Brookhaven Lab physicist Pete SiddonsBrookhaven's Pete Siddons: Studying Art with Science

Brookhaven Lab physicist Pete Siddons, who shared a 2011 R&D 100 Award for developing instrumentation that will drastically speed up of the study of materials ranging from environmental samples to 17th-century paintings, has a scientific career that almost wasn’t.

In 1968, halfway through a degree in electrical engineering from the University of Bristol in the United Kingdom, Siddons “did what everyone else was doing in the late 60s and early 70s.”

He dropped out.

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Sandia’s Jeff Koplow makes an adjustment to an earlier prototype of his Air Bearing Heat Exchanger invention. The technology, as known as the “Sandia Coole,” will significantly reduce the energy needed to cool the processor chips in data centers and large-scale computing environments. (Photo by Dino Vournas)“Cooler” technology offers fundamental breakthrough in heat transfer

DOE’s Sandia National Laboratories has developed a new technology with the potential to dramatically alter the air-cooling landscape in computing and microelectronics, and lab officials are now seeking licensees in the electronics chip cooling field to license and commercialize the device. The “Sandia Cooler,” also known as the “Air Bearing Heat Exchanger,” is a novel, proprietary air-cooling invention developed by Sandia researcher Jeff Koplow, who was recently selected by the National Academy of Engineering (NAE) to take part in the NAE’s 17th annual U.S. Frontiers of Engineering symposium.

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See also…

DOE Pulse
  • Number 342  |
  • July 25, 2011
  • New approaches to scanning cargo containers

    Visitors at On-Dock Rail VIP Day at SRNL watch a demonstration of how large cargo containers could be scanned for radioactive material using the Straddle Portal Prototype DOE’s Savannah River National Laboratory is winding down the initial phases of testing of prototype systems for detecting radioactive material in cargo containers unloaded from ships.  Next, the systems head for the Port of Virginia in Norfolk for testing in a real-world setting.  This testing is being conducted by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Domestic Nuclear Detection Office (DNDO) as part of the On-Dock Rail (ODR) program. A group of VIPs, including congressional staffers and representatives of two DHS agencies, recently visited SRNL to see a demonstration of the system and its testing procedures first-hand.

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  • SLAC X-rays help discover new drug against melanoma

    Representation of a drug developed in part at SLAC at work against melanoma.  (Image courtesy of Plexxikon Inc.) It was front page news around the world: a drug designed to disrupt malignant melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer, was so successful in its latest round of testing in humans that the tests were halted—like an early-round knockout in boxing—so patients in the trial who were receiving other treatments could be moved to the new medicine.

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  • Model helps pinpoint bacterial genes that capture the sun’s energy

    Researchers developed this wreath-like graph to visualize all the genes being expressed by Cyanothece in 24 hours. The graphic revealed the complex genetic network that enables Cyanothece to switch its cell between photosynthesis and nitrogen fixation as the day turns to night. In the battle to reduce our need for fossil fuels, scientists at DOE’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Washington University in St. Louis and Purdue University are turning to an unassuming ally: known as Cyanothece 51142. This organism is commonly referred to as a cynaobacteria.  The researchers developed a computer model that can predict which of the organism's genes are central to capturing energy from sunlight and using it to produce fuel.

    "Our model is the first of its kind for cyanobacteria," said Jason McDermott, a PNNL computational biologist and the study’s lead author. "Previous models have only zoomed in on specific aspects of cyanobacteria. Ours looks at the entire organism to find out what makes Cyanothece tick."

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  • Hydrogen may be key to growth of high-quality graphene

    Graphene grains come in several different shapes. Hydrogen gas controls the grains' appearance. A new approach to growing graphene greatly reduces problems that have plagued researchers in the past and clears a path to the crystalline form of graphite's use in sophisticated electronic devices of tomorrow. Findings of researchers at DOE's Oak Ridge National Laboratory demonstrate that hydrogen rather than carbon dictates the graphene grain shape and size, according to a team led by ORNL's Ivan Vlassiouk, a Eugene Wigner Fellow, and Sergei Smirnov, a professor of chemistry at New Mexico State University.

    “Hydrogen not only initiates the graphene growth, but controls the grapheme shape and size,” Vlassiouk said. “In our paper, we have described a method to grow well-defined graphene grains that have perfect hexagonal shapes pointing to the faultless single crystal structure.”

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