- Number 347 |
- October 3, 2011
From monsoons in Mumbai to windstorms in Seattle, weather patterns around the world are influenced by the MJO or Madden-Julian Oscillation. And now, scientists can model its energy cycle, thanks to DOE’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory and the National Center for Atmospheric Research. The MJO is a 30- to 60-day atmospheric wave that affects weather from the Indian Ocean to the West Coast of the United States. Global climate models do not have a clear picture of the MJO.
Collaborative work between the Savannah River National Laboratory and the Chernobyl Center’s International Radioecology Laboratory (IRL) has led to a special issue of the Health Physics Journal entitled, “Radiation Monitoring and Radioecology Research in the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone – 25 Years After the Accident,” (Vol. 101, No. 4).
A novel experiment performed last year at DOE's Jefferson Lab suggests that the nucleus of a lead atom buries its positive "personality" beneath a neutral exterior. The preliminary result is consistent with the idea that neutrons form a kind of "neutron skin" around the protons in the nucleus in heavy nuclei, such as lead.
The Lead (Pb) Radius Experiment (PREx) collaboration announced the preliminary result at a seminar at Jefferson Lab and at the American Physical Society's April Meeting in Anaheim. The result is important for the understanding of the structure of heavy nuclei and for the theoretical equations that describe the life cycles of neutron stars.
Crystals and ceramics pale when compared to a material researchers at DOE's Oak Ridge National Laboratory discovered that has 10 times their piezoelectric effect, making it suitable for perhaps hundreds of everyday uses.
Researchers at ORNL and Technical University Aachen in Germany noticed the reverse piezoelectric effect – defined as creating a mechanical strain by applying an electrical voltage – while conducting fundamental research on polymers. At first they didn't think about their observations in terms of classic piezoelectric materials, but then they became more curious.