User Facility Highlights

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April 22, 2019
Princeton’s Fusion Recurrent Neural Network code uses convolutional & recurrent neural network components to integrate spatial & temporal information for predicting disruptions in tokamak (central structure) plasmas with unprecedented accuracy and speed.
Artificial Intelligence and Deep Learning Accelerate Efforts to Develop Clean, Virtually Limitless Fusion Energy
The Fusion Recurrent Neural Network reliably forecasts disruptive and destructive events in tokamaks.
April 19, 2019
Visible-pump / X-ray probe photoelectron spectroscopy monitors exciton migration and charge generation in a molecular heterojunction between a copper-phthalocyanine (CuPc) donor and a fullerene-based (C60) acceptor.
Slow Charge Generation Plays Big Role in Model Material for Solar Cells
Insight about energy flow in copper-based material could aid in creating efficient molecular electronics.
April 18, 2019
The spin flipper magnet assembly resides inside a tunnel that houses the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider at Brookhaven National Laboratory.
Spin Flipper Upends Protons
The spin direction of protons was reversed, for the first time, using a nine-magnet device, potentially helping tease out details about protons.
April 18, 2019
The latest data from the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider reveal that the quark spin contribution (green puzzle piece)—specifically the contribution from a “sea” of antiquarks—is more complex than previously thought.
Sea Quark Spin Surprise!
Since the 1980s, scientists have known that quark and antiquark spins within a proton account for, at best, a quarter of the overall proton spin.
April 17, 2019
The Weak Side of the Proton
The Weak Side of the Proton
A precision measurement of the proton’s weak charge narrows the search for new physics.
April 15, 2019
The team’s data came from Jefferson Lab's Experimental Hall B, featuring the Continuous Electron Beam Accelerator Facility Large Acceptance Spectrometer.
Fast-Moving Pairs May Solve 35-Year-Old Mystery
A re-analysis of data suggests that proton-neutron pairs in a nucleus may explain why their quarks have lower average momenta than predicted.
April 15, 2019
For batteries to generate electricity, charged atoms, called ions (pink and green), travel between a negative node (anode) and a positive node (cathode) with the help of a liquid electrolyte solution.
Team Takes Fluoride from Taps and Toothpaste to Batteries
With user facilities, researchers devise novel battery chemistries to help make fluoride batteries a reality.
April 12, 2019
Quarks Under Pressure in the Proton
Quarks Under Pressure in the Proton
Inside every proton in every atom in the universe is a pressure cooker environment that surpasses the atom-crushing heart of a neutron star. That
April 8, 2019
Researchers created a 3D atomic map that offers a highly detailed view of how rust (shown here) forms.
Atomic Maps Reveal How Iron Rusts
Scientists discovered how iron atoms continually re-arrange on surfaces, offering insights into metal corrosion and soil remediation.
April 8, 2019
Three-dimensional maps of a single magnetite crystal show morphology (top) and cross-sectional views (bottom) of the internal strain fields, both before (left) and after (right) oxidative dissolution of the crystal in an acidic aqueous solution.
Strain and Defects Grow in Tiny Magnetite Crystals When Oxidized
Detailed 3D images show how nanoparticles change in reactions that purify contaminated water or power recyclable geochemical batteries.
March 21, 2019
The nitrogenase enzyme couples the energy-releasing formation of hydrogen (H2) (reductive elimination) to the energy-requiring cleavage of the triple bond in nitrogen (N2) (oxidative addition) (bottom, center).
How Does Mother Nature Tackle the Tough Triple Bond Found in Nitrogen?
Researchers demystify how the nitrogenase enzyme breaks bonds to learn a better way to make ammonia.
March 21, 2019
Scientists determined that the structure of the Heliobacterium photosystem is more symmetrical than more recently evolved photosystems. They used advanced X-ray crystallography to determine fine details of the proteins in the photosystem.
A Detailed View of the Ancestor of Photosynthesis
The symmetrical light-gathering, energy-producing complex offers insights into how modern photosystems evolved.
March 21, 2019
Foreground: microbial community under dry conditions (left) and microbial community under irrigated conditions (right).
Some Bacteria Make a Big Difference in Dryland Wheat Farming
Even a single species of bacteria can positively affect soils and plants, improving and even enabling agriculture in semi-arid areas.
March 14, 2019
A research team is advancing understanding of how microbial communities function in the wild, by studying rumen of live moose foraging in the field.
Sampling Guts of Live Moose to Understand How They Break Down Biomass
First-of-a-kind study advances understanding of microbial and viral communities involved in biomass breakdown.
March 14, 2019
Scientists are studying the microbial communities created during the fracking process to see how they can be managed to improve gas production.
How Injected Microbes Persist in Hydraulically Fractured Shale
Scientists reveal the importance of an amino acid that supplies energy and protection for microbial communities deep underground.
March 14, 2019
New geochemical research clearly shows how toxic material like uranium binds with iron-bearing minerals like hematite in the soil, allowing scientists to predict long-term behavior.
Fitting a Square Peg in a Round Hole: The Surprising Structure of Uranium Bound in Hematite
An atomic view of how toxic uranium binds to iron minerals in the environment enables better predictions of its behavior.
March 8, 2019
Scientists identified three different types of water molecules surrounding a heavy, anionic metal-chloride complex (bottom) using spectroscopy (top) at an air/water interface.
Unique Interface and Unexpected Behavior Help Explain How Heavy Metals Act
Three types of water molecules form around a platinum-based ion, offering insights for waste processing and metal refining.
February 28, 2019
Carbon and energy balances may prove to be a simplified way to predict microbial functions in soils that are often flooded and how such functions effect climate, soil health, and crop productivity.
A Simplified Way to Predict the Function of Microbial Communities
A pioneering study on how microbes work could advance models of frequently flooded soil’s elements and nutrients.
February 27, 2019
Root nodules, which allow some bacteria to fix nitrogen into soils for greater plant productivity, have a surprisingly complex metabolism, which could be optimized to develop more sustainable agriculture.
Unexpected Complexity: A 3D Look into Plant Root Relationships with Nitrogen-Fixing Bacteria
Scientists develop a molecular map of metabolic products of bacteria in root nodules to aid sustainable agriculture.
February 26, 2019
Composite images of 16 radiographs of 11-week-old poplar seedling in sand (top). The intensity indicates water content (bottom).
Get to the Root: Tiny Poplar Roots Extract More Water than Their Larger Counterparts after Drought
Researchers link root water uptake to root traits and assess (poor) performance of common models.
February 26, 2019
The scientists used radiometers, shown here, to isolate the signal of methane’s greenhouse effect. Radiometers are among the many instruments at ARM’s Southern Great Plains observatory the team used as part of this study.
First Observation of Methane’s Increasing Greenhouse Effect at the Earth’s Surface
Predictions of the direct impacts of greenhouse gases must account for local temperature and humidity conditions.
February 26, 2019
Who Can Sort the Rain?
Surface measurements of rain drop sizes shed light on cloud processes and cloud types.
February 25, 2019
In areas with weak surface winds, additional evaporation from the ocean’s surface is a major energy source for driving tropical patterns that create rainfall.
Gust or Bust: Blustery Winds Important for Modeling Tropical Rainfall
Researchers find gusty winds increase surface evaporation that drives summer rainstorms in the Tropical West Pacific.
February 19, 2019
A team working at the DIII-D National Fusion Facility discovered that external 3-D magnetic fields drive strong distortions in high-pressure plasmas that help suppress bursts of heat in fusion reactors.
Steady as She Goes
Scientists tame damaging edge instabilities in steady-state conditions required in a fusion reactor.
February 19, 2019
Researchers used a novel transverse configuration to compress a silicon target with an optical laser (green). X-ray diffraction patterns are collected in transmission on Cornell–SLAC Pixel Array Detectors.
Silicon and a State of Shock
A novel experimental geometry at the Linac Coherent Light Source reveals how silicon responds to shocks similar to those in a planet's core.