Friday, September 23, 2011
ORNL in the News

Industry and neutron science: Working to make a match

(PhysOrg) Industrial users are starting to eye the potential of neutron science for solving problems that can't be solved in any other way. At the same time, the Spallation Neutron Source and High Flux Isotope Reactor neutron science facilities are exploring ways to woo such users and to make a match of it, to the benefit of both. "The advantages of neutrons to study materials are the same for industrial researchers and academic researchers: they can see light elements, study magnetic structures, penetrate big samples," said Thomas Proffen, a group leader in ORNL's Neutron Sciences Directorate....9/22

ORNL discovers amazing electrical properties in polymers

(R & D Magazine) ORNL's Volker Urban and colleagues at Technical University Aachen in Germany noticed the reverse piezoelectric effect—defined as creating a mechanical strain by applying an electrical voltage—while conducting fundamental research on polymers....9/22

DOE

University Teams to Showcase Affordable, Energy Efficient Living in U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon 2011

(DOE Press Release) Collegiate teams featuring over 4,000 students from around the world have descended on the National Mall's West Potomac Park to showcase the highly energy efficient solar-powered houses they created for the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon 2011....9/22

UT showcase house getting its chance to shine on DC stage

(Knoxville News Sentinel) The Living Light house is UT's submission to this year's Department of Energy-sponsored solar decathlon...9/23

State & Regional

Lamar Alexander: Leaving Senate GOP Leadership Gives Room To Deal

(NPR) When Sen. Lamar Alexander, a Tennessee Republican, announced earlier this week that he was stepping down from the number three position in the Senate GOP leadership, his move got the rumor mill going....9/22

National

House approves spending measure opposed by Senate; shutdown possible

(Washington Post) Washington lurched toward another shutdown crisis after the late-night vote as Democrats in the Senate immediately vowed to reject the short-term funding bill....9/23

East Tennessee

Oak Ridge unveils potential national park plans

(WBIR-TV) In July, Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar approved preliminary plans for a new Oak Ridge national park. That site would be one of three with relations to the Manhattan project of World War II....9/22

TVA official says warning signs on ash were ignored

(Tennessean) The Tennessee Valley Authority's inspector general testified Thursday that he stands by his report that criticized the utility for its December 2008 coal ash spill....9/23

energy & science policy

Questions Raised Over How Tennessee Will Enforce Fracking Regulations

(Metro Pulse) As TDEC begins work on fracking regulations, the oil and gas industry pushes to be regulated differently....9/21

science & technology

Neutrinos Travel Faster Than Light, According to One Experiment

(Science) If it's true, it will mark the biggest discovery in physics in the past half-century: Elusive, nearly massless subatomic particles called neutrinos appear to travel just faster than light, a team of physicists in Europe reports. If so, the observation would wreck Einstein's theory of special relativity, which demands that nothing can travel faster than light....9/22

Neutrino particle traveling faster than light? Two ways it could rewrite physics.

(Christian Science Monitor) European scientists are shocked by an experiment that showed neutrino particles moving faster than light. The result, if confirmed, could challenge Einstein's signature theory on relativity or point to a universe of more than four dimensions....9/22

Lock of hair pins down early migration of Aborigines

(BBC) A lock of hair has helped scientists to piece together the genome of Australian Aborigines and rewrite the history of human dispersal around the world....9/22

Evolutionary Tree of Life for Mammals Greatly Improved

(Science Daily) An international research team led by biologists at the University of California, Riverside and Texas A&M University has released for the first time a large and robust DNA matrix that has representation for all mammalian families....9/23

First life may have arisen above serpentine rock, researchers say

(PhysOrg) About 3.8 billion years ago, Earth was teeming with unicellular life. A little more than 4.5 billion years ago, the Earth was a ball of vaporous rock. And somewhere in between, the first organisms spontaneously arose....9/23

Other Stories

'Contagion' movie catches some truth, doctors say

(USA Today) The images in the thriller Contagion may be delivered with Hollywood flair, but they also have a ring of truth to those on the medical front lines....9/22