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Prospecting for deformations in exotic isotopes of ruthenium and molybdenum, Allmond found they displayed a deflated-football morphology. Credit: Carlos Jones/Oak Ridge National Laboratory, U.S. Dept. of Energy

In the Physics Division of the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory, James (“Mitch”) Allmond conducts experiments and uses theoretical models to advance our understanding of the structure of atomic nuclei, which are made of various combinations of protons and neutrons (nucleons).

Kat Royston

As a teenager, Kat Royston had a lot of questions. Then an advanced-placement class in physics convinced her all the answers were out there.

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.

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.

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...

Oak Ridge National Laboratory entrance sign

If you ask the staff and researchers at the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory how they were first referred to the lab, you will get an extremely varied list of responses. Some may have come here as student interns, some grew up in the area and knew the lab by ...

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...

Ryan Kerekes is leader of the RF, Communications, and Cyber-Physical Security Group at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. Photos by Genevieve Martin, ORNL.

As leader of the RF, Communications, and Cyber-Physical Security Group at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Kerekes heads an accelerated lab-directed research program to build virtual models of critical infrastructure systems like the power grid that can be used to develop ways to detect and repel cyber-intrusion and to make the network resilient when disruption occurs.

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...

Oak Ridge National Laboratory researcher Arnab Banerjee has charted several accomplishments in his neutron studies of quantum phenomena.

Raman. Heisenberg. Fermi. Wollan. From Kolkata to Göttingen, Chicago to Oak Ridge. Arnab Banerjee has literally walked in the footsteps of some of the greatest pioneers in physics history—and he’s forging his own trail along the way. Banerjee is a staff scientist working in the Neu...