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OSTI Is Re-Focusing and Re-Balancing Its Operations – And Refreshing Its Home Page – to Advance Public Access

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OSTI Is Re-Focusing and Re-Balancing Its Operations – And Refreshing Its Home Page – to Advance Public Access

Let’s call it creative destruction, borrowing from a popular term in economics.  The idea is that the very essence of capitalism is the destruction of old structures and the building of new ones that inevitably face the same pressures as the structures they replaced.  It’s the reason the buggy whip industry fell on hard times. The information management business of the Office of Scientific and Technical Information (OSTI) is in constant flux too, where the next big thing can soon become the next big flop. OSTI cannot be immune to these disruptive forces, nor would we wish it to be.  Here, I would like to focus on just one of many disruptive forces in the information management and information technology worlds compelling OSTI to change, the push for greater public access to federally-funded R&D results.  Frankly, it’s a disruptive force we welcome.

Increasingly the legislative and executive branches of government have emphasized public access to federally-funded scholarly publications (i.e., journal articles and accepted manuscripts) and digital datasets. OSTI will lead the implementation of public access to scholarly publications for DOE, just as the organization has offered public access to other forms of scientific and technical information (STI) emanating from DOE and its predecessor agencies for the past 67 years.

To this end, OSTI is re-focusing and re-balancing its resources, operations, and priorities. For OSTI, this means looking first and foremost at the STI produced by DOE and serving DOE R&D interests.  OSTI is working to be as comprehensive as possible in its processes to collect, preserve/curate, and disseminate all forms of STI from DOE. This means that the DOE Scientific and Technical Information Program, or STIP, is of paramount importance. STIP is a robust and effective collaboration across the DOE complex working...

Related Topics: .EDUconnections, Adopt-A-Doc, DOE Green Energy, DOE STI, journal literature, National Library of Energy (NLE) - Beta, osti, OSTI Homepage, Science Accelerator, Science Conference Proceedings, ScienceLab, SciTech Connect

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Solving the mystery of superconductivity

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Solving the mystery of superconductivity

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.  The world was intrigued with possibilities of magnetically levitated trains and bulk power storage.  There was excitement and great hope in the world of condensed-matter physics research.  

After decades of controversy, many competing theories, and several Nobel prizes later, the vision presented in the ballroom that night is beginning to emerge. DOE researchers and their collaborators are utilizing new technologies to make significant progress solving the HTS mystery. Some of the leading HTS theories are being challenged by using cutting-edge x-ray scattering techniques to discover hidden magnetic waves in high-temperature superconductors and additional breakthroughs are anticipated when DOE’s National Synchrotron Light Source II (NSLS-II) begins operation promising unprecedented energy resolution. The string-theory holographic principle is one of the new conceptual tools being used to study HTS electrons.  Electron spectroscopy with synchrotron light is being used to understand HTS structures. And, the sample testing process is being greatly accelerated with the atomic layer-by-layer molecular beam epitaxy system. Read about superconductivity technology, basic science and progress towards theory in Dr. William Watson’s...

Related Topics: Brookhaven, HTS, National Synchrotron Light Source II, OSTI Homepage, superconductivity, X-Ray Nanoprobe

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Keeping the lights on

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. Dr. William Watson, Physicist, OSTI staff, details in his latest white paper In the OSTI Collections: Keeping Power Grids Stable how DOE researchers are using data-based simulations, mathematically analyzing power grid behavior, improving energy storage, and working to understand the effects of transient power changes caused by devices connected to the grid so that we can avoid power grid instability and keep the lights on.  

Related Topics: blackout, Dr. William Watson, energy, lights, North American, OSTI Homepage, power grids, power plants

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