Archived Story Tips for 2004
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Materials—Cool under pressure . . .
Firefighters, first responders and even team mascots and Disney characters could stay comfortable with a cartridge-based integrated cooling system being developed by a team of researchers at Oak Ridge National Laboratory and the Navy's Navair Research Center.
Materials—Better distributed energy . . .
A quest for superior spark plugs for natural gas engines that help power commercial buildings, schools, restaurants and hotels has ignited an effort between Champion and researchers at Oak Ridge National Laboratory.
Physics—Stellar nova simulations . . .
New results from experiments at the Holifield Radioactive Ion Beam Facility will lead to improved models and perhaps a better understanding of what happens when stars explode.
Energy—Cleaner, cheaper coal power . . .
A system that monitors individual burners and allows operators of coal-fired power plants to make instantaneous adjustments to each burner can mean cleaner air and lower costs for utilities.
Energy Efficiency—Doing the Texas two-step . . .
A prototype energy system now being field tested in Austin, Texas, may revolutionize how businesses power and cool their buildings.
Computing—Seeing is believing . . .
Stellar explosions, protein structure and global climate models come to life in 1 billion vivid colors as scientists study their data and view simulations on a giant screen at the Center for Computational Sciences.
Materials—Beneath the surface . . .
Researchers developing surgical implants, protective coatings for engine components, paints and hard coatings for tools are among those who will benefit from a state-of-the-art instrument recently installed at Oak Ridge National Laboratory.
Transportation—Next-generation sensors . . .
Future automobiles and trucks may be equipped with a nitrogen oxide (NOx) sensor that helps reduce emissions by seamlessly activating NOx traps or by using other approaches.
Environment—Nature's healing hand . . .
Streamside vegetation can help reduce the impact of increasing levels of nitrogen in rainfall that can cause algal blooms and degradation of drinking water.
Fusion—A twisted doughnut . . .
Stellarators confine hot plasma in a circular, three-dimensional magnetic field, or torus, inside a fusion reactor.
Geography—A vision for security . . .
National security could be enhanced with a system that quickly sorts and evaluates spatial and geographic information captured in enormous volumes of images.
Buildings—After the flood . . .
Flooding causes more damage to buildings throughout the United States--particularly residential buildings-- than any other single natural event.
Biology—Mimicking nature . . .
Nanoscale synthetic cell membranes developed at Oak Ridge National Laboratory move researchers one step closer to creating artificial cells and manmade interfaces that could one day be used to treat diseases and perform other tasks at the cellular level.
Energy—Frostless in frost . . .
The Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory and the Tennessee Valley Authority are testing an electric ratepayer's dream -- a "frostless" heat pump that produces warmer air than conventional air source heat pumps, especially during the defrosting cycle and at lower overall cost.
Simulation—New generation optoelectronics . . .
A synergistic effort between theory, modeling, computer simulations and experiments at Oak Ridge National Laboratory has demonstrated that oriented fluorescent nanostructures with dramatically enhanced spectral and photophysical properties can be formed from single molecules of semiconducting organic polymers.
Energy—An untapped resource . . .
Natural methane hydrate deposits offer a potentially vast source of energy, greatly surpassing all known fossil fuel resources, but many questions and challenges remain before these deposits can be tapped.
Transportation—A road to better highways . . .
Video logging, aerial photography and satellite imaging are giving researchers a better picture of highways and could pave the way to safer and more efficient roads.
Air Quality—Immediate analysis . . .
Instant analysis of the composition of air particulates -- especially vital in an air quality emergency -- is possible with the Aerosol Plasma Spectrometer.
Chemistry—The big squeeze . . .
Studying how glasses react to extreme pressure helps scientists understand how their structure evolves.
Transmission—Grains of insight into the grid . . .
The way growing piles of sand behave -- with bursts of energy that result in large and small avalanches -- has served as a model for fusion researchers seeking insight into the way magnetically confined plasmas behave in fusion reactors.
Energy—More bang for the buck . . .
Spent nuclear fuel from commercial reactors could be minimized and burn-up potentially doubled if Gamma Engineering's new silicon carbide-based cladding proves viable.
Biology—Good vibrations . . .
High-resolution computational simulations and advanced visualizations are enabling researchers at Oak Ridge National Laboratory to identify and gain a better understanding of proteins.
Materials—Power to Saturn . . .
This month's arrival at Saturn of the Cassini-Huygens spacecraft following a seven-year voyage was made possible partly by work done at Oak Ridge National Laboratory.
Physics—Old in the tooth . . .
Methods routinely used by Oak Ridge National Laboratory health physicists to do radiation measurements are helping University of Tennessee researchers determine the age of anthropological finds.
Chemistry—Photons on missions . . .
Semiconducting polymers that emit light of different colors for hours instead of minutes could have a bright future in the world of cryptography.
Materials—Tricking the sun . . .
By simply installing roofing material coated with special color pigments, homeowners and businesses can cut air-conditioning costs 20 percent and reduce peak loads on utilities.
Superconductors—Solving a mystery . . .
Widely held notions about why so-called high- transition temperatures superconductivity occurs may not be accurate after all, according to a team of researchers whose paper was published in the June 3 issue of Nature.
Environment—Mapping carbon flux . . .
Oak Ridge National Laboratory's new Flux Ecoregions Website is a valuable tool for climate researchers and great viewing for map lovers.
Health—Environmental respiration risks . . .
Little is known about the toxicological effects of inhaling airborne ultrafine particles, but that may soon change because of research by a team led by Mengdawn Cheng of Oak Ridge National Laboratory.
Automobiles—Sparking a revolution . . .
Tomorrow's engines could boast greater fuel efficiency and lower emissions because of a system being developed by Oak Ridge National Laboratory.
Chemistry—Sophisticated separations . . .
A one-step process to separate cesium and strontium from caustic waste could possibly lead to significant savings in processing, transportation and storage of some 34 million gallons of nuclear waste at the Savannah River Site.
Protective Gear—High-tech for first responders . . .
First responders could minimize the risk to themselves and do their jobs more effectively if they were wearing a protective suit proposed by a team led by Oak Ridge National Laboratory.
Chemistry—Self-organizing polymers . . .
By developing techniques to precisely control the growth and shape of polymers at the molecular level, researchers hope to make possible the design and synthesis of new materials with biomedical applications.
Space—Fuel for the future . . .
Neptunium stored at the Savannah River Site is slated to be processed at Oak Ridge National Laboratory and provide fuel for future space missions.
Automobiles—Look ma, no belts . . .
Broken drive belts in your car might be a thing of the past because of a technology being developed at Oak Ridge National Laboratory.
Computing—Safer highways . . .
Designing highway barriers better able to protect motorists, buildings and their occupants is the driving force behind a project headed by Srdan Simunovic of Oak Ridge National Laboratory's Computer Science and Mathematics Division.
Sensors—A nose for chemicals . . .
Mimicking the function of a nose is no small task, but researchers at Oak Ridge National Laboratory have developed a MEMS (micro-electro-mechanical systems) equivalent that can detect dozens of chemicals.
Homeland Security—New neutron detectors . . .
Instruments better able to detect evidence of nuclear weapons could be in production in a couple of years because of a patented process developed by a team led by Sheng Dai of Oak Ridge National Laboratory.
Partnering—Bringing industries together . . .
Oak Ridge National Laboratory's High Temperature Materials Laboratory routinely works with industries toward solving challenging problems.
Space—Life beyond Earth . . .
Techniques to find microbial life in the depths of our planet may be useful for determining whether there is life on Mars.
Computing—10 trillion and counting . . .
With eight cabinets, 256 processors and 3.2 teraflops (3.2 trillion calculations per second) of computing power, Oak Ridge National Laboratory's Cray X1 is the largest of its type in the world.
Astrophysics—Theory behind the spectacle . . .
New computer models have bolstered the case for a theory of what causes a white-dwarf supernova to occur.
Energy—Nearly too cheap to meter . . .
It cost a family of four living in a next-generation Habitat for Humanity house just 82 cents a day in total energy bills, and the project continues to gain momentum.
Military—'Fort-to-port' lickety-split . . .
Military personnel loading military cargo planes with trucks and material can speed up the process and reduce the chances for mistakes with weigh-in-motion technology being developed at Oak Ridge National Laboratory.
Health—Decontamination in a flash . . .
Anthrax and other potentially deadly biological agents pose considerable threats to the military and the public, but Oak Ridge National Laboratory researchers think they have a quick and safe cure.
Biology—Attacking bioterrorism . . .
Some strains of mice aren't susceptible to anthrax or other bacteria and viruses while others are, and a project shared by Oak Ridge and Los Alamos national laboratories may help to explain why.