Number 75, March 2006
 

More, better MIRF

March 2006 cover

Metrology Lab assures ORNL’s research makes international grade

M&C, CMSD join into new materials division

Lab Notes

‘Gene-poor’ but richly interesting

Enjoy STEM in 3-D

Even snakes get a lunch break

When the whittlin’ muse strikes
Hydrogen tech

Coalfield-Lab ties pay off for student

Britt leads Chemical Sciences Division
ORNL People
Club ORNL sets spring-summer activities; retirees welcome
Reporting fraud, waste and abuse
New Staff Members
Infrared imaging uncovers hidden 19th-century art work


*More, better MIRF

Lab’s atomic physics facility completes a three-year upgrade

Fred Meyer applies some finishing touches to a MIRF beam line. The revamped facility is expected to draw interest particularly from the fusion and astrophysics communities.

Fred Meyer applies some finishing touches to a MIRF beam line. The revamped facility is expected to draw interest particularly from the fusion and astrophysics communities.

The atomic physics community is about to receive a boost with the completion of an upgrade to the longstanding Multicharged Ion Research Facility, housed in a high-bay lab alongside the Physics Division’s Holifield Radioactive Ion Beam Facility.
While not as grandly scaled as the Spallation Neutron Source or even the nearby Holifield Facility, MIRF counts among its sponsors and customers DOE’s Basic Energy Sciences and Office of Fusion Energy programs, as well as its major Work For Others customer, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

“Until now, atomic physics has been chiefly observing and understanding. Now we want to control some of these interactions of ions with electrons, atoms, molecules and solid surfaces,” says David Schultz, group leader of the Physics Division’s Atomic Physics group.

Atomic physicists are more concerned with the behavior of an atom as a whole, complete with its electron shell. Nuclear physicists, on the other hand, specialize in the atom’s nucleus alone, while particle physicists focus on the particles that make up the nucleus.

“The upgraded MIRF will offer an energy range available for experiments that is five orders of magnitude greater than the old facility could produce,” says Experimental Research task leader Fred Meyer, who has spent the better part of the past three years overseeing the upgrade and keeping current research projects in progress.

MIRF since 1984 has served atomic physicists’ quest to understand the behavior of highly charged ions in a variety of plasma environments. The MIRF team includes research staff members Randy Vane, Herb Krause, Charlie Havener and Mark Bannister, technician Jerry Hale and a number of postdoctoral fellows.

MIRF’s expanded capabilities are of interest to several sets of researchers, particularly in the fusion and astrophysics communities.

Fusion researchers have long been concerned with the effects of the super-hot, 100-million-degree plasma on the nearby room-temperature graphite walls of a fusion reactor. DOE’s Office of Fusion Energy Sciences program has supported MIRF to study these ion-surface interactions for its fusion projects, including ITER, the international fusion reactor experiment.

“The plasma researchers want to know what’s happening when the hot plasma hits the room-temperature wall. These interactions determine in part how long the graphite tiles that line the inside of the reactor will last,” Fred says.

The MIRF team includes, from left, Fred Meyer, Luciana Vergara, Herb Krause, Randy Vane, Jerry Hale, Mark Bannister and Eric Bahati.

The MIRF team includes, from left, Fred Meyer, Luciana Vergara, Herb Krause, Randy Vane, Jerry Hale, Mark Bannister and Eric Bahati.

Fusion reactors, of course, mimic processes that occur in the sun. NASA has supported studies that will help scientists understand interactions that occur in the vicinity of the sun, as well as in lower-temperature and less dense environments such as the interstellar medium. Experiments and modeling based on MIRF research can help explain observations made by NASA’s spacecraft-based observatories such as the Hubble and Spitzer space telescopes.

DOE’s Basic Energy Sciences program supports the fundamental research into the behavior of ions undergoing collisions in plasma environments, which can include more earthbound chemical processes and involve plasmas and surface-ion interactions in materials.

The MIRF facility has its roots in the migration of a Fusion Energy Division group, led by Clarence Barnett, to the Physics Division in 1975 and by the arrival of Sheldon Datz’s group from the Chemistry Division in 1981. The facility, which generated ion beams through an electron cyclotron resonance, or ECR, ion source, began operation in 1984.

The upgrade preserves the old Caprice electromagnetically generated ECR source and adds a new platform-mounted, permanent- magnet ECR source that generates ion beams that can be directed, by two locally designed and fabricated deflectors, to five dedicated experiments and one user beamline.

MIRF will be one of the few places in the world where some sophisticated atomic physics experiments can be performed.

“Many of the components were locally designed and fabricated, with a lot of the work performed in the Facilities and Operations shops,” Fred says. “Don Johnson’s and Ed Long’s people could get parts to us in a day or so that would have taken much longer if we had to go outside.”

Fred regards the permanent- magnet ECR source a key feature of the new 250-kilovolt platform.

“Since it doesn’t require a high-current power supply for electromagnets, it takes up much less space and requires almost no cooling, making it ideally suited for use on the high-voltage platform. At the same time, it has better performance than our old ECR source, and this will allow us to extend the range of experiments we can pursue,” Fred says.

MIRF’s new capabilities will permit carrying out a diverse research program. One experiment is the Merged Electron Ion Beam Energy Loss experiment, or MEIBEL, where an electron beam and an ion beam are superimposed. The electron beam gives up energy to excite the ion, and the resulting energy loss will be observed and measured to determine so-called electron impact excitation cross sections.

Layout of the upgraded Multicharged Ion Research Facility.

Layout of the upgraded Multicharged Ion Research Facility.

“In later experiments we’ll merge the electron beams with molecular ions, making them fly apart. We can image the fragments, similar to what PHENIX does for the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider at Brookhaven, but on a much smaller scale. You have to have high energy to image the outgoing fragments,” Fred says.

The Atomic Physics group is also performing experiments involving merged ion and neutral atomic beams, in part to study a phenomenon called “electron hopping” from atoms to ions at very low energies. The electron is transferred between a rapidly moving ion and a swift atom. When the ion and atom are made to move at almost the same speed and direction, the relative motion between the two can be made arbitrarily slow, much like two fast runners passing a baton in a relay race, and permits study of very low energy collisions. Such collisions happen in cold, interstellar plasmas and are another basis behind NASA’s interest in MIRF.

“These are very sophisticated and difficult experiments, and MIRF will be one of the few places in the world where they can be done,” Fred says.

Most of the phases of the upgrade are finished, and no one’s happier than Fred. Not only will he again be able to focus on the research that he has nevertheless managed to continue, he’ll also resume his hobby. The goateed researcher is accomplished at the sport of fencing.

“I’ve told my fencing friends that I’m about ready to get back into it,” Fred says.

En garde.—B.C.

 

*Metrology Lab assures ORNL’s research makes international grade

The Metrology Labís Joe Keck demonstrates one of the the groupís instruments, a Jarrett triple-point-of-water cell, which determines the internationally recognized 0.01ļC temperature.
The Metrology Lab’s Joe Keck demonstrates one of the the group’s instruments, a Jarrett triple-point-of-water cell, which determines the internationally recognized 0.01ºC temperature.

ORNL researchers can be assured that their measurement data are recognized throughout the international science community thanks to the ORNL Metrology Lab’s accreditation through the National Voluntary Laboratory Accreditation Program. The Metrology Lab earned its first NVLAP accreditation in late 2004 and will be reaccredited this month.

The Metrology Lab’s Bob Effler says the Metrology Lab team’s earning the ISO 17025 accreditation was “the hardest thing he’s ever done,” but its value to ORNL’s researchers makes it well worth the effort.

“In science, it’s axiomatic that no experimental results can be considered valid until another researcher duplicates the experiment and generates the same results. Scientific research is an international enterprise, so experiments must be repeatable in labs worldwide,” Bob says.

A researcher’s experimental measurement results have to be traceable to units that are recognized internationally—the SI units, or International System of Units. Many sponsors of scientific research now demand not only proof that measurements are traceable to SI units but also that they be accompanied by credible statements of statistical measurement uncertainty.

Both of these two requirements are part of ISO 17025, the new, internationally accepted standard for testing and calibration laboratories.

“The only way that ORNL researchers can be assured that they can present measurement data that will be acceptable in worldwide scientific circles is by having their instruments calibrated to SI units by a metrology lab that is accredited to ISO 17025 by an internationally-recognized accrediting body.” Bob says.

ORNL’s Metrology Lab, managed by the Quality Systems and Services Division, has been accredited by NVLAP in the disciplines of pressure, temperature and electrical measurements. NVLAP is a service of the National Institute of Standards and Technology.

Metrology Lab group members, shown with their hard-earned ISO 17025 plaque, are (standing, from left) Brian Sizemore, Bob Quinn, Joe Keck, Greg Strickland, (seated) Amanda Denton, Bob Effler, Wayne Holbert, Mike Day and Bill Wright.
Metrology Lab group members, shown with their hard-earned ISO 17025 plaque, are (standing, from left) Brian Sizemore, Bob Quinn, Joe Keck, Greg Strickland, (seated) Amanda Denton, Bob Effler, Wayne Holbert, Mike Day and Bill Wright.

“NVLAP standards are, by necessity, exceedingly rigorous. Accreditation was a notably difficult accomplishment that was brought about as the culmination of a series of major technical and quality system upgrades made over many years of arduous effort by the Metrology Lab team,” Bob says.

Because NVLAP accreditation is officially recognized and highly respected worldwide, measurement data that are traceable through the Metrology Lab can be presented, with unprecedented confidence, to anyone else in the international science and technology community. The ORNL ML scope of accreditation and measurement uncertainty data can be found on the NIST/NVLAP web site, ts.nist.gov/ts/htdocs/210/214/scopes/2006590.pdf.

The Metrology Lab is continually broadening its scope of accreditation and decreasing measurement uncertainties so that ORNL researchers can always be provided with calibration services that are adequate for state-of-the art instruments. Many of the SI units are actually realized on-site by duplicating the process by which they were originally defined.

For example, SI temperature units are defined by changes of state in certain materials at specific temperatures. The Metrology Lab has the equipment to precisely “capture” state changes in liquid nitrogen, mercury, water, gallium, tin, zinc, and aluminum.

ORNL staff members are always invited to call to arrange a tour of the Metrology facility at Building 5510A. The lab’s web site is located at train.ornl.gov/wbt/new_page/QMSG metlab.htm.—B.C., with Bob Effler—B.C.

 

*M&C, CMSD join into new materials division

The Metals & Ceramics and Condensed Matter Sciences divisions have joined to form a new division called the Materials Science & Technology Division. The merger, which was effective March 1, combines two of the Lab’s most accomplished research divisions.

Associate Laboratory Director for Physical Sciences Michelle Buchanan, whose directorate includes the new division, says the move creates a materials-sciences powerhouse for ORNL.

“ORNL is home to this nation’s largest open source materials program,” she says.

“The new division will provide unparalleled opportunities for strengthening ORNL’s leadership in materials sciences, from fundamental studies of nanostructured materials and correlated electron systems to development of functional and structural materials in support of DOE missions. The resulting organization will strengthen both fundamental science and technological applications and will lead to powerful new connections between science and energy,” she said in the organizational announcement.

The new division will house about 300 full-time employees plus about 80 postdoctoral researchers, and affiliated faculty.

Lab Director Jeff Wadsworth, in a recent Director’s Message, said the new division will bolster the Lab’s leadership in materials sciences.

“Separately, the two divisions for years have been major contributors to the fields of materials research from basic science at the nanoscale to bringing advanced materials to the marketplace. Together, the chance to develop a single research agenda provides unparalleled opportunities for furthering the DOE materials science mission,” he said.

The two divisions can trace their roots back to late 1946 when Eugene Wigner suggested the formation of a concentrated research activity to investigate the newly discovered phenomenon of radiation damage in graphite.

ORNL is home to the nation’s largest open source materials program.

The M&C Division had research activities ranging from fundamental theory to fabrication and characterization of a broad range of metals, ceramics and polymer composites, with about two-thirds of the activity focused on applied technologies. It housed several national user facilities including the High Temperature Materials Laboratory.

The Condensed Matter Sciences Division, which until a little over a year ago was called the Solid State Division, focused on fundamental science investigations in materials synthesis, characterization and theory in areas such as low-dimensional, correlated electron, thin film, and nanoscale materials.

Considerable collaborations have existed between the two divisions, including activities associated with materials science theory, ion beam modification of materials, high temperature superconductivity, X-ray diffraction, electron microscopy and neutron scattering.

Steve Zinkle, who recently succeeded Everett Bloom as M&C Division Director, will lead the new Materials S&T Division. John Cooke will serve as associate director for science; Craig Blue will serve as associate director of technology.—B.C.

 

   

 

*‘Gene-poor’ but richly interesting

The Life Sciences Division’s Dabney Johnson and Pat Hunsicker recently joined an impressive troupe of authors on a paper published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. ORNL provided the mice and did a significant amount of molecular work reported in the paper, titled “Genomic anatomy of the Tyrp1 (brown) deletion complex,” with researchers from the United Kingdom’s Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, Medical Research Council (Edinburgh) and Imperial College (London).

“There has been an international effort to analyze the chunk of genome that makes mice brown instead of black,” Dabney says. “The target for radiation studies has been the brown gene because if you get a young brown animal instead of a black one, that’s a readily identifiable change caused by a mutation.”

The studies also open a long piece of chromosome with several kinds of genes, including those that cause male pattern baldness and another involved with immune system susceptibility.

“When you look at a region of genes, you don’t know whether they are together for some evolutionary purpose or if they just happen to be where they are. This mouse-brown area is relatively ‘gene-poor,’ but the diverse functions they control suggest that they just happen to be there,” Dabney says. “When you shoot away the brown gene you also affect other genes that are neighbors. It’s very interesting.”

Liane Russell, who started the Lab’s mouse colony with her husband Bill, is a National Academy of Science member. Of course, their colony is now in its new mouse house, the Russell Lab.

“This work actually started here in 1947 with the Russells’ original strains. It has proved to be a good idea to preserve these strains because they are so very useful to researchers,” Dabney says.

*Enjoy STEM in 3-D

Steve Pennycook’s STEM group in the new Materials S&T Division also had a paper published in a recent issue of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The article, authored by Steve, Albina Borisevich and Andy Lupini, discussed the group’s progress with three-dimensional imaging using the Z-contrast scanning transmission electron microcope.

“We’re trying to do for electron microscopy the same thing that they’ve been doing with confocal optical microcopes, which is to reconstruct specimens in 3-D,” Steve says.

“With aberration correction, we actually have depth of focus. Now we can actually focus inside a material. This paper introduces that technique to the world.”

Steve explains that electron microscopy up until now has always been a two-dimensional projection. The 3-D capability will enable, for instance, researchers to see catalysts embedded inside materials at atomic resolution.

One challenge, Steve says, is in imaging crystals, which tend to channel away the STEM’s electrons.

The STEM group is currently doing calculations for the Lab’s next-generaton microscope, expected next year, which will have “four times better depth of resolution,” Steve says.

*Even snakes get a lunch break

The ORNL cafeteria at the Conference Center has turned out to be a popular spot for the Lab lunchtime crowd. The water feature beside the patio, in particular, makes for a nice dining atmosphere with its rolling waters and artful landscaping.

Some of the waterfall’s biggest fans are the area’s water snakes, who love the rocks and stream and can frequently be seen going about their serpentine business, which is mainly fishing.

Some people don’t like snakes, but Barry Berven, operations manager for the Biological and Environmental Sciences Directorate, says these snakes are nothing to worry about.

“They are common water snakes that have always been in the pond and surrounding area. They are nonpoisonous and shy and are there to catch some sun and eat fish.”

The Lab’s policy is generally to be friendly to critters, particularly if they are indigenous to the area. Water snakes qualify. Enjoy them at a distance.

*When the whittlin’ muse strikes

Gordon Sanders

The area behind the Holifield Radioactive Ion Beam Facility looks like any physics-related service area, with a loading dock, shipping crates, castoff office chairs and a basketball goal with the remains of a net dangling off the hoop.

The woodwork of Gordon Sanders
The woodwork of Gordon Sanders.

But in this one also is a picnic table adorned with some striking examples of woodcraft: whittled figurines of people, horses, howling wolves and even a toy cage with rollers that have been whittled down inside it.

It’s the work of Craft Resources Division’s Gordon Sanders, who normally provides pipefitting services to the Holifield Facilities’ physics experiments.

Gordon also displays some results of his skill with the knife inside the Building 6000 craft shop, including golf balls converted into art. He slices them open and carves amusing faces, flowers and pastoral scenes into the rubber filling.

But it’s the stuff outside on the picnic table that has the real charm. Maybe it’s because the figures have weathered over the months and years, or perhaps it’s because they’ve been created during lunch breaks on nice days when it’s better to be outside.

 

Reported by Bill Cabage


 

   

 

*Hydrogen tech

‘Smart’ pipelines, solid-state storage among new H ideas

ORNL showcased some of the Lab’s emerging hydrogen and fuel-cell technologies at last month’s Fuel Cell South conference, held at Oak Ridge’s Tech 2020 office on February 23. The conference, which originated in South Carolina some years ago, has come to Oak Ridge, where ORNL is carrying the DOE hydrogen-economy research flag for the Southeast.

“We wanted to show local industry and community leaders some of the emerging research areas at ORNL that could lead to economic development and also to gain support for some of these projects,” says Tim Armstrong, who manages ORNL’s Hydrogen, Fuel Cells and Infrastructure programs in the Energy and Engineering Sciences Directorate.

Some of the technologies being explored at ORNL are a low-temperature proton conducting inorganic membrane, hydrogen storage in a solid-state medium and advanced pipeline technologies for a hydrogen infrastructure, he says.

One of ORNLís most promising areas of hydrogen research is in making pipelines more amenable to containing the elusive gas.
One of ORNL’s most promising areas of hydrogen research is in making pipelines more amenable to containing the elusive gas.

Tim is leading the development of the proton-conducting inorganic membrane, which is designed to separate hydrogen from mixed-gas streams. The technology uses a novel ceramic. The selling point for the membrane is that it operates at much lower temperatures than conventional separation membranes.

“The typical technology operates at a very high temperature, around 900ºC,” Tim says. “This technology brings that temperature down to about 500ºC, making it more amenable to coal-gas separation processes.

“It’s also more energy efficient,” Tim says.

Another Lab technology deals with moving hydrogen through a hypothetical distribution infrastructure. The Engineering S&T Division’s Bart Smith and University of Tennessee/ORNL Distinguished Scientist Jimmy Mays are studying polymer materials for hydrogen pipelines.

Because hydrogen is the most basic element and the smallest of atoms, the gas is notoriously difficult to contain. That makes delivery of hydrogen fuel to the corner filling station problematical in a future world of H-powered vehicles.

“It leaks through everything,” Tim says.

Bart and Jimmy’s project is exploring the use of polymer pipes instead of the conventional metal pipelines, which are prone to leakage because the pipes usually are formed by joining a curved plate in a long welded seam (leak point one) and by welding relatively short sections of pipe together (leak point two).

A polymer, or plastic, pipe could be molded in one piece into long lengths, even up to a mile, drastically reducing the gas’s opportunities to escape. A line would consist of a polymer core and then a glass or carbon composite wrapping to add strength for high-pressure operation.

Brand-new lines could be put in the ground or the polymer could be pulled into existing pipelines. An added advantage to the polymer lines is that they can be made into “smart” lines by embedding sensors that alert operators to ruptures or other line conditions that need attention.

“I don’t know of many other places where polymers are being considered for the hydrogen pipeline infrastructure,” Tim says.

Tim also regards a project in the Physical Sciences Directorate as highly promising. The Materials S&T Division’s Rodney McKee is investigating a solid-state material as a hydrogen storage medium. The technology would electrochemically store hydrogen in the dense, solid-state medium.

“One of the advantages of this technology is its stability. In an accident, if hydrogen were stored in a tank, the tank could rupture, which could lead to fire. With the solid-state storage, the hydrogen stays safely in the material,” Tim says.

Other promising technologies from ORNL include James Lee’s Chemical Sciences Division work in producing hydrogen from algae, and the Materials S&T Division’s work, under Ted Besmann, on carbon-composite bipolar plates, which has won a DOE tech transfer award and has been licensed to Porvair, a firm that specializes in the development of microporous materials.—B.C.

 

*Coalfield-Lab ties pay off for student

Kelsye Roark prepares her Coalfield High air samples for her science fair project.

Kelsye Roark prepares her Coalfield High air samples for her science fair project.

Kelsye Roark, a Coalfield High School junior who is interested in pursuing radiology as a career, recently used an ORNL vacuum pump to help her with a science fair project, where she tied for second place with her sister, Tascha.

Kelsye’s interest in science was planted last fall by her science teacher, Mike Smith, who recently completed a Laboratory Science Teachers Professional Development summer internship in ORNL’s Life Sciences Division.

When it was time to select a project to exhibit at Coalfield’s science fair, Kelsye decided to conduct a mold experiment in the school and write a paper about her findings with the help of the vacuum pump that was loaned to her by ORNL.

Kelsye wanted to find out how many classrooms in the Coalfield School, which houses grades K-12, contained high levels of mold spores. She selected eight rooms in different locations around the building to take air samples, along with one outdoor location that served as a control.

Leigh Greeley, Matt Harrison and John Jankovic of the Safety Services Division helped teach Kelsye how to use the pump to take the air samples.

After the air samples were captured in the vacuum pump, Kelsye brought them to ORNL, where John examined them.

The findings revealed mold spores in five of the eight rooms at the school. However, the levels were not high enough to warrant a health risk. Kelsye plans to submit a report to school officials recommending that air sample readings periodically should be taken to insure the air quality remains healthy.

“I never realized how much effort goes into preparing to conduct an experiment and then recording the findings,” says Kelsye, the daughter of Barbara and Vroles Roark of Coalfield – both teachers in the Morgan County School System. “I’ve learned from this experience that scientists have a lot of responsibilities throughout the process from beginning to end.”—Fred Strohl

 

*Berliners helped struggling Einstein during WWI, recalls family friend

Albert Einstein
Among recipients of Albert Einstein’s correspondence was UCLA professor Steven Moszkowski, who described his family’s relationship with the great thinker in a Physics Division seminar.

Those who actually knew Albert Einstein are becoming fewer in number as the years go by. Lab staff members got a chance recently to meet Steven Moszkowski, a UCLA faculty member who was a family friend of the great thinker.

He spoke to a Physics Division seminar on January 26 in a talk, titled “Personal Recollections of Albert Einstein,” as part of a visit to ORNL and the University of Tennessee.

Einstein had moved to Berlin after the publication of his seminal papers. During the first World War, with his marriage to Mileva Maric dissolving and experiencing war privations along with the rest of the population, he was, Moszkowski said, “sick, work obsessed and separated.”

Moszkowski’s grandparents were part of a cadre of the local Jewish community who essentially took Einstein in and, literally, kept him from starving himself.

Already famous for his papers on relativity, Einstein in his Berlin days apparently had also earned a reputation for marching to a different drummer. Einstein “acted like a hippie,” Moszkowski said.

“My grandmother was his friend, but she wouldn’t walk on the same side of the street with him, he was so weird,” he said.

Moszkowski

Moszkowski

Moszkowski acknowledged that Einstein was absent minded, but he dismissed the notion that he was a poor student and bad at mathematics.

“Einstein actually got good grades in school,” he said. “He was very encouraging to me, personally, in mathematics.”

The Moszkowski family’s friendship with Einstein endured through the disruptions of the Great Depression and the rise of Nazism in Germany. Einstein eventually immigrated to the United States to escape the regime’s anti-Semitism.

Because Moszkowski’s father was a World War I veteran, he was able to hold onto his job and the family remained in Germany for a while.

The Moszkowskis and Einstein corresponded across the sea. When Moszkowski’s mother fretted to Einstein that their son, Steven—the speaker—was “a little weird,” Einstein, no stranger to weirdness, advised back, “leave him alone.”

Eventually the Nazi’s anti-Semitic policies took hold of the nation. The family was able to get out of Germany shortly after the Kristallnacht and come to the United States. Einstein helped Moszkowski’s father get back on his feet, and the family eventually settled in Chicago.

The family remained close to Einstein throughout the famous man’s life. Einstein corresponded with the student Moszkowski, offering advice and pointers. Moszkowski has letters and books from Einstein, including one book incribed with a long formula.

Moszkowski said Nazism took hold of Germany “like a mental disease that drives people to do things they wouldn’t normally do.” His parents, while still in Germany, were “comparatively lucky” and “never physically threatened.”

Still, they got out. Moszkowski’s grandmother, who helped sustain Einstein during the First World War, stayed behind. Later, as Jews were ordered “deported,” she did what many did—she took her own life.

Einstein wrote: “Now the nasty people can’t do anything more to her.”—B.C.

 

*Britt leads Chemical Sciences Division

Phil Britt has been named director of the Chemical Sciences Division. Phil came to ORNL in 1988 and has lately been a major contributor to the establishment of the Center for Nanophase Materials Sciences in leading the nanoscience center’s Macromolecular Complex Systems group, overseeing the jump-start user program and staffing the research area.

Britt

Britt

Phil reports to Physical Sciences Associate Laboratory Director Michelle Buchanan.

He received his undergraduate degree in chemistry from James Madison University and his doctorate in organic chemistry from the University of Texas at Austin.

Phil has held numerous offices in professional societies, including chair of the Fuel Chemistry Division of the American Chemical Society. He serves on the advisory boards for two journals and is currently chair-elect of the Gordon Conference on Hydrocarbon Resources.

In the organizational announcement, Michelle thanked Mike Simonson, who has served as acting director of the division. Mike will continue his research activities within CSD and his participation in the Nanoscale Characterization, Imaging, and Manipulation theme area within the CNMS.

Phil lives in Knoxville with his wife, Deborah, and two children.

 

*ORNL People

Scott Sluder, Engineering Science and Technology Division, was recently named emissions vice chairman of the Fuels, Lubricants, and Powertrain Activity Committee of the Society of Automotive Engineers.

Adam Parrish King, son of Phil and Sharron King, recently shared first place in the Sundance Film Festival’s short filmmaking category. Phil is the Lab’s Honors & Awards coordinator; Sharron retired from the Condensed Matter Sciences Division last year. The winning short, “The Wraith of Cobble Hill,” is a 15-minute, stop-action animation film that took six years to produce.

Hannah Russell, 13, won the Campbell County Spelling Bee with the word “corpuscle.” She is the daughter of Tim (Craft Resources at the High Flux Isotope Reactor) and Billie Russell (High Temperature Materials Laboratory). Hannah is a Campbell County Christian Academy seventh-grader.

 

*Club ORNL sets spring-summer activities; retirees welcome

Club ORNL is a recently formed organization aimed at strengthening a sense of community and esprit de corps at the Laboratory. The club will offer a variety of informal and fun events throughout the year, on and off campus. In addition, the club will leverage group buying power for trips and discounts. All members of the Lab community—including retirees and post-docs—are welcome to participate.

Some Club ORNL events are planned for the whole family; others will be for adults only.

The Club ORNL 2006 calendar for this spring and summer includes a variety of events geared to a wide range of budgets and tastes.

March 31 Club ORNL Night at Knoxville Museum of Art’s Alive after Five,
featuring Oak Ridge’s own Little Big Band
Mid-March Dollywood tickets go on sale (deeply discounted)
April 30 Discounted tickets to “Steel Magnolias,” Oak Ridge Playhouse, 2 p.m.
May 6 Club ORNL Day at the Knoxville Zoo, featuring a special exhibit
May 18 Golf tournament at Oak Ridge Country Club
June 24 White water rafting trip
June 29 Vintage car display
July 14 Smokies baseball game and picnic
July 15 Discounted tickets to “Hello, Dolly!,” Oak Ridge Playhouse
August 18 Riverboat Cruise with dinner and dancing

Club ORNL is also in the process of signing up numerous area businesses to participate in the organization’s discount buying program. For example, soon the club will offer discounted tickets to Dollywood that can then be converted into season tickets for an additional fee.

The ORNL Federal Credit Union is offering its on-site Lab branch for ticket sales to current staff and the credit union main office in downtown Oak Ridge for ticket sales to retirees. Nancy Gray, (576-9479, graynl@ornl.gov) is serving as the Club’s point of contact for retirees.

 

*Reporting fraud, waste and abuse

UT-Battelle is committed to performing its business activities with the highest standards of integrity, honesty and professional competency. As a UT-Battelle employee, you play an important role in our commitment to maintaining the highest business standards through your individual commitment to excellence.

Further, you have the responsibility to provide notice of inappropriate activities which threaten our joint dedication to integrity in the workplace and which may prevent us from meeting the expectations of DOE and our other customers.

For work done under the DOE contract, UT-Battelle employees have a number of options for expressing their concerns about activities they may view as inappropriate on the job. Any employee with information about alleged fraud, waste, abuse, corruption or mismanagement relating to DOE programs, operations, funds or contracts may provide information directly to the following.

 

*New Staff Members

Robert Arlen Ashcraft, Eugene Mamontov, and John Francis Wenzel, SNS Experimental Facilities Division

Libby Diane Brown, Business & Information Services

Cathy Lynn Love, Nuclear & Radiological Protection

Alexander A.Puretzky, Condensed Matter Sciences

Luis Raul Sanchez-Fernandez, Fusion Energy

Benjamin Michael Smith, Business & Information Services

Chyenne Rene Thomas, Human Resources

Leslie Taylor Wells, Fabrication Division

Micah Daniel Beck, Computer Science & Mathematics

William Brence Gilley and Dennis Wayne McGhee, Craft Resources

Christopher Dale Patton, Research Reactors

John Wayne Ptacek, Audit & Oversight

Nathan Christopher VerBerkmoes, Chemical Sciences Division

Susan Renee Barnett, Laboratory Protection

Nicholas Douglas Crowe and Joseph Andrew Litherland, Contracts

Michelle Dial Pawel, Center for Nanophase Materials Sciences.

 

*Infrared imaging uncovers hidden 19th-century art work

An infrared imaging technology used to study the composition of materials at ORNL’s High Temperature Materials Laboratory has been used to find a hidden sketch covered over by an 1880s painting of a Civil War general.

Infrared light brings out the image of a mill scene under the likeness of a Confederate general. The East Tennessee Historical Society believes the earlier landscape supports the notion that the portrait is the work of a noted artist.

Infrared light brings out the image of a mill scene under the likeness of a Confederate general. The East Tennessee Historical Society believes the earlier landscape supports the notion that the portrait is the work of a noted artist.

HTML researcher Ralph Dinwiddie said the uncovering of the hidden sketch of a rural scene in East Tennessee from around 1840 was possible through the use of infrared reflectography. Dinwiddie said such research gives art historians a chance to better understand the thinking of an artist when he or she was preparing to paint a picture.

“Artists typically make sketches of what they want to paint and then paint over those sketches,” Dinwiddie said prior to a February 20 news conference at the East Tennessee Historical Society offices in Knoxville, where he presented a demonstration of the technology.

confederate general

 

“Sometimes they make changes—like sketching in a tree or something like that—and then not paint it. Art historians are interested in that kind of thought process the artist uses,” Ralph says.

The work for the East Tennessee Historical Society was performed through ORNL’s users program.
Local historians were interested in the portrait because it may be the work of Lloyd Branson, a well-known Knoxville artist from the 1870s to the 1920s. A descendant of Civil War General John Porter McCown, the subject of the portrait, believes Branson was the artist.

The underlying water mill scene supports the theory that the work is Branson’s because he specialized in both portraits and landscapes.

While the HTML is not known for its study of artwork, Ralph noted the research conducted on the painting is the same technology used to study materials. The work for the historians was a good demonstration of the equipment’s scientific capabilities.

“We didn’t purchase the camera to do art history studies,” he says. “This was kind of a unique opportunity that we took advantage of. The camera is mostly used for studying laser technology and new light technology.”—Fred Strohl


 

 

Bill Cabage, editor, ORNL, 865/574-4399 (cabagewh@ornl.gov)
Deborah Barnes, associate editor, 865/576-0470 (barnesds@ornl.gov)

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