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OSTIblog Posts by Kate Bannan

Kate Bannan's picture
Communication and Outreach Specialist Kate Bannan is a Communications and Outreach Specialist for the Department of Energy’s Office of Scientific and Technical Information (OSTI) She develops and implements strategic communications and outreach programs to build awareness of OSTI, its programs and initiatives.

“The New Einsteins Will Be Scientists Who Share.”

Published on Nov 01, 2011

In an October 29, 2011 Wall Street Journal article, “The New Einsteins Will Be Scientists Who Share,”  Dr. Michael Nielsenstated that networked science has the potential to speed up dramatically the rate of discovery across all of science, and that we may well see the day-to-day process of scientific research change more fundamentally over the next few decades than over the past three centuries. He also noted that there are major obstacles to achieving this goal, including the lack of a systematic effort by scientists to adopt new tools of discovery or to share data – because they are busy, they may believe it’s a diversion from their “real” work or because they may not be familiar with the means to do so easily.

OSTI knows that the public and members of the scientific community may not be familiar with the multitude of different science databases.  OSTI addresses and solves these considerable challenges by providing vehicles for obtaining targeted, precise information quickly and easily.

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Halloween and Science

Published on Oct 27, 2011

Halloween is celebrated on October 31, and is one of the world’s oldest holidays.  It has evolved into a celebration enjoyed by all ages, and includes fun activities like trick-or-treating, dressing up in costumes, carving jack-o'-lanterns, going to a bonfire, apple bobbing, visiting a haunted house and telling scary stories.

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Congratulations to Saul Perlmutter -- 2011 Nobel Prize in Physics DOE-Affiliated Researcher

Published on Oct 05, 2011

"For the Discovery of the Accelerating Expansion of the Universe through Observations of Distant Supernovae"

The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences awarded the 2011 Nobel Prize in Physics to Saul Perlmutter, an astrophysicist at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and a professor of physics at the University of California at Berkeley.  Perlmutter heads the International Supernova Cosmology Project, which pioneered the methods used to discover the accelerating expansion of the universe.  Dr. Perlmutter has been a leader in studies to determine the nature of dark energy.

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Commemorating DOE, a Science Agency

U.S. Department of Energy

Published on Sep 30, 2011

The energy crisis of the 1970s demonstrated the need for unified energy planning within the federal government.  The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Organization Act (Public Law 95-91) was signed into law, centralizing the responsibilities of the Federal Energy Administration, the Energy Research and Development Administration, the Federal Power Commission and other energy-related government programs into a single presidential cabinet-level department.

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Energy Quadrennial Technology Review Released

U.S. Department of Energy

Published on Sep 28, 2011

“The Department is uniquely situated to serve as a resource for energy and technology data, information, and analysis that can enhance understanding, operation and planning across all organizations… ."

— From the Energy Quadrennial Technology Review

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Faster than the speed of light? Or an anomaly?

Albert Einstein in 1921

Published on Sep 27, 2011

According to Einstein's theory of relativity, it is not possible for matter to travel faster than the speed of light in a vacuum.  The speed of light (186,282 miles per second) has long been considered a cosmic speed limit, and much of modern physics is based on Einstein's work. Now there is a possibility that Einstein was wrong -- and physics may have to rethink the concept of matter and energy.


The science world was surprised when workers at CERN, the world's largest physics lab, recently announced that they had recorded subatomic particles travelling faster than the speed of light.  If their findings are proven to be correct, they would overturn one of the pillars of the Standard Model of physics, which attempts to explain the way the universe and everything within it works. 

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DOE’s Solar Decathlon – Building the Future

U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon

Published on Sep 26, 2011

The Solar Decathlon is being held September 23–October 2, 2011, at the National Mall’s West Potomac Park in Washington, DC. The event is free and open to the public.

The U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon  challenges collegiate teams to design, build and operate solar-powered houses that are cost-effective, energy-efficient and attractive. The winner of the competition is the team that best blends affordability, consumer appeal and design excellence with optimal energy production and maximum efficiency.

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Remembering September 11

September 11 memorial pin

Published on Sep 08, 2011

On the morning of September 11, 2001, 19 hijackers took control of four commercial airliners en route to San Francisco and Los Angeles after takeoff from Boston, Newark and Washington, DC.  Many of us will always remember where we were and what we were doing that Tuesday morning in what turned out to be the worst attack on American soil that claimed the lives of 2,977 innocent victims

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80 Years of Excellence in Science

Published on Sep 01, 2011

Congratulations to Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory(Berkeley Lab) as they celebrated their 80th anniversary on August 26. 

Berkeley Lab is a member of the national laboratorysystem supported by the U.S. Department of Energythrough its Office of Science.  Berkeley Lab is an incubator for ideas, innovations and products that help society and explain how the universe works;  Their unclassified research portfolio includes renewable energy sources such as biofuels and artificial photosynthesis; energy efficiency at home, at work, and around the world; the ability to observe, probe, and assemble materials atom by atom; climate change research, environmental science and the growing connections between them; the chemistry and physics of matter and force in the universe — from the infinite to the infinitesimal; computational science and advanced networking to enable discovery and remote collaborations; and biological sciences for human health and energy research.

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Shake Rattle and Roll! The Science of Earthquakes

Published on Aug 25, 2011

A rare, powerful 5.8-magnitude earthquake shook the East Coast United States on August 23. Damage was light, but millions of people were surprised and unnerved by the event. The earthquake occurred near Mineral, Virginia, about 100 miles southwest of Washington, DC. It was a shallow earthquake, and shaking was recorded all along the Appalachians, from Georgia to New England.  There have been several aftershocks and more are expected.

An earthquake is the result of a sudden release of energy in the Earth'scrustthat creates seismic waves.  It is estimated that around 500,000 earthquakes occur each year, detectable with current instrumentation. About 100,000 of these can be felt.  Earthquakes are caused mostly by rupture of geological faults, but also by other events such as volcanic activity, landslides, mine blasts, and nuclear tests.

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