 2018
Scientists Studying Nuclear Spin Make a Surprising Discovery
When RHIC physicists first collided spin-aligned protons with much larger gold nuclei in 2015, they expected to see neutrons emerging along the
June 1, 2018
Renewable Solvents Derived From Lignin Lower Waste in Biofuel Production
Deep eutectic solvents (DESs) represent a new class of renewable solvents derived from the conversion of lignin-derived compounds. Naturally found
June 1, 2018
Simulating Turbulent Bubbly Flows in Nuclear Reactors
Researchers are shedding light on boiling phenomena, bubble formation, and turbulent liquid/gas flows in nuclear reactor geometries. Using ALCF
May 30, 2018
How to Draw a Line Narrower Than a Cold Virus
Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) researchers at the Center for Nanophase Materials Sciences rastered a highly focused helium-ion beam through a
May 30, 2018
Changing the Surroundings Improves Catalysis
What if carbon dioxide could be used as a feedstock for valuable chemicals? The molecule would be turned into a hydrocarbon building block. How? By
May 23, 2018
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
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
Strongly correlated electron systems have been studied for over five decades. Scientists predicted that at high temperatures, electrons in
May 16, 2018
How to Cope with Cases of Mistaken Identity: MINERvA’s Tale of Pions and Neutrinos
How to Cope with Cases of Mistaken Identity: MINERvA’s Tale of Pions and Neutrinos
Scientists are working to resolve a case of mistaken identity in the world of physics. They want to disambiguate two types of neutrinos.
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
MURR Becomes First Reactor Facility to Join DOE’s Isotope Program
MURR Becomes First Reactor Facility to Join DOE’s Isotope Program
The trace element selenium is part of the 21st naturally occurring amino acid in the genetic code and a micronutrient of interest in the life
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