This year is the 70th anniversary of the establishment of the Manhattan Project, a predecessor of the U.S. Department of Energy. In honor of its impacts on science and history, a 'Manhattan Project' series on this blog will revisit various aspects of its background, establishment, operations, and immediate and long-term influences. The first of the series is about the background of the Manhattan Project.
During the fall of 1939, President F. D. Roosevelt was made aware of the possibility that German scientists were racing to build an atomic bomb and he was warned that Hitler would be more than willing to resort to such a weapon. As a result, Roosevelt set up the Advisory Committee on Uranium, consisting of both civilian and military representatives, to study the current state of research on uranium and to recommend an appropriate role for the federal government. The result was limited military funding for isotope separation and the work on chain reactions by Enrico Fermi and Leo Szilard at Columbia University.
Nanotechnology=the manipulation of matter on an atomic and molecular scale
DOE scientists are working to identify immediate and future ways to utilize this precision science.
Check out Nanoscience and Nanotechnology: From Energy Applications to Advanced Medical Therapies, a video discussion of why nanotechnology is important and how it is useful in various fields, from Dr. Tijana Rajh at Fermilab.
Then watch Nanoscience at Work, Creating Energy from Sunlight, from Paul Alivisatos, Berkeley Labscientist and an authority on artificial nanostructure synthesis.
Hard work and innovation pay off! Government Computer News (GCN) and Information Week have published their Top Ten Federal mobile apps lists, and Science.gov was the only interagency mobile application named to both! Since last year, over 100 federal agencies have established mobile apps in response to a recent White House initiative requiring them to make their services available for mobile use. GCN evaluated the apps on their usefulness, how helpful they actually were, and also on that intangible “cool factor.” GCN applauded Science.gov Mobile’s surprisingly powerful search engine that checks science data from 13 federal agencies and said “It could probably even be a boon to researchers to keep them from duplicating research, and it will certainly help your kids get an A on their science papers.” Information Week published its “10 Handy Mobile Apps From Uncle Sam” and noted that: “(The) Science.gov site searches scientific information from more than 50 databases and 2,100 government-affiliated websites. On-the-go science buffs can now access that data trove via a mobile version of the website or a downloadable Android app. Users can get Wikipedia and EurekAlert! results related to their searches.”
DOE has outlined a Market Transformation strategy for demonstrating the commercial viability of fuel cell power in applications for which there is a business case, and communicating the potential environmental and economic benefits of the clean energy technologies. Current results of an ongoing multiyear study of fuel-cell powered vehicles, supported by the DOE EERE [abstract and full text in OSTI’s Information Bridge] were published in February 2012.
Scientific videos highlighting research and development (R&D) sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) are available on ScienceCinema. ScienceCinema uses innovative, state-of-the-art audio indexing and speech recognition technology to enable users to quickly find video files produced by the DOE national laboratories, other DOE research facilities and CERN (the European Organization for Nuclear Research). When users search for scientific words and phrases, precise snippets of the video where the search term was spoken are provided along with a timeline.