SLAC researcher Sadasivan Shankar talks about a new environmental effort starting at the lab – building a roadmap that will help researchers improve the energy efficiency of computing, from devices like cellphones to artificial intelligence.
Tag: SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory
SLAC, Stanford researchers make a new type of quantum material with a dramatic distortion pattern
The resulting distortions are ‘huge’ compared to those in other materials, and represent the first demonstration of the Jahn-Teller effect in a layered material with a flat, planar lattice, like a high-rise building with evenly spaced floors.
SLAC theorist Lance Dixon receives Galileo Galilei Medal
Lance Dixon, professor of particle physics and astrophysics at the Department of Energy’s SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory and Stanford University, will receive the 2023 Galileo Galilei Medal for his contributions to theoretical physics. The award was announced by the Italian National Institute of Nuclear Physics (INFN) on Feb. 15 – the 459th birthday of Galileo.
SLAC/Stanford researchers discover how a nano-chamber in the cell directs protein folding
A landmark study by researchers at the Department of Energy’s SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory and Stanford University reveals how a tiny cellular machine called TRiC directs the folding of tubulin, a human protein that is the building block of microtubules that serve as the cell’s scaffolding and transport system.
Chi-Chang Kao to step down as SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory director
Chi-Chang Kao has decided to return to research after serving 10 years as director of the Department of Energy’s (DOE) SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory. He will continue in the lab director role until a replacement is found.
Lab experiments support COVID-19 bradykinin storm theory
A new paper published in Nature Communications adds further evidence to the bradykinin storm theory of COVID-19’s viral pathogenesis — a theory that was posited two years ago by a team of researchers at the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory.
SARS-CoV-2 protein caught severing critical immunity pathway
Over the past two years, scientists have studied the SARS-CoV-2 virus in great detail, laying the foundation for developing COVID-19 vaccines and antiviral treatments. Now, for the first time, scientists at the Department of Energy’s SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory have seen one of the virus’s most critical interactions, which could help researchers develop more precise treatments.
‘Diamond rain’ on giant icy planets could be more common than previously thought
A new study has found that “diamond rain,” a long-hypothesized exotic type of precipitation on ice giant planets, could be more common than previously thought. In an earlier experiment, researchers mimicked the extreme temperatures and pressures found deep inside ice giants Neptune and Uranus and, for the first time, observed diamond rain as it formed.
SLAC expands and centralizes computing infrastructure to prepare for data challenges of the future
A computing facility at the Department of Energy’s SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory is doubling in size, preparing the lab for new scientific endeavors that promise to revolutionize our understanding of the world from atomic to cosmic scales but also require handling unprecedented data streams.
A new leap in understanding nickel oxide superconductors
Unconventional superconductors contain a mix of weird quantum states. SLAC and Stanford researchers found one of them – frozen electron ripples known as charge density waves – in a nickelate superconductor they discovered three years ago.
X-rays help researchers piece together treasured cellular gateway for first time
After almost two decades of synchrotron experiments, Caltech scientists have captured a clear picture of a cell’s nuclear pores, which are the doors and windows through which critical material in your body flows in and out of the cell’s nucleus. These findings could lead to new treatments of certain cancers, autoimmune diseases and heart conditions.
Researchers model accelerator magnets’ history using machine learning approach
After a long day of work, you might feel tired or exhilarated. Either way, you are affected by what happened to you in the past.
Researchers aim X-rays at century-old plant secretions for insight into Aboriginal Australian cultural heritage
For tens of thousands of years, Aboriginal Australians have created some of the world’s most striking artworks. Today their work continues long lines of ancestral traditions, stories of the past and connections to current cultural landscapes, which is why researchers are keen on better understanding and preserving the cultural heritage within.
SLAC’s superconducting X-ray laser reaches operating temperature colder than outer space
Nestled 30 feet underground in Menlo Park, California, a half-mile-long stretch of tunnel is now colder than most of the universe. It houses a new superconducting particle accelerator, part of an upgrade project to the Linac Coherent Light Source (LCLS) X-ray free-electron laser at the Department of Energy’s SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory.
How a soil microbe could rev up artificial photosynthesis
When it comes to fixing carbon, plants have nothing on soil bacteria that can do it 20 times faster. The secret is an enzyme that “juggles” reaction ingredients. Scientists hope to optimize this process for producing fuels, antibiotics and other products from CO2.
Science snapshots from Berkeley Lab
New Berkeley Lab breakthroughs: engineering chemical-producing microbes; watching enzyme reactions in real time; capturing the first image of ‘electron ice’; revealing how skyrmions really move
A simple way to get complex semiconductors to assemble themselves
A new way to make complex, layered semiconductors is like making rock candy: They assemble themselves from chemicals in water. The method will aid design and large-scale production of these materials.
After 20 years of trying, scientists succeed in doping a 1D chain of cuprates
After 20 years of trying, scientists doped a 1D copper oxide chain and found a surprisingly strong attraction between electrons that may factor into the material’s superconducting powers.
Al Ashley Fellows give advice to future scientists
Three physicists talk about how they got started, their work at SLAC and what they would say to others considering a career in STEM.
A new approach creates an exceptional single-atom catalyst for water splitting
Anchoring individual iridium atoms on the surface of a catalyst made them a lot better at splitting water – a reaction that’s been a bottleneck in making sustainable energy production more competitive.
In a first, scientists capture a ‘quantum tug’ between neighboring water molecules
Researchers have made the first direct observation of how hydrogen atoms in water molecules tug and push neighboring water molecules when they are excited with laser light.
AI learns physics to optimize particle accelerator performance
Researchers at the Department of Energy’s SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory have demonstrated that they can use machine learning to optimize the performance of particle accelerators by teaching the algorithms the basic physics principles behind accelerator operations – no prior data needed.
SLAC partners with national labs and scientific publishing organizations on transgender-inclusive name-change process for published papers
The agreement, announced today, will make it easier for researchers to change their names and claim work from all stages of their careers. It specifically addresses the administrative and emotional difficulties some transgender researchers have experienced when requesting such name changes.
Main Attraction: Scientists Create World’s Thinnest Magnet
Scientists at Berkeley Lab and UC Berkeley have created an ultrathin magnet that operates at room temperature. The ultrathin magnet could lead to new applications in computing and electronics – such as spintronic memory devices – and new tools for the study of quantum physics.
Scientists take first snapshots of ultrafast switching in a quantum electronic device
Scientist demonstrated a new way of observing atoms as they move in a tiny quantum electronic switch as it operates. Along the way, they discovered a new material state that could pave the way for faster, more energy-efficient computing.
SLAC hosts Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm for a virtual visit
Highlights of the two-hour visit included behind-the-scenes looks at one of the most powerful X-ray sources on the planet and at the construction of the world’s largest digital camera for astronomy. She also joined presentations of the lab’s research in machine learning, quantum technology and climate science and engaged in discussions about diversity, equity and inclusion at SLAC.
A detailed study of nickelate’s magnetism finds a strong kinship with cuprate superconductors
Are new nickelate superconductors close kin to the original high-temperature superconductors, the cuprates? The first study of their magnetic properties says the answer is yes. Scientists from SLAC, Stanford and Diamond Light Source found important similarities but also subtle differences between the two.
Scientists discover how oxygen loss saps a lithium-ion battery’s voltage
SLAC and Stanford scientists took a unique and detailed nanoscale look at how oxygen seeps out of lithium-ion battery electrodes, sapping their energy over time. The results could suggest a fix.
SLAC’s Panofsky fellows talk about what makes their research so exciting
Among the many scientists who push the frontiers of knowledge at the Department of Energy’s SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, the Panofsky fellows stand out.
First nanoscale look at a reaction that limits the efficiency of generating clean hydrogen fuel
Transitioning to a hydrogen economy will require massive production of cheap, clean hydrogen gas for fuel and chemical feedstocks. New tools allow scientists to zoom in on a catalytic reaction that’s been a bottleneck in efforts to generate hydrogen from water more efficiently.
First detailed look at how charge transfer distorts a molecule’s structure
When light hits certain molecules, it dislodges electrons and creates areas of positive and negative charge. An X-ray free-electron laser study has directly observed how this charge transfer affects a molecule’s structure for the first time.
New machine learning tool diagnoses electron beams in an efficient, non-invasive way
For the past few years, researchers at the Department of Energy’s SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory have been developing “virtual diagnostics” that use machine learning to obtain crucial information about electron beam quality in an efficient, non-invasive way. Now, a new virtual diagnostic approach incorporates additional information about the beam that allows the method to work in situations where conventional diagnostics have failed.
In a leap for battery research, machine learning gets scientific smarts
Researchers combined machine learning with knowledge gained from experiments and equations guided by physics to discover and explain a process that shortens the lifetimes of fast-charging lithium-ion batteries.
A Sharp New Eye to View Atoms and Molecules
Physicists long dreamed of producing X-ray laser pulses that probe matter at the level of atoms and molecules. Scientists realized this dream in 2009 with the hard X-ray free-electron laser at the Linac Coherent Light Source (LCLS). But each LCLS X-ray pulse has a slightly different intensity and wavelength distribution. A new oscillator design overcomes these problems with an approach inspired by optical lasers.
Squeezing a rock-star material could make it stable enough for solar cells
A promising lead halide perovskite is great at converting sunlight to electricity, but it breaks down at room temperature. Now scientists have discovered how to stabilize it with pressure from a diamond anvil cell. The required pressure is well within the reach of today’s manufacturing processes.
First glimpse of polarons forming in a promising next-gen energy material
Polarons affect a material’s behavior, and may even be the reason that solar cells made with lead hybrid perovskites achieve extraordinarily high efficiencies in the lab. Now scientists have directly seen and measured their formation for the first time.
Scientists get the most realistic view yet of a coronavirus spike’s protein structure
The first detailed images of coronavirus spikes in their natural state, while still attached to the virus and without using chemical fixatives that might distort their shape, provide quicker, more realistic snapshots of the infection apparatus.
Scientists Recruit New Atomic Heavyweights in Targeted Fight Against Cancer
Researchers from Berkeley Lab and Los Alamos National Laboratory have developed new methods for the large-scale production, purification, and use of the radioisotope cerium-134, which could serve as a PET imaging radiotracer for a highly targeted cancer treatment known as alpha-particle therapy.
Laser-Driven “Chirp” Powers High-Resolution Materials Imaging
Scientists use beams of electrons to study materials’ properties. Shorter beams produce higher-resolution views. To make shorter beams, the electrons at the tail of the beam need to catch up to the head of the beam. This is accomplished by giving the electrons at the tail extra energy, a so-called “energy chirp.” Scientists have now used a terahertz laser pulse to create this energy chirp.
SLAC, Stanford to host national service center for cryo-ET sample preparation
The NIH is establishing a national service center at the SLAC and Stanford where biomedical researchers can learn how to prepare extremely thin specimens that are frozen into a glassy state for cryogenic electron tomography (cryo-ET), a powerful tool for directly visualizing cellular components in 3D.
A new approach boosts lithium-ion battery efficiency and puts out fires, too
This new technology addresses two major goals of battery research: extending the driving range of electric vehicles and reducing the danger that laptops, cell phones and other devices will burst into flames.
Q&A: How machine learning helps scientists hunt for particles, wrangle floppy proteins and speed discovery
At the Department of Energy’s SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, machine learning is opening new avenues to advance the lab’s unique scientific facilities and research.
SLAC’s Xijie Wang wins prestigious accelerator science award
Xijie Wang, an accelerator physicist at the Department of Energy’s SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, will receive the 2021 Nuclear and Plasma Science Society’s Particle Accelerator Science and Technology Award. Bestowed by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), the prestigious award recognizes individuals who have made outstanding contributions to the development of particle accelerator science and technology.
SLAC invention could make particle accelerators 10 times smaller
A team led by scientists at the Department of Energy’s SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory has invented a new type of accelerator structure that could make accelerators used for a given application 10 times shorter.
Lead Lab Selected for Next-Generation Cosmic Microwave Background Experiment
The largest collaborative undertaking yet to explore the relic light emitted by the infant universe has taken a step forward with the U.S. DOE’s selection of Berkeley Lab to lead the partnership of national labs, universities, and other institutions that are joined in the effort to carry out the DOE roles and responsibilities.
Scientists probe the chemistry of a single battery electrode particle both inside and out
Cracks and chemical reactions on a battery particle’s surface can sap its ability to store and release energy. Scientists probed a single charged particle the size of a red blood cell to see how interior and surface damage influence each other.
Sensors of world’s largest digital camera snap first 3,200-megapixel images at SLAC
Crews at the Department of Energy’s SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory have taken the first 3,200-megapixel digital photos – the largest ever taken in a single shot – with an extraordinary array of imaging sensors that will become the heart and soul of the future camera of Vera C. Rubin Observatory.
SLAC researchers find evidence for quantum fluctuations near a quantum critical point in a superconductor
Theory suggests that quantum critical points may be analogous to black holes as places where all sorts of strange phenomena can exist in a quantum material. Now scientists say that they have found strong evidence that QCPs and their associated fluctuations exist in a cuprate superconductor.
SLAC and Stanford join Q-NEXT national quantum center
Q-NEXT will bring together nearly 100 world-class researchers from three national laboratories, 10 universities and 10 leading U.S. technology companies with the single goal of developing the science and technology to control and distribute quantum information. These activities, along with a focus on rapid commercialization of new technologies, will support the emerging “quantum economy” and ensure that the U.S. remains at the forefront in this rapidly advancing field.
Auralee Edelen and Wai Ling Wu receive 2020 Panofsky Fellowships at SLAC
Their work uses machine learning to transform the way scientists tune particle accelerators for experiments and solve longstanding mysteries in astrophysics and cosmology.