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.

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
December 19, 2017
New Physics Understanding Provides Attractive Path for Developing Fusion Energy via a Steady-State Tokamak
New Physics Understanding Provides Attractive Path for Developing Fusion Energy via a Steady-State Tokamak
A collaboration of U.S.- and China-based magnetic fusion scientists is developing the physics basis for maintaining excellent energy confinement
December 19, 2017
Proton-Proton Fusion: Powering the Sun
Proton-Proton Fusion: Powering the Sun
The Nuclear Physics with Lattice Quantum Chromodynamics Collaboration (NPLQCD), under the umbrella of the U.S. Quantum Chromodynamics Collaboration
December 19, 2017
Neutron Star Mergers Create Heavy Elements
Neutron Star Mergers Create Heavy Elements
GW170817 was the first gravitational wave detection involving objects with masses typical of neutron stars. Gamma-rays from it were observed by the
December 12, 2017
See What Lies Beneath
See What Lies Beneath
Copper oxide is an important catalyst and can convert poisonous carbon monoxide to carbon dioxide. In this research, the atomic-scale reactions at
December 12, 2017
Electron Injection Transforms a Thin Film
Electron Injection Transforms a Thin Film
Monolayer thin films of 2-D, transition-metal dichalcogenides have emerged as important materials with unique properties, drawing great attention
December 12, 2017
Watching a Particle in a Dangerous Crowd
Watching a Particle in a Dangerous Crowd
We rely on particulate materials every day in demanding environments, such as structural metals for vehicles and complex, layered thin films for
December 12, 2017
Ringing Atomic Bell Probes Electrons
Ringing Atomic Bell Probes Electrons
In this work, the dependence of electronic structure on specific changes in the atomic structure was clearly determined. Researchers used a photon
December 12, 2017
Putting Molten History on the Map
Putting Molten History on the Map
The reliable detection of the melting point of materials at high pressure has been experimentally difficult. What is needed is a way to tell
December 12, 2017
Is There Structure in Glass Disorder?
Is There Structure in Glass Disorder?
Bulk metallic glasses are a class of metals that lack an ordered crystalline structure. This feature leads to unique properties, but it also