Science Highlights

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Plants’ rapid response system revealed

A collaboration among scientists working at the Advanced Photon Source and the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility has revealed the workings of a switch that activates plant hormones, tags them for storage or marks them for destruction.

August 6, 2012
Shedding light on Nature’s nanoscale control of solar energy

A team of users from the Notre Dame Radiation Laboratory and Argonne have carried out experiments that shed new light on how photosynthesis occurs.

July 30, 2012
Argonne provides technical support for conversion of Russian research reactors

On July 19, the United Press International reported the Russian government’s announcement that at least one Russian nuclear research reactor will be converted to use low-enriched uranium (LEU) by 2

July 23, 2012
Recently honored with a federal award for energy and water savings, Argonne is lowering its campus energy footprint in creative ways. These hybrid solar- and wind-powered streetlights, which are completely off the power grid, adorn Argonne sidewalks. A small solar panel and wind turbine powers the LED light atop the fixture. The light can store energy in batteries for up to three days without sun or wind.
New energy efficient lights save tax dollars

With the installation of new energy efficient lights, Argonne is estimated to save nearly $160,000 in taxpayer funds and more than 2,420,000 kilowatt hours of energy annually.

July 20, 2012
Nuclear engineer Dave Pointer.
Pointer receives Landis Young Member Engineering Achievement Award

Argonne nuclear engineer Dave Pointer is the recipient of the 2012 Landis Young Member Engineering Achievement Award from the American Nuclear Society (ANS).

June 20, 2012
Driving membrane curvature

In biological systems, membranes are as important as water. They form the barrier between the inner world, within our cells, where we perform the chemical reactions of life, and the outside environment.

June 14, 2012
As the US' huge natural gas reserves have sparked an interest in natural gas-powered vehicles, the lab is hoping to use its state-of-the-art automotive research facilities to lead the way in natural-gas vehicle testing as well.

Image courtesy of Mercedes Benz
DOE lab that pioneered electric vehicles sets sights on natural gas cars, trucks

Platts Inside Energy—The Energy Department national laboratory that brought cutting-edge battery technology to the Chevrolet Volt and other hybrid-electric vehicles now hopes to be the vanguard of another automotive power source that many say is poised to grab a big share of the transportation-fuel market: natural gas.

June 5, 2012
U.S. Department of Energy Secretary Stephen Chu presented the 2012 Secretary’s Achievement Award to Argonne Environmental Engineer Greg Barrett for the Fugitive Emissions Working Group’s exceptional SF6 recovery efforts.
Argonne recognized by Energy Secretary Chu for greenhouse gas reductions

Argonne National Laboratory is leading the way in greenhouse gas reductions, particularly with the recapture and recycling of sulfur hexafluoride (SF6). SF6 is a gas used in industry as an anti-arcing agent. It is an extremely potent greenhouse gas — one pound of SF6 is equivalent to 12 tons of carbon dioxide.

May 30, 2012
A 3-D map of nanopyramids in materials for LED lights. Credit: Nestor Zaluzec, Robert Colby and Eric Stach.
Shedding new light on LEDs

LEDs, or light-emitting diodes, are the secret behind your iPhone screen, flatscreen TVs, Christmas lights and crosswalk signals. They can last longer and save more energy than traditional incandescent bulbs. But there is one thing they aren’t very good at: efficiently emitting light in the yellow-green spectrum.

April 18, 2012
Finding functionals for fission

Understanding of the fission process is crucial for many areas of science and technology—for example, for deploying safe and efficient advanced nuclear reactors. Accurately estimating the stability of a heavy nucleus against fission in its ground state is, however, a complex mathematical problem involving hundreds of strongly interacting protons and neutrons moving in a splitting nucleus.

April 10, 2012