Argonne National Laboratory

Feature Stories

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Anaerobic bacteria play a central role in cycling carbon and other key elements throughout Earth. A new study shows that the behavior of these microbes is significantly affected by the types of carbon “food” sources available to them. (Image by Argonne National Laboratory.)
Study of microbes reveals new insight about Earth’s geology and carbon cycles

Tiny microbes play a big role in cycling carbon and other key elements through our air, water, soil and sediment. Researchers who study these processes at Argonne National Laboratory have discovered that these microbial communities are significantly affected by the types of carbon “food” sources available. Their findings reveal that the type of carbon source affects not only the composition and activity of natural microbial communities, but also in turn the types of mineral products that form in their environment.

January 13, 2017
Intricately shaped pulses of light pave a speedway for the accelerated dynamics of quantum particles, enabling faster switching of a quantum bit. (Image by Peter Allen.)
Fast track control accelerates switching of quantum bits

An international collaboration among physicists at the University of Chicago, Argonne National Laboratory, McGill University and the University of Konstanz recently demonstrated a new framework for faster control of a quantum bit—the basic unit of information in yet-to-be created quantum computers—in findings published online Nov. 28 in Nature Physics. Their experiments on a single electron in a diamond chip could create quantum devices less prone to errors when operated at high speeds.

January 12, 2017
In a new study, Argonne scientists have discovered a way to confine the behavior of electrons by using extremely high magnetic fields. (Image by Argonne National Laboratory.)
Electrons "puddle" under high magnetic fields, study reveals

In a new study, researchers used extremely high magnetic fields — equivalent to those found in the center of neutron stars — to alter electronic behavior. By observing the change in the behavior of these electrons, scientists may be able to gain an enriched understanding of material behavior.

January 3, 2017
Inside an engine is a harsh place: the intense heat and pressure cause the parts to wear away and break down. But this new coating, which rebuilds itself as soon as it begins to break down, could protect engine parts (and more) for much longer.
9 cool science & tech stories from Argonne in 2016

As 2016 draws to a close, we’re looking back at just a few of the many cool stories that came out of research conducted by Argonne scientists and engineers this year. These discoveries are just a tiny sample of how Argonne researchers help address energy challenges, boost the economy through new discoveries and technologies, and expand scientific knowledge.

December 22, 2016
In September, Argonne hosted over 130 IXPUG participants from around the world for four days of tutorials, workshops and talks aimed at illuminating the still relatively unplumbed world of the Xeon Phi processor. Pictured: Aaron Knoll’s presentation on “Visualization with OSPRay: Research and Production.” (Photo by Mark Lopez/Argonne National Laboratory; click to view larger.)
Programmers trade knowledge on Xeon Phi processor at IXPUG conference

In September, Argonne hosted over 130 IXPUG participants from around the world for four days of tutorials, workshops and talks aimed at illuminating the still relatively unplumbed world of the Xeon Phi processor. Users, programmers and systems administrators collaborated to share experiences, trade tips and help one another optimize code for applications ranging from simulating brain tissue to modeling the evolution of the cosmos.

December 21, 2016
This image of a quasicrystal lattice shows the unique symmetric but never repeating pattern of its components.  The colors correspond to the orientation of the magnetic polarization of each edge. (Image by Amanda Petford-Long, Argonne National Laboratory.)
Energy cascades in quasicrystals trigger an avalanche of discovery

In a new study from Argonne National Laboratory, scientists looked at networks of magnetic material patterned into the unique and quite beautiful geometries of quasi-crystals to see how the nature of the non-repeating patterns lead to the emergence of unusual energetic effects.

December 12, 2016
The Argonne research team that has pioneered the use of machine learning tools in 2-D material modeling. (Image by Wes Agresta/Argonne National Laboratory.)
Machine learning enables predictive modeling of 2-D materials

In a study published in The Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters, a team of researchers led by Argonne computational scientist Subramanian Sankaranarayanan described their use of machine learning tools to create the first atomic-level model that accurately predicts the thermal properties of stanene, a 2-D material made up of a one-atom-thick sheet of tin.

December 7, 2016
Cooling technique helps researchers “target” a major component for a new collider

Researchers at Argonne have recently developed a new ultra-low-friction sliding contact mechanism that uses chilled water to remove heat from a key component of a next-generation collider.

December 2, 2016
Jack Gilbert is the director of the Microbiome Center, an interdisciplinary institution led by Argonne National Laboratory, the University of Chicago and the Marine Biology Laboratory. The center seeks to build our understanding of the microbes found in our surroundings and inside our bodies in order to improve human and environmental health. (Image by Argonne National Laboratory.)
Komodo dragons help researchers understand microbial health in captive animals

Researchers at the University of California San Diego, the University of Colorado-Boulder, the University of Chicago and Argonne are the first to identify similarities in the way in which Komodo dragons and humans and their pets share microbes within closed environments.

November 28, 2016
Located fifteen miles north of the Grand Canyon, the Glen Canyon Dam delivers water from the Upper to the Lower Colorado River Basin. Argonne experts helped recommend a long-term strategy for the dam’s operation that would balance hydropower with the protection of environmental, cultural and recreational resources in the area. (Image by John Hayse/Argonne National Laboratory.)
New report balances environmental interests and power needs for Glen Canyon Dam

Researchers at Argonne have helped develop a plan for the operation of Glen Canyon Dam in Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, upstream of Grand Canyon National Park. The plan, known as the Glen Canyon Dam Long-Term Experimental and Management Plan, and documented in a final environmental impact statement, recommends a strategy that would balance hydropower with the protection of environmental, cultural and recreational resources in the area.

November 17, 2016