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U.S. Secretary of Energy Granholm tours ORNL’s world-class science facilities

Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm visited ORNL on Nov. 22 for a two-hour tour, meeting top scientists and engineers as they highlighted projects and world-leading capabilities that address some of the country’s most complex research and technical challenges. 

A material’s spins, depicted as red spheres, are probed by scattered neutrons. Applying an entanglement witness, such as the QFI calculation pictured, causes the neutrons to form a kind of quantum gauge. This gauge allows the researchers to distinguish between classical and quantum spin fluctuations. Credit: Nathan Armistead/ORNL, U.S. Dept. of Energy

A team led by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory demonstrated the viability of a “quantum entanglement witness” capable of proving the presence of entanglement between magnetic particles, or spins, in a quantum material.

Carrie Eckert

Carrie Eckert applies her skills as a synthetic biologist at ORNL to turn microorganisms into tiny factories that produce a variety of valuable fuels, chemicals and materials for the growing bioeconomy.

ORNL researchers used neutrons at the lab’s Spallation Neutron Source to analyze modified high-entropy metal alloys with enhanced strength and ductility, or the ability to stretch, under high-stress without failing. Credit: Rui Feng/ORNL, U.S. Dept. of Energy
Researchers at Oak Ridge National Laboratory have developed a method of adding nanostructures to high-entropy metal alloys, or HEAs, that enhance both strength and ductility, which is the ability to deform or stretch
ORNL researchers used a laser power bed manufacturing technique to 3D print a lightweight aluminum and cerium-based alloy that can withstand temperatures up to 300 degrees Celsius, proving high strength and durability for automotive, aerospace and defense applications. Credit: ORNL, U.S. Dept. of Energy

Oak Ridge National Laboratory researchers have additively manufactured a lightweight aluminum alloy and demonstrated its ability to resist creep or deformation at 300 degrees Celsius.

ORNL researchers produced self-healable and highly adhesive elastomers, proving they self-repair in ambient conditions and underwater. This project garnered a 2021 R&D 100 Award. Credit: ORNL, U.S. Dept. of Energy

Research teams from the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory and their technologies have received seven 2021 R&D 100 Awards, plus special recognition for a COVID-19-related project.

Matthew Ryder is researching next-generation materials using neutron scattering as a Clifford G. Shull Fellow at Oak Ridge National Laboratory’s Neutron Sciences Directorate. (Image credit: ORNL/Genevieve Martin)

Matthew Ryder has been named an emerging investigator by the American Chemical Society journal Crystal Growth and Design. The ACS recognized him as “one of an emerging generation of research group leaders for his work on porous materials design.”

ORNL researchers developed a novel process for manufacturing extreme heat resistant carbon-carbon composites at a faster rate and produced fins or strakes made of the materials for testing on a U.S. Navy rocket launching with NASA. Credit: ORNL, Sandia/U.S. Dept. of Energy

Oak Ridge National Laboratory researchers have developed a novel process to manufacture extreme heat resistant carbon-carbon composites. The performance of these materials will be tested in a U.S. Navy rocket that NASA will launch this fall.

The ectomycorrhizal fungus Laccaria bicolor, shown in green, envelops the roots of a transgenic switchgrass plant. Switchgrass is not known to interact with this type of fungi naturally; the added PtLecRLK1 gene tells the plant to engage the fungus. Credit: ORNL, U.S. Dept. of Energy
An ORNL team has successfully introduced a poplar gene into switchgrass, an important biofuel source, that allows switchgrass to interact with a beneficial fungus, ultimately boosting the grass’ growth and viability in changing environments.
Environmental scientist John Field uses ecosystem models to analyze sustainable methods for growing crops such as switchgrass. Credit: Carlos Jones/ORNL, U.S. Dept. of Energy

For ORNL environmental scientist and lover of the outdoors John Field, work in ecosystem modeling is a profession with tangible impacts.