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OSTIblog Posts by Kathy Chambers

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Senior STI Specialist, Information International Associates, Inc.

The NXS Class of 2014

Published on Nov 19, 2014

Every summer for the past 16 years, the Department of Energy has invited the best and brightest graduates from across the country to attend the National School on Neutron and X-ray Scattering (NXS). This year, 65 graduate students attending North American universities, and studying physics, chemistry, materials science, or related fields, participated in the 14-day whirlwind emersion into national user facilities to learn in a hands-on environment how to use neutrons and X-rays in their research.  This educational program is jointly conducted by Argonne National Laboratory's Advanced Photon Source and Materials Science Division and Oak Ridge National Laboratory's Neutron Scattering Science Division.

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ACME - Perfecting Earth System Models

Published on Oct 29, 2014

Earth system modeling as we know it and how it benefits climate change research is about to transform with the newly launched Accelerated Climate Modeling for Energy (ACME) project sponsored by the Earth System Modeling program within the Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Biological and Environmental Research.  ACME is an unprecedented collaboration among eight national laboratories, the National Center for Atmospheric Research, four academic institutions, and one private-sector company to develop and apply the most complete, leading-edge climate and earth system models to the most challenging and demanding climate-change issues.

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Mining for Gold, Neutrinos and the Neutrinoless Double Beta Decay

Published on Sep 23, 2014

Deep within the caverns of Lead, South Dakota is one of the nation’s preeminent underground laboratories. The site of the former Homestake Mine was once one of the largest and deepest gold mines in North America. This famous mine was discovered during the 1876 Black Hills gold rush and maintained a rich and colorful mining history for the next 125 years. When the mine became unprofitable it closed in 2003, having produced more than 40 million ounces of gold over its lifetime.

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Stretchable electronics - a new way to monitor health using microfluidics

Published on Aug 19, 2014

Thanks to microfluidics, you may soon be able to easily and continually monitor your health with the help of Northwestern University’s new wearable, stretchable monitors. Yonggang Huang, a Northwestern University professor, and John A. Rogers, a University of Illinois professor, have designed thin, soft, stick-on patches that stretch and move with the skin and incorporate commercial, off-the-shelf chip-based electronics for sophisticated wireless health monitoring. These microfluidic devices can be laminated onto the skin to track everyday health and wirelessly send updates to your cellphone, computer, or doctor’s office.

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Scientist Arthur Ragauskas is helping redefine the bioenergy research frontier

Published on Jul 24, 2014

Dr. Arthur J. RagauskasDr. Arthur J. RagauskasIt is anticipated that the biofuels industry will have a dramatic impact on our lives, much like the petroleum industry. Alternative fuels from renewable cellulosic biomass— plant stalks, trunks, stems, and leaves—are expected to significantly reduce U.S. dependence on imported oil while enhancing national energy security and decreasing the environmental impacts of energy use. Research is currently focused on accelerating the environmental and commercial viability of biofuel production.

The University of Tennessee’s Arthur Ragauskas is one of the notable scientists who are redefining the frontiers of bioenergy research in the quest for an economically feasible and sustainable biofuel industry.

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Genomics

Published on Jun 20, 2014

Image: N. Watson, L. Thompson, MITImage: N. Watson, L. Thompson, MITGenomes of individual organisms and systems of organisms contain the information and operating capabilities that determine structure and function across multiple scales of biological organization. These complex systems hold the secrets of life. Because we do not yet have a full understanding of how a living system works, and how these organisms interact with and modify their environments, the Department of Energy’s (DOE) Genomic Science Program is working to achieve a predictive, system-level understanding of plants, microbes, and biological communities. This program is providing the foundational knowledge underlying biological approaches to producing biofuels, sequestering carbon in terrestrial ecosystems, and cleaning up contaminated environments.

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3-D Printing - A powerful tool gains momentum

A perforated metal box produced by an Arcam 3D printer.

Published on May 29, 2014

3D printing technology is gaining fresh momentum in Department of Energy (DOE) research endeavors. 3D printing is achieved using an additive manufacturing process that creates 3D objects directly from a computer model, depositing material layer by layer only where required. This technology is expected to exert a profound impact on an increasing array of applications in architecture, engineering, construction, industrial design, automotive, aerospace, military, engineering, dental and medical industries, biotechnology, apparel, eyewear, education, geographic information systems, and many other fields.

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Carbon Sequestration – Helping to Save Our Beautiful World

Published on Apr 17, 2014

Warmer winters are changing bird migratory patterns, warmer seawater is linked to coral reef bleaching in the Florida Keys and Puerto Rico, and more extreme climate events are affecting society and ecosystems.  According to the Department of Energy (DOE), the increasing air and water temperatures, decreasing water availability across regions and seasons, increasing intensity and frequency of storm events, flooding and sea level rise have caused major issues to the energy sector over the past decade. Our world as we know it is evolving because of climate change. 

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The Remarkable Legacy of Kenneth Geddes Wilson

Published on Mar 21, 2014

It is rare when someone comes along whose ideas change science. Nobel Laureate Kenneth Geddes Wilson (1936 –2013) forever changed how we think about physics. Wilson left a legacy of his prize-winning problem solving in theoretical physics, the use of computer simulations and the modeling of physical phenomena, the establishment of supercomputer centers for scientific research, and physics education and science education reform.

Wilson was gifted mathematically at an early age. His grandfather taught him how to do mathematical computations in his mind. When he was 8 years old, he would calculate cube roots in his head while waiting for the school bus.  This brilliant and shy young boy went through grade school and high school at an accelerated pace to enroll in Harvard when he was only 16 years old. He obtained his Ph.D. at the California Institute of Technology, did postdoc studies at Harvard as a junior fellow that included a year at CERN, joined the faculty of Cornell University and later Ohio State University’s Departments of Physics. At the age of 46, he became one of the youngest winners of a Noble Prize when he received the 1982 Noble Prize in Physics based on his pioneering work developing a theoretical framework on the nature of phase transitions, such as the moment when metal melts at a certain temperature or when liquid transforms to a gaseous state. 

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Amazing Aerogels

The Flower dramatically demonstrates the superinsulating properties of silica ae

Published on Feb 28, 2014

Aerogels are some of the most fascinating materials on the planet. They were discovered in the 1930s by Stanford University’s Samuel Kistler who proved that he could successfully replace a gel’s liquid with a gas by drying it, thereby creating a substance that was structurally a gel, but without liquid. Since their invention aerogels have primarily been made of silica but can be made of a growing variety of substances including transition metal oxides, organic polymers, biological polymers, semiconductor nanostructures, graphene, carbon, carbon nanotubes and metals as well as aerogel composite materials and the list is growing.

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