Argonne National Laboratory

Feature Stories

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Argonne engineer Aaron Greco works to improve the reliability of wind turbines using tribology. (Click to view larger.)
7 things you might not know about tribology

Objects rubbing together cause friction which eventually wears down one or the other surface. Finding ways to reduce this friction—in your knees, in an engine, or in factory machinery—can help scientists develop stronger materials that last longer and slide easier, which increases efficiency.

March 7, 2016
Jessica Linville, engineer
Science in the 1000 most common words

The webcomic XKCD published a diagram of a rocket using only the 1000 most commonly used words in the English language. So we asked two of our postdoctoral researchers to try a hand at explaining their research the same way.

March 7, 2016
What might precipitation over the United States look like in 2094? Two Argonne researchers ran the highest-resolution climate forecast ever done for North America — dividing the continent into squares 12 km at a side. These two sample maps show different scenarios to project how much more (green) or less (brown) it would rain in a ten-year period at the end of the century versus how much it rained in 1995-2004. (Crosshatching indicates statistically significant changes).
(Rain)cloud computing: Researchers work to improve how we predict climate change

Two Argonne scientists work on simulations that project what the climate will look like 100 years from now. Last year, they completed the highest resolution climate forecast ever done for North America, dividing the continent into squares just over seven miles on a side — far more detailed than the standard 30 to 60 miles.

March 3, 2016
Nine Chicago area Middle School teams competed in the 26th annual Regional Science Bowl at Argonne this February.  Science Bowl is a fast-paced Jeopardy-style question-and-answer competition that tests students’ knowledge in all areas of science and math
Science Superbowl: Junior High students compete to win the Regional Science Bowl

Nine Chicago area Middle School teams competed in the 26th annual Regional Science Bowl at Argonne. Science Bowl is a fast-paced Jeopardy-style question-and-answer competition that tests students’ knowledge in all areas of science and math

February 29, 2016
A switchgrass plot grown as part of an Argonne National Laboratory-led study to test how genetic variation within the switchgrass species affects growth. Researchers found that mixing genetic varieties from different geographical regions promotes overall crop growth.
A new recipe for biofuel: Genetic diversity can lead to more productive growth in switchgrass crops

A team of national laboratory and university researchers led by Argonne is growing large test plots of switchgrass with the farmer in mind. They mixed different genetic varieties of switchgrass on production-size plots; the seven-year study showed the variety mixture was the highest yielding crop, as measured by the harvested dry weight from each plot.

February 23, 2016
Argonne chemist Amanda Youker discusses the molybdenum-99 program, which supports nonproliferation goals, with Administrator Frank Klotz of the National Nuclear Security Administration
NNSA Administrator Klotz tours Argonne National Laboratory in demonstration of lab’s critical scientific work supporting nuclear threat minimization

Since its founding in 1946, Argonne has played a key scientific role in developing the beneficial use of atomic energy. In fact, over the last century, Argonne's expertise was involved in the development of every nuclear research reactor in the United States. What may be less well-known about Argonne is its partnership with NNSA to prevent the misuse of that same power.

January 19, 2016
A student from from Chicago's Laura S. Ward STEM School learning to use computational thinking
Inspiring the next generation of computational thinkers

Argonne hosted a My Brother’s Keeper Event for City of Chicago Students.

January 13, 2016
Researchers used intense X-rays at the Advanced Photon Source to study how the bombardier beetle sprays hot, caustic chemicals when threatened. Top: The bombardier beetle can aim its noxious spray from two separate rear glands. Bottom: This colored scanning electron microscope image shows the structure of the two glands. To protect the beetle’s insides, the chambers holding the chemicals are lined with a thick layer of protective cuticle, shown in brown. Areas with less cuticle—and more flexibility—are shown in blue. The white arrow identifies the reaction chamber; the purple arrow shows the junction between the reaction chamber and the exit channel; and the yellow arrow points out the exit channel dorsal membrane. (Click to view larger.)
10 cool science and technology stories from Argonne in 2015

As 2015 draws to a close, we’re looking back at some of the coolest stories that came out of research conducted by Argonne scientists and engineers this year.

December 23, 2015
(Click to enlarge) The top image is taken from a computer simulation at a specific point in time during the first 90 hours into a 20-day run of a detailed global atmospheric model. The bottom image was taken by NASA's GOES satellite at the same point in time. A comparison of the two images shows how well the model projection matched the observed cloud features. (NASA)
Scientists compose complex math equations to replicate behaviors of Earth systems

At its most basic, a global climate model is a computer software program that solves complex equations that mathematically describe how Earth's various systems, processes and cycles work, interact and react under certain conditions. It's math in action.

December 16, 2015
Engineer Jason Harper works in the Argonne Electric Vehicle-Smart Grid Interoperability Center, developing technologies and standards for charging electric vehicles around the world
New sister Interoperability Center opens in Europe

The European Interoperability Center for Electric Vehicles and Smart Grids opened last month to make sure all of these cars have a standard plug and equipment that can work anywhere. The new center is a sister location to the U.S. Electric Vehicle-Smart Grid Interoperability Center at Argonne.

December 11, 2015