- Number 377 |
- December 3, 2012
Scientists working on the CMS experiment at the Large Hadron Collider have confirmed the existence of an odd, puzzling particle first observed a few years ago at DOE’s Tevatron particle collider. Members of the CMS collaboration announced on Nov. 14 that they had spotted the curious object, dubbed Y(4140), which scientists had discovered at the CDF experiment at Fermilab.
The particle has a mass of 4.1 billion electronvolts (GeV) and seems to be related to a handful of X and Y particles previously found at other laboratories. These particles are well measured but poorly understood. They don’t fit the common pattern in which quarks and antiquarks bind together to form protons, neutrons, pions and other particles.
The cherished portability of many popular electronics, from smart phones to laptops, mostly comes courtesy of lithium-ion batteries. Unfortunately, these dense and lightweight energy storage devices degrade over time, steadily losing total capacity even when sitting idle on the shelf.
Now, researchers at Brookhaven National Laboratory and collaborating institutions have developed methods of examining lithium-ion reactions in real-time with nanoscale (billionths of a meter) precision, offering unprecedented insights into these crucial materials. The technique uses a novel electrochemical cell and transmission electron microscopy (TEM) to track lithium conversion and precisely expose subtle changes that occur in batteries’ electrodes over time.
Recycling keeps paper, plastics, and even jeans out of landfills. Could recycling rare-earth magnets do the same? Perhaps, if the recycling process can be improved.
Scientists at DOE's Ames Laboratory are working to more effectively remove the neodymium, a rare earth element, from the mix of other materials in a magnet. Initial results show recycled materials maintain the properties that make rare-earth magnets useful.
The current rare earth recycling research builds on Ames Laboratory’s decades of rare-earth processing experience. In the 1990s, Ames Lab scientists developed a process that uses molten magnesium to remove rare earths from neodymium-iron-boron magnet scrap. But rare earth prices increased tenfold between 2009 and 2011 and supplies are in question. Therefore, the goal of today’s rare-earth recycling research takes the process one step farther to actually recovering the rare-earth metals.
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.
The ability to adjust the size of the trap openings to select for specific molecules or to alter how molecules are released at industrially accessible pressures makes the trap uniquely versatile. The trap is constructed of commercially available material and made possible through collaborative work at DOE's Argonne and Sandia national laboratories.