Argonne National Laboratory

Feature Stories

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A drawing of Chicago Pile-1, where the first man-made nuclear chain reaction took place on Dec. 2, 1942 beneath the stands of the University of Chicago’s football field.
Argonne marks 70th anniversary of first man-made nuclear chain reaction

Seventy years ago today on Dec. 2, 1942, World War II was raging overseas, and Enrico Fermi and 48 other scientists gathered in a squash court beneath the football stadium at the University of Chicago. They were about to witness the first self-sustaining nuclear chain reaction—soon to be a revolutionary new source of energy.

December 2, 2012
This illustration of a metal-organic framework, or MOF, shows the metal center bound to organic molecules. Each MOF has a specific framework determined by the choice of metal and organic.
New nano trap protects environment

A new type of nanoscale molecular trap makes it possible for industry to store large amounts of hydrogen in small fuel cells or capture, compact and remove volatile radioactive gas from spent nuclear fuel in an affordable, easily commercialized way.

October 31, 2012
A rendering of the human adenovirus, showing the outer capsid proteins (shown in multiple colors).
Chasing a common cold virus

As the cold and flu season makes its annual visit, a team of researchers, using Argonne's Advanced Photon Source, continue to complete a detailed map of the human adenovirus—one of several viruses responsible for the common cold.

October 19, 2012
Songs in the key of sea

Soft horns and a tinkling piano form the backbone of “Fifty Degrees North, Four Degrees West,” a jazz number with two interesting twists: it has no composer and no actual musicians. Unless you count bacteria, that is.

September 27, 2012
Zoomed-in image from the Dark Energy Camera of the center of the globular star cluster 47 Tucanae, which lies about 17,000 light years from Earth. Credit: Dark Energy Survey Collaboration.
Dark energy: Q&A with Steve Kuhlmann

Why do we care about dark energy in the first place?

September 17, 2012
These drops of solution remain suspended for a long period of time, thanks to the vibrational force of sound waves that keep them stationary in an air column. (Photo by Dan Harris)
No magic show: Real-world levitation to inspire better pharmaceuticals

It’s not a magic trick and it’s not sleight of hand – scientists really are using levitation to improve the drug development process, eventually yielding more effective pharmaceuticals with fewer side effects.

September 12, 2012
Several Art of Science posters are currently displayed at O’Hare International Airport and will remain up through early 2013. The exhibit is located in the hallways connecting Terminals 2 and 3 adjacent to the Rotunda. (Image courtesy of the City of Chicago Department of Aviation.)
Finding a palate for the science palette

Like art, science expands our notion of the universe.It takes us from microcosms to the cosmos. It lets us envision how our planet was born, and how it might eventually die. No wonder, then, that science can beget compelling art — which is what Argonne National Laboratory’s annual “Art of Science” contest is all about.

September 11, 2012
Argonne researchers Osman Eryilmaz (left) and Gerald Jeka (right) recover industrial parts from the large-scale ultra-fast boriding furnace after a successful boriding treatment. The furnace uses an electrochemical process similar to that of batteries to deposit boron on metal workpieces. (Photo credit: Osman Eryilmaz)
New boriding technique coats metal workpieces in minutes

Growing up in Turkey, Ali Erdemir and Osman Eryilmaz would sometimes play with the borax deposits near the mountains by their homes — but only later would they discover that borax would underlie one of their crowning achievements as scientists.

September 5, 2012
In this split screen image, Argonne engineer Henning Lohse-Busch evaluates an electric vehicle under extreme hot (left) and cold conditions (right). The Advanced Powertrain Research Facility’s Environmental Test Cell is equipped to evaluate vehicles and their components at a temperature range of 20°F to 95°F.
Turning up the heat: Argonne’s thermal cell facility puts vehicles to the test

Argonne’s world-class Advanced Powertrain Research Facility now includes a thermal chamber that can deliver temperatures ranging from frigid cold to sweltering heat.

August 30, 2012
In the Materials Engineering Research Facility’s process research and development lab, Argonne chemist Trevor Dzwiniel sets up a reaction calorimeter, which precisely measures how much heat a chemical reaction generates. This vital information is used to assess the scalability and safety of a reaction or process.
The research bench meets industry: New facility scales up production of battery materials

Argonne’s new Materials Engineering Research Facility allows researchers to safely determine fast and economical ways of producing large quantities of advanced battery materials for commercial testing.

August 21, 2012