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  • richardmitnick 11:17 am on September 4, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "How California Wildfires Can Impact Water Availability", A new study by scientists at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) uses a numerical model of an important watershed in California., Climate change scenarios in California predict prolonged periods of drought with potential for conditions even more amenable to wildfires., In recent years wildfires in the western United States have occurred with increasing frequency and scale., LBNL, New Berkeley Lab study uses NERSC supercomputers to analyze hydrological changes in a California watershed following a wildfire., The researchers modeled the Cosumnes River watershed extending from the Sierra Nevadas starting southwest of Lake Tahoe down to the Central Valley and ending just north of the Sacramento Delta., The Sierra Nevada Mountains provide up to 70% of the state’s water resources yet there is little known on how wildfires will impact water resources in the future., The study shed light on how wildfires can affect large-scale hydrological processes such as stream flow; groundwater levels; snowpack; and snowmelt.   

    From Lawrence Berkeley National Lab: “How California Wildfires Can Impact Water Availability” 

    Berkeley Logo

    From Lawrence Berkeley National Lab

    New Berkeley Lab study uses NERSC supercomputers to analyze hydrological changes in a California watershed following a wildfire.

    Julie Chao
    JHChao@lbl.gov
    (510) 486-6491

    1
    Berkeley Lab researchers built a numerical model of the Cosumnes River watershed, extending from the Sierra Nevada mountains to the Central Valley, to study post-wildfire changes to the hydrologic cycle. (Credit: Berkeley Lab)

    In recent years, wildfires in the western United States have occurred with increasing frequency and scale. Climate change scenarios in California predict prolonged periods of drought with potential for conditions even more amenable to wildfires. The Sierra Nevada Mountains provide up to 70% of the state’s water resources, yet there is little known on how wildfires will impact water resources in the future.

    A new study by scientists at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) uses a numerical model of an important watershed in California to shed light on how wildfires can affect large-scale hydrological processes, such as stream flow, groundwater levels, and snowpack and snowmelt. The team found that post-wildfire conditions resulted in greater winter snowpack and subsequently greater summer runoff as well as increased groundwater storage.

    The study was published recently in the journal, Hydrological Processes.

    “We wanted to understand how changes at the land surface can propagate to other locations of the watershed,” said the study’s lead author, Fadji Maina, a postdoctoral fellow in Berkeley Lab’s Earth & Environmental Sciences Area. “Previous studies have looked at individual processes. Our model ties it together and looks at the system holistically.”

    The researchers modeled the Cosumnes River watershed, which extends from the Sierra Nevadas, starting just southwest of Lake Tahoe, down to the Central Valley, ending just north of the Sacramento Delta. “It’s pretty representative of many watersheds in the state,” said Berkeley Lab researcher Erica Woodburn, co-author of the study. “We had previously constructed this model to understand how watersheds in the state might respond to climate change extremes. In this study, we used the model to numerically explore how post-wildfire land cover changes influenced water partitioning in the landscape over a range of spatial and temporal resolutions.”

    Using high-performance computing to simulate watershed dynamics over a period of one year, and assuming a 20% burn area based on historical occurrences, the study allowed them to identify the regions in the watershed that were most sensitive to wildfires conditions, as well as the hydrologic processes that are most affected.

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    Berkeley Lab researchers found that wildfires led to non-linear and bi-directional (positive and negative) changes in surface water and groundwater, even outside of the simulated burn scar areas of the Cosumnes River watershed. (Credit: Berkeley Lab)

    Some of the findings were counterintuitive, the researchers said. For example, evapotranspiration, or the loss of water to the atmosphere from soil, leaves, and through plants, typically decreases after wildfire. However, some regions in the Berkeley Lab model experienced an increase due to changes in surface water runoff patterns in and near burn scars.

    “After a fire there are fewer trees, which leads to an expectation of less evapotranspiration,” Maina said. “But in some locations we actually saw an increase. It’s because the fire can change the subsurface distribution of groundwater. So there are nonlinear and propagating impacts of changing the land cover that leads to opposite trends than what you might expect from altering the land cover.”

    Changing the land cover leads to a change in snowpack dynamics. “That will change how much and when the snow melts and feeds the rivers,” Woodburn said. “That in turn will impact groundwater. It’s a cascading effect. In the model we quantify how much it moves in space and time, which is something you can only do accurately with the type of high resolution model we’ve constructed.”

    She added: “The changes to stream flow and groundwater levels following a wildfire are especially important metrics for water management stakeholders, who largely rely on this natural resource but have little way of understanding how they might be impacted given wildfires in the future. The study is really illustrative of the integrative nature of hydrologic processes across the Sierra Nevada-Central Valley interface in the state.”

    Berkeley Lab researchers are also studying how the 2017 Sonoma County wildfires have affected the region’s water systems, including the biogeochemistry of the Russian River watershed. “Developing a predictive understanding of the influence of wildfire on both water availability and water quality is critically important for California water resiliency,” said Susan Hubbard, the Associate Laboratory Director of Earth and Environmental Sciences at Berkeley Lab. “High-performance computing allows our scientists to numerically explore how complex watersheds respond to a range of future scenarios, and the associated downgradient impacts that are important for water management.”

    This research was funded by Berkeley Lab’s Laboratory Directed Research and Development (LDRD) program. The study used supercomputing resources at the National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center (NERSC) at Berkeley Lab to run the model. NERSC is a DOE Office of Science user facility.

    NERSC at LBNL

    NERSC Cray Cori II supercomputer, named after Gerty Cori, the first American woman to win a Nobel Prize in science

    NERSC Hopper Cray XE6 supercomputer, named after Grace Hopper, One of the first programmers of the Harvard Mark I computer

    NERSC Cray XC30 Edison supercomputer

    NERSC GPFS for Life Sciences


    The Genepool system is a cluster dedicated to the DOE Joint Genome Institute’s computing needs. Denovo is a smaller test system for Genepool that is primarily used by NERSC staff to test new system configurations and software.

    NERSC PDSF computer cluster in 2003.

    PDSF is a networked distributed computing cluster designed primarily to meet the detector simulation and data analysis requirements of physics, astrophysics and nuclear science collaborations.

    Future:

    Cray Shasta Perlmutter SC18 AMD Epyc Nvidia pre-exascale supeercomputer

    NERSC is a DOE Office of Science User Facility.

    See the full article here .

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    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    LBNL campus

    Bringing Science Solutions to the World
    In the world of science, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) is synonymous with “excellence.” Thirteen Nobel prizes are associated with Berkeley Lab. Seventy Lab scientists are members of the National Academy of Sciences (NAS), one of the highest honors for a scientist in the United States. Thirteen of our scientists have won the National Medal of Science, our nation’s highest award for lifetime achievement in fields of scientific research. Eighteen of our engineers have been elected to the National Academy of Engineering, and three of our scientists have been elected into the Institute of Medicine. In addition, Berkeley Lab has trained thousands of university science and engineering students who are advancing technological innovations across the nation and around the world.

    Berkeley Lab is a member of the national laboratory system supported by the U.S. Department of Energy through its Office of Science. It is managed by the University of California (UC) and is charged with conducting unclassified research across a wide range of scientific disciplines. Located on a 202-acre site in the hills above the UC Berkeley campus that offers spectacular views of the San Francisco Bay, Berkeley Lab employs approximately 3,232 scientists, engineers and support staff. The Lab’s total costs for FY 2014 were $785 million. A recent study estimates the Laboratory’s overall economic impact through direct, indirect and induced spending on the nine counties that make up the San Francisco Bay Area to be nearly $700 million annually. The Lab was also responsible for creating 5,600 jobs locally and 12,000 nationally. The overall economic impact on the national economy is estimated at $1.6 billion a year. Technologies developed at Berkeley Lab have generated billions of dollars in revenues, and thousands of jobs. Savings as a result of Berkeley Lab developments in lighting and windows, and other energy-efficient technologies, have also been in the billions of dollars.

    Berkeley Lab was founded in 1931 by Ernest Orlando Lawrence, a UC Berkeley physicist who won the 1939 Nobel Prize in physics for his invention of the cyclotron, a circular particle accelerator that opened the door to high-energy physics. It was Lawrence’s belief that scientific research is best done through teams of individuals with different fields of expertise, working together. His teamwork concept is a Berkeley Lab legacy that continues today.

    A U.S. Department of Energy National Laboratory Operated by the University of California.

    University of California Seal

     
  • richardmitnick 12:07 pm on September 3, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: A new possible pathway toward forming carbon structures in space, , , Importantly the study showed a way to connect a five-sided (pentagon-shaped) molecular ring with a six-sided (hexagonal) molecular ring and to also convert five-sided molecular rings to six-sided ring, LBNL, , The conditions required to produce naphthalene in space are present in the vicinity of carbon-rich stars., The latest study combined the chemical radicals CH3 (aliphatic methyl radical) with C9H7 (aromatic 1-indenyl radical) at a temperature of about 2105 Fahrenheit., The radicals are short-lived – they react with themselves and react with anything else around them., The reactants produced from two radicals the study notes had been theorized but hadn’t been demonstrated before in a high-temperature environment., This ultimately produced molecules of a PAH known as naphthalene (C10H8) that is composed of two joined benzene rings.   

    From Lawrence Berkeley National Lab: “Study Reveals ‘Radical’ Wrinkle in Forming Complex Carbon Molecules in Space” 

    Berkeley Logo

    From Lawrence Berkeley National Lab

    September 3, 2019
    Glenn Roberts Jr.
    geroberts@lbl.gov
    (510) 486-5582

    1
    This composite image shows an illustration of a carbon-rich red giant star (middle) warming an exoplanet (bottom left) and an overlay of a newly found pathway that could enable complex carbons to form near these stars. (Credits: ESO/L. Calçada; Berkeley Lab, Florida International University, and University of Hawaii at Manoa)

    3

    A team of scientists has discovered a new possible pathway toward forming carbon structures in space using a specialized chemical exploration technique at the Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab).

    The team’s research has now identified several avenues by which ringed molecules known as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, or PAHs, can form in space. The latest study is a part of an ongoing effort to retrace the chemical steps leading to the formation of complex carbon-containing molecules in deep space.

    PAHs – which also occur on Earth in emissions and soot from the combustion of fossil fuels – could provide clues to the formation of life’s chemistry in space as precursors to interstellar nanoparticles. They are estimated to account for about 20 percent of all carbon in our galaxy, and they have the chemical building blocks needed to form 2D and 3D carbon structures.

    In the latest study, published in Nature Communications, researchers produced a chain of ringed, carbon-containing molecules by combining two highly reactive chemical species that are called free radicals because they contain unpaired electrons. The study ultimately showed how these chemical processes could lead to the development of carbon-containing graphene-type PAHs and 2D nanostructures. Graphene is a one-atom-thick layer of carbon atoms.

    Importantly, the study showed a way to connect a five-sided (pentagon-shaped) molecular ring with a six-sided (hexagonal) molecular ring and to also convert five-sided molecular rings to six-sided rings, which is a stepping stone to a broader range of large PAH molecules.

    “This is something that people have tried to measure experimentally at high temperatures but have not done before,” said Musahid Ahmed, a scientist in Berkeley Lab’s Chemical Sciences Division. He led the chemical-mixing experiments at Berkeley Lab’s Advanced Light Source (ALS) with Professor Ralf I. Kaiser at the University of Hawaii at Manoa.

    LBNL ALS

    “We believe this is yet another pathway that can give rise to PAHs.”

    Professor Alexander M. Mebel at Florida International University assisted in the computational work for the study. Previous studies by the same research team have also identified a couple of other pathways for PAHs to develop in space. The studies suggest there could be multiple chemical routes for life’s chemistry to take shape in space.

    “It could be all the above, so that it isn’t just one,” Ahmed said. “I think that’s what makes this interesting.”

    The experiments at Berkeley Lab’s ALS – which produces X-rays and other types of light supporting many different types of simultaneous experiments – used a portable chemical reactor that combines chemicals and then jets them out to study what reactants formed in the heated reactor.

    Researchers used a light beam tuned to a wavelength known as “vacuum ultraviolet” or VUV produced by the ALS, coupled with a detector (called a reflectron time-of-flight mass spectrometer), to identify the chemical compounds jetting out of the reactor at supersonic speeds.

    The latest study combined the chemical radicals CH3 (aliphatic methyl radical) with C9H7 (aromatic 1-indenyl radical) at a temperature of about 2,105 Fahrenheit degrees to ultimately produce molecules of a PAH known as naphthalene (C10H8) that is composed of two joined benzene rings.

    The conditions required to produce naphthalene in space are present in the vicinity of carbon-rich stars, the study noted.

    The reactants produced from two radicals, the study notes, had been theorized but hadn’t been demonstrated before in a high-temperature environment because of experimental challenges.

    “The radicals are short-lived – they react with themselves and react with anything else around them,” Ahmed said. “The challenge is, ‘How do you generate two radicals at the same time and in the same place, in an extremely hot environment?’ We heated them up in the reactor, they collided and formed the compounds, and then we expelled them out of the reactor.”

    Kaiser said, “For several decades, radical-radical reactions have been speculated to form aromatic structures in combustion flames and in deep space, but there has not been much evidence to support this hypothesis.” He added, “The present experiment clearly provides scientific evidence that reactions between radicals at elevated temperatures do form aromatic molecules such as naphthalene.”

    While the method used in this study sought to detail how specific types of chemical compounds form in space, the researchers noted that the methods used can also enlighten broader studies of chemical reactions involving radicals exposed to high temperatures, such as in the fields of materials chemistry and materials synthesis.

    Researchers at Berkeley Lab, the University of Hawaii at Manoa, and Florida International University participated in this study. The work was supported by the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science’s Basic Energy Sciences program and a Presidential Fellowship at Florida International University.

    The Advanced Light Source is a DOE Office of Science User Facility.

    See the full article here .

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    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    LBNL campus

    Bringing Science Solutions to the World
    In the world of science, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) is synonymous with “excellence.” Thirteen Nobel prizes are associated with Berkeley Lab. Seventy Lab scientists are members of the National Academy of Sciences (NAS), one of the highest honors for a scientist in the United States. Thirteen of our scientists have won the National Medal of Science, our nation’s highest award for lifetime achievement in fields of scientific research. Eighteen of our engineers have been elected to the National Academy of Engineering, and three of our scientists have been elected into the Institute of Medicine. In addition, Berkeley Lab has trained thousands of university science and engineering students who are advancing technological innovations across the nation and around the world.

    Berkeley Lab is a member of the national laboratory system supported by the U.S. Department of Energy through its Office of Science. It is managed by the University of California (UC) and is charged with conducting unclassified research across a wide range of scientific disciplines. Located on a 202-acre site in the hills above the UC Berkeley campus that offers spectacular views of the San Francisco Bay, Berkeley Lab employs approximately 3,232 scientists, engineers and support staff. The Lab’s total costs for FY 2014 were $785 million. A recent study estimates the Laboratory’s overall economic impact through direct, indirect and induced spending on the nine counties that make up the San Francisco Bay Area to be nearly $700 million annually. The Lab was also responsible for creating 5,600 jobs locally and 12,000 nationally. The overall economic impact on the national economy is estimated at $1.6 billion a year. Technologies developed at Berkeley Lab have generated billions of dollars in revenues, and thousands of jobs. Savings as a result of Berkeley Lab developments in lighting and windows, and other energy-efficient technologies, have also been in the billions of dollars.

    Berkeley Lab was founded in 1931 by Ernest Orlando Lawrence, a UC Berkeley physicist who won the 1939 Nobel Prize in physics for his invention of the cyclotron, a circular particle accelerator that opened the door to high-energy physics. It was Lawrence’s belief that scientific research is best done through teams of individuals with different fields of expertise, working together. His teamwork concept is a Berkeley Lab legacy that continues today.

    A U.S. Department of Energy National Laboratory Operated by the University of California.

    University of California Seal

     
  • richardmitnick 7:09 am on August 30, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , LBNL, , , Small-angle x-ray scattering,   

    From Brookhaven National Lab: “Smarter Experiments for Faster Materials Discovery” 

    From Brookhaven National Lab

    August 28, 2019
    Cara Laasch,
    laasch@bnl.gov
    (631) 344-8458,

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

    Scientists created a new AI algorithm for making measurement decisions; autonomous approach could revolutionize scientific experiments.

    1
    (From left to right) Kevin Yager, Masafumi Fukuto, and Ruipeng Li prepared the Complex Materials Scattering (CMS) beamline at NSLS-II for a measurement using the new decision-making algorithm, which was developed by Marcus Noack (not pictured).

    A team of scientists from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Brookhaven National Laboratory and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory designed, created, and successfully tested a new algorithm to make smarter scientific measurement decisions.

    The algorithm, a form of artificial intelligence (AI), can make autonomous decisions to define and perform the next step of an experiment. The team described the capabilities and flexibility of their new measurement tool in a paper published on August 14, 2019 in Nature Scientific Reports.

    From Galileo and Newton to the recent discovery of gravitational waves, performing scientific experiments to understand the world around us has been the driving force of our technological advancement for hundreds of years. Improving the way researchers do their experiments can have tremendous impact on how quickly those experiments yield applicable results for new technologies.

    Over the last decades, researchers have sped up their experiments through automation and an ever-growing assortment of fast measurement tools. However, some of the most interesting and important scientific challenges—such as creating improved battery materials for energy storage or new quantum materials for new types of computers—still require very demanding and time-consuming experiments.

    By creating a new decision-making algorithm as part of a fully automated experimental setup, the interdisciplinary team from two of Brookhaven’s DOE Office of Science user facilities—the Center for Functional Nanomaterials (CFN) [below] and the National Synchrotron Light Source II (NSLS-II) [below]—and Berkeley Lab’s Center for Advanced Mathematics for Energy Research Applications (CAMERA) offers the possibility to study these challenges in a more efficient fashion.

    2

    The challenge of complexity

    The goal of many experiments is to gain knowledge about the material that is studied, and scientists have a well-tested way to do this: They take a sample of the material and measure how it reacts to changes in its environment.

    A standard approach for scientists at user facilities like NSLS-II and CFN is to manually scan through the measurements from a given experiment to determine the next area where they might want to run an experiment. But access to these facilities’ high-end materials-characterization tools is limited, so measurement time is precious. A research team might only have a few days to measure their materials, so they need to make the most out of each measurement.

    “The key to achieving a minimum number of measurements and maximum quality of the resulting model is to go where uncertainties are large,” said Marcus Noack, a postdoctoral scholar at CAMERA and lead author of the study. “Performing measurements there will most effectively reduce the overall model uncertainty.”

    As Kevin Yager, a co-author and CFN scientist, pointed out, “The final goal is not only to take data faster but also to improve the quality of the data we collect. I think of it as experimentalists switching from micromanaging their experiment to managing at a higher level. Instead of having to decide where to measure next on the sample, the scientists can instead think about the big picture, which is ultimately what we as scientists are trying to do.”

    “This new approach is an applied example of artificial intelligence,” said co-author Masafumi Fukuto, a scientist at NSLS-II. “The decision-making algorithm is replacing the intuition of the human experimenter and can scan through the data and make smart decisions about how the experiment should proceed.”

    3
    This animation shows a comparison between a traditional grid measurement (left) of a sample with a measurement steered by the newly-developed decision-making algorithm (right). This comparison shows that the algorithm can identify the edges and inner part of the sample and focuses the measurement in these regions to gain more knowledge about the sample.

    More information for less?

    In practice, before starting an experiment, the scientists define a set of goals they want to get out of the measurement. With these goals set, the algorithm looks at the previously measured data while the experiment is ongoing to determine the next measurement. On its search for the best next measurement, the algorithm creates a surrogate model of the data, which is an educated guess as to how the material will behave in the next possible steps, and calculates the uncertainty—basically how confident it is in its guess—for each possible next step. Based on this, it then selects the most uncertain option to measure next. The trick here is by picking the most uncertain step to measure next, the algorithm maximizes the amount of knowledge it gains by making that measurement. The algorithm not only maximizes the information gain during the measurement, it also defines when to end the experiment by figuring out the moment when any additional measurements would not result in more knowledge.

    “The basic idea is, given a bunch of experiments, how can you automatically pick the next best one?” said James Sethian, director of CAMERA and a co-author of the study. “Marcus has built a world which builds an approximate surrogate model on the basis of your previous experiments and suggests the best or most appropriate experiment to try next.”

    4
    To use the decision-making algorithm for their measurements, the team needed to automate the measurement and also the data analysis. This image shows how all pieces are integrated with each other to form a closed looped. The algorithm receives analyzed data from the last measurement step, adds this data to its model, calculates the best next step, and sends its decision to the beamline to execute the next measurement.

    How we got here

    To make autonomous experiments a reality, the team had to tackle three important pieces: the automation of the data collection, real-time analysis, and, of course, the decision-making algorithm.

    “This is an exciting part of this collaboration,” said Fukuto. “We all provided an essential piece for it: The CAMERA team worked on the decision-making algorithm, Kevin from CFN developed the real-time data analysis, and we at NSLS-II provided the automation for the measurements.”

    The team first implemented their decision-making algorithm at the Complex Materials Scattering (CMS) beamline at NSLS-II, which the CFN and NSLS-II operate in partnership. This instrument offers ultrabright x-rays to study the nanostructure of various materials. As the lead beamline scientist of this instrument, Fukuto had already designed the beamline with automation in mind. The beamline offers a sample-exchanging robot, automatic sample movement in various directions, and many other helpful tools to ensure fast measurements. Together with Yager’s real-time data analysis, the beamline was—by design—the perfect fit for the first “smart” experiment.

    The first “smart” experiment

    The first fully autonomous experiment the team performed was to map the perimeter of a droplet where nanoparticles segregate using a technique called small-angle x-ray scattering at the CMS beamline. During small-angle x-ray scattering, the scientists shine bright x-rays at the sample and, depending on the atomic to nanoscale structure of the sample, the x-rays bounce off in different directions. The scientists then use a large detector to capture the scattered x-rays and calculate the properties of the sample at the illuminated spot. In this first experiment, the scientists compared the standard approach of measuring the sample with measurements taken when the new decision-making algorithm was calling the shots. The algorithm was able to identify the area of the droplet and focused on its edges and inner parts instead of the background.

    “After our own initial success, we wanted to apply the algorithm more, so we reached out to a few users and proposed to test our new algorithm on their scientific problems,” said Yager. “They said yes, and since then we have measured various samples. One of the most interesting ones was a study on a sample that was fabricated to contain a spectrum of different material types. So instead of making and measuring an enormous number of samples and maybe missing an interesting combination, the user made one single sample that included all possible combinations. Our algorithm was then able to explore this enormous diversity of combinations efficiently,” he said.

    What’s next?

    After the first successful experiments, the scientists plan to further improve the algorithm and therefore its value to the scientific community. One of their ideas is to make the algorithm “physics-aware”—taking advantage of anything already known about material under study—so the method can be even more effective. Another development in progress is to use the algorithm during synthesis and processing of new materials, for example to understand and optimize processes relevant to advanced manufacturing as these materials are incorporated into real-world devices. The team is also thinking about the larger picture and wants to transfer the autonomous method to other experimental setups.

    “I think users view the beamlines of NSLS-II or microscopes of CFN just as powerful characterization tools. We are trying to change these capabilities into a powerful material discovery facility,” Fukuto said.

    This work was funded by the DOE Office of Science (ASCR and BES).

    See the full article here .


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    BNL Campus


    BNL Center for Functional Nanomaterials

    BNL NSLS-II


    BNL NSLS II

    BNL RHIC Campus

    BNL/RHIC Star Detector

    BNL RHIC PHENIX

    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.
    i1

     
  • richardmitnick 11:35 am on August 27, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , LBNL, , ,   

    From Lawrence Berkeley National Lab: “Particle Accelerators Drive Decades of Discoveries at Berkeley Lab and Beyond” 

    Berkeley Logo

    From Lawrence Berkeley National Lab

    August 27, 2019
    Glenn Roberts Jr.
    geroberts@lbl.gov
    (510) 486-5582


    This video and accompanying article highlight the decades of discoveries, achievements and progress in particle accelerator R&D at Berkeley Lab. Lab accelerators have enabled new explorations of the atomic nucleus; the production and discovery of new elements and isotopes, and of subatomic particles and their properties; created new types of medical imaging and treatments; and provided new insight into the nature of matter and energy, and new methods to advance industry and security, among other wide-ranging applications. The Lab also pioneered a framework for designing, building, and operating these machines of big science with multidisciplinary teams. Its longstanding expertise is now driving a new generation of innovations in advanced accelerators and their components. (Credit: Marilyn Chung/Berkeley Lab)

    Accelerators have been at the heart of the Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) since its inception in 1931, and are still a driving force in the Laboratory’s mission and its R&D program.

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    27 inch cyclotron built by Ernest O. Lawrence at U.C. Berkeley

    3
    Lawrence and the Cyclotron: the Birth of Big Science. https://blogs.plos.org

    Ernest O. Lawrence’s invention of the cyclotron, the first circular particle accelerator – and the development of progressively larger versions – led him to build on the hillside overlooking the UC Berkeley campus that is now Berkeley Lab’s home. A variety of large cyclotrons are in use today around the world, and new accelerator technologies continue to drive progress.

    “Our work in accelerators and related technologies has shaped the growth and diversification of Berkeley Lab over its long history, and remains a vital core competency today,” said James Symons, associate laboratory director for Berkeley Lab’s Physical Sciences Area.

    Cyclotrons and their successors

    Cyclotrons are “atom smashers” that accelerate charged particles along spiral paths with strong electric fields. Powerful magnetic fields guide them as they move outward from the device’s center.

    They can be used to create different elements by bombarding a target material with a beam of protons, for example, or to explore the structures of atomic nuclei. Cyclotrons played a key role in the production and discovery of several elements, and Berkeley Lab scientists participated in the discovery of 16 elements and in the rearrangement of the periodic table.

    Periodic Table from IUPAC 2019

    Cyclotrons can also be used to create special isotopes – atoms of an element with the same number of protons but different numbers of neutrons packed into their nuclei – that can be used for medical treatments and imaging and for other research purposes. As an example, technetium-99, which was created by Berkeley’s 37-inch cyclotron and discovered by Carlo Perrier and Emilio Segrè, is used for millions of medical imaging scans a year worldwide.

    4
    37-inch cyclotron, general view. Photo taken 4/29/1947. 37″-333. Principal Investigator/Project: S. Harris

    The first facility built on the Berkeley Lab site was a massive 184-inch cyclotron. The iconic dome over the cyclotron now houses another accelerator: the Advanced Light Source.

    6
    184” (184 inch) Cyclotron taken in 1942. Credit: Lawrence Berkeley Nat’l Lab

    LBNL ALS

    Berkeley Lab scientists led the design and development of other new concepts in accelerators. After initial tests on an old cyclotron, the 184-Inch Cyclotron was rebuilt into a “synchro-cyclotron.”

    Edward McMillan then led the construction of a powerful ring-shaped electron accelerator, which he dubbed the “synchrotron,” that was based on a principle he co-discovered called “phase stability.” Within just a few years of its inception, construction began on an ambitious synchrotron, called the Bevatron for its 6 billion electron volts of energy, that reigned for several years as the most powerful in the world.

    LBNL Bevatron

    The Bevatron enabled the Nobel Prize-winning discovery of the antiproton, and two other Nobel Prizes were awarded based on research conducted at the Bevatron. Almost every accelerator built today operates using this same principle.

    Accelerator R&D and experiments at the Lab – and Lab scientists’ participation in experiments at other sites – have enabled discoveries of many subatomic particles and their properties, including the Higgs boson.

    Berkeley Lab scientists have also driven many innovations in linear accelerators, which accelerate particles along a straight path and offer some different capabilities than ring-shaped accelerators.

    Using a linear accelerator called the HILAC – and its SuperHILAC upgrade – to accelerate heavy charged particles (ions), scientists added several more new elements to the periodic table.

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    Inside the Super HILAC | Department of Energy

    The eventual use of the SuperHILAC to produce beams of charged particles for Bevatron experiments – the coupling led to the Bevatron’s rebranding as the Bevalac – gave rise to the study of nuclear matter at extreme temperatures and pressures.

    Lab accelerators also launched pioneering programs in biomedical research, including the use of accelerator beam-based cancer therapies and the production of medical isotopes. Lawrence’s brother John, a medical doctor, was a pioneer in this early nuclear medicine research, which spawned new pathways in medical treatments that have since developed into well-established fields.

    Berkeley Lab’s 88-Inch Cyclotron still supports cutting-edge nuclear science, including heavy-element research and tests that show how electronic components stand up to the effects of simulated space radiation.

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    88-Inch Cyclotron. LBNL

    Staff at the 88-Inch Cyclotron have also played a central role in the development of ion sources that achieve high-charge states. A new Ion Source Group at the Lab works on the machines that create beams driving this field of research.

    Accelerators that produce light

    Synchrotron light sources accelerate and bend particle beams using a magnetic field, causing them to give off light with special qualities. Berkeley Lab’s Advanced Light Source (ALS) [above] that launched in 1993, generates intense, focused beams of X-rays to support a wide range of experiments. Most earlier light sources had been converted from accelerators built for high-energy physics experiments.

    The ALS is considered to be the first “third-generation” light source, a synchrotron designed specifically to support many simultaneous experiments and that features advanced magnetic devices such as wigglers and undulators to greatly increase the brightness of the X-ray beams. The late Berkeley Lab scientist Klaus Halbach pioneered the use of permanent magnets to create powerful, compact devices for use in accelerators.

    Berkeley Lab is now preparing for a major upgrade of the ALS, known as the ALS Upgrade or ALS-U, that will increase the brightness of its low-energy X-ray beams a hundredfold and focus them down to a few billionths of a meter. ALS-U will enable explorations of more-complex materials and phenomena.

    Light that produces acceleration

    Light can also be used as a driver to accelerate particles. The Berkeley Lab Laser Accelerator (BELLA) Center features four high-power laser systems that support an intense R&D effort in laser plasma acceleration. This technique uses lasers to drive the acceleration of electrons over a much shorter distance than is possible with conventional technology.

    A view of BELLA, the Berkeley Lab Laser Accelerator. (Credit Roy Kaltschmidt-Berkeley Lab)

    The BELLA petawatt laser is driving research toward the high energies required for a next-generation particle collider while reducing the size and cost of such a machine compared to those of conventional large-scale accelerators. Other laser systems are aiming for new light sources driven by powerful beams from portable and centimeter-sized accelerators.

    Innovating locally, participating globally

    The revolutionary accelerators first developed at Berkeley Lab were large, complex machines that required innovations and expertise in science and engineering, and close coordination among specialists from many different disciplines.

    Lawrence and his lab championed a “team science” approach as the means to realize the vision for large accelerators pushing the boundaries of discovery. The global scientific community still embraces this approach, and the world’s most powerful accelerators and colliders require large teams of scientists, engineers, technicians, and others that can number into the thousands.

    In addition to Berkeley Lab’s own accelerators, its scientists and engineers have been instrumental in bringing their expertise to bear in the design and construction of accelerators and their components for accelerator projects across the U.S. and globally.

    Berkeley Lab researchers are building powerful superconducting magnets for an upgrade of CERN’s Large Hadron Collider in Europe, which is the world’s largest particle collider, as just one example.

    LHC

    CERN map


    CERN LHC Maximilien Brice and Julien Marius Ordan


    CERN LHC particles

    THE FOUR MAJOR PROJECT COLLABORATIONS

    ATLAS

    CERN ATLAS Image Claudia Marcelloni CERN/ATLAS

    ALICE

    CERN/ALICE Detector


    CMS
    CERN CMS New

    LHCb
    CERN LHCb New II

    They are also contributing an ion beam source magnet for the Facility for Rare Isotope Beams (FRIB) under construction at Michigan State University, and in designing and overseeing the construction and delivery of major components for an upgrade of the Linac Coherent Light Source X-ray laser at SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory in Menlo Park, California.

    Michigan State University FRIB [Facility for Rare Isotope Beams]

    SLAC/LCLS II projected view

    The Lab also has rich experience in developing control systems and instrumentation to precisely tune beam performance. Modeling and simulation of particle beams enable researchers to use “virtual accelerators” to better understand, efficiently optimize, and predict beam properties in the design of advanced particle accelerators.

    “We are thrilled to contribute to this continuing wave of innovation and progress that is ‘accelerating the future,’” said Thomas Schenkel, interim director of the Accelerator Technology and Applied Physics Division at Berkeley Lab. “The rich history of excellence in accelerator technologies here is the foundation upon which we are building the next generation of these powerful tools for scientific discoveries and industrial applications.”

    The Advanced Light Source and Linac Coherent Light Source are DOE Office of Science User Facilities, and the Facility for Rare Isotope Beams, now under construction, will also be a DOE Office of Science User Facility.

    See the full article here .

    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    LBNL campus

    Bringing Science Solutions to the World
    In the world of science, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) is synonymous with “excellence.” Thirteen Nobel prizes are associated with Berkeley Lab. Seventy Lab scientists are members of the National Academy of Sciences (NAS), one of the highest honors for a scientist in the United States. Thirteen of our scientists have won the National Medal of Science, our nation’s highest award for lifetime achievement in fields of scientific research. Eighteen of our engineers have been elected to the National Academy of Engineering, and three of our scientists have been elected into the Institute of Medicine. In addition, Berkeley Lab has trained thousands of university science and engineering students who are advancing technological innovations across the nation and around the world.

    Berkeley Lab is a member of the national laboratory system supported by the U.S. Department of Energy through its Office of Science. It is managed by the University of California (UC) and is charged with conducting unclassified research across a wide range of scientific disciplines. Located on a 202-acre site in the hills above the UC Berkeley campus that offers spectacular views of the San Francisco Bay, Berkeley Lab employs approximately 3,232 scientists, engineers and support staff. The Lab’s total costs for FY 2014 were $785 million. A recent study estimates the Laboratory’s overall economic impact through direct, indirect and induced spending on the nine counties that make up the San Francisco Bay Area to be nearly $700 million annually. The Lab was also responsible for creating 5,600 jobs locally and 12,000 nationally. The overall economic impact on the national economy is estimated at $1.6 billion a year. Technologies developed at Berkeley Lab have generated billions of dollars in revenues, and thousands of jobs. Savings as a result of Berkeley Lab developments in lighting and windows, and other energy-efficient technologies, have also been in the billions of dollars.

    Berkeley Lab was founded in 1931 by Ernest Orlando Lawrence, a UC Berkeley physicist who won the 1939 Nobel Prize in physics for his invention of the cyclotron, a circular particle accelerator that opened the door to high-energy physics. It was Lawrence’s belief that scientific research is best done through teams of individuals with different fields of expertise, working together. His teamwork concept is a Berkeley Lab legacy that continues today.

    A U.S. Department of Energy National Laboratory Operated by the University of California.

    University of California Seal

     
  • richardmitnick 1:15 pm on August 13, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , LBNL, Microbiome studies, The National Microbiome Data Collaborative   

    From Lawrence Berkeley National Lab: “A Community-Driven Data Science System to Advance Microbiome Research” 

    Berkeley Logo

    From Lawrence Berkeley National Lab

    August 13, 2019

    The National Microbiome Data Collaborative will develop an open-access framework for harnessing microbiome data to accelerate discoveries.

    The National Microbiome Data Collaborative (NMDC), a new initiative aimed at empowering microbiome research, is gearing up its pilot phase after receiving $10 million from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Science.

    Spearheaded by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab), in partnership with Los Alamos (LANL), Oak Ridge (ORNL), and Pacific Northwest (PNNL) national laboratories, the NMDC will leverage DOE’s existing data-science resources and high-performance computing systems to develop a framework that facilitates more efficient use of microbiome data for applications in energy, environment, health, and agriculture.

    Nearly every ecosystem and organism on Earth hosts a diverse community of microorganisms – its microbiome. Yet we know little about the functions of individual microbes, let alone how they interact with each other, their hosts, or their environments, and how their activity varies over time or in response to perturbations. The past decade has seen tremendous advances in genome and metagenome DNA-sequencing technologies, which has led to an unprecedented volume of microbiome data being generated. However, further progress in the field has been hindered by the lack of computational infrastructure for processing and performing integrative analyses of these and other microbiome-relevant data.

    The NMDC, led by the DOE Joint Genome Institute (JGI)’s Emiley Eloe-Fadrosh, will tackle this data integration challenge by developing a community-centric framework based on large-scale, collaborative partnerships that draw on the capabilities, expertise, and resources of four DOE national laboratories.

    3

    The guiding principles at the initiative’s core are: making data findable, accessible, interoperable, and reusable (FAIR); connecting data and compute resources; and community engagement that supports open science and shared ownership.

    “While this pilot project is led by DOE national labs, the data sets, resources, and community opportunities are open to all microbiome researchers, regardless of funding, institute, or domain,” said NMDC Deputy Lead and JGI Director Nigel Mouncey.

    Capabilities not currently available to the microbiome research community that NMDC will enable include:

    Aggregating and viewing both taxonomic and functional profiles of unassembled and assembled metagenome sequence data to gain new insights into microbiome composition and function.
    Accessing, analyzing, and integrating multi-omics data sets (metagenome, metatranscriptome, metaproteome, metabolome, and environmental data) to discover community dynamics, metabolic networks, and other microbe-microbe, microbe-host, and microbe-environment interactions.
    Accelerating search through linked data using existing and enhanced ways to describe microbiome data sets, diversifying the sample space and depth for new discoveries.

    2
    Kjiersten Fagnan (at podium) and Elisha Wood-Charlson (on right) at the NMDC town hall at ASM Microbe 2019 in San Francisco on June 22, 2019. (Credit: Berkeley Lab)

    Background

    In 2015, the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) solicited input from the microbiome research community on what the key challenges facing the field were and how best to address them. Berkeley Lab submitted a coordinated Lab-wide response and a number of related papers were published thereafter, including a Policy Forum article in Science, on which Berkeley Lab’s Paul Alivisatos, Eoin Brodie, and Mary Maxon were co-authors; and a Trends in Microbiology article by the JGI’s Nikos Kyrpides, Natalia Ivanova, and Eloe-Fadrosh that introduced the notion of the collaborative and cited DOE’s long history of jumpstarting innovative data projects.

    The next year, the OSTP, in collaboration with federal agencies and private-sector stakeholders, launched the National Microbiome Initiative focused on three main priorities: supporting interdisciplinary research, developing platform technologies, and expanding the microbiome workforce. This prompted the formation of the Microbiome Interagency Working Group (MIWG). Co-chaired by the DOE, this consortium of representatives from 20-plus National Science and Technology Council (NSTC) departments and agencies was tasked with developing a Federal Strategic Plan for microbiome research.

    The MIWG released its Interagency Strategic Plan for Microbiome Research in April 2018, outlining areas of focus for strategic investments over the next five years, which included the development of platform technologies that support open and transparent data through a user-friendly, robust, integrated system with expert curation.

    Following a series of workshops, professional society meetings, online conferences, and visits to Washington, D.C., the FY19 Energy and Water Appropriations Bill included $10 million to “begin establishment of a national microbiome database.” The NMDC was formally unveiled to the research community at a June 22 town hall held during the American Society for Microbiology’s 2019 meeting in San Francisco. Funding for NMDC commenced July 1.

    Phase One

    The first phase of the project, a 27-month pilot, will focus on four aims: designing metadata standards; designing and deploying data-processing workflows; facilitating data integration and access; and delivering multiple opportunities for community engagement. Berkeley Lab houses several key resources for this pilot phase, most notably two data analysis platforms (the Integrated Microbial Genomes & Microbiomes and DOE Systems Biology Knowledgebase), data provided by the JGI, and data standards through participation in the Gene Ontology Consortium. Importantly, Berkeley Lab will lead the first phase of NMDC with a strong commitment to execute all related activities according to our commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion, and accountability.

    Aim 1 leads Alison Boyer (ORNL), Lee Ann McCue (PNNL), and Chris Mungall (Berkeley Lab) will oversee the application of existing ontology mapping tools and curation resources to automate annotation of metadata to comply with FAIR principles. Aim 2 leads Patrick Chain (LANL) and Shane Canon (Berkeley Lab) will guide the design of workflows that leverage high-performance computing systems to generate integrated, interoperable, and reusable microbiome data. Aim 3 lead Kjiersten Fagnan (Berkeley Lab) will spearhead the development of a scalable infrastructure and web-based graphical user interface to enable scientists to explore and interact with the NMDC data.

    “The study of microbiomes is currently one of the most promising arenas for discoveries to advance human health and environmental science. We are just beginning to understand the implications of this new frontier,” said FAIR strategic team lead Stanton Martin (ORNL), who will provide guidance and support across Aims 1-3. “I am excited to be part of the NMDC project, which will serve as an integral public resource for data relating to microbiomes.”

    Aim 4 lead Elisha Wood-Charlson (Berkeley Lab) is responsible for the NMDC’s communication strategy for raising community awareness and engagement. Upcoming events include an October 2019 workshop on Merging Ontologies, a December 2019 American Geophysical Union (AGU) session on Creating Data Synchronicity Across Earth Microbiome Research (FAIR data), and a related session at the Ocean Sciences Meeting in February 2020.

    See the full article here .

    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    LBNL campus

    Bringing Science Solutions to the World
    In the world of science, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) is synonymous with “excellence.” Thirteen Nobel prizes are associated with Berkeley Lab. Seventy Lab scientists are members of the National Academy of Sciences (NAS), one of the highest honors for a scientist in the United States. Thirteen of our scientists have won the National Medal of Science, our nation’s highest award for lifetime achievement in fields of scientific research. Eighteen of our engineers have been elected to the National Academy of Engineering, and three of our scientists have been elected into the Institute of Medicine. In addition, Berkeley Lab has trained thousands of university science and engineering students who are advancing technological innovations across the nation and around the world.

    Berkeley Lab is a member of the national laboratory system supported by the U.S. Department of Energy through its Office of Science. It is managed by the University of California (UC) and is charged with conducting unclassified research across a wide range of scientific disciplines. Located on a 202-acre site in the hills above the UC Berkeley campus that offers spectacular views of the San Francisco Bay, Berkeley Lab employs approximately 3,232 scientists, engineers and support staff. The Lab’s total costs for FY 2014 were $785 million. A recent study estimates the Laboratory’s overall economic impact through direct, indirect and induced spending on the nine counties that make up the San Francisco Bay Area to be nearly $700 million annually. The Lab was also responsible for creating 5,600 jobs locally and 12,000 nationally. The overall economic impact on the national economy is estimated at $1.6 billion a year. Technologies developed at Berkeley Lab have generated billions of dollars in revenues, and thousands of jobs. Savings as a result of Berkeley Lab developments in lighting and windows, and other energy-efficient technologies, have also been in the billions of dollars.

    Berkeley Lab was founded in 1931 by Ernest Orlando Lawrence, a UC Berkeley physicist who won the 1939 Nobel Prize in physics for his invention of the cyclotron, a circular particle accelerator that opened the door to high-energy physics. It was Lawrence’s belief that scientific research is best done through teams of individuals with different fields of expertise, working together. His teamwork concept is a Berkeley Lab legacy that continues today.

    A U.S. Department of Energy National Laboratory Operated by the University of California.

    University of California Seal

     
  • richardmitnick 1:31 pm on August 1, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , LBNL, , , ,   

    From Lawrence Berkeley National Lab: “Is your Supercomputer Stumped? There May Be a Quantum Solution” 

    Berkeley Logo

    From Lawrence Berkeley National Lab

    August 1, 2019
    Glenn Roberts Jr.
    geroberts@lbl.gov
    (510) 486-5582

    Berkeley Lab-led team solves a tough math problem with quantum computing.

    1
    (Credit: iStock/metamorworks)

    Some math problems are so complicated that they can bog down even the world’s most powerful supercomputers. But a wild new frontier in computing that applies the rules of the quantum realm offers a different approach.

    A new study led by a physicist at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab), published in the journal Scientific Reports, details how a quantum computing technique called “quantum annealing” can be used to solve problems relevant to fundamental questions in nuclear physics about the subatomic building blocks of all matter. It could also help answer other vexing questions in science and industry, too.

    Seeking a quantum solution to really big problems

    “No quantum annealing algorithm exists for the problems that we are trying to solve,” said Chia Cheng “Jason” Chang, a RIKEN iTHEMS fellow in Berkeley Lab’s Nuclear Science Division and a research scientist at RIKEN, a scientific institute in Japan.

    “The problems we are looking at are really, really big,” said Chang, who led the international team behind the study, published in the Scientific Reports journal. “The idea here is that the quantum annealer can evaluate a large number of variables at the same time and return the right solution in the end.”

    The same problem-solving algorithm that Chang devised for the latest study, and that is available to the public via open-source code, could potentially be adapted and scaled for use in systems engineering and operations research, for example, or in other industry applications.

    Classical algebra with a quantum computer

    “We are cooking up small ‘toy’ examples just to develop how an algorithm works. The simplicity of current quantum annealers is that the solution is classical – akin to doing algebra with a quantum computer. You can check and understand what you are doing with a quantum annealer in a straightforward manner, without the massive overhead of verifying the solution classically.”

    Chang’s team used a commercial quantum annealer located in Burnaby, Canada, called the D-Wave 2000Q that features superconducting electronic elements chilled to extreme temperatures to carry out its calculations.

    Access to the D-Wave annealer was provided via the Oak Ridge Leadership Computing Facility at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL).

    “These methods will help us test the promise of quantum computers to solve problems in applied mathematics that are important to the U.S. Department of Energy’s scientific computing mission,” said Travis Humble, director of ORNL’s Quantum Computing Institute.

    Quantum data: A one, a zero, or both at the same time

    There are currently two of these machines in operation that are available to the public. They work by applying a common rule in physics: Systems in physics tend to seek out their lowest-energy state. For example, in a series of steep hills and deep valleys, a person traversing this terrain would tend to end up in the deepest valley, as it takes a lot of energy to climb out of it and the least amount of energy to settle in this valley.

    The annealer applies this rule to calculations. In a typical computer, memory is stored in a series of bits that are occupied by either one or a zero. But quantum computing introduces a new paradigm in calculations: quantum bits, or qubits. With qubits, information can exist as either a one, a zero, or both at the same time. This trait makes quantum computers better suited to solving some problems with a very large number of possible variables that must be considered for a solution.

    Each of the qubits used in the latest study ultimately produces a result of either a one or a zero by applying the lowest-energy-state rule, and researchers tested the algorithm using up to 30 logical qubits.

    The algorithm that Chang developed to run on the quantum annealer can solve polynomial equations, which are equations that can have both numbers and variables and are set to add up to zero. A variable can represent any number in a large range of numbers.

    When there are ‘fewer but very dense calculations’

    Berkeley Lab and neighboring UC Berkeley have become a hotbed for R&D in the emerging field of quantum information science, and last year announced the formation of a partnership called Berkeley Quantum to advance this field.

    3
    Berkeley Quantum

    Chang said that the quantum annealing approach used in the study, also known as adiabatic quantum computing, “works well for fewer but very dense calculations,” and that the technique appealed to him because the rules of quantum mechanics are familiar to him as a physicist.

    The data output from the annealer was a series of solutions for the equations sorted into columns and rows. This data was then mapped into a representation of the annealer’s qubits, Chang explained, and the bulk of the algorithm was designed to properly account for the strength of the interaction between the annealer’s qubits. “We repeated the process thousands of times” to help validate the results, he said.

    “Solving the system classically using this approach would take an exponentially long time to complete, but verifying the solution was very quick” with the annealer, he said, because it was solving a classical problem with a single solution. If the problem was quantum in nature, the solution would be expected to be different every time you measure it.

    Some math problems are so complicated that they can bog down even the world’s most powerful supercomputers. But a wild new frontier in computing that applies the rules of the quantum realm offers a different approach.

    A new study led by a physicist at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab), published in the journal Scientific Reports, details how a quantum computing technique called “quantum annealing” can be used to solve problems relevant to fundamental questions in nuclear physics about the subatomic building blocks of all matter. It could also help answer other vexing questions in science and industry, too.

    Real-world applications for a quantum algorithm

    As quantum computers are equipped with more qubits that allow them to solve more complex problems more quickly, they can also potentially lead to energy savings by reducing the use of far larger supercomputers that could take far longer to solve the same problems.

    The quantum approach brings within reach direct and verifiable solutions to problems involving “nonlinear” systems – in which the outcome of an equation does not match up proportionately to the input values. Nonlinear equations are problematic because they may appear more unpredictable or chaotic than other “linear” problems that are far more straightforward and solvable.

    Chang sought the help of quantum-computing experts in quantum computing both in the U.S. and in Japan to develop the successfully tested algorithm. He said he is hopeful the algorithm will ultimately prove useful to calculations that can test how subatomic quarks behave and interact with other subatomic particles in the nuclei of atoms.

    While it will be an exciting next step to work to apply the algorithm to solve nuclear physics problems, “This algorithm is much more general than just for nuclear science,” Chang noted. “It would be exciting to find new ways to use these new computers.”

    The Oak Ridge Leadership Computing Facility is a DOE Office of Science User Facility.

    Researchers from Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, and the RIKEN Computational Materials Science Research Team also participated in the study.

    The study was supported by the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science; and by Oak Ridge National Laboratory and its Laboratory Directed Research and Development funds. The Oak Ridge Leadership Computing Facility is supported by the DOE Office of Science’s Advanced Scientific Computing Research program.

    See the full article here .

    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    LBNL campus

    Bringing Science Solutions to the World
    In the world of science, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) is synonymous with “excellence.” Thirteen Nobel prizes are associated with Berkeley Lab. Seventy Lab scientists are members of the National Academy of Sciences (NAS), one of the highest honors for a scientist in the United States. Thirteen of our scientists have won the National Medal of Science, our nation’s highest award for lifetime achievement in fields of scientific research. Eighteen of our engineers have been elected to the National Academy of Engineering, and three of our scientists have been elected into the Institute of Medicine. In addition, Berkeley Lab has trained thousands of university science and engineering students who are advancing technological innovations across the nation and around the world.

    Berkeley Lab is a member of the national laboratory system supported by the U.S. Department of Energy through its Office of Science. It is managed by the University of California (UC) and is charged with conducting unclassified research across a wide range of scientific disciplines. Located on a 202-acre site in the hills above the UC Berkeley campus that offers spectacular views of the San Francisco Bay, Berkeley Lab employs approximately 3,232 scientists, engineers and support staff. The Lab’s total costs for FY 2014 were $785 million. A recent study estimates the Laboratory’s overall economic impact through direct, indirect and induced spending on the nine counties that make up the San Francisco Bay Area to be nearly $700 million annually. The Lab was also responsible for creating 5,600 jobs locally and 12,000 nationally. The overall economic impact on the national economy is estimated at $1.6 billion a year. Technologies developed at Berkeley Lab have generated billions of dollars in revenues, and thousands of jobs. Savings as a result of Berkeley Lab developments in lighting and windows, and other energy-efficient technologies, have also been in the billions of dollars.

    Berkeley Lab was founded in 1931 by Ernest Orlando Lawrence, a UC Berkeley physicist who won the 1939 Nobel Prize in physics for his invention of the cyclotron, a circular particle accelerator that opened the door to high-energy physics. It was Lawrence’s belief that scientific research is best done through teams of individuals with different fields of expertise, working together. His teamwork concept is a Berkeley Lab legacy that continues today.

    A U.S. Department of Energy National Laboratory Operated by the University of California.

    University of California Seal

     
  • richardmitnick 12:37 pm on August 1, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Powered by pixels", , ArgonCube, , , , , LBNL, Liquid-argon neutrino detectors, , University of Bern in Switzerland   

    From FNAL via Symmetry: “Powered by pixels” 

    FNAL Art Image
    FNAL Art Image by Angela Gonzales

    From Fermi National Accelerator Lab , an enduring source of strength for the US contribution to scientific research world wide.

    via

    Symmetry Mag
    Symmetry

    08/01/19
    Lauren Biron

    An innovative use of pixel technology is making liquid-argon neutrino detectors even better.

    1
    Dan Dwyer and Sam Kohn

    It’s 2019. We want our cell phones fast, our computers faster and screens so crisp they rival a morning in the mountains. We’re a digital society, and blurry photos from potato-cameras won’t cut it for the masses. Physicists, it turns out, aren’t any different — and they want that same sharp snap from their neutrino detectors.

    Cue ArgonCube: a prototype detector under development that’s taking a still-burgeoning technology to new heights with a plan to capture particle tracks worthy of that 4K TV. The secret at its heart? It’s all about the pixels.

    But let’s take two steps back. Argon is an element that makes up about 1 percent of that sweet air you’re breathing. Over the past several decades, the liquid form of argon has grown into the medium of choice for neutrino detectors. Neutrinos are those pesky fundamental particles that rarely interact with anything but could be the key to understanding why there’s so much matter in the universe.

    Big detectors full of cold, dense argon provide lots of atomic nuclei for neutrinos to bump into and interact with — especially when accelerator operators are sending beams containing trillions of the little things. When the neutrinos interact, they create showers of other particles and lights that the electronics in the detector capture and transform into images.

    Each image is a snapshot that captures an interaction by one of the most mysterious, flighty, elusive particles out there; a particle that caused Wolfgang Pauli, upon proposing it in 1930, to lament that he thought experimenters would never be able to detect it.

    2
    Scientists are testing the ArgonCube technology in a prototype constructed at the University of Bern in Switzerland. James Sinclair
    7
    9

    Current state-of-the-art liquid-argon neutrino detectors — big players like MicroBooNE, ICARUS and ProtoDUNE — use wires to capture the electrons knocked loose by neutrino interactions.

    FNAL/MicrobooNE

    FNAL/ICARUS

    Cern ProtoDune


    CERN Proto Dune

    Vast planes of thousands of wires crisscross the detectors, each set collecting coordinates that are combined by algorithms into 3-D reconstructions of a neutrino’s interaction.

    These setups are effective, well-understood and a great choice for big projects — and you don’t get much bigger than the international Deep Underground Neutrino Experiment hosted by Fermilab.

    FNAL LBNF/DUNE from FNAL to SURF, Lead, South Dakota, USA


    SURF-Sanford Underground Research Facility, Lead, South Dakota, USA

    DUNE will examine how the three known types of neutrinos change as they travel long distances, further exploring a phenomenon called neutrino oscillations. Scientists will send trillions of neutrinos from Fermilab every second on a 1,300-kilometer journey through the earth — no tunnel needed — to South Dakota. DUNE will use wire chambers in some of the four enormous far detector modules, each one holding more than 17,000 tons of liquid argon.

    But scientists also need to measure the beam of neutrinos as it leaves Fermilab, where the DUNE near detector will be close to the neutrino source and see more interactions.

    “We expect the beam to be so intense that you will have a dozen neutrino interactions per beam pulse, and these will all overlap within your detector,” says Dan Dwyer, a scientist at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory who works on ArgonCube. Trying to disentangle a huge number of events using the 2-D wire imaging is a challenge. “The near detector will be a new range of complexity.”

    And new complexity, in this case, means developing a new kind of liquid-argon detector.

    3
    This rough diagram of an ArgonCube detector module was drawn by Knut Skarpaas. James Sinclair.

    Pixel me this

    People had thought about making a pixelated detector before, but it never got off the ground.

    “This was a dream,” says Antonio Ereditato, father of the ArgonCube collaboration and a scientist at the University of Bern in Switzerland. “We developed this original idea in Bern, and it was clear that it could fly only with the proper electronics. Without it, this would have been just wishful thinking. Our colleagues from Berkeley had just what was required.”

    Pixels are small, and neutrino detectors aren’t. You can fit roughly 100,000 pixels per square meter. Each one is a unique channel that — once it is outfitted with electronics — can provide information about what’s happening in the detector. To be sensitive enough, the tiny electronics need to sit right next to the pixels inside the liquid argon. But that poses a challenge.

    “If they used even the power from your standard electronics, your detector would just boil,” Dwyer says. And a liquid-argon detector only works when the argon remains … well, liquid.

    4
    Dan Dwyer points out features of the pixelated electronics. Roman Berner.

    So Dwyer and ASIC engineer Carl Grace at Berkeley Lab proposed a new approach: What if they left each pixel dormant?

    “When the signal arrives at the pixel, it wakes up and says, ‘Hey, there’s a signal here,’” Dwyer explains. “Then it records the signal, sends it out and goes back to sleep. We were able to drastically reduce the amount of power.”

    At less than 100 microwatts per pixel, this solution seemed like a promising design that wouldn’t turn the detector into a tower of gas. They pulled together a custom prototype circuit and started testing. The new electronics design worked.

    The first test was a mere 128 pixels, but things scaled quickly. The team started working on the pixel challenge in December 2016. By January 2018 they had traveled with their chips to Switzerland, installed them in the liquid-argon test detector built by the Bern scientists and collected their first 3-D images of cosmic rays.

    For the upcoming installation at Fermilab, collaborators will need even more electronics. The next step is to work with manufacturers in industry to commercially fabricate the chips and readout boards that will sustain around half a million pixels. And Dwyer has received a Department of Energy Early Career Award to continue his research on the pixel electronics, complementing the Swiss SNSF grant for the Bern group.

    “We’re trying to do this on a very aggressive schedule — it’s another mad dash,” Dwyer says. “We’ve put together a really great team on ArgonCube and done a great job of showing we can make this technology work for the DUNE near detector. And that’s important for the physics, at the end of the day.”

    5
    Samuel Kohn, Gael Flores, and Dan Dwyer work on ArgonCube technology at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.
    Marilyn Chung, LBNL

    More innovations ahead

    While the pixel-centered electronics of ArgonCube stand out, they aren’t the only technological innovations that scientists are planning to implement for the upcoming near detector of DUNE. There’s research and development on a new kind of light detection system and new technology to shape the electric field that draws the signal to the electronics. And, of course, there are the modules.

    Most liquid-argon detectors use a large container filled with the argon and not too much else. The signals drift long distances through the fluid to the long wires strung across one side of the detector. But ArgonCube is going for something much more modular, breaking the detector up into smaller units still contained within the surrounding cryostat. This has certain perks: The signal doesn’t have to travel as far, the argon doesn’t have to be as pure for the signal to reach its destination, and scientists could potentially retrieve and repair individual modules if required.

    “It’s a little more complicated than the typical, wire-based detector,” says Min Jeong Kim, who leads the team at Fermilab working on the cryogenics and will be involved with the mechanical integration of the ArgonCube prototype test stand. “We have to figure out how these modules will interface with the cryogenic system.”

    That means figuring out everything from filling the detector with liquid argon and maintaining the right pressure during operation to properly filtering impurities from the argon and circulating the fluid around (and through) the modules to maintain an even temperature distribution.

    6
    Researchers assemble components in the test detector at the University of Bern.
    James Sinclair

    The ArgonCube prototype under assembly at the University of Bern will run until the end of the year before being shipped to Fermilab and installed 100 meters underground, making it the first large prototype for DUNE sent to Fermilab and tested with neutrinos. After working out its kinks, researchers can finalize the design and build the full ArgonCube detector.

    Additional instrumentation and components such as a gas-argon chamber and a beam spectrometer will round out the near detector.

    It’s an exciting time for the 100-some physicists from 23 institutions working on ArgonCube — and for the more than 1,000 neutrino physicists from over 30 countries working on DUNE. What started as wishful thinking has become a reality — and no one knows how far the pixel technology might go.

    Ereditato even dreams of replacing the design of one of the four massive DUNE far detector modules with a pixelated version. But one thing at a time, he says.

    “Right now we’re concentrating on building the best possible near detector for DUNE,” Ereditato says. “It’s been a long path, with many people involved, but the liquid-argon technology is still young. ArgonCube technology is the proof that the technique has the potential to perform even better in the future.”

    See the full article here .


    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.


    Stem Education Coalition

    Symmetry is a joint Fermilab/SLAC publication.


    Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (Fermilab), located just outside Batavia, Illinois, near Chicago, is a US Department of Energy national laboratory specializing in high-energy particle physics. Fermilab is America’s premier laboratory for particle physics and accelerator research, funded by the U.S. Department of Energy. Thousands of scientists from universities and laboratories around the world
    collaborate at Fermilab on experiments at the frontiers of discovery.

     
  • richardmitnick 1:23 pm on July 22, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Making the Invisible Visible: New Sensor Network Reveals Telltale Patterns in Neighborhood Air Quality", “This research is an example of how a national laboratory can have a meaningful impact by working with communities” said Kirchstetter., “We generated a technology that didn’t exist to make this invisible problem visible” said Thomas Kirchstetter., Black carbon- commonly known as soot- is a significant contributor to global warming and is strongly linked to adverse health outcomes., LBNL, LBNL collaborating with UC Berkeley have developed a new type of sensor network that is much more affordable yet capable of tracking this particulate matter., Sensors available on the market today are expensive making black carbon difficult to track., The Aerosol Black Carbon Detector (ABCD)., The fleet of sensors was deployed throughout West Oakland   

    From Lawrence Berkeley National Lab: “Making the Invisible Visible: New Sensor Network Reveals Telltale Patterns in Neighborhood Air Quality” 

    Berkeley Logo

    From Lawrence Berkeley National Lab

    July 22, 2019
    Laurel Kellner
    LKellner@lbl.gov
    (510) 486-5375

    Berkeley Lab deploys custom-built sensors for 100 days and nights to track black carbon pollution.

    1
    A truck pulls out of Howard Terminal at the Port of Oakland. (Credit: iStockphoto)

    Black carbon, commonly known as soot, is a significant contributor to global warming and is strongly linked to adverse health outcomes. Produced by the incomplete combustion of fuels – emitted from large trucks, trains, and marine vessels – it is an air pollutant of particular concern to residents in urban areas. Sensors available on the market today are expensive, making black carbon difficult to track.

    Researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab), collaborating with UC Berkeley, have developed a new type of sensor network that is much more affordable yet capable of tracking this particulate matter. With more than 100 custom-built sensors installed across West Oakland for 100 days, the team created the largest black carbon monitoring network to be deployed in a single city.

    A full description of the 100×100 air quality network was published in the journal Environmental Science and Technology.


    In this video, Berkeley Lab researchers show how they created a technology that did not exist to monitor local air pollution across time and space. (Credit: Marilyn Chung/Berkeley Lab)

    Generating a new technology to monitor air pollution

    The project was launched to address a persistent concern in the community: the need for better tools to monitor black carbon across time and space. Expanding on prior research at Berkeley Lab, the team addressed this challenge by building the Aerosol Black Carbon Detector (ABCD). “We generated a technology that didn’t exist to make this invisible problem visible,” said Thomas Kirchstetter, who leads the Energy Analysis and Environmental Impacts Division at Berkeley Lab, and is an Adjunct Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at UC Berkeley.

    Small and inexpensive, the ABCD is a compact air quality monitor that can measure the concentration of black carbon in an air sample. “We had to create a sensor that was as accurate as high-grade, expensive instrumentation, but low enough in cost that we could distribute 100 of them throughout the community,” said Kirchstetter. Thanks to design innovations that coauthor Julien Caubel developed during his PhD research, which help the sensors withstand changes in temperature and humidity, the ABCD can produce reliable data when left outside for extended periods of time. The materials for each ABCD cost less than $500. In comparison, commercially available instruments that measure black carbon cost many thousands of dollars.

    2
    Two sensors in the largest black carbon air quality monitoring network ever deployed in a single city, with a spatial density approximately 100 times greater than traditional regulatory networks. The lowest black carbon levels were consistently recorded at sites like the one pictured, upwind of freeways and most industrial activity. (Credit: Chelsea Preble/Berkeley Lab)

    A well distributed network

    The fleet of sensors was deployed throughout West Oakland, a fifteen-square-kilometer mixed-use residential/industrial neighborhood surrounded by freeways and impacted by emissions from the Port of Oakland and other industrial activities. Six land-use categories were designated for sensor placement: upwind, residential, industrial, near highway, truck route, and port locations. “It was important to build a well-distributed network across the neighborhood in order to capture pollution patterns,” said coauthor Chelsea Preble, a Berkeley Lab affiliate and postdoctoral researcher at UC Berkeley. Through a collaboration with the West Oakland Environmental Indicators Project (WOEIP), Environmental Defense Fund, Bay Area Air Quality Management District, and Port of Oakland, the scientists recruited community members willing to host the black carbon sensors outside of their homes and businesses. “Our partnership with WOEIP, in particular working with Ms. Margaret Gordon and Brian Beveridge, was essential to the success of the study,” said Preble.

    To track the individual sensors in real time, including their operating status, and collect measurements, coauthor Troy Cados built a custom website and database. Every hour, the devices sent black carbon concentrations to the database using 2G, the mobile wireless network. The study produced approximately 22 million lines of data, yielding insights about the nature of air pollution on a local scale. Now available for download, the data is also being used by collaborators from UC Berkeley, the Bay Area Air Quality Management District, and other institutions to improve air pollution modeling tools.

    3
    A partnership effort, the project team included members from Berkeley Lab, UC Berkeley, and the West Oakland Environmental Indicators Project (WOEIP), pictured here, as well as contributors from Environmental Defense Fund, Bay Area Air Quality Management District, and the Port of Oakland. (Credit: Chelsea Preble/Berkeley Lab)

    Turning invisible pollutants into data

    How did these devices work? The ABCD pulled air through a white filter, where black carbon particles were deposited. Optical components in the sensor periodically measured the amount of light transmitted through the darkening filter. Black carbon concentration in the air was based on how much the filter had darkened over time. This technique, developed several decades ago by Berkeley Lab and now commercially available, served as a foundation for the innovations in this study.

    5
    Sensors built for this project were deployed outside of homes and businesses throughout West Oakland to record how black carbon concentrations varied in space and time. (Credit: Chelsea Preble/Berkeley Lab)

    In West Oakland, the researchers found that black carbon varied sharply over distances as short as 100 meters and time spans as short as one hour. The highest and most variable levels were associated with truck activity along Maritime Street, typically low in the pre-dawn hours when the Port of Oakland was closed and peaking at the start of business, around eight in the morning. The lowest black carbon concentrations in the study area were recorded on Sundays, when truck activity is typically lowest, and at upwind sites near the bay, west of the freeways and the city’s industrial activity. Most of the sensors were able to collect data sufficient to establish pollution patterns during the first 30 days of the study, suggesting that similar – and shorter – studies could provide other communities with valuable information about their air quality.

    6
    For the first time, a dense monitoring network recorded black carbon levels across West Oakland, producing hourly averages (a) and daily averages (b). The highest concentrations, shown in red, typically occurred where truck traffic is heaviest, for instance along Maritime Street (west of the freeways, where the sensors above form an ‘L’ shape). (Credit: Berkeley Lab)

    Partnering with communities to advance the science of monitoring

    “This research is an example of how a national laboratory can have a meaningful impact by working with communities,” said Kirchstetter. “We worked to address a concern that they’ve long had and provided data describing how pollution varies throughout the neighborhood, which can be used to advocate for cleaner air,” he said. The team is currently working to advance this technology, making it more robust and easier to use so that it can be deployed for longer periods of time at other locations.

    “We’ve long been involved in the generation of air pollution sensing technologies,” said Kirchstetter, whose mentor, Tica Novakov, started the field of black carbon research and was an inspiration for this work. “Berkeley Lab has experts in air quality and materials sciences, and can further the science of sensors to continue this path forward,” he said. Since the completion of the project, Cados and Caubel have founded a start-up to develop these techniques and make them more readily available.

    The authors on this paper were Julian Caubel, Troy Cados, Chelsea Preble, and Thomas Kirchstetter. The study was funded by Environmental Defense Fund, with in-kind support provided by the Bay Area Air Quality Management District.

    See the full article here .

    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    LBNL campus

    Bringing Science Solutions to the World
    In the world of science, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) is synonymous with “excellence.” Thirteen Nobel prizes are associated with Berkeley Lab. Seventy Lab scientists are members of the National Academy of Sciences (NAS), one of the highest honors for a scientist in the United States. Thirteen of our scientists have won the National Medal of Science, our nation’s highest award for lifetime achievement in fields of scientific research. Eighteen of our engineers have been elected to the National Academy of Engineering, and three of our scientists have been elected into the Institute of Medicine. In addition, Berkeley Lab has trained thousands of university science and engineering students who are advancing technological innovations across the nation and around the world.

    Berkeley Lab is a member of the national laboratory system supported by the U.S. Department of Energy through its Office of Science. It is managed by the University of California (UC) and is charged with conducting unclassified research across a wide range of scientific disciplines. Located on a 202-acre site in the hills above the UC Berkeley campus that offers spectacular views of the San Francisco Bay, Berkeley Lab employs approximately 3,232 scientists, engineers and support staff. The Lab’s total costs for FY 2014 were $785 million. A recent study estimates the Laboratory’s overall economic impact through direct, indirect and induced spending on the nine counties that make up the San Francisco Bay Area to be nearly $700 million annually. The Lab was also responsible for creating 5,600 jobs locally and 12,000 nationally. The overall economic impact on the national economy is estimated at $1.6 billion a year. Technologies developed at Berkeley Lab have generated billions of dollars in revenues, and thousands of jobs. Savings as a result of Berkeley Lab developments in lighting and windows, and other energy-efficient technologies, have also been in the billions of dollars.

    Berkeley Lab was founded in 1931 by Ernest Orlando Lawrence, a UC Berkeley physicist who won the 1939 Nobel Prize in physics for his invention of the cyclotron, a circular particle accelerator that opened the door to high-energy physics. It was Lawrence’s belief that scientific research is best done through teams of individuals with different fields of expertise, working together. His teamwork concept is a Berkeley Lab legacy that continues today.

    A U.S. Department of Energy National Laboratory Operated by the University of California.

    University of California Seal

    DOE Seal

     
  • richardmitnick 7:13 am on July 19, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "New Laws of Attraction: Scientists Print Magnetic Liquid Droplets", A revolutionary class of printable liquid devices for a variety of applications, , Ferrofluids- solutions of iron-oxide particles that become strongly magnetic in the presence of another magnet., LBNL, Magnetometry,   

    From Lawrence Berkeley National Lab- “New Laws of Attraction: Scientists Print Magnetic Liquid Droplets” 

    Berkeley Logo

    From Lawrence Berkeley National Lab

    July 18, 2019
    Theresa Duque
    tnduque@lbl.gov
    510-495-2418

    Revolutionary material could lead to 3D-printable magnetic liquid devices for the fabrication of flexible electronics, or artificial cells that deliver targeted drug therapies to diseased cells.


    Scientists at Berkeley Lab have made a new material that is both liquid and magnetic, opening the door to a new area of science in magnetic soft matter. Their findings could lead to a revolutionary class of printable liquid devices for a variety of applications from artificial cells that deliver targeted cancer therapies to flexible liquid robots that can change their shape to adapt to their surroundings. (Video credit: Marilyn Chung/Berkeley Lab; footage of droplets courtesy of Xubo Liu and Tom Russell/Berkeley Lab)

    Inventors of centuries past and scientists of today have found ingenious ways to make our lives better with magnets – from the magnetic needle on a compass to magnetic data storage devices and even MRI body scan machines.

    All of these technologies rely on magnets made from solid materials. But what if you could make a magnetic device out of liquids? Using a modified 3D printer, a team of scientists at the Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) have done just that. Their findings, to be published July 19 in the journal Science, could lead to a revolutionary class of printable liquid devices for a variety of applications – from artificial cells that deliver targeted cancer therapies to flexible liquid robots that can change their shape to adapt to their surroundings.

    “We’ve made a new material that is both liquid and magnetic. No one has ever observed this before,” said Tom Russell, a visiting faculty scientist at Berkeley Lab and professor of polymer science and engineering at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, who led the study. “This opens the door to a new area of science in magnetic soft matter.”

    For the past seven years, Russell, who leads a program called Adaptive Interfacial Assemblies Towards Structuring Liquids in Berkeley Lab’s Materials Sciences Division and also led the current study, has focused on developing a new class of materials – 3D-printable all-liquid structures.

    1
    Array of 1 millimeter magnetic droplets: Fluorescent green droplets are paramagnetic without any jammed nanoparticles at the liquid interface; red are paramagnetic with nonmagnetic nanoparticles jammed at the interface; brown droplets are ferromagnetic with magnetic nanoparticles jammed at the interface. (Credit: Xubo Liu et al./Berkeley Lab)

    Russell and Xubo Liu, the study’s lead author, came up with the idea of forming liquid structures from ferrofluids, which are solutions of iron-oxide particles that become strongly magnetic in the presence of another magnet. “We wondered, ‘If a ferrofluid can become temporarily magnetic, what could we do to make it permanently magnetic, and behave like a solid magnet but still look and feel like a liquid?’” said Russell.

    Jam sessions: making magnets out of liquids

    To find out, Russell and Liu used a 3D-printing technique they had developed with former postdoctoral researcher Joe Forth in Berkeley Lab’s Materials Sciences Division to print 1 millimeter droplets from a ferrofluid solution containing iron-oxide nanoparticles just 20 nanometers in diameter (the average size of an antibody protein).

    Using surface chemistry and sophisticated atomic force microscopy techniques, staff scientists Paul Ashby and Brett Helms of Berkeley Lab’s Molecular Foundry revealed that the nanoparticles formed a solid-like shell at the interface between the two liquids through a phenomenon called “interfacial jamming.” This causes the nanoparticles to crowd at the droplet’s surface, “like the walls coming together in a small room jampacked with people,” said Russell.

    To make them magnetic, the scientists placed the droplets by a magnetic coil in solution. As expected, the magnetic coil pulled the iron-oxide nanoparticles toward it.

    But when they removed the magnetic coil, something quite unexpected happened.

    3
    Permanently magnetized iron-oxide nanoparticles gravitate toward each other in perfect unison. (Credit: Xubo Liu et al./Berkeley Lab)

    Like synchronized swimmers, the droplets gravitated toward each other in perfect unison, forming an elegant swirl “like little dancing droplets,” said Liu, who is a graduate student researcher in Berkeley Lab’s Materials Sciences Division and a doctoral student at the Beijing University of Chemical Technology.

    Somehow, these droplets had become permanently magnetic. “We almost couldn’t believe it,” said Russell. “Before our study, people always assumed that permanent magnets could only be made from solids.”

    Measure by measure, it’s still a magnet

    All magnets, no matter how big or small, have a north pole and a south pole. Opposite poles are attracted to each other, while the same poles repel each other.

    Through magnetometry measurements, the scientists found that when they placed a magnetic field by a droplet, all of the nanoparticles’ north-south poles, from the 70 billion iron-oxide nanoparticles floating around in the droplet to the 1 billion nanoparticles on the droplet’s surface, responded in unison, just like a solid magnet.

    Key to this finding were the iron-oxide nanoparticles jamming tightly together at the droplet’s surface. With just 8 nanometers between each of the billion nanoparticles, together they created a solid surface around each liquid droplet.

    Somehow, when the jammed nanoparticles on the surface are magnetized, they transfer this magnetic orientation to the particles swimming around in the core, and the entire droplet becomes permanently magnetic – just like a solid, Russell and Liu explained.

    The researchers also found that the droplet’s magnetic properties were preserved even if they divided a droplet into smaller, thinner droplets about the size of a human hair, added Russell.

    3
    To make the iron-oxide nanoparticles permanently magnetic, the scientists placed the droplets by a magnetic coil in solution. As expected, the magnetic coil pulled the iron-oxide nanoparticles toward it. (Credit: Xubo Liu et al./Berkeley Lab

    Among the magnetic droplets’ many amazing qualities, what stands out even more, Russell noted, is that they change shape to adapt to their surroundings. They morph from a sphere to a cylinder to a pancake, or a tube as thin as a strand of hair, or even to the shape of an octopus – all without losing their magnetic properties.

    The droplets can also be tuned to switch between a magnetic mode and a nonmagnetic mode. And when their magnetic mode is switched on, their movements can be remotely controlled as directed by an external magnet, Russell added.

    Liu and Russell plan to continue research at Berkeley Lab and other national labs to develop even more complex 3D-printed magnetic liquid structures, such as a liquid-printed artificial cell, or miniature robotics that move like a tiny propeller for noninvasive yet targeted delivery of drug therapies to diseased cells.

    “What began as a curious observation ended up opening a new area of science,” said Liu. “It’s something all young researchers dream of, and I was lucky to have the chance to work with a great group of scientists supported by Berkeley Lab’s world-class user facilities to make it a reality,” said Liu.

    Also contributing to the study were researchers from UC Santa Cruz, UC Berkeley, the WPI–Advanced Institute for Materials Research (WPI-AIMR) at Tohoku University, and Beijing University of Chemical Technology.

    The magnetometry measurements were taken with assistance from Berkeley Lab Materials Sciences Division co-authors Peter Fischer, senior staff scientist; Frances Hellman, senior faculty scientist and professor of physics at UC Berkeley; Robert Streubel, postdoctoral fellow; Noah Kent, graduate student researcher and doctoral student at UC Santa Cruz; and Alejandro Ceballos, Berkeley Lab graduate student researcher and doctoral student at UC Berkeley.

    Other co-authors are staff scientists Paul Ashby and Brett Helms, and postdoctoral researchers Yu Chai and Paul Kim, with Berkeley Lab’s Molecular Foundry; Yufeng Jiang, graduate student researcher in Berkeley Lab’s Materials Sciences Division; and Shaowei Shi and Dong Wang of Beijing University of Chemical Technology.

    This work was supported by the DOE Office of Science and included research at the Molecular Foundry, a DOE Office of Science User Facility that specializes in nanoscale science.

    See the full article here .

    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    LBNL campus

    Bringing Science Solutions to the World
    In the world of science, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) is synonymous with “excellence.” Thirteen Nobel prizes are associated with Berkeley Lab. Seventy Lab scientists are members of the National Academy of Sciences (NAS), one of the highest honors for a scientist in the United States. Thirteen of our scientists have won the National Medal of Science, our nation’s highest award for lifetime achievement in fields of scientific research. Eighteen of our engineers have been elected to the National Academy of Engineering, and three of our scientists have been elected into the Institute of Medicine. In addition, Berkeley Lab has trained thousands of university science and engineering students who are advancing technological innovations across the nation and around the world.

    Berkeley Lab is a member of the national laboratory system supported by the U.S. Department of Energy through its Office of Science. It is managed by the University of California (UC) and is charged with conducting unclassified research across a wide range of scientific disciplines. Located on a 202-acre site in the hills above the UC Berkeley campus that offers spectacular views of the San Francisco Bay, Berkeley Lab employs approximately 3,232 scientists, engineers and support staff. The Lab’s total costs for FY 2014 were $785 million. A recent study estimates the Laboratory’s overall economic impact through direct, indirect and induced spending on the nine counties that make up the San Francisco Bay Area to be nearly $700 million annually. The Lab was also responsible for creating 5,600 jobs locally and 12,000 nationally. The overall economic impact on the national economy is estimated at $1.6 billion a year. Technologies developed at Berkeley Lab have generated billions of dollars in revenues, and thousands of jobs. Savings as a result of Berkeley Lab developments in lighting and windows, and other energy-efficient technologies, have also been in the billions of dollars.

    Berkeley Lab was founded in 1931 by Ernest Orlando Lawrence, a UC Berkeley physicist who won the 1939 Nobel Prize in physics for his invention of the cyclotron, a circular particle accelerator that opened the door to high-energy physics. It was Lawrence’s belief that scientific research is best done through teams of individuals with different fields of expertise, working together. His teamwork concept is a Berkeley Lab legacy that continues today.

    A U.S. Department of Energy National Laboratory Operated by the University of California.

    University of California Seal

    DOE Seal

     
  • richardmitnick 9:24 am on July 18, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "A Graphene Superconductor That Plays More Than One Tune", , , LBNL, Moiré superlattice, , , Superconductor/insulator, Trilayer graphene/boron nitride heterostructure device   

    From Lawrence Berkeley National Lab: “A Graphene Superconductor That Plays More Than One Tune” 

    Berkeley Logo

    From Lawrence Berkeley National Lab

    July 17, 2019
    Theresa Duque
    tnduque@lbl.gov
    510-495-2418

    1
    Schematic of graphene/boron nitride moire’ superlattice superconductor/insulator device: The heterostructure material is composed of three atomically thin (2D) layers of graphene (gray) sandwiched between 2D layers of boron nitride (red and blue) to form a repeating pattern called a moiré superlattice. Superconductivity is indicated by the light-green circles, which represent the hole (positive charge) sitting on each unit cell of the moiré superlattice. (Credit: Guorui Chen/Berkeley Lab)

    What’s thinner than a human hair but has a depth of special traits? A multitasking graphene device developed by researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab). The superthin material easily switches from a superconductor that conducts electricity without losing any energy, to an insulator that resists the flow of electric current, and back again to a superconductor – all with a simple flip of a switch. Their findings were reported today in the journal Nature.

    “Usually, when someone wants to study how electrons interact with each other in a superconducting quantum phase versus an insulating phase, they would need to look at different materials. With our system, you can study both the superconductivity phase and the insulating phase in one place,” said Guorui Chen, the study’s lead author and a postdoctoral researcher in the lab of Feng Wang, who led the study. Wang, a faculty scientist in Berkeley Lab’s Materials Sciences Division, is also a UC Berkeley physics professor.

    The graphene device is composed of three atomically thin (2D) layers of graphene sandwiched between 2D layers of boron nitride to form a repeating pattern called a moiré superlattice. The material could help other scientists understand the complicated mechanics behind a phenomenon known as high-temperature superconductivity, where a material can conduct electricity without resistance at temperatures higher than expected, though still hundreds of degrees below freezing.

    In a previous study [Nature], the researchers reported observing the properties of a Mott insulator in a device made of trilayer graphene. A Mott insulator is a class of material that somehow stops conducting electricity at hundreds of degrees below freezing despite classical theory predicting electrical conductivity. But it has long been believed that a Mott insulator can become superconductive by adding more electrons or positive charges to make it superconductive, Chen explained.

    For the past 10 years, scientists have been studying ways to combine different 2D materials, often starting with graphene – a material known for its ability to efficiently conduct heat and electricity. Out of this body of work, it was discovered that moiré superlattices formed with graphene exhibit exotic physics such as superconductivity when the layers are aligned at just the right angle.

    “So for this study we asked ourselves, ‘If our trilayer graphene system is a Mott insulator, could it also be a superconductor?’” said Chen.

    Opening the gate to a new world of physics

    2
    Two views of the trilayer graphene/boron nitride heterostructure device as seen through an optical microscope. The gold, nanofabricated electric contacts are shown in yellow; the silicon dioxide/silicon substrate is shown in brown; and the boron nitride flakes are shown in green. The trilayer graphene device is encapsulated between two boron nitride flakes. (Credit: Guorui Chen/Berkeley Lab)

    Working with David Goldhaber-Gordon of Stanford University and the Stanford Institute for Materials and Energy Sciences at SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, and Yuanbo Zhang of Fudan University, the researchers used a dilution refrigerator, which can reach intensely cold temperatures of 40 millikelvins – or nearly minus 460 degrees Fahrenheit – to cool the graphene/boron nitride device down to a temperature at which the researchers expected superconductivity to appear near the Mott insulator phase, said Chen. (Goldhaber-Gordon is also

    Once the device reached a temperature of 4 kelvins (minus 452 degrees Fahrenheit), the researchers applied a range of electrical voltages to the tiny top and bottom gates of the device. As they expected, when they applied a high vertical electrical field to both the top and bottom gates, an electron filled each cell of the graphene/boron nitride device. This caused the electrons to stabilize and stay in place, and this “localization” of electrons turned the device into a Mott insulator.

    Then, they applied an even higher electrical voltage to the gates. To their delight, a second reading indicated that the electrons were no longer stable. Instead, they were shuttling about, moving from cell to cell, and conducting electricity without loss or resistance. In other words, the device had switched from the Mott insulator phase to the superconductor phase.

    Chen explained that the boron nitride moiré superlattice somehow increases the electron-electron interactions that take place when an electrical voltage is applied to the device, an effect that switches on its superconducting phase. It’s also reversible – when a lower electrical voltage is applied to the gates, the device switches back to an insulating state.

    The multitasking device offers scientists a tiny, versatile playground for studying the exquisite interplay between atoms and electrons in exotic new superconducting materials with potential use in quantum computers – computers that store and manipulate information in qubits, which are typically subatomic particles such as electrons or photons – as well as new Mott insulator materials that could one day make tiny 2D Mott transistors for microelectronics a reality.

    “This result was very exciting for us. We never imagined that the graphene/boron nitride device would do so well,” Chen said. “You can study almost everything with it, from single particles to superconductivity. It’s the best system I know of for studying new kinds of physics,” Chen said.

    This study was supported by the Center for Novel Pathways to Quantum Coherence in Materials (NPQC), an Energy Frontier Research Center led by Berkeley Lab and funded by the DOE Office of Science. NPQC brings together researchers at Berkeley Lab, Argonne National Laboratory, Columbia University, and UC Santa Barbara to study how quantum coherence underlies unexpected phenomena in new materials such as trilayer graphene, with an eye toward future uses in quantum information science and technology.

    Also contributing to the study were researchers from Shanghai Jiao Tong University and Nanjing University, China; the National Institute for Materials Science, Japan; and the University of Seoul, Korea.

    See the full article here .

    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    LBNL campus

    Bringing Science Solutions to the World
    In the world of science, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) is synonymous with “excellence.” Thirteen Nobel prizes are associated with Berkeley Lab. Seventy Lab scientists are members of the National Academy of Sciences (NAS), one of the highest honors for a scientist in the United States. Thirteen of our scientists have won the National Medal of Science, our nation’s highest award for lifetime achievement in fields of scientific research. Eighteen of our engineers have been elected to the National Academy of Engineering, and three of our scientists have been elected into the Institute of Medicine. In addition, Berkeley Lab has trained thousands of university science and engineering students who are advancing technological innovations across the nation and around the world.

    Berkeley Lab is a member of the national laboratory system supported by the U.S. Department of Energy through its Office of Science. It is managed by the University of California (UC) and is charged with conducting unclassified research across a wide range of scientific disciplines. Located on a 202-acre site in the hills above the UC Berkeley campus that offers spectacular views of the San Francisco Bay, Berkeley Lab employs approximately 3,232 scientists, engineers and support staff. The Lab’s total costs for FY 2014 were $785 million. A recent study estimates the Laboratory’s overall economic impact through direct, indirect and induced spending on the nine counties that make up the San Francisco Bay Area to be nearly $700 million annually. The Lab was also responsible for creating 5,600 jobs locally and 12,000 nationally. The overall economic impact on the national economy is estimated at $1.6 billion a year. Technologies developed at Berkeley Lab have generated billions of dollars in revenues, and thousands of jobs. Savings as a result of Berkeley Lab developments in lighting and windows, and other energy-efficient technologies, have also been in the billions of dollars.

    Berkeley Lab was founded in 1931 by Ernest Orlando Lawrence, a UC Berkeley physicist who won the 1939 Nobel Prize in physics for his invention of the cyclotron, a circular particle accelerator that opened the door to high-energy physics. It was Lawrence’s belief that scientific research is best done through teams of individuals with different fields of expertise, working together. His teamwork concept is a Berkeley Lab legacy that continues today.

    A U.S. Department of Energy National Laboratory Operated by the University of California.

    University of California Seal

    DOE Seal

     
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