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32 Notes

Join us in the quantum kitchen! sciencefriday came out to Brookhaven to learn our recipe for primordial plasma and made this great video: How to Make Quark Soup. You too can cook up this melted-matter masterpiece—just grab a multi-mile atom smasher, billions of bits of gold, and a couple house-sized detectors.

45 Notes

Every day there are more people in the world. We need more food for all the people. We get food from the green things which grow. Our world is getting warmer which changes the way green things grow. I grow green things and see what makes them grow faster or slower. The green things use something from the air to make food. By giving the green things more or less of this thing from the air, they can make more or less food, and grow more or less quickly. I see how fast the green things use this thing from the air, how much food they make, and how fast they grow. I want to find out how we can make the green things grow faster and make more food for us to eat.

Another Ten Hundred Words of Science submission from Angela White, a plant physiologist with the University of Sheffield working at Brookhaven National Laboratory to study the limitations on barley growth. 

At Brookhaven, we do a lot of research on optimizing plant growth, both for food crops and for biofuels. Grow, plants, grow!

259 Notes

Welcome to nanoscale fall, y’all. 
These lovely leaves are actually the dendritic sprawl of lithium growing inside a battery. We use a technique called transmission electron microscopy to study the emergence of the atomic structures that cause batteries to age so poorly. Mapping what goes wrong on this fundamental scale helps us design new and improved nanotechnology for everything from smartphones to electric vehicles.
Plus, the data is stunning.

Welcome to nanoscale fall, y’all. 

These lovely leaves are actually the dendritic sprawl of lithium growing inside a battery. We use a technique called transmission electron microscopy to study the emergence of the atomic structures that cause batteries to age so poorly. Mapping what goes wrong on this fundamental scale helps us design new and improved nanotechnology for everything from smartphones to electric vehicles.

Plus, the data is stunning.

222 Notes

It’s a historic day at Brookhaven: the National Synchrotron Light Source will produce its final photons today. It began operations in 1982, and was the first dedicated facility of its kind in the world. More than 19,000 scientists have done countless experiments using beams of light in the x-ray, ultraviolet, and infrared wavelengths, leading to many discoveries and two Nobel Prizes.

Today, we bid farewell to this amazing feat of engineering, and make way for its successor, the National Synchrotron Light Source II, which will produce x-ray beams 10,000 times brighter than NSLS. If you’d like to witness the last moments at NSLS, join us virtually for the closing ceremonies at 3:30 pm Eastern time. 

Adieu, NSLS! On to bigger and brighter things!

72 Notes

Brookhaven Lab’s National Synchrotron Light Source II Approved to Start Routine Operations
The world of science is about get much, much brighter. Literally.

Brookhaven Lab’s National Synchrotron Light Source II Approved to Start Routine Operations

The world of science is about get much, much brighter. Literally.

86 Notes

If you’re like us, you grew up imagining deep space as unfathomably cold and empty. As it turns out, physicists trump that chill and out-vacuum that vacuum on a regular basis—especially when tackling quantum-scale trickery.
Our scientists just plunged down to the threshold of absolute zero to isolate behavior that would otherwise be obscured or destroyed by even the tiniest bit of heat. (Just to be clear, the scientists didn’t actually get that cold, just the materials.) These quantum fluctuations, now revealed in all their frigid glory, actually determine a material’s electronic, magnetic, and thermodynamic properties—you know, nearly everything useful about it. Knowing how and why it transforms at the quantum level helps us develop unprecedented materials, including new superconductors.
Get the full story right here: http://bit.ly/quantumcold.

If you’re like us, you grew up imagining deep space as unfathomably cold and empty. As it turns out, physicists trump that chill and out-vacuum that vacuum on a regular basis—especially when tackling quantum-scale trickery.

Our scientists just plunged down to the threshold of absolute zero to isolate behavior that would otherwise be obscured or destroyed by even the tiniest bit of heat. (Just to be clear, the scientists didn’t actually get that cold, just the materials.) These quantum fluctuations, now revealed in all their frigid glory, actually determine a material’s electronic, magnetic, and thermodynamic properties—you know, nearly everything useful about it. Knowing how and why it transforms at the quantum level helps us develop unprecedented materials, including new superconductors.

Get the full story right here: http://bit.ly/quantumcold.

114 Notes

That 6,000-pound chamber is just about ready to receive the world’s brightest x-rays and start exposing atomic structures in extreme detail.
You can see the curve of our half-mile National Synchrotron Light Source II in the background—check out that golden scaffolding looping along the ceiling—which houses the big ol’ electron accelerator that spits off those crucial x-rays.
We’re going to get into the nitty-gritty (and big picture awesomeness, of course) of photon science this Wednesday at our next science cafe: Illumination! New Yorkers and curious folk from nearby states can join us this Wednesday evening in Huntington, NY. Grab a beer and talk about the physics of ultra-bright light, everybody. It’s gonna be unreal. Get all the details on the PubSci website.

That 6,000-pound chamber is just about ready to receive the world’s brightest x-rays and start exposing atomic structures in extreme detail.

You can see the curve of our half-mile National Synchrotron Light Source II in the background—check out that golden scaffolding looping along the ceiling—which houses the big ol’ electron accelerator that spits off those crucial x-rays.

We’re going to get into the nitty-gritty (and big picture awesomeness, of course) of photon science this Wednesday at our next science cafe: Illumination! New Yorkers and curious folk from nearby states can join us this Wednesday evening in Huntington, NY. Grab a beer and talk about the physics of ultra-bright light, everybody. It’s gonna be unreal. Get all the details on the PubSci website.

426 Notes

What if you spent your workdays (worknights?) scouring the sky for signatures of cosmic expansion, stargazing in the most active and technologically advanced ways imaginable? That’s what our friends in the Dark Energy Survey collaboration get to do, and all from this Chilean mountaintop.
Check out the original time-lapse video and commentary at Dark Energy Detectives for more of the science and dreamy gems like this:

Our spaceship Earth is a pebble in the swirling cosmic sea around us. We watch it as if we are separate, sometimes forgetting we come from it. As we look up from within our snowglobe on a mountaintop in the Chilean Andes, it becomes easier to remember that we are a conduit between the finite and the infinite.

What if you spent your workdays (worknights?) scouring the sky for signatures of cosmic expansion, stargazing in the most active and technologically advanced ways imaginable? That’s what our friends in the Dark Energy Survey collaboration get to do, and all from this Chilean mountaintop.

Check out the original time-lapse video and commentary at Dark Energy Detectives for more of the science and dreamy gems like this:

Our spaceship Earth is a pebble in the swirling cosmic sea around us. We watch it as if we are separate, sometimes forgetting we come from it. As we look up from within our snowglobe on a mountaintop in the Chilean Andes, it becomes easier to remember that we are a conduit between the finite and the infinite.

114 Notes

This cylinder may prove crucial to the vehicles of the future, just so long as we can pinpoint its atomic structure.
That rotating GIF is a 3D reconstruction of a solid oxide fuel cell, featuring billionth-of-a-meter details about the multilayer structure. While you marvel at those little textures, just consider that the entire cylinder is just about 35 micrometers in diameter — the average human hair is more than three times as wide!
We worked with scientists at Northwestern University to reveal these unprecedented details using a technique called transmission x-ray tomography.
The nanoscale structures of this material help explain its performance and point to new and improved architectures. And get this: Once our next-generation National Synchrotron Light Source II comes online, we’ll take that image resolution down to a single nanometer and while watching energetic reactions in real time.

This cylinder may prove crucial to the vehicles of the future, just so long as we can pinpoint its atomic structure.

That rotating GIF is a 3D reconstruction of a solid oxide fuel cell, featuring billionth-of-a-meter details about the multilayer structure. While you marvel at those little textures, just consider that the entire cylinder is just about 35 micrometers in diameter — the average human hair is more than three times as wide!

We worked with scientists at Northwestern University to reveal these unprecedented details using a technique called transmission x-ray tomography.

The nanoscale structures of this material help explain its performance and point to new and improved architectures. And get this: Once our next-generation National Synchrotron Light Source II comes online, we’ll take that image resolution down to a single nanometer and while watching energetic reactions in real time.

249 Notes

Physicist Mike Lisa talks about our work probing primordial plasma on the aptly named show, “How The Universe Works.

If anyone’s getting close to understanding the cosmos, it’s Mike and his colleagues at the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider. The RHIC team smashes particles together to recreate conditions from the dawn of time, way back before protons and neutrons even took shape. Science Channel came out to visit and learn the whole matter-melting story.

188 Notes

Not many people have the expertise it takes to build massive x-ray microscopes or particle colliders, you know? But we’re all about sharing the goods. In fact, we encourage universities and private companies to use our facilities to develop new technology.
The glowing vacuum chamber above was built at our National Synchrotron Light Source by the communications pioneers at Bell Labs to explore the structural and electronic properties of different materials.
Here’s how one IBM (ibmblr) researcher described similar collaborative work that led to new equipment and experimental techniques:

User facilities like the NSLS—and down the road NSLS-II—are unique extensions of the research tools we have at IBM. Also, because IBM does more applied work, we like to collaborate with many people from other institutions who get down to fundamental materials studies.
The return on IBM’s investment has been so valuable. This has been a great example of government-industry cooperation: we provide the beamlines and the government provides the photons!

Not many people have the expertise it takes to build massive x-ray microscopes or particle colliders, you know? But we’re all about sharing the goods. In fact, we encourage universities and private companies to use our facilities to develop new technology.

The glowing vacuum chamber above was built at our National Synchrotron Light Source by the communications pioneers at Bell Labs to explore the structural and electronic properties of different materials.

Here’s how one IBM (ibmblr) researcher described similar collaborative work that led to new equipment and experimental techniques:

User facilities like the NSLS—and down the road NSLS-II—are unique extensions of the research tools we have at IBM. Also, because IBM does more applied work, we like to collaborate with many people from other institutions who get down to fundamental materials studies.

The return on IBM’s investment has been so valuable. This has been a great example of government-industry cooperation: we provide the beamlines and the government provides the photons!

204 Notes

Eat your heart out, science fiction: This is an actual electron gun that we use on the regular.
We break out this beauty to generate bright beams of electrons at our Accelerator Test Facility and develop technology for the next generation of colliders and particle slingshots. 
And in the spirit of living in the better-than-scifi future, this device features a laser port and main power coupler.

Eat your heart out, science fiction: This is an actual electron gun that we use on the regular.

We break out this beauty to generate bright beams of electrons at our Accelerator Test Facility and develop technology for the next generation of colliders and particle slingshots. 

And in the spirit of living in the better-than-scifi future, this device features a laser port and main power coupler.

455 Notes

This metallic maze once squeezed protons into tight beams inside our Cosmotron, the most powerful particle accelerator in the world during the 1950s. Wanna know more about our first accelerator and the discoveries it made possible? We’ve got you covered.

This metallic maze once squeezed protons into tight beams inside our Cosmotron, the most powerful particle accelerator in the world during the 1950s. 

Wanna know more about our first accelerator and the discoveries it made possible? We’ve got you covered.

100 Notes

Honestly, a mutant with powerful eye-beams becoming our next president is more plausible than Brookhaven Lab’s Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider creating a dangerous black hole. The same goes for CERN, the European Lab that actually hosts the Large Hadron Collider.

But we love to see particle accelerators appearing in popular fiction! Who knows if seeing Scott Summers and crew vanquish a black hole will inspire readers to dig deep into the awesomeness of atom smashers? Spoiler alert: You may find that the facts are stranger (and more exciting!) than the fiction.

403 Notes

Physicists at the Large Hadron Collider have just detected a subatomic process even more elusive than the mass-endowing Higgs itself: a scattering of two same-charged particles called W bosons off one another. It may not sound quite as exciting as the decades-long hunt for the Higgs and its Nobel-winning discovery, but it’s a testament to the absurd precision possible at the LHC. 
So how rare is this scattering? Just imagine pulling a needle out of 100 trillion pieces of exploding hay. 
And why sift through all that data? It’s a crucial test of the Standard Model that describes the quantum world in glorious and elegant detail. Also, it may lead us into uncharted territory:
From the story:

“The Standard Model has so far survived all tests, but we know that it is incomplete because there are observations of dark matter, dark energy, and the antimatter/matter asymmetry in the universe that can’t be explained by the Standard Model,” Pleier said. So physicists are always looking for new ways to test the theory, to find where and how it might break down.

Physicists at the Large Hadron Collider have just detected a subatomic process even more elusive than the mass-endowing Higgs itself: a scattering of two same-charged particles called W bosons off one another. It may not sound quite as exciting as the decades-long hunt for the Higgs and its Nobel-winning discovery, but it’s a testament to the absurd precision possible at the LHC. 

So how rare is this scattering? Just imagine pulling a needle out of 100 trillion pieces of exploding hay. 

And why sift through all that data? It’s a crucial test of the Standard Model that describes the quantum world in glorious and elegant detail. Also, it may lead us into uncharted territory:

From the story:

“The Standard Model has so far survived all tests, but we know that it is incomplete because there are observations of dark matter, dark energy, and the antimatter/matter asymmetry in the universe that can’t be explained by the Standard Model,” Pleier said. So physicists are always looking for new ways to test the theory, to find where and how it might break down.