Feature Stories

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Argonne physicist Richard Pardo stands next to CARIBU, which opened this week to create rare neutron-rich nuclei for physicists to study.
Argonne's CARIBU facility opens to study rare nuclei

Last week, a stream of highly unusual ions shot through a tiny nozzle at 76 million miles per hour—and CARIBU, a facility designed to study special nuclei normally only created in stars, officially opened for business.

March 31, 2011
Yugang Sun
Argonne Researcher named top five materials scientist of 2000s

Argonne scientist Yugang Sun has been recognized as the one of the five top materials scientists in the world over the past decade, according to a new ranking recently released by Thomson Reuters.

April 1, 2011
One of the fundamental properties of a superconductor is that it hates magnetic fields. If a scientist applies a magnetic field, the superconductor creates its own equal and opposite magnetic field. You can see this above: the force of the opposite field levitates a small magnet above the superconductor. This is called the Meissner effect.
The magnetism—and mystery—of superconductors

Superconductors have already given us MRIs, particle accelerators and better cell phone reception, but further improvements could revolutionize technology as we know it. The trouble is, they still hold some of the greatest mysteries in physics.

April 8, 2011
10 things you may not know about superconductivity

2011 marks the 100th anniversary of the discovery of superconductivity, the ability of some materials to conduct electricity with zero energy loss when cooled to extremely low temperatures. Here are 10 things you may not know about superconductivity.

April 8, 2011
Students apply science and engineering principles to real-world applications.
Model Fuel Cell Car Competition: Fueling future scientists and engineers

Fuel cells have been used to power spacecrafts for years and on Saturday, April 16, 2011, Chicago-area middle school students will use fuel cells to power model cars at equipment manufacturer Case New Holland in Burr Ridge, Ill., as part of the Chicago Regional Science Bowl, sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy and Argonne National Laboratory.

April 11, 2011
Newer, faster supercomputers have allowed scientists to create detailed models of blood flow that help doctors understand what happens at the molecular level.
Blood vessel simulation probes secrets of brain

Zoom down to one artery in your body, and the commotion is constant: blood cells hurtle down the passage with hundreds of their kin, bumping against other cells and the walls as they go. The many variables—and the sheer immensity of the human circulatory system—have kept scientists from closely documenting the rough-and-tumble life inside blood vessels.

April 13, 2011
Argonne's energy research seeks ways to make our energy cleaner.
Argonne highlights green research in honor of Earth Day

The lab's research seeks both cleaner energy—solar cells, batteries and biofuels, among others—and ways to reduce man's environmental footprint, including reducing agricultural runoff and ways to safely clean up contaminated land.

April 21, 2011
Steve Ciatti, Argonne engineer, works on the gas-diesel hybrid engine.
Combining gas and diesel engines could yield best of both worlds

It may be hard to believe, but the beloved gasoline engine that powers more than 200 million cars across America every day didn't get its status because it's the most efficient engine. Diesel engines can be more than twice as efficient, but they spew soot and pollutants into the air. Could researchers at Argonne National Laboratory engineer a union between the two—combining the best of both?

May 4, 2011
Two views of the atom trap used in the experiment.  On the left, the signal indicates that the trap is empty, while the picture on the right shows a “hot spot” indicating that an atom of argon-39 is contained within the trap.
Argonne researchers develop new tool for climatological dating

A new technique recently developed at Argonne National Laboratory may give researchers another tool for radioactive dating that could be of particular use in studying the history of climate change.

May 11, 2011
Chemist Lisa Utschig tests a container of photosynthetic proteins linked with platinum nanoparticles, which can produce hydrogen from sunlight. Tiny bubbles of hydrogen are visible in the container at right.
Nanoparticles help scientists harvest light with solar fuels

A group of scientists at Argonne National Laboratory, led by chemist Lisa Utschig, has linked platinum nanoparticles with algae proteins, commandeering photosynthesis to produce hydrogen instead. The system produces hydrogen at a rate five times greater than the previous record-setting method.

May 18, 2011