Accelerating Science Discovery - Join the Discussion

OSTIblog Posts by Kathy Chambers

Kathy Chambers's picture
Senior STI Specialist, Information International Associates, Inc.

A banner year expected for high-performance computing

Titan Cray XK7 at Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Published on Feb 05, 2014

Just seven miles south of our OSTI facility in Oak Ridge, Tennessee is a national treasure – the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL).  ORNL is DOE’s largest multi-program laboratory where remarkable scientific expertise and world-class scientific facilities and equipment are applied to develop scientific and technological solutions that are changing our world. ORNL’s National Center for Computational Sciences is home to two of ORNL’s high-performance computing projects -- the National Climate-Computing Research Center (NCRC), where research is dedicated to climate science, and the Oak Ridge Leadership Computing Facility (OLCF)

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Enjoy the benefits of LED lighting

Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/uscapitol/6309229615/in/photostream/

Published on Dec 30, 2013

Every day we are bombarded with advertisements in every form and format telling us that our lives will be improved if we buy a particular product because it will save us money, reduce our work effort, save us energy, or benefit the environment. We are justifiably skeptical because we know from experience that if something sounds too good to be true, usually it is. Light-emitting diode (LED) lighting is one of the exceptions. LEDs benefits are so powerful that they seem too good to be true; however, they actually do save us money, reduce our work effort, save us energy and benefit our environment.

Light-emitting diode (LED) lighting is a type of solid-state lighting that uses a semiconductor to convert electricity to light. LED lighting products are beginning to appear in a wide variety of home, business, and industrial products such as holiday lighting, replacement bulbs for incandescent lamps, street lighting, outdoor area lighting and indoor ambient lighting.

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Observing Gamma-ray Bursts in Distant Galaxies

Gamma-ray burst  GRB 080319B

Published on Nov 21, 2013

Star gazing seems especially good on a clear autumn night. From our back deck our amateur eyes scan the sky and its wonder. We first notice Venus, our closest planetary neighbor. A beautiful harvest moon rises over the hill, lighting up jet streams that crisscross the stars and planets. We see Orion, the bowl and handle of the Big Dipper, the Square of Pegasus, the vast Milky Way and we are fortunate to see an occasional falling star. We are in awe of the beauty of our night sky but it’s what we can’t see that is truly amazing.

Spectacular explosions, which can’t be detected with the human eye, light up the gamma-ray sky about once a day. These explosions, called gamma-ray bursts (GRBs), are from distant galaxies hundreds of millions of light years away from earth and are thought to be triggered by supernovae or exploding stars. They release more energy than our sun will put out in a lifetime.

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The Reverend Thomas Bayes

Thomas Bayes

Published on Nov 06, 2013

During the 1700’s, the Reverend Thomas Bayes was a nonconformist minister at the Mount Sion Chapel in Tunbridge Wells, UK, about 40 miles southeast of central London.  Having studied both theology and logic at the University of Edinburgh, he was also a mathematician and developed a strong interest in probability late in life. He was known to have published only one book on theology and one book on mathematics in his lifetime. A third manuscript he never published about the probability of cause made him famous. After his death, a good friend Richard Price recognized the importance of the paper and, after extensive editing, submitted it for publication. More than 20 years later, the great French mathematician, Pierre-Simon Laplace devised the formula for Bayes’ probability of causes and acknowledged Bayes as the discoverer of what we now know as Bayesian inference.  

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Solving the mystery of superconductivity

Brookhaven physicist Yong Chu at the National Synchrotron Light Source II looks

Published on Oct 17, 2013

At the legendary 1987 American Physical Society conference, sometimes called the “Woodstock of physics”, thousands of physicists descended upon a New York Hilton ballroom to hear about the discovery of high-temperature superconductivity (HTS) in ceramic materials.

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UC Berkeley in the Spotlight

The Campanile and Mt. Tamalpais from Berkeley Memorial Stadium at sunset

Published on Sep 17, 2013

Overlooking the eastern shore of the beautiful San Francisco Bay is UC Berkeley, founded during the gold rush days as the flagship institution of the University of California. This campus has become one of the preeminent universities in the world. UC Berkeley has consistently ranked highest among the world’s public institutions for its achievements in teaching and for the quality and breadth of its research enterprise.

Berkeley’s core research community is made up of some 1,600 full time faculty, 10,000 graduate students, and approximately 1,400 post-doctoral fellows from throughout the world. An astounding 22 current and former faculty and 29 alumni have received the Nobel Prize. The first atom-smashing cyclotron was developed here and UC Berkeley faculty played a key role in building the world’s first atomic bomb.

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The Higgs boson - a turning point in history

CERN's aerial view and the LHC tunnel

Published on Aug 20, 2013

Turning points in history – things or events that define lasting change in the world we know.  The industrial revolution, Henry Ford’s automobile, penicillin, Einstein’s theory of relativity, firsts in aviation and space, the discovery of electricity, and the digital computer invention were some of these turning points.

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Keeping the lights on

New York City skyline at nightfall, August 14

Published on Jul 18, 2013

On August 14, 2003, a software bug at a utility company brought New York City to its knees, and the resulting cascading effect ultimately forced the shutdown of more than 100 power plants (read more). Approximately 50 million people in 8 U.S. states and Canada experienced the worst blackout in North American history.

Research has been ongoing at the Department of Energy to improve our electrical grid’s reliability to ensure history is not repeated.

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Plasmas - The Greatest Show on Earth

Published on Jun 24, 2013

Perhaps the most beautiful and eerie displays of light in our sky are a phenomenon known as the auroras. This natural glow of light in the sky in high latitude regions usually displays ribbons of colors from a fluorescent green to brilliant purple to a vivid crimson somewhat like an unexpected beautiful sunrise or sunset.  Observers often call it the greatest show on Earth.

Auroras are triggered by geomagnetic storms when gusts of solar plasma wind strike the Earth’s magnetic field; charged particles rain down over the north and south magnetic poles, lighting up the atmosphere and causing the air to glow.

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Out of the past and into the future

Norris Lake in Union County, Tennessee

Published on May 17, 2013

If you look closely, you can find fossilized material on the banks of the Norris Lake shoreline in Anderson County, Tennessee when the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) lowers the water level.  If you are really lucky, you will find traces of sea creatures or beautiful flora or fauna impressions encased between the freshly exposed layers of rock. These are ancient treasures from our country’s rich geological history.

A paleogeography reconstruction of the Earth took place some 56 to 34 million years ago during the Eocene geologic period of time .

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