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  • richardmitnick 7:53 pm on June 26, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: BNL, BNL "science raft", ,   

    From BNL: “Brookhaven Lab Reaches Major Milestone for Large Synoptic Survey Telescope Project” 

    Brookhaven Lab

    June 26, 2017
    Stephanie Kossman
    skossman@bnl.gov
    (631) 344-8671, or

    Peter Genzer,
    genzer@bnl.gov
    (631) 344-3174

    1
    Paul O’Connor (left) and Bill Wahl (right) pictured with components of the science raft.

    Scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Brookhaven National Laboratory have completed the first “science raft” for the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST), a massive telescope designed to capture images of the universe like never before. The raft is part of the sensor array that will make up the crucial camera segment of the telescope, and its completion is the first major milestone for Brookhaven’s role in the project.

    The LSST project is a collaborative effort among more than 30 institutions from around the globe, funded primarily by DOE’s Office of Science and the National Science Foundation. SLAC National Accelerator Lab is leading the overall DOE effort, and Brookhaven is leading the conceptualization, design, construction, and qualification of the digital sensory array, the “digital film” for LSST’s camera.


    LSST Camera, built at SLAC



    LSST telescope, currently under construction at Cerro Pachón Chile, a 2,682-meter-high mountain in Coquimbo Region, in northern Chile, alongside the existing Gemini South and Southern Astrophysical Research Telescopes.

    Now under construction on a mountaintop in Chile, LSST will capture an image of the entire sky in the southern hemisphere every three nights, allowing researchers to create a time-lapse movie of the universe. Its camera will have an unparalleled field of view and, coupled with the light gathering power of the telescope, LSST will have a far greater capacity to survey the sky than has ever been previously available.

    The 3,200 megapixel sensor array being developed at Brookhaven is what will enable LSST to capture this extraordinary view when it begins operations in 2023.

    “It’s the heart of the camera,” said Bill Wahl, Science Raft Subsystem Manager of the LSST project at Brookhaven Lab. “What we’re doing here at Brookhaven represents years of great work by many talented scientists and engineers, which will lead to a collection of images that has never been seen before by anyone. It’s an exciting time for the project and especially for the Lab.”

    LSST’s scientists have designed a grid composed of more than 200 sensors, divided into 21 modules called science rafts. Each raft can function as a camera on its own but, when combined, they will stitch together a complete image of the visible sky. After years of design and construction, the first raft was qualified for use in the LSST camera in late May 2017. Brookhaven is now scheduled to construct approximately one raft per month.

    “Completion of the first raft is a big stepping stone,” said Paul O’Connor, Senior Scientist at Brookhaven Lab’s Instrumentation Division. Scientists at Brookhaven have successfully captured high-fidelity images using the newly completed raft, confirming the functionality of its design.

    Brookhaven began its LSST research and development program in 2003, with construction starting in 2014. In the time leading up to this milestone, an entire production facility, along with production and tracking software, needed to be created. During the past three years, Brookhaven and its vendors have been tackling the painstaking task of constructing these incredibly precise imaging arrays.

    The science raft “is an object that is tricky enough to build alone, but it also has to operate perfectly when in a vacuum and cooled to -100° Celsius,” O’Connor said. Cooling the rafts improves the camera’s sensitivity; however, it also causes parts to contract, making it increasingly complicated to design the rafts precisely.

    Ultimately, even with these challenges, the first raft was completed on time and the full digital sensor array is on track to be delivered to Chile by the end of 2019.

    Once operational in the Andes Mountains, LSST will serve nearly every subset of the astrophysics community. It is estimated that LSST will find tens of millions of asteroids in our solar system, in addition to offering new information about the creation of our galaxy.

    The main interest of the DOE in supporting the development of the LSST camera, however, is to investigate dark energy and dark matter – two anomalies that have baffled astrophysicists for decades.


    Dark Energy Camera [DECam], built at FNAL


    NOAO/CTIO Victor M Blanco 4m Telescope which houses the DECam at Cerro Tololo, Chile, housing DECam

    “This is what a lot of people would say is the most pressing question of fundamental physics,” O’Connor said. “The nature of dark energy and dark matter don’t fit into the rest of physics.”

    Scientists intend to use LSST to infer the spatial distribution of dark matter by looking at the way its gravitational force bends light from luminous matter (matter in the universe that emits light).

    Images captured by LSST will also be made available to the public through a full-sky viewer similar to the Google Earth platform. This technology will give students and independent scientists the opportunity to investigate dark energy and dark matter, as well as for an average person to see and explore the stars.

    For more information on LSST, please visit https://www.lsst.org/

    See the full article here .

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    STEM Icon

    Stem Education Coalition
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    One of ten national laboratories overseen and primarily funded by the Office of Science of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), Brookhaven National Laboratory conducts research in the physical, biomedical, and environmental sciences, as well as in energy technologies and national security. Brookhaven Lab also builds and operates major scientific facilities available to university, industry and government researchers. The Laboratory’s almost 3,000 scientists, engineers, and support staff are joined each year by more than 5,000 visiting researchers from around the world. Brookhaven is operated and managed for DOE’s Office of Science by Brookhaven Science Associates, a limited-liability company founded by Stony Brook University, the largest academic user of Laboratory facilities, and Battelle, a nonprofit, applied science and technology organization.
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  • richardmitnick 3:29 pm on June 16, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , ARM West Antarctic Radiation Experiment (AWARE), BNL, ,   

    From BNL: “With ARM Instruments Watching, an Extensive Summer Melt in West Antarctica” 

    Brookhaven Lab

    June 15, 2017

    A new paper in Nature Communications demonstrates atmospheric reasons for ice loss

    One day in December of 2015, bound for a remote ice camp in the interior of Antarctica, Scripps Institution of Oceanography doctoral student Ryan Scott boarded a ski-equipped LC-130 turboprop transport plane at McMurdo Station at the south tip of Ross Island. It was austral summer and the temperature outside hovered around -4 degrees Celsius.

    Scott was part of the 2015 to 2017 ARM West Antarctic Radiation Experiment (AWARE), the most comprehensive meteorological field campaign in West Antarctica since 1957. He was stationed in the remote West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS) ice camp, where scientists spent 45 days collecting first-ever surface measurements of clouds and radiation. The main AWARE site, far more heavily instrumented and researched, was at McMurdo.

    In mid-January 2016, Scott and other AWARE scientists got a bonus: a close-up view—with instruments—of an extensive summer surface melt event on the WAIS. It affected 915,000 square kilometer, an area more than twice the size of California. The temperature rose rapidly, imparting a mugginess to the air that Scott compared to stepping off a plane in Miami after a visit to wintry New York.

    The surface melt event inspired a paper that appears in the June 15, 2017, issue of Nature Communications.

    “We were very lucky,” says co-author and Ohio State University (OSU) atmospheric scientist David Bromwich, who co-wrote the 2015 AWARE science plan. “We wouldn’t have known about this [surface melt event] without instruments and scientists at the WAIS Divide.”
    Measuring surface melt intensity

    AWARE was a joint field study of the Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) Climate Research Facility, a U.S. Department of Energy scientific user facility, which supplied state-of-the-art portable instrumentation, and the National Science Foundation Division of Polar Programs, which provided logistical support critical to the deployment. Co-author Andrew Vogelmann, an atmospheric scientist at Brookhaven National Laboratory and an AWARE co-principal investigator, calls the collaborative effort “an excellent marriage between two outstanding capabilities.”

    The WAIS Divide ice camp was upslope and downwind from the surface melt event, an 1,801 meter-high vantage point just on the edge of the affected area. Scott, who spent five weeks there in a tent staked into the snow, had an unexpected front-row seat to what lead author Julien P. Nicolas (who is at OSU) calls “one of the most prominent events we’ve seen since 1978.”

    1
    Number of days in January 2016 when surface melt was detected from passive microwave satellite observations. Credit: Julien Nicolas, The Ohio State University

    Nicolas described the 11-day warming event in January 2016 as having the second greatest melt intensity behind one recorded by satellite during the austral summer of 1991 to 1992.

    At the WAIS Divide ice camp, a smaller suite of instruments was in place compared to the main AWARE site at McMurdo. Scott monitored the weather, measured snow moisture, launched radiosondes, cleaned instruments, checked data quality, and took regular photos of snow grains—the kind that pattered against his tent like bird shot as he was trying to sleep.

    On January 10, from a 6- by 10-foot instrument shed arrayed with computers, Scott watched the temperature rise fast, from -20 Celsius to near zero, an astonishing spike in the mercury considering the camp’s high elevation and the position of the sun at the time; it was low on the horizon.

    “Once that warm air hit, it was relatively humid and muggy,” says Scott. “I knew something was up.” He soon alerted other scientists, including Scripps research physicist Dan Lubin, lead principal investigator for AWARE.

    Everyone in the AWARE campaign, of course, wanted to see and measure a melt event. But the traditional window to see such events usually passes by early January every year, says Nicolas. That made the mid-January warming in 2016, closely recorded by ARM instruments, a happy accident that came just in time. Not long after, instruments at the WAIS Divide camp were packed up and shipped out.

    “The atmospheric flow that caused [the surface melt event] passed over the ARM site at WAIS Divide,” says Bromwich. Those direct ARM measurements of the atmospheric conditions provided a clear picture of clouds over the WAIS Divide, including data on liquid water, ice phase, and mixed phase clouds.

    A robust array of ARM instruments

    Observations at the WAIS Divide on clouds, surface energy budget, and on atmospheric moisture and temperature came from a series of ARM instruments. Radiosonde balloons—the first there since 1967—were launched four times a day in the site’s 24-hour daylight, yielding vertical profiles of temperature and water vapor.

    Microwave radiometers, including a G-Band (183 GHZ) Vapor Radiometer Profiler (GVRP), estimated column water vapor and the low-liquid cloud water path of passing clouds. “ARM made special provisions to make the GVRP’s AWARE deployment possible,” says Vogelmann. “That turned out to be critically important to observe the low-cloud liquid water paths.”

    Vogelmann helped the AWARE team determine which subset of instruments to include for maximum benefit in the WAIS Divide deployment, where space was at a premium. Meanwhile, the main body of ARM instrumentation resided at McMurdo. He says the site separation is parallel to the idea of a central observation facility augmented by an extended facility on the periphery of the main realm of observation. (The two sites are 1,600 kilometers apart. WAIS Divide is open only in summer.)

    The challenge was getting everything for the Divide into one sea container, he says. The instruments also had to be versatile and robust enough to make the journey into the harsh interior of an already harsh place. (Instrument engineer for AWARE at WAIS Divide was Heath Powers from Los Alamos National Laboratory.) For observing the surface energy budget during the surface melt event, says Vogelmann, the chosen instruments “worked out incredibly well.”

    In the paper, Figure 4 demonstrates how the surface energy budget was derived. The last panel shows the surface energy gain in the first 17 days of that January. Plainly, nature had turned the burners on high from January 10 to 14, a period the paper describes as Phase 1 of the surface melt event.

    “You got this huge build-up” of net surface energy gain, says Vogelmann, and it was supported by contemporaneous satellite data.

    Phase 2 (January 15 to 21) represents the next four days, when surface energy gain started to sink back to the normal range. Such surface melt events have occurred in the past, he says, “but without ARM instruments we could have only known from satellites that something was going on. We would not have had this picture from the surface to help us understand what was really happening.”

    Interactive puzzle of ENSO and SAM

    In the Nature Communications paper, Nicolas, Bromwich, and others at OSU’s Byrd Polar and Climate Research Center used satellite data to measure the extent and duration of the melt event; to examine the atmospheric circulation that led to it; and to run model simulations of two large-scale modes of climate variability: the El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO), a recurring Tropical Pacific climate pattern, and the Southern Annular Mode (SAM), a westerly wind belt that during its “positive” phase contracts protectively toward Antarctica.

    2
    AWARE instruments measure cloud characteristics and surface energy balance components in central West Antarctica for the first time since 1967. This photo, taken on December 22, 2015 using a fish-eye lens, displays an optical effect known as a “sun dog,” caused by light interacting with atmospheric ice crystals. Credit: Colin Jenkinson, Australian Bureau of Meteorology

    The January 2016 surface melt event coincided with one of the strongest El Niño events on record. These warm phases of ENSO tend to shift warm air towards Antarctica’s temperature-vulnerable Ross Ice Shelf. On the other hand, the SAM (when in its positive phase, as it was in January 2016) often blocks the warm air like a kind of atmospheric fence. As the paper notes, understanding the roles of ENSO and SAM in such Antarctic surface melting events would provide insight into their future likelihood.

    So far, the mechanisms are not clear, though it is likely, the paper says, that a predicted future of more extreme and frequent El Niño patterns could mean more prolonged summer melt events in the WAIS.

    Grasping the ENSO-SAM interactions with the ice sheet of West Antarctica is consequential.

    “The ice sheet was gone in previous warming periods,” says Bromwich, pointing to the Earth’s last inter-glacial period about 125,000 years ago. Conditions then, he added, “were only a little warmer than today”—and yet the sea level was 6 to 9 meters higher than it is now. How much came from the WAIS is presently uncertain.

    One key point of the new paper, agreed Bromwich and Nicolas in a joint phone interview, is that scientific attention is now shifting from a traditional sense of Antarctica’s ice-melt susceptibility (warm ocean water underneath the coastal ice shelves) to a sense that it is also influenced by a warming atmosphere, which spurs surface melting.

    It’s an idea pointedly made in a 2016 Nature paper (cited in the Nature Communications article) on the continent’s contribution to past and future sea level rise.

    “There is a lot of work to be done with climate models and teleconnections,” says Bromwich, which are climate features related to one another at long distances, over thousands of kilometers. “We’ll see what these can tell us about the future.”

    Continuing momentum of science

    AWARE benefited from having instruments in the right place at the right time to observe and record such an extensive summer surface melt event. “It was an extraordinary piece of good luck,” agrees Lubin. But more broadly, the data gathered during AWARE “will have a great deal of longevity,” he says. “They are very unique, very powerful data sets.”

    Lubin and Bromwich had tried for years to propose Antarctic projects that were the investigative predecessors of AWARE and had come close to funding several times. Finally, the science stars aligned because of the ARM Mobile Facilities, says Lubin. “The timing was just right,” he says.

    The first of these portable instrumented observation platforms, available by a competitive proposal process, was launched in 2005; now there are three.

    There is momentum in southern latitudes research. This September, ARM will launch the Measurements of Radiation, Aerosols, and Clouds over the Southern Ocean (MARCUS) campaign using its second mobile facility designed with ship deployments in mind. It will unfold off the coast of Antarctica on the Australian Antarctic supply vessel Aurora Australis, in a usually pristine region tossed by epic storms, winds, and waves.

    AWARE is also likely to inspire “AWARE-like” projects for years to come, says Lubin.

    Moreover, extensive surface melt events in West Antarctica continue to happen. Scott pointed to one this past January in the Ross Sea sector.

    He is currently funded by a NASA Earth and Space Science Fellowship and is one of many scientists busy grappling with AWARE data sets. Scott is lead author on a paper cited in the Nature Communications article and has another on the way based on earlier (though less extensive) melting events he found in online satellite data from 1973 to 1978.

    Scott, slated to get his doctorate next year, would like to spend years scouring AWARE data for insights into the consequential fate of ice cover in Antarctica. Most of the measurements are from ARM instruments that had been sited at McMurdo on Ross Island, he says. “It’s the first time Antarctica has seen data like this.”

    Related Links

    Nature Communications Paper: January 2016 extensive summer melt in West Antarctica favoured by strong El Niño
    Ohio State University press release
    Scripps Institution of Oceanography press release
    Brookhaven Lab story on launch of AWARE study

    See the full article here .

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    STEM Icon

    Stem Education Coalition
    BNL Campus

    One of ten national laboratories overseen and primarily funded by the Office of Science of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), Brookhaven National Laboratory conducts research in the physical, biomedical, and environmental sciences, as well as in energy technologies and national security. Brookhaven Lab also builds and operates major scientific facilities available to university, industry and government researchers. The Laboratory’s almost 3,000 scientists, engineers, and support staff are joined each year by more than 5,000 visiting researchers from around the world. Brookhaven is operated and managed for DOE’s Office of Science by Brookhaven Science Associates, a limited-liability company founded by Stony Brook University, the largest academic user of Laboratory facilities, and Battelle, a nonprofit, applied science and technology organization.
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  • richardmitnick 4:29 pm on June 12, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: 70 Years of Discovery, , , BNL   

    From BNL: “70 Years of Discovery” 

    Brookhaven Lab

    This is a monster post with all of the highlights from every significant year.

    Small science, big discoveries. Big science, big discoveries—all to make the nation, and the world, a better place. Stroll through the years to see just some of our staff and collaborators’ major milestones during our 70-year history of discovery.

    1947

    1
    Transfer to the Atomic Energy Commission
    The U.S. War Department transfers Camp Upton to the Atomic Energy Commission, the U.S. Department of Energy’s predecessor, on March 21 for the founding of Brookhaven National Laboratory.

    2
    Brookhaven Lab’s First Scientific Colloquium
    Brookhaven Lab’s first scientific colloquium is presented by Norman Ramsey (front, second from left), founder of the Laboratory’s former managing company Associated Universities Incorporated and the first chair of the Lab’s Physics Department. The colloquium attracts both scientists and administrative staff.

    3
    BGRR Construction Begins
    Construction begins for the Brookhaven Graphite Research Reactor, the young Laboratory’s first major facility and the first reactor built in the United States for peacetime atomic research.

    1948

    New Lab, New Facility: The Cosmotron
    The Atomic Energy Commission approves a plan for a proton synchrotron for research at Brookhaven—the Cosmotron.

    3
    The Cosmotron, 1949

    4
    A Pre-presidential Visit
    Not-yet President of the United States Dwight D. Eisenhower visits the construction site of the Brookhaven Graphite Research Reactor. At this time, Eisenhower is president of Columbia University.

    1950

    5
    Nuclear Medicine, Still in Use Today
    Brookhaven begins a strong nuclear medicine program that leads to common use of two radioisotopes: technetium-99m, the most widely used radioisotope in nuclear medicine, and thallium-201, used in heart stress tests.

    6
    BGRR Begins Operation
    Operations begin at the Brookhaven Graphite Research Reactor (BGRR), the first reactor for peaceful research, which produced neutrons for use in scientific experiments. Before the facility is placed on standby 18 years later, scientists conducted research on specimens ranging from seeds to art treasures.

    1952

    7
    Strong Focusing
    Brookhaven physicists—including Ernst Courant and Hartland Snyder—develop the strong-focusing principle. First employed in the Alternating Gradient Synchrotron at Brookhaven and then at many accelerators around the world, strong focusing allows designers to reach high energies more efficiently with smaller equipment.

    1953

    8
    Cosmotron Operations Begin
    The Cosmotron is commissioned, reaching its full design energy of 3.3 giga-electron-volts. The Cosmotron becomes the world’s highest energy accelerator and the first synchrotron to provide a beam of particles for experiments outside the actual accelerator.

    1954

    9
    Yang-Mills Theory
    C.N. Yang of the Institute for Advanced Study and Brookhaven Lab, and R.L. Mills of Columbia University, write the Yang-Mills theory paper published in the American Physical Society’s Physical Review. Yang and Mills’ work provides the basis for quantum chromodynamics (QCD)—the theory of “strong” interactions between subatomic quarks and gluons. Three years later, Yang will share the Nobel Prize for Physics, the first Nobel Prize-winning discovery at Brookhaven Lab.

    1956

    A New Way to Study DNA
    Brookhaven researchers discover a new way to study DNA—by attaching the radioisotope tritium to thymidine, one of the building blocks of DNA. Brookhaven biologists later test the Watson and Crick model of the molecular structure of DNA using tritiated thymadine to produce a photographic image of DNA synthesis in plant roots. The results provide the first evidence that Watson and Crick’s model of DNA replication operated at the level of individual chromosomes.

    1957

    10
    Nobel Prize-winning Discovery: Parity Violation
    T. D. Lee (right) of Columbia University and C. N. Yang, then of Brookhaven, interpreted results of particle decay experiments at the Cosmotron particle accelerator at Brookhaven. They discovered particles that had the same masses, lifetimes and scattering behaviors, but decayed differently, proving that the fundamental and supposedly absolute law of parity conservation can be violated.

    1958

    11
    World’s First Video Game?
    Brookhaven scientist William Higinbotham unveils “Tennis for Two” at a visitors day exhibit. Tennis for Two was a forerunner to today’s modern video games, simulating a tennis game and played on an oscilloscope screen—approximately 14 years before the first home video game system and Pong. Fifty-eight years later, in 2016, the U.S. computer and video game industry generated $30.4 billion in revenue (source: Entertainment Software Association and the NPD Group).

    1959

    Medical Research Reactor Begins Operations
    Regular operations begin at the Brookhaven Medical Research Reactor, built to meet scientists’ needs for neutrons for medical research.

    1960

    12
    Alternating Gradient Synchrotron
    The Alternating Gradient Synchrotron (AGS) reaches its design energy of 33 billion electron volts. It later became the machine on which three of seven Nobel Prize-winning discoveries at Brookhaven Lab were made. Today it remains a critical component of Brookhaven’s accelerator complex.

    1961

    13
    Early PET Scanner
    In 1961, chemists at Brookhaven Lab are studying how to detect small brain tumors by analyzing the decay of radioactive material injected into the patient’s bloodstream and preferentially absorbed by the tumor. To help them, collaborators in Brookhaven’s Instrumentation Division build a circular detector that becomes a precursor to today’s Positron Emission Tomography (PET) scanner.

    1964

    1`4
    Omega-minus Particle Discovered
    Scientists discover the omega-minus particle, previously only theorized to exist, with the 80-inch bubble chamber detector and Alternating Gradient Synchrotron.

    1965

    15
    Third Reactor for Research
    The High Flux Beam Reactor is commissioned for research to begin. During its 31 years of operation, the reactor achieved an enviable record as a dependable source of neutrons, the sub-atomic probes crucial to a wide array of scientific research programs.

    1967

    16
    L-dopa for Parkinson’s disease
    George Cotzias and his group at Brookhaven Lab’s [former] Medical Center begin their research on using L-dopa to treat patients with Parkinson’s disease and help them become self-reliant. In 2017, L-dopa is still considered the gold standard for treating Parkinson’s. During treatment with L-dopa in 1967, this patient was once again able to knit.

    1968

    17
    ‘Maglev’ Patented
    Brookhaven researchers Gordon Danby and James Powell patent Maglev, the principle of superfast magnetically levitated transportation.

    1973

    18
    BLIP Radioisotope Producer Begins Operations
    The Brookhaven Linac Isotope Producer (BLIP) starts generating radioisotopes for biomedical and industrial applications. With recent upgrades, this facility is still being used to produce important radioisotopes for medical imaging and treating diseases.

    1975

    19
    Charmed Baryon Discovered
    One year after beginning routine operations with the 7-foot bubble chamber detector at the Alternating Gradient Synchrotron, scientists discover the charmed baryon—a particle composed of three quarks, one of which is the “charmed” quark. This result helps physicists confirm that new member of the quark family.

    21
    This electronic marvel is a superconducting magnet for a particle detector known as a bubble chamber, under construction in 1968. It was installed at Brookhaven’s Alternating Gradient Synchrotron (AGS), and detected the paths of particles created in experiments using the AGS’s energetic particle beams. Cameras captured trails of bubbles created as these particles passed through the liquid-hydrogen-filled chamber, with the tracks’ curvature in the magnetic field leaving telltale clues about the particles’ identities.

    1976

    20
    Nobel Prize-winning Discovery: The J/Psi Particle
    The 1976 Nobel Prize in physics is shared by Samuel C.C. Ting, a Massachusetts Institute of Technology researcher who used Brookhaven’s Alternating Gradient Synchrotron to discover a new particle and confirm the existence of the charmed quark. Ting is credited for finding what he called the “J” particle, the same particle as the “psi” found at nearly the same time by Burton Richter.

    1979

    21
    Ultraviolet Light and Cancer
    Brookhaven biologist Richard Setlow’s experiments show exposure to two forms of ultraviolet (UV) light—both A and B—could lead to malignant melanoma. Previously, only exposure to UV-B was believed to induce such cancers.

    1980

    22
    Nobel Prize-winning Discovery: CP Violation
    The 1980 Nobel Prize for Physics is awarded to James W. Cronin and Val L. Fitch, both then of Princeton University. Their 1963 experiment at Brookhaven’s Alternating Gradient Synchrotron showed a flaw in physics’ central belief that the universe is symmetrical as they discovered the phenomenon known as “CP violation.”

    1982

    23
    NSLS Dedicated
    After four years of construction, the National Synchrotron Light Source (NSLS) is dedicated as operations begin with ultra-bright light from the vacuum ultra-violet ring. During more than 30 years of operations, NSLS becomes one of the world’s most widely used scientific facilities with more than 19,000 users conducting experiments using its beams of x-ray, ultraviolet, and infrared light, leading to many advances, two Nobel Prize-winning discoveries, and nine R&D 100 Awards.

    Sequencing DNA
    Scientists at Brookhaven finish determining the DNA sequence of the virus T7, the longest DNA sequence then known. In all, 39,936 base pairs are counted and identified. The genetic map was correlated with T7’s protein production, which led to a detailed understanding of how such viruses control their own replication.

    1984

    24
    Applications Filed to Patent T7 Expression System
    Brookhaven Lab’s Bill Studier and several colleagues develop the T7 expression system, a tool that can direct E. coli cells to produce useful amounts of almost any protein. Scientists around the world use the T7 system to obtain individual proteins for analyzing how they work. Since it was patented in 1984, more than 1,000 companies have licensed the T7 system to produce proteins for commercial purposes, including medical diagnostics and treatments.

    1988

    25
    Nobel Prize-winning Discovery: The Muon-Neutrino
    Leon Lederman, Melvin Schwartz, and Jack Steinberger receive the 1988 Physics prize for their 1962 discovery of the muon-neutrino. At the time, only the electron-neutrino was known. Using Brookhaven’s Alternating Gradient Synchrotron, they detect a new type of the ghostlike particles that pass through everything.

    1998

    26
    World’s Fastest Multipurpose, Non-commercial Supercomputer
    The world’s fastest non-commercial supercomputer makes its debut at the Japanese RIKEN BNL Research Center at Brookhaven Lab. The supercomputer is optimized for research on quantum chromodynamics—the theory of “strong” interactions between subatomic quarks and gluons.

    2000

    27
    First Collisions at RHIC
    The Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider (RHIC) begins operations with particles colliding and detectors detecting. This fantastically productive machine—with thousands of staff, users, and students contributing to its success—provides data to probe interactions between subatomic quarks and gluons as well as to explore how the proton’s constituent particles contribute to its “spin property.” This helps scientists better understand the matter that makes up the mass of 98 percent of everything we see in the universe today—from individual atoms to people, plants, planets, and stars. This image is the end view of a gold ion collision in the STAR detector.

    BNL RHIC Campus

    BNL/RHIC Star Detector

    BNL RHIC PHENIX

    2001

    28
    Violation of the Standard Model in Muon Decays
    Physicists announce a possible violation of the Standard Model of Particle Physics that describes the universe’s most basic building blocks and explains how they interact. Their announcement is based on data collected from more than one billion muon decay events in the muon g-2 experiment at Brookhaven.

    25
    Muon G-2 at BNL, before its move to FNAL

    2002

    29
    Nobel Prize-winning Discovery: Cosmic Neutrinos
    Raymond Davis Jr., a chemist at Brookhaven Lab, wins the 2002 Nobel Prize in Physics for detecting solar neutrinos—ghostlike particles produced in the nuclear reactions that power the sun. Davis shares the prize with Masatoshi Koshiba of Japan and Riccardo Giacconi of the United States.

    2003

    30
    Nobel Prize-winning Discovery: Chemistry of the Cell
    Roderick MacKinnon, M.D., a visiting researcher at Brookhaven Lab, shares the 2003 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for work explaining how a class of proteins helps to generate nerve impulses—the electrical activity that underlies all movement, sensation, and perhaps even thought.

    31
    Helping Prepare for Space Missions to the Moon and Mars
    The National Aeronautics & Space Administration (NASA) Space Radiation Laboratory is commissioned at Brookhaven Lab. At this facility, which relies on particle beams and infrastructure from the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider, scientists study how simulated space radiation affects biological and physical systems in preparation for future missions to the Moon and Mars.

    2005

    32
    The ‘Perfect’ Liquid
    Scientists discover quark-gluon plasma, a “perfect” liquid 100,000 times hotter than the center of the sun and so hot that protons and neutrons melt into a freely flowing sea of subatomic quarks and gluons. Scientists observe the quark-gluon plasma from particle collisions at the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider and its PHENIX and STAR detectors, and they are surprised that the substance is a liquid, not a gas, as new questions and “adventures” emerge.

    2006

    33
    Setting the Stage to Find Drugs Against SARS
    Scientists at Brookhaven Lab set the stage for the rapid identification of compounds to fight against severe acquired respiratory syndrome (SARS), an atypical pneumonia that has been responsible for deaths worldwide. Researchers at the National Synchrotron Light Source characterize a component of the virus to be the target for new anti-SARS virus drugs.

    2007

    34
    Nanotechnology Center Opens
    The Center for Functional Nanomaterials (CFN) opens at Brookhaven, featuring state-of-the-art equipment to probe and design materials at the nanoscale—the tiny world within our own, where materials are so small they are measured in billionths of a meter. Construction began in 2005. Today, scientists at the CFN have completed a range of investigations for research on efficient catalysts, fuel cell chemistries and architectures, photovoltaic (solar cell) components, and more.

    2008

    35
    U.S. Army Retires the 77th
    At a “casing of the colors” ceremony, the U.S. Army marks the retirement of the 77th U.S. Army Regional Readiness Command—the infantry division that began its distinguished 91-year history at the site of Brookhaven Lab, when the U.S. Army operated the site as Camp Upton.

    2009

    36
    Nobel Prize-winning Discovery: Atomic-Level ‘Pictures’ of Protein
    Venkatraman Ramakrishnan (pictured) of the Medical Research Council Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge, United Kingdom—a former employee in Brookhaven’s Biology Department, and a long-time user of Brookhaven’s National Synchrotron Light Source (NSLS)—and Thomas A. Steitz of Yale University, also a long-time NSLS user, shared the Nobel Prize with Ada Yonath of the Weizmann Institute of Science for studying the structure and function of the ribosome.

    2011

    37
    Long Island Solar Farm at Brookhaven Lab Opens
    The Long Island Solar Farm at Brookhaven Lab, the largest solar project in New York State to date, opens to produce 32 megawatts of power, enough energy for up to 4,500 Long Island homes. Researchers at Brookhaven begin collecting large amounts of data that stream in from sensors and imagers installed across the solar array to develop advanced forecasting models and techniques.

    2012

    38
    The Super Supercomputer, BlueGene/Q
    39
    The Blue Gene/Q system at Brookhaven ranks fifth on the Graph 500 list of data-intensive supercomputers at the time, placing it among the world’s best.


    The Higgs Boson
    Brookhaven scientists join in announcing discovery of a new particle, later identified to be the long-sought-after Higgs boson at the Large Hadron Collider at CERN in Europe. Brookhaven Lab holds multiple roles for the ATLAS detector, one of two detectors used to observe the particle, as the U.S. host laboratory for the ATLAS collaboration.

    CERN ATLAS Higgs Event

    2013

    40
    Interdisciplinary Collaborations for Energy Research
    Doors open at the Interdisciplinary Science Building for scientists to drive breakthroughs in energy research at Brookhaven Lab. This hub provides customized laboratories for multidisciplinary research teams to tackle challenges as they engineer and optimize materials with the goal of developing breakthrough technologies for batteries, biofuels, and solar panels.

    41
    Teaming with New York City Police Department for Study to Optimize Emergency Response
    Brookhaven Lab scientists and New York City Police Department (NYPD) staff conduct the largest-ever urban airflow study. With funding from the Department of Homeland Security and support from several other national labs, their investigation is designed to better understand the risks posed by airborne contaminants—including chemical, biological, and radiological weapons—for the NYPD to optimize emergency response if those contaminants are dispersed in the atmosphere or the city’s subway system, accidentally or intentionally.

    2015

    42
    A New Era of Discovery at RHIC
    A new era of discovery at the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider (RHIC) is underway with accelerator advances and detector upgrades to probe interactions between subatomic quarks and gluons as well as to explore how a proton’s constituent particles contribute to the “spin property.” During the 2015 RHIC run, the machine’s collision rates—luminosity—are 25 times greater than the original design.

    43
    Best Precision Yet for Neutrino Measurements at Daya Bay
    Brookhaven scientists join with members of the international Daya Bay Collaboration in announcing measurements that track the way neutrino particles change types, or flavors, as they move—an intriguing characteristic called neutrino oscillation.

    44
    NSLS-II Opens for Science

    BNL NSLS-II

    The National Synchrotron Light Source II (NSLS-II), the brightest light source of its kind in the world, is dedicated. The facility produces extremely bright beams of x-ray, ultraviolet, and infrared light used to examine a wide range of materials, including superconductors and catalysts, geological samples, and biological proteins to accelerate advances in energy, environmental science, and medicine. Today 16 beamlines are available for research, 12 more are in development, and the facility has capabilities for an additional 30 .

    45
    Large Synoptic Survey Telescope


    LSST Camera, built at SLAC



    LSST telescope, currently under construction at Cerro Pachón Chile, a 2,682-meter-high mountain in Coquimbo Region, in northern Chile, alongside the existing Gemini South and Southern Astrophysical Research Telescopes.

    The project team building a camera for the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope—staff at Brookhaven are developing its 3,200 megapixel camera sensor—earns “CD-3,” a major milestone in the U.S. Department of Energy’s critical decision (CD) process for managing large projects. In the hunt for evidence of dark energy, the LSST will capture light from stars 100 million times dimmer than the dimmest star visible to the naked eye, with a wide-angle view so the entire night sky can be surveyed far more quickly than what’s possible with other advanced telescopes today.

    46
    New Technique for ‘Operando’ Research
    Brookhaven scientists develop a new technique that combines electron microscopy and synchrotron x-rays to track chemical reactions in operando—under real operating conditions—for research on catalysts, batteries, fuel cells, and other technologies.

    2016

    47
    Upgrades at BLIP Facility to Produce Radiostopes for Diagnosing, Treating Diseases
    Upgrades to the Brookhaven Linac Isotope Producer (BLIP), the Lab’s radioisotope production and research facility, increase the yield of key medical isotopes produced for diagnosing and treating diseases.

    48
    Physicists Zoom in on Gluons’ Contribution to Proton Spin
    Scientists’ latest data from high-energy proton collisions at the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider at Brookhaven indicate that “wimpy” gluons have a big impact on proton spin, and gluons overall may contribute more to the proton’s spin than quarks. Still, large uncertainties remain—one of the reasons why nuclear physicists would like to build an electron ion collider that would use an electron beam to probe the internal structure of the proton even more directly.

    THE FUTURE

    See the full article here .

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

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    One of ten national laboratories overseen and primarily funded by the Office of Science of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), Brookhaven National Laboratory conducts research in the physical, biomedical, and environmental sciences, as well as in energy technologies and national security. Brookhaven Lab also builds and operates major scientific facilities available to university, industry and government researchers. The Laboratory’s almost 3,000 scientists, engineers, and support staff are joined each year by more than 5,000 visiting researchers from around the world. Brookhaven is operated and managed for DOE’s Office of Science by Brookhaven Science Associates, a limited-liability company founded by Stony Brook University, the largest academic user of Laboratory facilities, and Battelle, a nonprofit, applied science and technology organization.
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  • richardmitnick 3:35 pm on June 9, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , “Stripes” of electronic charge, Bad metals, BNL, Cuprate superconductors, High-temperature superconductivity, Oak Ridge Lab’s Spallation Neutron Source,   

    From BNL: “Surprising Stripes in a “Bad Metal” Offer Clues to High-Temperature Superconductivity” 

    Brookhaven Lab

    June 5, 2017
    Justin Eure
    jeure@bnl.gov

    Scientists measure subtle electronic fluctuations that could help pinpoint the mechanism behind high-temperature superconductors.

    1
    Ruidan Zhong and John Tranquada

    High-temperature superconductivity offers perfect conveyance of electricity, but it does so at the price of extreme cold and an ever-elusive mechanism. If understood, scientists might push superconductivity into warmer temperatures and radically enhance power grids, consumer electronics, and more—but the puzzle has persisted for more than 30 years.

    Now, scientists have broken new ground by approaching from a counter-intuitive angle: probing so-called “bad metals” that conduct electricity poorly. The researchers found that “stripes” of electronic charge, which may play a key role in superconductivity, persist across surprisingly high temperatures, shape conductivity, and have direction-dependent properties.

    The results, which examined the model system of custom-grown nickel-oxide materials, were published online April 28 in the journal Physical Review Letters.

    “This is a step on the path to resolving the mechanism of high-temperature superconductivity and the complex role of charge stripes,” said Ruidan Zhong, lead author of the study and a PhD student at Stony Brook University. “We captured snapshots of dynamic stripes fluctuating in a liquid phase, where they have freedom to align and intermittently allow the flow of electricity.”

    The collaboration used the Spallation Neutron Source at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Oak Ridge National Laboratory to measure the stripes.

    ORNL Spallation Neutron Source


    ORNL Spallation Neutron Source


    ORNL Spallation Neutron Source

    “We’ve been studying stripe ordering for two decades, and the Oak Ridge instruments are perfect for exploring new territory,” said coauthor John Tranquada, a physicist at DOE’s Brookhaven National Laboratory. “The signal we were looking for was very weak, and was buried in a jungle of much stronger signals—but we found it.”

    Bombarding a bit of alchemy

    For decades scientists have been able to take certain copper-oxide (cuprate) insulators—meaning they do not conduct electricity—and substitute atoms to tweak the electron content and then induce superconductivity at frigid temperatures. While stripes likely play an essential role, their presence and behavior across temperatures is particularly difficult to track.

    “In cuprate superconductors, we have learned how to detect charge stripes when they are pinned to the atomic lattice, but once they start to move, we lose sight of them,” Tranquada said. “So, instead of a superconducting compound of lanthanum, strontium, copper, and oxygen, we did a bit of alchemy to replace the copper with nickel.”

    In an elegant process led by study coauthor and Brookhaven scientist Genda Gu, the nickel-oxide—or nickelate—crystals were grown from a liquid phase without the use of any container. As they offered a similar structure to cuprates, but with stronger stripe ordering, the elusive charge stripes would be easier to spot, assuming the right tool could be found to peer inside.

    The team turned to the time-of-flight Hybrid Spectrometer (HYSPEC) at Oak Ridge Lab’s Spallation Neutron Source, a DOE Office of Science User Facility. The instrument—the product of a proposal first developed at Brookhaven—bombarded the nickelate sample with a beam of neutrons that then scatter off the atomic structure. By measuring the time it takes for the scattered neutrons to reach detectors, the scientists deduced the energy lost or gained—this in turn revealed the presence or absence of the stripes.

    Schools of electronic fish

    The neutron scattering results, which require intense computer processing, provided evidence of a so-called nematic phase in the nickelate.

    “Electronic nematic phases are driven by electron correlations that break the rotational symmetry of the material’s crystal lattice,” Zhong said. “In the nickelate, these wave-like, correlated stripes move through the material and directly impact conductivity.”

    As Tranquada explained, this can be visualized as schools of long, slender fish swimming through some sunken structure.

    “They move in tight, highly coordinated, and elusive packs,” Tranquada said. “Swimming with these fish in a parallel direction can be quite smooth, but swimming against that coordinated group in a perpendicular direction is challenging. This is a bit like the way current travels through our nickelate and interacts with the charge waves.”

    The precise way in which these persistent and curious charge stripes influence conductivity in the nickelates—and more importantly in the analogous superconducting cuprates—remains unclear.

    “We hope that this work offers new opportunities for theory and experiment to explore high temperature superconductivity,” Zhong said. “As we keep mapping these materials, the mechanism will eventually run out of places to hide.”

    The other authors on the study were Barry Winn of Oak Ridge National Lab and Dmitry Reznik of the University of Colorado, Boulder.

    This work was supported by DOE’s Office of Science.

    See the full article here .

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

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    One of ten national laboratories overseen and primarily funded by the Office of Science of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), Brookhaven National Laboratory conducts research in the physical, biomedical, and environmental sciences, as well as in energy technologies and national security. Brookhaven Lab also builds and operates major scientific facilities available to university, industry and government researchers. The Laboratory’s almost 3,000 scientists, engineers, and support staff are joined each year by more than 5,000 visiting researchers from around the world.Brookhaven is operated and managed for DOE’s Office of Science by Brookhaven Science Associates, a limited-liability company founded by Stony Brook University, the largest academic user of Laboratory facilities, and Battelle, a nonprofit, applied science and technology organization.
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  • richardmitnick 2:29 pm on May 17, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: A 'Wearable' Brain Scanner Inspired by Brookhaven Technology, , BNL, Helmet-like PET scanner   

    From BNL: “A ‘Wearable’ Brain Scanner Inspired by Brookhaven Technology” 

    Brookhaven Lab

    May 17, 2017
    Lida Tunesi
    ltunesi@bnl.gov

    1
    Julie Brefczynski-Lewis, a neuroscientist at West Virginia University, places a helmet-like PET scanner on a research subject. The mobile scanner—designed for studies of human interaction, movement disorders, and more—is based on a scanner developed at Brookhaven Lab for brain-imaging studies in freely moving animals.

    Patients undergoing a positron emission tomography (PET) scan in today’s bulky, donut-shaped machines must lie completely still. Because of this, scientists cannot use the scanners to unearth links between movement and brain activity. What goes on up there when we nod in agreement or shake hands? How are the brains of people struggling to walk after a stroke different from those who can?

    To tackle questions like these, Julie Brefczynski-Lewis, a neuroscientist at West Virginia University (WVU), has partnered with Stan Majewski, a physicist at WVU and now at the University of Virginia, to develop a miniaturized PET brain scanner. The scanner can be “worn” like a helmet, allowing research subjects to stand and make movements as the device scans. This Ambulatory Microdose Positron Emission Tomography (AMPET) scanner could launch new psychological and clinical studies on how the brain functions when affected by diseases from epilepsy to addiction, and during ordinary and dysfunctional social interactions.

    “There are so many possibilities,” said Brefczynski-Lewis, “Scientists could use AMPET to study Alzheimer’s or traumatic brain injuries, or even our sense of balance. We want to push the limits of imaging mobility with this device.”

    The idea was sparked by a scanner developed for studying rats, a project started in 2002 at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Brookhaven National Laboratory. Majewski, a high-energy physicist by training, originally caught wind of Brookhaven’s “RatCAP” project because he ran in the same physicist circles as several of the RatCAP team members.

    “I learned about what my friends and colleagues at Brookhaven were doing,” said Majewski, “and decided to build the same type of device for humans.”

    Brookhaven beginnings

    “I wanted to do PET scans on animals without having to use anesthesia,” said Volkow, who is now the Director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse. Unlike humans, animals can’t be told to simply lie still in a scanner. But the anesthesia required to make them lie still muddies the results. “It affects the distribution of the PET radiotracer and inhibits neurons,” Volkow said. A wearable scanner, however, would move with the animal’s brain and eliminate the need for anesthesia (see HOW PET WORKS). Volkow enlisted the help of Brookhaven scientists and engineers to make the idea a reality.

    2
    Stan Majewski, once a physicist at Jefferson Lab, now at the University of Virginia, and Julie Brefczynski-Lewis, a neuroscientist at West Virginia University—co-developers of an Ambulatory Microdose Positron Emission Tomography (AMPET) scanner—display a mockup of their device at a scientific conference. AMPET is based on a smaller mobile scanner designed for studies in rats that was developed at Brookhaven Lab.

    Tracking particles

    Fortunately, there is a large overlap between medical imaging and nuclear physics, a subject in which Brookhaven Lab is a world leader. Today, physicists at the Lab use technology similar to PET scanners at the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider (RHIC), where they must track the particles that fly out of near-light speed collisions of charged nuclei. PET research at the Lab dates back to the early 1960s and includes the creation of the first single-plane scanner as well as various tracer molecules.

    “Both fields think about the same things—how the photodetectors work, how the scintillating crystals work, how the electronics work,” said Brookhaven physicist Craig Woody. “PET scanners, as well as CT [computed tomography] and MRI [magnetic resonance imaging], are used by doctors but they are built by detector physicists.”

    Woody, who is now working on a new particle detector for RHIC, led the RatCAP project with David Schlyer and Paul Vaska. At the time, Schlyer and Vaska were heads of Brookhaven’s cyclotron operations and of PET physics, respectively. Schlyer is now a scientist emeritus at the Lab and Vaska is a professor of biomedical engineering at Stony Brook University.

    In designing the small-scale scanner, the team used recent advances in detector technology. For instance, they used dense crystals to convert the gamma photons generated by positron-electron interactions into visible light, along with small light-detecting sensors called avalanche photodiodes. They also used special electronics developed at Brookhaven and built into the compact, lightweight PET detector. Suspending the structure on long springs helped support its weight so rats could “wear” the scanner while moving around easily.

    “It was a very collaborative effort,” said Schlyer, who produced the radioisotopes needed for the scans. “We had people from physics, biology, chemistry, medicine, and electrical engineering.”
    From rats to hats

    Word got out about RatCAP as the scientists presented their progress at conferences and meetings. Stan Majewski, then at DOE’s Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility (Jefferson Lab), took notice. He had been working on new methods of breast cancer imaging, applying his high-energy physics detector expertise to the medical field.

    “I had known Stan for a long time—we worked together at CERN, the European nuclear physics laboratory,” said Woody. “I have to give him credit because he was constantly saying ‘you really ought to do medical physics.’”

    Majewski noted that Jefferson Lab’s management was very supportive of the project and provided some seed money even after he relocated to WVU to do more work on medical imaging. While there he expanded on the ideas of the RatCAP and built a prototype wearable PET brain imager for humans.

    3
    The Brookhaven-developed scanner, dubbed “RatCAP,” made it possible to scan animals without anesthesia. Members of the RatCAP team in 2011 showing a brain scan and the apparatus holding the ring-shaped detector: (front row, from left) Paul Vaska, Craig Woody, Daniela Schulz, Srilalan Krishnamoorthy, Bosky Ravindranath, (back row, from left) Sean Stoll, David Schlyer, Sri Harsha Maramraju, Martin Purschke, Fritz Henn, and Paul O’Connor.

    “A mobile brain imaging tool has applications in psychology research and clinical uses,” Majewski said. “You could do bedside imaging of epilepsy, for example, and watch what happens in the brain during a seizure.”

    Majewski’s “Helmet_PET” prototype, patented in 2011, used silicon photomultipliers—a newer, similarly compact but more efficient photodetector than the avalanche photodiodes used in RatCAP.

    “Stan saw the potential in the RatCAP and took it further,” said Woody.

    The patent drawing of the prototype was sitting on Majewski’s desk at WVU when Brefczynski-Lewis, a neuroscientist, walked in. The drawing of a helmet-shaped detector on an upright person caught her attention.

    “I had always been bothered by this middle zone of the brain you couldn’t reach with other imaging technologies,” she said. “With electroencephalography (EEG) you can’t reach deep brain structures, but with PET and MRI you can’t have motion. I thought Stan’s device could fill this niche.”

    After building the first prototype at WVU, the two scientists began using Helmet_PET to image the brains of volunteer patients. After Majewski transferred to the University of Virginia the team developed a newer model of the device, now known as AMPET. The current imaging cap is designed to scan a standing person and is attached to an overhead support, allowing for some motion.

    AMPET bears great similarity to one of the first PET scanners built at Brookhaven, nicknamed the “hair dryer.”

    “The ideas have sort of come full circle,” said Schlyer. “What has changed is the technology that makes these devices possible.”

    The AMPET team hopes to start developing a full-brain scanner soon—one that covers the entire head rather than examining a horizontal five-centimeter section, like the current ring.

    Microdose has big potential

    4
    Nora Volkow, who led a world-renowned brain-imaging program at Brookhaven Lab, came up with the idea for RatCAP. She is now the director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse.

    Because AMPET sits so close to the brain, it can “catch” more of the photons stemming from the radiotracers used in PET than larger scanners can. That means researchers can administer a lower dose of radioactive material and still get a good biological snapshot. Catching more signals also allows AMPET to create higher resolution images than regular PET.

    But most importantly, PET scans allow researchers to see further into the body than other imaging tools. This lets AMPET reach deep neural structures while the research subjects are upright and moving.

    “A lot of the important things that are going on with emotion, memory, and behavior are way deep in the center of the brain: the basal ganglia, hippocampus, amygdala,” Brefczynski-Lewis said.

    From a psychologist’s or neuroscientist’s perspective, AMPET could open doors to a variety of experiments, from exploring the brain’s reactions to different environments to the mechanisms involved in arguing or being in love.

    Brefczynski-Lewis described ways to use AMPET to study the brain activity that underlies emotion. “Currently we are doing tests to validate the use of virtual reality environments in future experiments,” she said. In this “virtual reality,” volunteers would read from a script designed to make the subject angry, for example, as his or her brain is scanned.

    In the medical sphere, the scanning helmet could help explain what happens during drug treatments, or shed light on movement disorders.

    “There is a sub-population of Parkinson’s patients who have great difficulty walking, but can ride a bicycle with ease and without hesitation,” said Schlyer, who is also an adjunct professor in the Radiology department at Weill Cornell Medical College, where he studies Parkinson’s. “What is going on in their brains that makes these two activities so different? With this device we could monitor regional brain activation as patients walk and bike, and potentially answer that question.”

    Brefczynski-Lewis noted, “We have successfully imaged the brain of someone walking in place. Now we’re ready to build a laboratory-ready version. It’s been an exciting journey—uncovering the needs of different neuroscientists and developing this device that we hope will someday meet those needs, and help in our quest to understand the brain.”

    The RatCAP project at Brookhaven was funded by the DOE Office of Science. RHIC is a DOE Office of Science User Facility for nuclear physics research.

    See the full article here .

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

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    One of ten national laboratories overseen and primarily funded by the Office of Science of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), Brookhaven National Laboratory conducts research in the physical, biomedical, and environmental sciences, as well as in energy technologies and national security. Brookhaven Lab also builds and operates major scientific facilities available to university, industry and government researchers. The Laboratory’s almost 3,000 scientists, engineers, and support staff are joined each year by more than 5,000 visiting researchers from around the world. Brookhaven is operated and managed for DOE’s Office of Science by Brookhaven Science Associates, a limited-liability company founded by Stony Brook University, the largest academic user of Laboratory facilities, and Battelle, a nonprofit, applied science and technology organization.
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  • richardmitnick 1:25 pm on May 16, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , BNL, , , Mykaela Reilly, , , ,   

    From BNL: Women in STEM – “Patchogue-Medford High School Student Builds a Remote Sensing System for ATLAS Detector Components” Mykaela Reilly 

    Brookhaven Lab

    1
    Patchogue-Medford High School student Mykaela Reilly (seated) with members of the ATLAS silicon tracker upgrade group in the Physics Department: (from left) Russell Burns, Alessandro Tricoli, Phil Kuczewski, Stefania Stucci, David Lynn, and Gerrit Van Nieuwenhuizen. No image credit.

    May 12, 2017
    Jane Koropsak
    jane@bnl.gov

    When Patchogue-Medford High School student Mykaela Reilly came to the U.S. Department of Energy’s Brookhaven National Laboratory as part of the High School Research Program last summer, she thought she was coming to work for one summer. She never expected that her achievements would result in her being offered to continue at the lab another year. From soldering to building prototypes to computer programming, Reilly says that during the course of the year she learned a lot about how research projects come together and form the foundations of scientific discovery.

    Reilly was tasked with learning LabView, a software system and design program that helps scientists with data acquisition and instrument control. She also programmed micro-controllers used to monitor nitrogen levels to keep humidity low, limit condensation, and maintain steady temperatures inside an experimental area. It took weeks to build the experimental components and test the software that would remotely control that equipment. But, with guidance from her mentor, Lab physicist Alessandro Tricoli of the ATLAS silicon tracker upgrade group in the Physics Department, and research team members Phil Kuczewski and Stefania Stucci, Reilly worked out the “bugs” until she built a sensing system and computer program that her mentors say works seamlessly.

    2

    Reilly’s success may help advance one of the most ambitious scientific projects in the world—the ATLAS detector at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) near Geneva, Switzerland. Brookhaven scientists have played multiple roles in constructing, operating, and upgrading this particle detector, which is the size of a seven-story building and has opened up new frontiers in the human pursuit of knowledge about elementary particles and their interactions. Reilly conducted experiments using her remote monitoring program to see how electronic components, such as readout chips that could be incorporated in an upgrade at ATLAS, respond to tough environmental conditions—particularly the high level of radiation at the LHC. Radiation-resilient silicon readout chips would reduce power consumption and simplify the design of the entire tracker system at ATLAS.

    “Mykaela’s work will shed light on how we can make the readout chips more resistant to the radiation at the LHC, and how we can keep the radiation effects under control,” said Tricoli. “I applaud her success. With her talent, I hope she decides to pursue a career in science or engineering.”

    What’s next?

    Just before the posting of this story, Reilly announced her plans to attend Stony Brook University to pursue a degree in electrical engineering. “That is wonderful news,” said Tricoli. “I hope to see her back at the Lab soon.”

    When she isn’t busy soldering, programming, or building sensing systems, you can find Reilly on the ice competing on a synchronized figure skating team with her sisters. “I found that synchronized figure skating is a lot like research,” she said. “It’s about hard work, precision, and collaboration.”

    See the full article here .

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

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    One of ten national laboratories overseen and primarily funded by the Office of Science of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), Brookhaven National Laboratory conducts research in the physical, biomedical, and environmental sciences, as well as in energy technologies and national security. Brookhaven Lab also builds and operates major scientific facilities available to university, industry and government researchers. The Laboratory’s almost 3,000 scientists, engineers, and support staff are joined each year by more than 5,000 visiting researchers from around the world. Brookhaven is operated and managed for DOE’s Office of Science by Brookhaven Science Associates, a limited-liability company founded by Stony Brook University, the largest academic user of Laboratory facilities, and Battelle, a nonprofit, applied science and technology organization.
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  • richardmitnick 12:21 pm on May 5, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , BNL, BNL Maia detector at NSLS II,   

    From BNL: “Speedy X-Ray Detector Arrives at NSLS-II” 

    Brookhaven Lab

    May 5, 2017
    Lida Tunesi
    ltunesi@bnl.gov

    Advanced detector fuels discovery by allowing users to collect massive datasets in less time.

    1
    At the SRX beamline at NSLS-II: (standing, left to right) Juergen Thieme (NSLS-II), Chris Ryan (CSIRO), Robin Kirkham (CSIRO), Florian Werner (TU Munich) and Peter Siddons (NSLS-II) with (seated, left to right) Margaux LeVaillant (CSIRO) and Giada Iancono (CNRS). Garth Williams (NSLS-II) and Tony Kuczewski (NSLS-II) participated in the experiment, but were not present for the photo.

    The National Synchrotron Light Source II (NSLS-II), a DOE Office of Science User Facility at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Brookhaven National Laboratory, is a truly international resource. Geoscientists from Australia and France recently trekked across the globe to aim NSLS-II’s tiny, intense beams of x-ray light at thin samples of nickel-rich mineral gathered from a mine in far-off Siberia. They scanned these slices of geological material to see what other chemical elements were associated with the nickel. The group also examined slices of minerals grown in a lab, and compared results from the two sample suites to learn how massive metal deposits form.

    Their experiment was the first to use a newly installed x-ray detector, called Maia, mounted at NSLS-II’s Submicron Resolution X-Ray Spectroscopy (SRX) beamline.

    2
    The MAIA spectroscopy system was designed to be used at the former National Synchrotron Light Source (NSLS) with an X-ray microprobe. This system is composed of about 400 individual silicon diode detectors which were fabricated in our SDL were wire bonded with the application specific integrated circuits (ASIC). This system allows scientists to perform the elemental mapping using synchrotron light source in the biological, geological, materials and environmental sciences. In order to increase its sensitivity, currently we are designing a silicon drift detector (SDD) intended to replace each individual silicon diode detector in MAIA spectroscopy system. We have gained experience in developing an X-ray spectroscopic system for NASA (founded by NASA) a few years ago which consists of pixel array of SDDs. In addition, a couple years ago we developed an Adapter Detector Concept which uses single spiral detector to bias entire array of SDDs, in which each individual SDD is concentric ring design, by double-metal configuration. The new Drift-MAIA spectroscopy detector is going to combine all the above experience from these previous projects and it will be used in the newly constructed NSLS-II in BNL.

    Scientists from around the world come to SRX to create high-definition images of mineral deposits, aerosols, algae—just about anything they need to examine with millionth-of-a-meter resolution. Maia, developed by a collaboration between NSLS-II, Brookhaven’s Instrumentation Division and Australia’s Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO), can scan centimeter-scale sample areas at micron scale resolution in just a few hours—a process that used to take weeks.

    ____________________________________________________________

    The Maia detector is a game-changer.

    — Juergen Thieme, lead scientist at the SRX beamline at Brookhaven’s NSLS-II

    ____________________________________________________________

    “The Maia detector is a game-changer,” said Juergen Thieme, lead scientist at the SRX beamline. “Milliseconds per image pixel instead of seconds is a huge difference.”

    SRX beamline users now have time to gather detailed data about larger areas, rather than choosing a few zones to focus on. This greatly enhances the chance to capture rare “needle in a haystack” clues to ore forming processes, for example.

    “This is important when you are trying to publish a paper,” said Thieme. “Editors want to make sure that your claim is based on many examples and not one random event.”

    “We’ve already gathered enough data for one, if not two papers,” said Margaux Le Vaillant, one of the visiting users from CSIRO and principal investigator for this experiment.

    Collaborator Giada Iacono Marziano of the French National Center for Scientific Research added, “Because we can now look at a larger image in detail, we might see things—like certain elemental associations—that we didn’t predict.” These kinds of surprises pose unexpected questions to scientists, pushing their research in new directions.

    Siddons and his collaborators at Brookhaven Lab and CSIRO have provided Maia detectors to synchrotron light sources around the world—CHESS at Cornell University in New York, PETRA-III at the DESY laboratory in Hamburg, Germany, and the Australian Synchrotron in Melbourne. The detector at SRX offers the advantage of using beams from NSLS-II, the brightest light source of its kind in the world.

    4
    Cornell CHESS

    DESI Petra III

    5
    Australian Synchrotron

    High-speed chemical fingerprinting

    3
    Using Maia to “chemically fingerprint” mineral deposits: This false-color image represents rubidium (red), iron (green), and chromium (blue) in a mineral sample from the Noril’sk deposit in Siberia, the world’s largest mining resource for nickel. The picture size is 10.5 millimeters by 5.1 millimeters, 3751 x 1822 pixels, with a scan time of just 0.8 milliseconds per pixel.

    When scientists shine the x-ray beams at samples, they excite the material’s atoms. As the atoms relax back to their original state they fluoresce, emitting x-ray light that the detector picks up. Different chemical elements will emit different characteristic wavelengths of light, so this x-ray fluorescence mapping is a kind of chemical fingerprinting, allowing the detector to create images of the sample’s chemical makeup.

    The Maia detector has several features that help it map samples at high speeds and in fine detail.

    “Maia doesn’t ‘stop and measure’ like other detectors,” said physicist Pete Siddons, who led Brookhaven’s half of the project. Most detectors work in steps, analyzing each spot on a sample one at a time, he explained, but the Maia detector scans continuously. Siddons’ team has programmed Maia with a process called dynamic analysis to pick apart the x-ray spectral data collected and resolve where different elements are present.

    Maia’s analysis systems also make it possible for scientists to watch images of their samples appear on the computer screen in real-time as Maia scans. If samples are very similar, Maia will recycle the dynamic analysis algorithms it used to create multi-element images from the first sample’s fluorescence signals to build the subsequent sample’s images in real-time, without computational lag.

    Part of Maia’s speed is also attributable to the 384 tiny photon-sensing detector elements that make up the large detector. This large grid of sensors can pick up more re-emitted x-rays than standard detectors, which typically use less than 10 elements. Siddons’ instrumentation team designed special readout chips to deal with the large number of sensors and allow for efficient detection.

    The 20-by-20 grid of detectors has a hole in the middle, but that’s intentional, Siddons explained. “The hole lets us put the detector much closer to the sample,” Siddons said. Rather than placing the sample in front of the x-ray beam and the detector off to the side, SRX beamline scientists have aligned the beam, sample, and detector so that the x-ray beam shines through the hole to reach the sample. With this arrangement, the detector covers a wide angle and captures a large fraction of fluoresced x-rays. That sensitivity allows researchers to scan faster, which can be used either to save time or to cut back on the intensity of x-rays striking the sample, reducing any damage the rays might cause.

    Siddons noted that the team is currently developing new readout chips for the detector, and incorporating a new type of sensor, called a silicon drift detector array. Together these will heighten the detector’s ability to distinguish between photons of similar energy, unfolding detail in complex spectra and making for even more accurate chemical maps.

    See the full article here .

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    STEM Icon

    Stem Education Coalition
    BNL Campus

    One of ten national laboratories overseen and primarily funded by the Office of Science of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), Brookhaven National Laboratory conducts research in the physical, biomedical, and environmental sciences, as well as in energy technologies and national security. Brookhaven Lab also builds and operates major scientific facilities available to university, industry and government researchers. The Laboratory’s almost 3,000 scientists, engineers, and support staff are joined each year by more than 5,000 visiting researchers from around the world. Brookhaven is operated and managed for DOE’s Office of Science by Brookhaven Science Associates, a limited-liability company founded by Stony Brook University, the largest academic user of Laboratory facilities, and Battelle, a nonprofit, applied science and technology organization.
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  • richardmitnick 8:59 am on April 21, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , BNL, OpenMP (for Multi-Processing) Architecture Review Board (ARB)   

    From BNL: “Brookhaven Lab Joins the OpenMP Architecture Review Board’ 

    Brookhaven Lab

    April 20, 2017
    Ariana Tantillo
    atantillo@bnl.gov

    Lab to help evolve the standard for OpenMP, the most popularly used shared-memory parallel programming model.

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    (Left to right) Lingda Li, Abid Malik, and Verinder Rana of Brookhaven Lab’s Computational Science Initiative (CSI) will collaborate with members of the OpenMP Architecture Review Board to help shape the OpenMP programming standard for high-performance computing. Not pictured: Kerstin Kleese van Dam, CSI director, and Barbara Chapman, director of CSI’s Computer Science and Mathematics research team who led the Brookhaven initiative to join the OpenMP ARB.

    The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Brookhaven National Laboratory has joined the OpenMP (for Multi-Processing) Architecture Review Board (ARB). This nonprofit technology consortium manages the OpenMP application programming interface specification for parallel programming on shared-memory machines, in which any processor can access data stored in any part of the memory.

    As part of this consortium of leading hardware and software vendors and research organizations, Brookhaven Lab will help shape one of the most widely used programming standards for high-performance computing—the combination of computing power from multiple processors working simultaneously to solve large and complex problems. Brookhaven’s participation in the OpenMP ARB is critical to ensuring the OpenMP standard supports scientific requirements for data analysis, modeling and simulation, and visualization.

    “Advancing the frontiers of high-performance and data-intensive computing is central to Brookhaven’s mission in scientific discovery. Our membership in the OpenMP ARB recognizes the importance we place upon OpenMP for our science portfolio, both now and in the future,” said Robert Harrison, chief scientist of the Computational Science Initiative (CSI) at Brookhaven Lab and director of the Institute for Advanced Computational Science at Stony Brook University, which joined OpenMP ARB at the end of 2016.

    Barbara Chapman, director of CSI’s Computer Science and Mathematics research team at Brookhaven and a professor of applied mathematics and statistics and of computer science at Stony Brook, led the initiative to join the OpenMP ARB. Chapman, whose research focuses on programming models for large-scale computing, has been involved with the evolution of OpenMP since 2001.

    Abid Malik, a senior technology engineer on Chapman’s team, and research assistant Verinder Rana will represent Brookhaven during monthly meetings with the ARB. They plan to join several of the subgroups that focus on evolving specific aspects of the OpenMP programming model, including those for computational accelerators (such as graphics processing units, or GPUs), the C++ programming language, and memory management.

    Each ARB member organization makes suggestions on how OpenMP should be evolved to meet their specific requirements. In turn, the vendors decide which suggestions to implement, depending on how relevant they are to a wide range of applications.

    According to Malik, OpenMP will benefit from Brookhaven’s expertise in tackling big data challenges, especially those posed by its DOE Office of Science User Facilities—the Center for Functional Nanomaterials, National Synchrotron Light Source II, and Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider.

    BNL Center for Functional Nanomaterials

    BNL NSLS-II

    BNL NSLS-II

    2
    BNL RHIC Star detector

    BNL RHIC Campus

    Using this expertise, Brookhaven will help advance the OpenMP standard for next-generation supercomputers, which will help scientists tackle increasingly complex problems by performing calculations at unprecedented speed and accuracy.

    “The OpenMP language subgroup is actively working with the scientific community to prepare OpenMP for exascale computing,” said Malik. “Brookhaven’s big data experience will help expand OpenMP to include features useful for porting big data programs on multicore CPUs [central processing units] and GPUs.”

    See the full article here .

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    STEM Icon

    Stem Education Coalition
    BNL Campus

    One of ten national laboratories overseen and primarily funded by the Office of Science of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), Brookhaven National Laboratory conducts research in the physical, biomedical, and environmental sciences, as well as in energy technologies and national security. Brookhaven Lab also builds and operates major scientific facilities available to university, industry and government researchers. The Laboratory’s almost 3,000 scientists, engineers, and support staff are joined each year by more than 5,000 visiting researchers from around the world. Brookhaven is operated and managed for DOE’s Office of Science by Brookhaven Science Associates, a limited-liability company founded by Stony Brook University, the largest academic user of Laboratory facilities, and Battelle, a nonprofit, applied science and technology organization.
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  • richardmitnick 4:26 pm on April 20, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , BNL,   

    From BNL: “Q&A with CFN User Davood Shahrjerdi” 

    Brookhaven Lab

    April 18, 2017
    Ariana Tantillo
    atantillo@bnl.gov

    Combining the unique properties of emerging nanomaterials with advanced silicon-based electronics, NYU’s Shahrjerdi engineers nano-bioelectronics

    1
    Davood Shahrjerdi in the scanning electron microscope facility at Brookhaven Lab’s Center for Functional Nanomaterials (CFN). The image on the screen is a Hall bar structure for measuring carrier transport in a semiconductor wire.

    Davood Shahrjerdi is an assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering at New York University (NYU) and a principal investigator at the NYU Laboratory for Nano-Engineered Hybrid Integrated Systems. Shahrjerdi, who holds a doctorate in solid-state electronics from The University of Texas at Austin, engineers nanodevices for sensing and life science applications through integrating the unique properties of emerging nanomaterials with advanced silicon-based electronics. For the past two years, he has been using facilities at the Center for Functional Nanomaterials (CFN)—a U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Science User Facility at Brookhaven National Laboratory—to fabricate and characterize these nanodevices.

    What is the mission of the NYU Laboratory for Nano-Engineered Hybrid Integrated Systems?

    My lab’s mission is to create new electronic devices for sensing and life science applications. To achieve this goal, we combine the benefits of emerging nanomaterials—such as two-dimensional (2D) materials like graphene—and advanced silicon integrated circuits. These nano-engineered bioelectronic systems offer new functionalities that exist in neither nanomaterials nor silicon electronics alone. At the moment, we are leveraging our expertise to engineer new tools for neuroscience applications.

    We are also doing research for realizing high-performance flexible electronics for bioelectronics applications. Our approach is two pronged: (1) flexible electronics using technologically mature materials, such as silicon, that are conventionally mechanically rigid, and (2) flexible electronics using atomically thin 2D nanomaterials that are inherently flexible.

    Given the resources of NYU and the plethora of nanotechnology research centers in the surrounding New York City area, why bring your research to CFN?

    Before I joined academia, I was a research staff member at the IBM Thomas J. Watson Research Center, where I had easy access to advanced fabrication and characterization facilities. When I joined NYU in September 2014, I began to look for research facilities to pursue my research projects. In my search, I discovered CFN and reached out to its scientists, who were very helpful in explaining the research proposal process and the available facilities for my research. In the past two years, my research projects have evolved tremendously, and access to CFN laboratories has been instrumental to this evolution. Because research-active scientists maintain CFN labs, I can conduct my research without major hiccups—a rare occurrence in academia, where equipment downtime and process changes could set back experiments.

    It is not only the state-of-the-art facilities but also the interactions with scientists that have made CFN invaluable to my research. I could use other fabrication facilities in Manhattan, but I prefer to come to CFN. At IBM, I could walk out of my office and knock on any door, gaining access to the expertise of chemists, physicists, and device engineers. This multidisciplinary environment similarly exists at CFN, and it is conducive to driving science forward. Bringing my research to the CFN also means that my doctoral students and postdocs have the opportunity to use state-of-the-art facilities and interact with world-class scientists.

    What tools do you use at CFN to conduct your research, and what are some of the projects you are currently working on?

    We synthesize the 2D nanomaterials at my NYU lab, with subsequent device fabrication and some advanced material characterization at CFN. After device fabrication, we perform electrical characterization at my NYU lab.

    In addition to using the materials processing capabilities in CFN’s clean room, we use advanced material characterization capabilities to glean information about the properties of our materials and devices at the nanoscale. These capabilities include transmission electron microscopy (TEM) to study the structure of the materials, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy to examine their chemical state, and nano-Auger electron spectroscopy to probe their elemental composition.

    3
    The 5,000-square-foot clean room at CFN is dedicated to state-of-the-art processing of thin-film materials and devices. Capabilities include high-resolution patterning by electron-beam and nanoimprint lithography methods, plasma-based dry etch processes, and material deposition.

    One of our projects is the large-area synthesis of 2D transition metal dichalcogenide semiconductors, which are materials that have a transition metal atom (such as molybdenum or tungsten) sandwiched between two chalcogen atoms (sulfur, selenium, or tellurium). Using a modified version of chemical vapor deposition (referring to the deposition of gaseous reactants onto a substrate to form a solid), my team synthesized a monolayer of tungsten disulfide that has the highest carrier mobility reported for this material. I am now working with CFN scientists to understand the origin of this high electrical performance through low-energy electron microscopy (LEEM). Our understanding could lead to the development of next-generation flexible biomedical devices.

    3
    The single-atom-thick tungsten disulfide (illustration, left) can absorb and emit light, making it attractive for applications in optoelectronics, sensing, and flexible electronics. The photoemission image of the NYU logo (right) shows the monolayer material emitting light.

    Recently, our team together with CFN scientists published a paper on studying the defects in another 2D transition metal dichalcogenide, monolayer molybdenum disulfide. We treated the material with a superacid and used the nano-Auger technique to determine which structural defects were “healed” by the superacid. Our electrical measurements revealed the superacid treatment improves the material’s performance.

    4
    Shahrjerdi and his team fabricated top-gated field-effect transistors (FETs)—devices that utilize a small voltage to control current—on as-grown and superacid-treated molybdenum disulfide films. A schematic of the device is shown in (a). As seen in the graph (b), the chemical treatment (TFSI, red line) improves the electronic properties of the device. From Applied Physics Letters 110, 033503 (2017).

    Another ongoing project in my NYU lab involves a collaborative effort with the NYU Center for Neural Science to develop next-generation neuroprobes for understanding not only the electrical signaling in the brain but also the chemical signaling. This problem is challenging to solve, and we are excited about the prospects of nanotechnology for realizing an innovative solution to it.

    In fabricating nanoelectronic materials and components, what are some of the challenges you face?

    Nanomaterials are usually difficult to handle—they are often very thin and are highly sensitive to defects or misprocessing. As a result, reproducibility could be a challenge. To understand what is causing a particular observed behavior, we have to fabricate many samples and try to reproduce the same result to understand the physical origin of an observed behavior.

    Also, it often happens that you expect to observe a certain behavior but you might end up observing an anomalous behavior that could lead to new discoveries. For example, I accidentally stumbled on the epitaxial growth of silicon on silicon at 120-degrees Celsius while playing around with hydrogen dilution during the deposition of amorphous silicon. This temperature is much lower than the usual temperature required by the traditional approach. My IBM collaborators and I published the work, and it actually led to a best paper award from the Journal of Electronic Materials!

    What is the most exciting thing on the horizon for nanoelectronics? What do you personally hope to achieve?

    Over the next 5 to 10 years, the field of nanoelectronics has great potential to transform our lives—especially in the areas of bioelectronics and bio-inspired electronics, with the marriage between nanomaterials and conventional electronics leading to new discoveries in the life sciences.

    Biosensing is the area that I am most passionate about. The research community still has a limited understanding of how the brain functions, hindering the progress for developing treatments and drugs for neurological disorders such as Parkinson’s. Developing next-generation sensors that advance our understanding of the brain will have tremendous economic and societal impact. I am very excited about our neuroprobe project.

    Also, better understanding of the brain could lead to new discoveries for realizing next-generation computing systems that are inspired by the brain. For example, nanoscale memory devices that could mimic the synapses of the brain would open new horizons for brain-inspired computing. I am engaged in a collaborative effort with The University of Texas at Austin to explore the prospects of nanoscale memristors (short for memory resistor, a new class of electrical circuits with memories that retain information even after the power is shut off) for such an application.

    NYU is home to the second-highest number of international students in the United States, representing more than 130 different countries, and CFN employs staff and hosts users from around the world. How has being in these multicultural environments impacted your research?

    I believe science has no boundaries because it is shared by people who are driven by their curiosity to discover unknowns and have the desire to better humanity. These sentiments are at the core of scientific communities. Though we may have different backgrounds, our common ground is working on problems that have not yet been solved or discovering the undiscovered.

    How did you become interested in science in general and specifically neuroscience?

    As a kid, I was fascinated with science, particularly physics, and building things. By high school, I had also developed an interest in biology and particularly the brain. When I completed high school in Iran, I had to make the decision of whether I wanted to pursue an undergraduate degree or attend medical school. In Iran, there are no pre-med programs—you start medical school directly after high school, and you cannot enroll in medical school after you have taken the undergraduate route.

    My passion at the time was electrical engineering, so I went for the undergraduate degree. This passion evolved into device physics, my PhD field. After a few years at IBM as a device physicist, my love of bioelectronics was rekindled. I started studying neuroscience and even contemplated attending medical school in the United States. Finally, I decided to join academia and apply my knowledge of physics and electronics to the area of bioelectronics. I feel fortunate to have found a career in which I can combine my expertise and interests.

    See the full article here .

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    STEM Icon

    Stem Education Coalition
    BNL Campus

    One of ten national laboratories overseen and primarily funded by the Office of Science of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), Brookhaven National Laboratory conducts research in the physical, biomedical, and environmental sciences, as well as in energy technologies and national security. Brookhaven Lab also builds and operates major scientific facilities available to university, industry and government researchers. The Laboratory’s almost 3,000 scientists, engineers, and support staff are joined each year by more than 5,000 visiting researchers from around the world. Brookhaven is operated and managed for DOE’s Office of Science by Brookhaven Science Associates, a limited-liability company founded by Stony Brook University, the largest academic user of Laboratory facilities, and Battelle, a nonprofit, applied science and technology organization.
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  • richardmitnick 11:15 am on March 31, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: BNL, , Methanol, , NSLS-II   

    From BNL: “Chemists ID Catalytic ‘Key’ for Converting CO2 to Methanol” 

    Brookhaven Lab

    March 23, 2017
    Karen McNulty Walsh,
    (631) 344-8350
    kmcnulty@bnl.gov

    Peter Genzer
    (631) 344-3174
    genzer@bnl.gov

    Results will guide design of improved catalysts for transforming pollutant to useful chemicals.

    1
    Jingguang Chen and Jose Rodriguez (standing) discuss the catalytic mechanism with Ping Liu and Shyam Kattel (seated).

    Capturing carbon dioxide (CO2) and converting it to useful chemicals such as methanol could reduce both pollution and our dependence on petroleum products. So scientists are intensely interested in the catalysts that facilitate such chemical conversions. Like molecular dealmakers, catalysts bring the reacting chemicals together in a way that makes it easier for them to break and rearrange their chemical bonds. Understanding details of these molecular interactions could point to strategies to improve the catalysts for more energy-efficient reactions.

    With that goal in mind, chemists from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Brookhaven National Laboratory and their collaborators just released results from experiments and computational modeling studies that definitively identify the “active site” of a catalyst commonly used for making methanol from CO2. The results, published in the journal Science, resolve a longstanding debate about exactly which catalytic components take part in the chemical reactions—and should be the focus of efforts to boost performance.

    “This catalyst—made of copper, zinc oxide, and aluminum oxide—is used in industry, but it’s not very efficient or selective,” said Brookhaven chemist Ping Liu, the study’s lead author, who also holds an adjunct position at nearby Stony Brook University (SBU). “We want to improve it, and get it to operate at lower temperatures and lower pressures, which would save energy,” she said.

    But prior to this study, different groups of scientists had proposed two different active sites for the catalyst—a portion of the system with just copper and zinc atoms, or a portion with copper zinc oxide.

    “We wanted to know which part of the molecular structure binds and breaks and makes bonds to convert reactants to product—and how it does that,” said co-author Jose Rodriguez, another Brookhaven chemist associated with SBU.

    To find out, Rodriguez performed a series of laboratory experiments using well-defined model catalysts, including one made of zinc nanoparticles supported on a copper surface, and another with zinc oxide nanoparticles on copper. To tell the two apart, he used an energetic x-ray beam to zap the samples, and measured the properties of electrons emitted. These electronic “signatures” contain information about the oxidation state of the atoms the electrons came from—whether zinc or zinc oxide.

    2
    Brookhaven chemist Ping Liu

    Meanwhile Liu, Jingguang Chen of Brookhaven Lab and Columbia University, and Shyam Kattel, the first author of the paper and a postdoctoral fellow co-advised by Liu and Chen, used computational resources at Brookhaven’s Center for Functional Nanomaterials (CFN) and the National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center (NERSC)—two DOE Office of Science User Facilities—to model how these two types of catalysts would engage in the CO2-to-methanol transformations. These theoretical studies use calculations that take into account the basic principles of breaking and making chemical bonds, including the energy required, the electronic states of the atoms, and the reaction conditions, allowing scientists to derive the reaction rates and determine which catalyst will give the best rate of conversion.

    “We found that copper zinc oxide should give the best results, and that copper zinc is not even stable under reaction conditions,” said Liu. “In fact, it reacts with oxygen and transforms to copper zinc oxide.”

    Those predictions matched what Rodriguez observed in the laboratory. “We found that all the sites participating in these reactions were copper zinc oxide,” he said.

    But don’t forget the copper.

    “In our simulations, all the reaction intermediates—the chemicals that form on the pathway from CO2 to methanol—bind at both the copper and zinc oxide,” Kattel said. “So there’s a synergy between the copper and zinc oxide that accelerates the chemical transformation. You need both the copper and the zinc oxide.”

    3
    Ping Liu and Shyam Kattel with the x-ray source used in this study.

    Optimizing the copper/zinc oxide interface will become the driving principal for designing a new catalyst, the scientists say.

    “This work clearly demonstrates the synergy from combining theoretical and experimental efforts for studying catalytic systems of industrial importance,” said Chen. “We will continue to utilize the same combined approaches in future studies.”

    For example, said Rodriguez, “We’ll try different configurations of the atoms at the copper/zinc oxide interface to see how that affects the reaction rate. Also, we’ll be going from studying the model system to systems that would be more practical for use by industry.”

    An essential tool for this next step will be Brookhaven’s National Synchrotron Light Source II (NSLS-II), another Office of Science User Facility. NSLS-II produces extremely bright beams of x-rays—about 10,000 times brighter than the broad-beam laboratory x-ray source used in this study. Those intense x-ray beams will allow the scientists to take high-resolution snapshots that reveal both structural and chemical information about the catalyst, the reactants, and the chemical intermediates that form as the reaction occurs.

    3
    Brookhaven scientists identified how a zinc/copper (Zn/Cu) catalyst transforms carbon dioxide (two red and one grey balls) and hydrogen (two white balls) to methanol (one grey, one red, and four white balls), a potential fuel. Under reaction conditions, Zn/Cu transforms to ZnO/Cu, where the interface between the ZnO and Cu provides the active sites that allow the formation of methanol.

    “And we’ll continue to expand the theory,” said Liu. “The theory points to the mechanistic details. We want to modify interactions at the copper/zinc oxide interface to see how that affects the activity and efficiency of the catalyst, and we’ll need the theory to move forward with that as well.”

    An additional co-author, Pedro Ramírez of Universidad Central de Venezuela, made important contributions to this study by helping to test the activity of the copper zinc and copper zinc oxide catalysts.

    This research was supported by the DOE Office of Science.

    See the full article here .

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    STEM Icon

    Stem Education Coalition
    BNL Campus

    One of ten national laboratories overseen and primarily funded by the Office of Science of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), Brookhaven National Laboratory conducts research in the physical, biomedical, and environmental sciences, as well as in energy technologies and national security. Brookhaven Lab also builds and operates major scientific facilities available to university, industry and government researchers. The Laboratory’s almost 3,000 scientists, engineers, and support staff are joined each year by more than 5,000 visiting researchers from around the world. Brookhaven is operated and managed for DOE’s Office of Science by Brookhaven Science Associates, a limited-liability company founded by Stony Brook University, the largest academic user of Laboratory facilities, and Battelle, a nonprofit, applied science and technology organization.
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