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ORNL's Communications team works with news media seeking information about the laboratory. Media may use the resources listed below or send questions to news@ornl.gov.

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Argon pellet injection text

As scientists study approaches to best sustain a fusion reactor, a team led by Oak Ridge National Laboratory investigated injecting shattered argon pellets into a super-hot plasma, when needed, to protect the reactor’s interior wall from high-energy runaway electrons.

The students analyzed diatom images like this one to compare wild and genetically modified strains of these organisms. Credit: Alison Pawlicki/Oak Ridge National Laboratory, US Department of Energy.

Students often participate in internships and receive formal training in their chosen career fields during college, but some pursue professional development opportunities even earlier.

Fusion—Heating the core

In a recent study, researchers at Oak Ridge National Laboratory performed experiments in a prototype fusion reactor materials testing facility to develop a method that uses microwaves to raise the plasma’s temperature closer to the extreme values reached in a fusion energy reactor’s exhaust system.

Tyler Gerczak, a materials scientist at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, is focused on post-irradiation examination and separate effects testing of current fuels for light water reactors and advanced fuel types that could be used in future nuclear systems. Credit: Carlos Jones/Oak Ridge National Laboratory, U.S. Dept. of Energy

Ask Tyler Gerczak to find a negative in working at the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory, and his only complaint is the summer weather. It is not as forgiving as the summers in Pulaski, Wisconsin, his hometown.

Edmon Begoli

Artificial intelligence (AI) techniques have the potential to support medical decision-making, from diagnosing diseases to prescribing treatments. But to prioritize patient safety, researchers and practitioners must first ensure such methods are accurate.

International Conference on Neuromorphic Systems (ICONS)

Materials scientists, electrical engineers, computer scientists, and other members of the neuromorphic computing community from industry, academia, and government agencies gathered in downtown Knoxville July 23–25 to talk about what comes next in supercomputing after the end of Moore’s Law.

Motion sensing technology

Oak Ridge National Laboratory is training next-generation cameras called dynamic vision sensors, or DVS, to interpret live information—a capability that has applications in robotics and could improve autonomous vehicle sensing.

Tungsten tiles for fusion

Using additive manufacturing, scientists experimenting with tungsten at Oak Ridge National Laboratory hope to unlock new potential of the high-performance heat-transferring material used to protect components from the plasma inside a fusion reactor. Fusion requires hydrogen isotopes to reach millions of degrees.

Quantum—Widening the net

Scientists at Oak Ridge National Laboratory studying quantum communications have discovered a more practical way to share secret messages among three parties, which could ultimately lead to better cybersecurity for the electric grid 

Computing—Building a brain

Researchers at Oak Ridge National Laboratory are taking inspiration from neural networks to create computers that mimic the human brain—a quickly growing field known as neuromorphic computing.