Accelerating Science Discovery - Join the Discussion

Published by Kathy Chambers

Thorium (232Th), the chemical element named after the Norse god of thunder, has a history that is as colorful as its namesake. Although discovered in 1828 by the Swedish chemist Jöns Jakob Berzelius, thorium had no known useful applications until 1885, when it was used in gas mantles to light up the streets across Europe and North America. Then in 1898, physicist Marie Curie and chemist Gerhard Schmidt observed thorium to be radioactive, and subsequent applications for thorium declined due to safety and environmental concerns. The scientific community would later find that the element thorium held promise for the planet to have clean, safe, cheap, and plentiful nuclear power as an alternative fuel to plutonium-based nuclear power plants.

Published by Kathy Chambers

Image credit: ARM ProgramImage credit: ARM Program

One of the research programs managed by the Department of Energy (DOE) is the Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) Program, created in 1989 to address scientific uncertainties related to global climate change.  ARM's Climate Research Facility, a DOE scientific user facility, provides the world's most comprehensive 24/7 observational capabilities to obtain atmospheric data specifically for climate change research. The ARM facility includes fixed, mobile, and aerial sites that gather continuous measurements used to study the effects and interactions of sunlight, radiant energy, clouds, and aerosols and their impacts on the global climate system.  The ARM program serves as a model and a knowledge base for climate change research endeavors across the globe.

Published by Judy Gilmore

Scientific and technical information, or STI:  It's in OSTI's name.  It's in the language of our most recent statutory authority, section 982 of the Energy Policy Act of 2005:  "The Secretary, through the Office of Scientific and Technical Information, shall maintain within the Department publicly available collections of scientific and technical information resulting from research, development, demonstration, and commercial applications supported by the Department."  A DOE policy directive, DOE Order 241.1B, entitled "Scientific and Technical Information Management," requires DOE offices, contractors, and grantees "to ensure that STI is appropriately managed as part of the DOE mission to enable the advancement of scientific knowledge and technological innovation."  As provided in the directive, OSTI spearheads the DOE Scientific and Technical Information Program (STIP), a collaboration of STI managers and technical information officers from across the DOE complex responsible for identifying, collecting, disseminating, and preserving the results of DOE-funded research and development (R&D).  STI is the heart of OSTI and its mission.

The STI that OSTI makes available is produced and published in a variety of media and formats.  OSTI disseminates this STI publicly via a suite of web-based searchable databases featuring basic and advanced search capabilities, including semantic search, customized alerts, results displayed in relevance rank, in-document searching, and downloadable search results.  SciTech Connect...

Published by Sara Studwell

The Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Scientific and Technical Information (OSTI) is working with a researcher in the High Energy Physics (HEP) community to register scientific datasets produced by a domain collaboration, a recent blog post has reported.

OSTI offers a service for registering datasets to help increase access to digital data from DOE-funded scientific research.  Through the DOE Data ID Service, OSTI assigns persistent identifiers, known as Digital Object Identifiers (DOIs), to datasets submitted by DOE and its contractor and grantee researchers and registers the DOIs with DataCite to aid in citation, discovery, retrieval, and reuse.  OSTI assigns and registers DOIs for datasets for DOE researchers as a free service to enhance the Department of Energy's management of this important resource.

Published by Kathy Chambers
Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL) researcher Ignace Jarrige shown with the sample used in the magnetic refrigeration experiment. Courtesy BNLBrookhaven National Laboratory (BNL) researcher Ignace Jarrige shown with the sample used in the magnetic refrigeration experiment. Courtesy BNL

For more than 50 years, scientists around the world have attempted to understand the intriguing phenomena of the Kondo effect.  When magnetic impurities are added to non-magnetic host materials, their properties display unexpected, anomalous behavior as a result of the Kondo effect.  These dilute magnetic alloys, and their unusual behaviors are important tools for scientific research in topics such as ferromagnetism, superconductivity, and other solid-state phenomena.  The Kondo effect provides insight into the electronic properties of a wide variety of materials and opens doors to new discoveries.