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Elizabeth Herndon takes a soil sample at a field site outside Abisko, Sweden in July 2019.

Elizabeth Herndon believes in going the distance whether she is preparing to compete in the 2020 Olympic marathon trials or examining how metals move through the environment as a geochemist at the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

Ethan Coon uses math and computational science to model the flow of above and belowground water in watersheds.

As a computational hydrologist at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Ethan Coon combines his talent for math with his love of coding to solve big science questions about water quality, water availability for energy production, climate change, and the movement of contaminants through watersheds.

Stephanie Galanie

Early career scientist Stephanie Galanie has applied her expertise in synthetic biology to a number of challenges in academia and private industry. She’s now bringing her skills in high-throughput bio- and analytical chemistry to accelerate research on feedstock crops as a Liane B. Russell Fellow at Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

To develop complex materials with superior properties, Vera Bocharova uses diverse methods including broadband dielectric spectroscopy. Credit: Oak Ridge National Laboratory, U.S. Dept. of Energy; photographer Jason Richards

Vera Bocharova at the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory investigates the structure and dynamics of soft materials—polymer nanocomposites, polymer electrolytes and biological macromolecules—to advance materials and technologies for energy, medicine and other applications.

ORNL astrophysicist Raph Hix models the inner workings of supernovae on the world’s most powerful supercomputers.

More than 1800 years ago, Chinese astronomers puzzled over the sudden appearance of a bright “guest star” in the sky, unaware that they were witnessing the cosmic forge of a supernova, an event repeated countless times scattered across the universe.

Natalie Griffiths kneading in watershed at ORNL

Growing up, Natalie Griffiths dreamed of playing shortstop for the Toronto Blue Jays. With a stint on the Canadian national women’s baseball team under her belt, Griffiths has retired her glove and now fields scientific questions about carbon and nutrient cycling and water quality ...

Leah Broussard leads a study of neutron decay to understand correlations between electrons and antineutrinos as well as subtle distortions in the electron energy spectrum.

Leah Broussard, a physicist at the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory, has so much fun exploring the neutron that she alternates between calling it her “laboratory” and “playground” for understanding the universe. “The neutron is special,” she said of the sub...

Sergei Kalinin, director of the Institute for Functional Imaging of Materials at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, convenes experts in microscopy and computing to gain scientific insights that will inform design of advanced materials for energy and informati

Sergei Kalinin of the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory knows that seeing something is not the same as understanding it. As director of ORNL’s Institute for Functional Imaging of Materials, he convenes experts in microscopy and computing to gain scientific insigh...

Lauren Garrison

The materials inside a fusion reactor must withstand one of the most extreme environments in science, with temperatures in the thousands of degrees Celsius and a constant bombardment of neutron radiation and deuterium and tritium, isotopes of hydrogen, from the volatile plasma at th...

Yu collaborates on the MAJORANA DEMONSTRATOR, which set the stage for a future experiment to search for the signal of neutrinoless double-beta decay. Single beta-decay—in which a proton becomes a neutron and emits an antineutrino and a fast-moving electro

Chang-Hong Yu of the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory fell in love with running in 2008 and has since completed 38 marathons or longer-distance races. Her passion for long-distance races serves her well chasing neutrinos—electrically neutral subatomic particles th...