Fermilab’s Daniel BowringFermilab’s Bowring helps spark new designs for accelerators

Daniel Bowring once considered himself a traveling scientist. He’s worked at two national labs almost 3,000 miles apart on separate coasts. Now, Bowring calls DOE’s Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory home.

The time wandering was well-spent, he said. His college, graduate and post-doctoral experiences at Berkeley Lab and Jefferson Lab helped him realize where he fit in the physics community – accelerator science.

Bowring was awarded a Peoples Fellowship last year, a position for promising early-career accelerator researchers. He began work at Fermilab in October 2013.

Full Story


Cat-Virtual-Field-Trip: Courtesy of Google+ Hangouts, YouTube and SLAC.SLAC virtual field trip: Courtesy of Google+ Hangouts, YouTube and SLAC

Cormac, a high school student from Journeys School in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, had a question: How does dark matter interact with regular matter? It’s a tough one; even today’s brightest physicists don’t yet completely know the answer. Fortunately, Cormac’s teacher was off the hook. Dark matter researcher Andrea Albert, connected by video from DOE's SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, was happy to respond. “That’s a great question,” she began.

Physicists work in unique, incredible places. But students interested in science, technology, engineering or math (STEM) careers who don’t live near a laboratory may never get the opportunity to see a real-life scientist in action.

Full Story

See also…

DOE Pulse
  • Number 409  |
  • March 17, 2014
  • More flexible metallic glass coming your way

    A piece of metallic glass that has been bent around onto itself with a 1mm radius and glued into place. It would spring back to a flat piece if the glue were removed. What do some high-end golf clubs and your living room window have in common? The answer is glass, but in the golf clubs' case it's a specialized glass product, called metallic glass, with the ability to be bent considerably and spring back into its original form. Your windows, as you know, aren¹t quite as forgiving of a sudden impact, and they shatter ­ they are brittle, as opposed to ductile, or more flexible products. For the golf clubs, however, a new generation of flexible metallic glass puts more bounce back into a golf ball, from the metallic glass' high elasticity. They're not unbreakable, but close. And scientists are working toward even stronger and more elastic glass types which would fail in a ductile fashion instead of shattering.

    Full Story

  • Better chemistry through parallel in time algorithms

    New parallel in time algorithms speed up high-level molecular dynamics simulations to enable predictions involving the properties of complex materials. Molecular dynamics simulations often take too long to be practical for simulating chemical processes that occur on long timescales. Scientists DOE’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, the University of Chicago, and the University of California at San Diego showed that time integration algorithms working in parallel can significantly speed up computationally demanding molecular dynamics simulations, opening new avenues for studying complex, long-lasting processes as diverse as carbon sequestration and energy production and storage.

    Molecular dynamics simulations provide valuable data about the physical movements and interactions of atoms and molecules over time. Unlike classical approaches, ab initio molecular dynamics (AIMD) simulations accurately calculate the movements of electrons, enabling scientists to study chemical reactions that involve breaking or forming covalent bonds. Although AIMD simulations are useful in areas such as industrial and biological catalysis, their use is limited because they are computationally costly.

    Full Story

  • PPPL project to expand research on magnetic reconnection

    Nearly two-dozen institutions will participate in experiments on FLARE.DOE's Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory is developing a new and more powerful version of its world-leading Magnetic Reconnection Experiment (MRX), which recreates one of the most common but least understood phenomena in the universe. This phenomenon, in which the magnetic field lines in plasma snap apart and violently reconnect, occurs throughout the cosmos and gives rise to the northern lights, solar flares and geomagnetic storms that can disrupt cell-phone service and black out power grids.

    The new $4.3 million device will probe facets of magnetic reconnection never before accessible to laboratory experiments, said Hantao Ji, a PPPL physicist and Princeton professor of astrophysical sciences who will serve as principal investigator for research on the new machine.  Ji headed a Princeton-led consortium that won a $3 million National Science Foundation (NSF) construction grant in a nationwide competition with entries from all areas of science. The University will contribute an additional $1.3 million of funds for construction of the device, to be called the Facility for Laboratory Reconnection Experiment (FLARE).

    Full Story

  • Sensors offer real-time monitoring in harsh environments

    Transmission electron microscopy results obtained for selected Al-doped ZnO films prepared using the sol–gel technique including bright field images (a–d), a representative selected area diffraction pattern (e), and a low-magnification bright field image illustrating micron-scale film wrinkling (f).The sensors team at DOE's National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) is working on sensor technologies to enable embedded gas sensing at high temperature. The team’s goal is to develop novel materials with large optical responses and high-temperature stability for integration with optical sensor platforms. High-temperature harsh environment conditions are relevant for a diverse range of advanced fossil energy applications, including solid oxide fuel cells, gas turbines, and advanced combustion systems.

    Full Story

  • SRNL’s Sound Anchor represents new inspection tool

    SRNL’s Sound AnchorAn inspection technique developed by two Savannah River National Laboratory researchers is ready for commercial use, via a license agreement signed with a Texas company.

    SoundAnchor is a testing method developed at SRNL that uses ultrasonic technology to assess the structural integrity and safety of anchor rods that are used to stabilize large guyed towers.  Metallurgical Engineering Services, Inc., a Richardson, Texas company, has signed an exclusive license to utilize SoundAnchorTM as an inspection tool.

    Anchor rods are subject to below ground degradation that can lead to failure over time.  Typically, anchor rods, if and when they are inspected, must be unearthed to allow for visual inspection.  This can be costly, time consuming and can potentially destabilize the structure being anchored.  Additionally, the excavation and reburial process is inherently damaging to the protective coatings on the rods.

    Full Story