Joe CordaroSRNL's Cordaro helps keep nation's data safe

While his home base is DOE's Savannah River National Laboratory, Joe Cordaro is a man who keeps his suitcase nearby and his passport up to date.

Cordaro, whose background is in both electrical and computer engineering, is recognized across the DOE complex and internationally as an expert in nuclear instrumentation, process control and high speed data acquisition.

He’s done extensive work in coulometry, not only for the Savannah River Site, but also internationally. He and a colleague developed an automated controlled potential coulometer for the measurement of plutonium, independent of certified reference material. More recent work builds off of his background in nuclear materials work, but is also expanding in directions that aren’t necessarily associated with traditional SRS missions.

Full Story


Image courtesy of Argonne National LaboratoryProtons and neutrons get social in the nucleus

When you post a joke, picture or link on Facebook, you have the option of sharing not only with your friends, but also with their friends, or "friends of friends." It turns out that something similar occurs inside the nucleus of the atom. 

A new, robust calculation shows that "friends of friends" sharing by protons and neutrons in the carbon nucleus plays a significant role in its structure. Carbon is an essential ingredient for all life on Earth, as well as the sixth most abundant element in the universe. Its nuclei are among the most popular with physicists, who are studying them to unlock the secrets of the sub-atomic world. 

At DOE's Jefferson Lab, scientists bombard carbon nuclei with electrons in experiments to probe protons and neutrons and how they combine to form the nucleus. The data from these experiments are then compared to theoretical models that have been developed by theorists. The models are based on theoretical insights into the nature of nuclear interactions and on inputs from decades of experiments on proton and neutrons – collectively called nucleons – and how they interact.

Full Story

See also…

DOE Pulse
  • Number 397  |
  • September 16, 2013
  • Fermilab sends first neutrino beam to NOvA experiment

    The first modules of the NOvA detector in Minnesota, still under construction, are taking data. DOE’s Fermilab has switched on its newly upgraded neutrino beam, soon to be the most intense in the world. The laboratory spent the past 15 months upgrading its accelerator complex in preparation for the NOvA experiment, which will study neutrinos using a 200-ton particle detector at Fermilab and a 14,000-ton detector in northern Minnesota.

    Neutrinos are light, neutral particles that rarely interact with other matter. About a decade ago, scientists discovered that neutrinos must have mass, but they must weigh at least a million times less than electrons. The NOvA experiment aims to determine which of the three known types of neutrinos is the heaviest and which is the lightest. To do that, Fermilab will send intense neutrino beams through the earth to the huge NOvA detector in Minnesota.

    Full Story

  • Searching for charge 'stripes' in superconductors

    Brookhaven scientists are making strides toward uncovering the role of "charge stripes" in superconductivity, the ability of some materials to carry electric current with no energy loss. Scientists at DOE's Brookhaven Lab have identified a series of clues that particular arrangements of electrical charges known as "stripes" may play a role in superconductivity—the ability of some materials to carry electric current with no energy loss. But uncovering the detailed relationship between these stripe patterns and the appearance or disappearance of superconductivity is extremely difficult, particularly because the stripes that may accompany superconductivity are very likely moving, or fluctuating.

    As a step toward solving this problem, the Brookhaven team used an indirect method to detect fluctuating stripes of charge density in a material closely related to a superconductor. The research identifies a key signature to look for in superconductors as scientists seek ways to better understand and engineer these materials for future energy-saving applications.

    Full Story

  • Strong forces at work in simple table salt

    The glow given off when a salt becomes a solid was a critical “hint” to the team that the conventional wisdom underlying salt formation was incomplete.Inside the chemical processes to synthesize simple table salt crystals, or NaCl, intense electric fields occur, according to scientists at DOE’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. The 5 GV/m fields, typically associated with particle accelerators, can alter the NaCl solution's electronic structure. These findings are the next step in determining the exact mechanism underlying salt's crystallization and the long-lived cobalt blue light emitted during salt formation.

    “The basic point is that if luminescence occurs, something very different is actually happening than what we think is happening," said Dr. Bernhard Sellner, a PNNL postdoctoral fellow and a theoretical chemist on the study.

    Full Story

  • Graphene may shed new light on terahertz metamaterials, plasmonics

    Graphene may shed new light on terahertz metamaterials and plasmonics Could graphene – a one-layer thick sheet of carbon atoms – be the ingredient needed for super-efficient solar harvesting with metamaterials? Or for “light on wire” plasmonic data transmission? In the Aug. 9 issue of Science, Ames Laboratory physicists discussed the potential and challenges of using graphene in metamaterials and plasmonics in terahertz applications, which operate at frequencies between microwave and infrared waves.

    Metamaterials are man-made structures that exhibit properties not possible in natural materials, such as refracting light “backward” or absorbing all the light that hits them. Costas Soukoulis and fellow Ames Laboratory physicists Philippe Tassin and Thomas Koschny found that graphene may be a good candidate to replace the metals currently used to build metamaterials.

    Full Story