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  • richardmitnick 10:27 am on May 7, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , ORNL, , , , TRC- Translational Research Capability   

    From Oak Ridge National Laboratory: “New research facility will serve ORNL’s growing mission in computing, materials R&D” 

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    From Oak Ridge National Laboratory

    May 7, 2019
    Bill H Cabage
    cabagewh@ornl.gov
    865-574-4399

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    Pictured in this early conceptual drawing, the Translational Research Capability planned for Oak Ridge National Laboratory will follow the design of research facilities constructed during the laboratory’s modernization campaign.

    Energy Secretary Rick Perry, Congressman Chuck Fleischmann and lab officials today broke ground on a multipurpose research facility that will provide state-of-the-art laboratory space for expanding scientific activities at the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

    The new Translational Research Capability, or TRC, will be purpose-built for world-leading research in computing and materials science and will serve to advance the science and engineering of quantum information.

    “Through today’s groundbreaking, we’re writing a new chapter in research at the Translational Research Capability Facility,” said U.S. Secretary of Energy Rick Perry. “This building will be the home for advances in Quantum Information Science, battery and energy storage, materials science, and many more. It will also be a place for our scientists, researchers, engineers, and innovators to take on big challenges and deliver transformative solutions.”

    With an estimated total project cost of $95 million, the TRC, located in the central ORNL campus, will accommodate sensitive equipment, multipurpose labs, heavy equipment and inert environment labs. Approximately 75 percent of the facility will contain large, modularly planned and open laboratory areas with the rest as office and support spaces.

    “This research and development space will advance and support the multidisciplinary mission needs of the nation’s advanced computing, materials research, fusion science and physics programs,” ORNL Director Thomas Zacharia said. “The new building represents a renaissance in the way we carry out research allowing more flexible alignment of our research activities to the needs of frontier research.”

    The flexible space will support the lab’s growing fundamental materials research to advance future quantum information science and computing systems. The modern facility will provide atomic fabrication and materials characterization capabilities to accelerate the development of novel quantum computing devices. Researchers will also use the facility to pursue advances in quantum modeling and simulation, leveraging a co-design approach to develop algorithms along with prototype quantum systems.

    The new laboratories will provide noise isolation, electromagnetic shielding and low vibration environments required for multidisciplinary research in quantum information science as well as materials development and performance testing for fusion energy applications. The co-location of the flexible, modular spaces will enhance collaboration among projects.

    At approximately 100,000 square feet, the TRC will be similar in size and appearance to another modern ORNL research facility, the Chemical and Materials Sciences Building, which was completed in 2011 and is located nearby.

    The facility’s design and location will also conform to sustainable building practices with an eye toward encouraging collaboration among researchers. The TRC will be centrally located in the ORNL main campus area on a brownfield tract that was formerly occupied by one of the laboratory’s earliest, Manhattan Project-era structures.

    ORNL began a modernization campaign shortly after UT-Battelle arrived in 2000 to manage the national laboratory. The new construction has enabled the laboratory to meet growing space and infrastructure requirements for rapidly advancing fields such as scientific computing while vacating legacy spaces with inherent high operating costs, inflexible infrastructure and legacy waste issues.

    The construction is supported by the Science Laboratory Infrastructure program of the DOE Office of Science.

    See the full article here .


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    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    ORNL is managed by UT-Battelle for the Department of Energy’s Office of Science. DOE’s Office of Science is the single largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States, and is working to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time.

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  • richardmitnick 10:08 am on May 7, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: AMD Radeon, , DOE’s Exascale Computing Project, ORNL, ORNL Cray Frontier Shasta based Exascale supercomputer   

    From Oak Ridge National Laboratory: “U.S. Department of Energy and Cray to Deliver Record-Setting Frontier Supercomputer at ORNL” 

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    From Oak Ridge National Laboratory

    May 7, 2019
    Morgan L McCorkle
    mccorkleml@ornl.gov
    865-574-7308

    Exascale system expected to be world’s most powerful computer for science and innovation.

    The U.S. Department of Energy today announced a contract with Cray Inc. to build the Frontier supercomputer at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, which is anticipated to debut in 2021 as the world’s most powerful computer with a performance of greater than 1.5 exaflops.

    ORNL Cray Frontier Shasta based Exascale supercomputer with Slingshot interconnect featuring high-performance AMD EPYC CPU and AMD Radeon Instinct GPU technology

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    Scheduled for delivery in 2021, Frontier will accelerate innovation in science and technology and maintain U.S. leadership in high-performance computing and artificial intelligence. The total contract award is valued at more than $600 million for the system and technology development. The system will be based on Cray’s new Shasta architecture and Slingshot interconnect and will feature high-performance AMD EPYC CPU and AMD Radeon Instinct GPU technology.

    By solving calculations up to 50 times faster than today’s top supercomputers—exceeding a quintillion, or 10^18, calculations per second—Frontier will enable researchers to deliver breakthroughs in scientific discovery, energy assurance, economic competitiveness, and national security. As a second-generation AI system—following the world-leading Summit system deployed at ORNL in 2018—Frontier will provide new capabilities for deep learning, machine learning and data analytics for applications ranging from manufacturing to human health.

    ORNL IBM AC922 SUMMIT supercomputer, No.1 on the TOP500. Credit: Carlos Jones, Oak Ridge National Laboratory/U.S. Dept. of Energy

    “Frontier’s record-breaking performance will ensure our country’s ability to lead the world in science that improves the lives and economic prosperity of all Americans and the entire world,” said U.S. Secretary of Energy Rick Perry. “Frontier will accelerate innovation in AI by giving American researchers world-class data and computing resources to ensure the next great inventions are made in the United States.”

    Since 2005, Oak Ridge National Laboratory has deployed Jaguar, Titan, and Summit [above], each the world’s fastest computer in its time.

    ORNL OCLF Jaguar Cray Linux supercomputer

    ORNL Cray XK7 Titan Supercomputer, once the fastest in the world, now No.9 on the TOP500

    The combination of traditional processors with graphics processing units to accelerate the performance of leadership-class scientific supercomputers is an approach pioneered by ORNL and its partners and successfully demonstrated through ORNL’s No.1 ranked Titan and Summit supercomputers.

    “ORNL’s vision is to sustain the nation’s preeminence in science and technology by developing and deploying leadership computing for research and innovation at an unprecedented scale,” said ORNL Director Thomas Zacharia. “Frontier follows the well-established computing path charted by ORNL and its partners that will provide the research community with an exascale system ready for science on day one.”

    Researchers with DOE’s Exascale Computing Project are developing exascale scientific applications today on ORNL’s 200-petaflop Summit system and will seamlessly transition their scientific applications to Frontier in 2021. In addition, the lab’s Center for Accelerated Application Readiness is now accepting proposals from scientists to prepare their codes to run on Frontier.

    Researchers will harness Frontier’s powerful architecture to advance science in such applications as systems biology, materials science, energy production, additive manufacturing and health data science. Visit the Frontier website to learn more about what researchers plan to accomplish in these and other scientific fields.

    Frontier will offer best-in-class traditional scientific modeling and simulation capabilities while also leading the world in artificial intelligence and data analytics. Closely integrating artificial intelligence with data analytics and modeling and simulation will drastically reduce the time to discovery by automatically recognizing patterns in data and guiding simulations beyond the limits of traditional approaches.

    “We are honored to be part of this historic moment as we embark on supporting extreme-scale scientific endeavors to deliver the next U.S. exascale supercomputer to the Department of Energy and ORNL,” said Peter Ungaro, president and CEO of Cray. “Frontier will incorporate foundational new technologies from Cray and AMD that will enable the new exascale era—characterized by data-intensive workloads and the convergence of modeling, simulation, analytics, and AI for scientific discovery, engineering and digital transformation.”

    Frontier will incorporate several novel technologies co-designed specifically to deliver a balanced scientific capability for the user community. The system will be composed of more than 100 Cray Shasta cabinets with high density compute blades powered by HPC and AI- optimized AMD EPYC processors and Radeon Instinct GPU accelerators purpose-built for the needs of exascale computing. The new accelerator-centric compute blades will support a 4:1 GPU to CPU ratio with high speed AMD Infinity Fabric links and coherent memory between them within the node. Each node will have one Cray Slingshot interconnect network port for every GPU with streamlined communication between the GPUs and network to enable optimal performance for high-performance computing and AI workloads at exascale.

    To make this performance seamless to consume by developers, Cray and AMD are co-designing and developing enhanced GPU programming tools optimized for performance, productivity and portability. This will include new capabilities in the Cray Programming Environment and AMD’s ROCm open compute platform that will be integrated together into the Cray Shasta software stack for Frontier.

    “AMD is proud to be working with Cray, Oak Ridge National Laboratory and the Department of Energy to push the boundaries of high performance computing with Frontier,” said Lisa Su, AMD president and CEO. “Today’s announcement represents the power of collaboration between private industry and public research institutions to deliver groundbreaking innovations that scientists can use to solve some of the world’s biggest problems.”

    Frontier leverages a decade of exascale technology investments by DOE. The contract award includes technology development funding, a center of excellence, several early-delivery systems, the main Frontier system, and multi-year systems support. The Frontier system is expected to be delivered in 2021, and acceptance is anticipated in 2022.

    Frontier will be part of the Oak Ridge Leadership Computing Facility, a DOE Office of Science User Facility. ORNL is managed by UT–Battelle for DOE’s Office of Science, the single largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States. DOE’s Office of Science is working to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time. For more information, please visit https://science.energy.gov/.

    See the full article here .


    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings
    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    ORNL is managed by UT-Battelle for the Department of Energy’s Office of Science. DOE’s Office of Science is the single largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States, and is working to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time.

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  • richardmitnick 12:23 pm on April 12, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Scaling Deep Learning for Scientific Workloads on the #1 Summit Supercomputer", , , ORNL, ORNL Cray XK7 Titan Supercomputer once the fastest in the world now No.9 on the TOP500, ORNL IBM AC922 SUMMIT supercomputer No.1 on the TOP500   

    From insideHPC: “Scaling Deep Learning for Scientific Workloads on the #1 Summit Supercomputer” 

    From insideHPC

    April 11, 2019
    Rich Brueckner


    In this video from GTC 2018, Jack Wells from ORNL presents: Scaling Deep Learning for Scientific Workloads on Summit.

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    Jack Wells is the Director of Science for the Oak Ridge Leadership Computing Facility (OLCF).

    “HPC centers have been traditionally configured for simulation workloads, but deep learning has been increasingly applied alongside simulation on scientific datasets. These frameworks do not always fit well with job schedulers, large parallel file systems, and MPI backends. We’ll discuss examples of how deep learning workflows are being deployed on next-generation systems at the Oak Ridge Leadership Computing Facility. We’ll share benchmarks between native compiled versus containers on Power systems, like Summit, as well as best practices for deploying learning and models on HPC resources on scientific workflows.”

    The biggest problems in science require supercomputers of unprecedented capability. That’s why the US Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) launched Summit, a system 8 times more powerful than ORNL’s previous top-ranked system Titan. Summit is providing scientists with incredible computing power to solve challenges in energy, artificial intelligence, human health, and other research areas, that were simply out of reach until now. These discoveries will help shape our understanding of the universe, bolster US economic competitiveness, and contribute to a better future.

    ORNL IBM AC922 SUMMIT supercomputer, No.1 on the TOP500. Credit: Carlos Jones, Oak Ridge National Laboratory/U.S. Dept. of Energy

    Summit Specifications:
    Application Performance: 200 PF (currently #1 on the TOP500)
    Number of Nodes: 4,608
    Node performance: 42 TF
    Memory per Node: 512 GB DDR4 + 96 GB HBM2
    NV memory per Node: 1600 GB
    Total System Memory: >10 PB DDR4 + HBM2 + Non-volatile
    Processors:
    2 IBM POWER9 9,216 CPUs
    6 NVIDIA Volta 27,648 GPUs

    File System: 250 PB, 2.5 TB/s, GPFS
    Power Consumption: 13 MW
    Interconnect: Mellanox EDR 100G InfiniBand
    Operating System: Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) version 7.4

    Jack Wells is the Director of Science for the Oak Ridge Leadership Computing Facility (OLCF), a DOE Office of Science national user facility, and the Titan supercomputer, located at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL).

    ORNL Cray XK7 Titan Supercomputer, once the fastest in the world, now No.9 on the TOP500.

    Wells is responsible for the scientific outcomes of the OLCF’s user programs. Wells has previously lead both ORNL’s Computational Materials Sciences group in the Computer Science and Mathematics Division and the Nanomaterials Theory Institute in the Center for Nanophase Materials Sciences. Prior to joining ORNL as a Wigner Fellow in 1997, Wells was a postdoctoral fellow within the Institute for Theoretical Atomic and Molecular Physics at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics. Wells has a Ph.D. in physics from Vanderbilt University, and has authored or co-authored over 100 scientific papers and edited 1 book, spanning nanoscience, materials science and engineering, nuclear and atomic physics computational science, applied mathematics, and novel analytics measuring the impact of scientific publications.

    See the full article here .

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    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

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    Founded on December 28, 2006, insideHPC is a blog that distills news and events in the world of HPC and presents them in bite-sized nuggets of helpfulness as a resource for supercomputing professionals. As one reader said, we’re sifting through all the news so you don’t have to!

    If you would like to contact me with suggestions, comments, corrections, errors or new company announcements, please send me an email at rich@insidehpc.com. Or you can send me mail at:

    insideHPC
    2825 NW Upshur
    Suite G
    Portland, OR 97239

    Phone: (503) 877-5048

     
  • richardmitnick 11:51 am on January 31, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , NVIDIA DGX-2s offer expanded opportunities in AI and data-intensive research, ORNL, ORNL Adds Powerful AI Appliances to Computing Portfolio,   

    From Oak Ridge National Laboratory: “ORNL Adds Powerful AI Appliances to Computing Portfolio” 

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    From Oak Ridge National Laboratory

    January 30, 2019

    Jonathan Hines, Communications
    hinesjd@ornl.gov
    865.574.6944

    NVIDIA DGX-2s offer expanded opportunities in AI and data-intensive research.

    1(From left to right) Cole Freniere and Michael Reynolds of Microway, Alex Volkov of NVIDIA, and Chris Layton and Brian Zachary of ORNL pose with a newly arrived DGX-2. The NVIDIA appliances connect ORNL researchers with a platform that excels at machine learning, a type of artificial intelligent that could automate some of the time-intensive analysis inherent in scientific research
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    ORNL’s DGX-2 and DGX-2H appliances provide laboratory researchers with enhanced opportunities to conduct science and serve as an onramp to ORNL’s Summit supercomputer

    ORNL IBM AC922 SUMMIT supercomputer. Credit: Carlos Jones, Oak Ridge National Laboratory/U.S. Dept. of Energy

    As home to three top-ranked supercomputers of the last decade, the US Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) has become synonymous with scientific computing at the largest scales.

    Getting the most out of these science machines, however, requires a willingness to experiment with problems and systems of every size and scale. This is especially important as technology vendors introduce new system architectures and as scientists’ problem-solving toolkit expands to include artificial intelligence (AI) and advanced data analysis.

    In that spirit, ORNL recently installed two NVIDIA DGX-2 systems, powerful GPU-accelerated appliances that will provide ORNL researchers with enhanced opportunities to conduct science—machine learning and data-intensive workloads in particular. The appliances will also provide an onramp to ORNL’s Summit—the world’s most powerful supercomputer—by enabling smaller and more experimental projects to be developed and tested before running on the 200-petaflop machine. The DGX-2 appliances reside in the laboratory’s Compute and Data Environment for Science (CADES), which offers compute and data services for ORNL researchers.

    “As Summit enters production, these DGX-2 systems supply ORNL with exploratory multipurpose computing resources,” said CADES director Arjun Shankar. “Early results suggest the DGX-2s will provide novel opportunities in data analysis, machine learning, and modeling and simulation that support the AI-driven transformation that is changing how science is conducted.”

    The DGX-2 represents the latest step-change in AI appliances, housing 16 fully interconnected NVIDIA Tesla V100 GPUs with increased GPU memory, a powerful combination that expands the types of problems scientists can tackle in a unified environment. In addition to a standard DGX-2, ORNL received the newly available DGX-2H, which contains upgraded CPUs and faster-clocked GPUs that offer higher performance.

    Since NVIDIA debuted the DGX line in 2016, ORNL has deployed the appliances throughout the laboratory to connect researchers with a platform that excels at executing machine learning techniques with the potential to automate some of the time-intensive analysis inherent in research. This is especially relevant to ORNL’s world-class experimental facilities, such as the Spallation Neutron Source, which produce large, unique datasets in need of analysis and automated data workflows.

    Appliance for Science

    In late 2018, Arvind Ramanathan, a staff scientist in ORNL’s computer science and engineering division, and his team became one of the first groups to get extended time on the DGX-2s. The team used the opportunity to train and optimize algorithms that belong to a class of machine learning called reinforcement learning, in which an “agent” attempts to master its environment by performing actions and evaluating the results without any preexisting knowledge.

    Reinforcement-learning algorithms, famously showcased by Google’s AlphaGo program, have proven capable of achieving prescribed goals, such as winning games, but optimizing the preset parameters that control their decision-making can be difficult. Running multiple algorithms simultaneously on the DGX-2 systems allowed Ramanathan’s team to identify superior optimization strategies via an ORNL-developed software called HyperSpace in a fraction of the time it would have taken on another system.

    “We couldn’t have done this without a DGX-2 because the problem space that we were exploring was so large and sample inefficient,” Ramanathan said. “Because these GPUs can essentially be used in a unified way, we can do things that are much more difficult to do on other systems, especially in terms of moving data and doing analysis.”

    Though ORNL is known for conducting leadership-scale science on its massively parallel supercomputers, there are instances when an innovative smaller machine can be useful. Refining algorithms on the DGX-2 can improve researchers’ confidence that their AI software is ready to be deployed at scale later on. Additionally, workloads that may be poorly suited to run on a supercomputer—jobs that don’t scale or jobs that need to run for extended periods of time, for example—could be carried out on a DGX-2 appliance.

    The DGX-2s also have something to offer traditional modeling and simulation. Researchers can run simulations side-by-side with AI to extend simulations further than they would otherwise go, using AI-recognized patterns in the data to “steer” the simulation correctly. A project supported by ORNL’s Laboratory Directed Research and Development program is dedicated to a molecular dynamics framework called Molecules that can execute AI-informed simulation.

    “Traditionally, running AI side-by-side with simulation would be too expensive,” Ramanathan said, “but state-of-the-art systems like Summit and the DGX-2 enable this in such a way that we can think of this arrangement as a fused workflow in some sense.”

    Currently, CADES staff are working to integrate the appliances into the datacenter’s shared environment so researchers can submit jobs as easily as any other CADES resource. The two DGX-2 systems have been connected by a dedicated EDR InfiniBand network to combine the systems’ capabilities.

    “The idea is that researchers will be able to schedule up to 32 GPUs at one time to run in parallel,” said CADES team lead Brian Zachary.

    HyperSpace software development is part of the CANcer Distributed Learning Environment project, a cancer research effort supported by the Exascale Computing Project.

    See the full article here .


    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings
    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    ORNL is managed by UT-Battelle for the Department of Energy’s Office of Science. DOE’s Office of Science is the single largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States, and is working to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time.

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  • richardmitnick 12:29 pm on January 15, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , NPDGamma Experiment, ORNL, , , Precision experiment first to isolate measure weak force between protons and neutrons,   

    From Oak Ridge National Laboratory: “Precision experiment first to isolate, measure weak force between protons, neutrons” 

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    From Oak Ridge National Laboratory

    December 19, 2018
    Sara Shoemaker, Communications
    shoemakerms@ornl.gov
    865.576.9219

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    Scientists analyzed the gamma rays emitted during the NPDGamma Experiment and found parity-violating asymmetry, which is a specific change in behavior in the force between a neutron and a proton.

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    They measured a 30 parts per billion preference for gamma rays to be emitted antiparallel to the neutron spin when neutrons are captured by protons in liquid hydrogen. After observing that more gammas go down than up, the experiment resolved for the first time a mirror-asymmetric component or handedness of the weak force. Credit: Andy Sproles/Oak Ridge National Laboratory, U.S. Dept. of Energy.

    A team of scientists has for the first time measured the elusive weak interaction between protons and neutrons in the nucleus of an atom. They had chosen the simplest nucleus consisting of one neutron and one proton for the study.

    Through a unique neutron experiment at the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory, experimental physicists resolved the weak force between the particles at the atom’s core, predicted in the Standard Model that describes the elementary particles and their interactions.

    Their result is sensitive to subtle aspects of the strong force between nuclear particles, which is still poorly understood.

    The team’s observation, described in Physical Review Letters, culminates decades of work performed with an apparatus known as NPDGamma. The first phase of the experiment took place at Los Alamos National Laboratory. Building on the knowledge gained at LANL, the team moved the project to ORNL to take advantage of the high neutron beam intensity produced at the lab’s Spallation Neutron Source.

    ORNL Spallation Neutron Source


    ORNL Spallation Neutron Source

    Protons and neutrons are made of smaller particles called quarks that are bound together by the strong interaction, which is one of the four known forces of nature: strong force, electromagnetism, weak force and gravity. The weak force exists in the tiny distance within and between protons and neutrons; the strong interaction confines quarks in neutrons and protons.

    The weak force also connects the axial spin and direction of motion of the nuclear particles, revealing subtle aspects of how quarks move inside protons and neutrons.

    “The goal of the experiment was to isolate and measure one component of this weak interaction, which manifested as gamma rays that could be counted and verified with high statistical accuracy,” said David Bowman, co-author and team leader for neutron physics at ORNL. “You have to detect a lot of gammas to see this tiny effect.”

    The NPDGamma Experiment, the first to be carried out at the Fundamental Neutron Physics Beamline at SNS, channeled cold neutrons toward a target of liquid hydrogen. The apparatus was designed to control the spin direction of the slow-moving neutrons, “flipping” them from spin-up to spin-down positions as desired. When the manipulated neutrons smashed into the target, they interacted with the protons within the liquid hydrogen’s atoms, sending out gamma rays that were measured by special sensors.

    After analyzing the gamma rays, the scientists found parity-violating asymmetry, which is a specific change in behavior in the force between a neutron and a proton. “If parity were conserved, a nucleus spinning in the righthanded way and one spinning in the lefthanded way—as if they were mirrored images—would result in an equal number of gammas emitting up as emitting down,” Bowman explained.

    “But, in fact, we observed that more gammas go down than go up, which lead to successfully isolating and measuring a mirror-asymmetric component of the weak force.”

    The scientists ran the experiment numerous times for about two decades, counting and characterizing the gamma rays and collecting data from these events based on neutron spin direction and other factors.

    The high intensity of the SNS, along with other improvements, allowed a count rate that is nearly 100 times higher compared with previous operation at the Los Alamos Neutron Science Center.

    Results of the NPDGamma Experiment filled in a vital piece of information, yet there are still theories to be tested.

    “There is a theory for the weak force between the quarks inside the proton and neutron, but the way that the strong force between the quarks translates into the force between the proton and the neutron is not fully understood,” said W. Michael Snow, co-author and professor of experimental nuclear physics at Indiana University. “That’s still an unsolved problem.”

    He compared the measurement of the weak force in relation with the strong force as a kind of tracer, similar to a tracer in biology that reveals a process of interest in a system without disturbing it.

    “The weak interaction allows us to reveal some unique features of the dynamics of the quarks within the nucleus of an atom,” Snow added.

    Co-authors of the study titled, “First Observation of P-odd γ Asymmetry in Polarized Neutron Capture on Hydrogen,” included co-principal investigators James David Bowman of ORNL and William Michael Snow of Indiana University (IU). The lead co-authors were David Blyth of Arizona State University and Argonne National Laboratory; Jason Fry of the University of Virginia and IU; and Nadia Fomin of the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, and Los Alamos National Laboratory. In total, 64 individuals from 28 institutions worldwide contributed to this research, and it produced more than 15 Ph.D. theses.

    The research was supported by DOE’s Office of Science and used resources of the Spallation Neutron Source at ORNL, a DOE Office of Science User Facility. It was also supported by the U.S. National Science Foundation, the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada, the Canadian Foundation for Innovation, the PAPIIT-UNAM and CONACYT agencies in Mexico, the German Academic Exchange Service and the Indiana University Center for Spacetime Symmetries.

    See the full article here .


    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings
    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    ORNL is managed by UT-Battelle for the Department of Energy’s Office of Science. DOE’s Office of Science is the single largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States, and is working to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time.

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  • richardmitnick 2:13 pm on January 9, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Oak Ridge National Laboratory scientists have eliminated a key bottleneck when producing plutonium-238 used by NASA to fuel deep space exploration, ORNL,   

    From Oak Ridge National Laboratory: “Nuclear—Deep space travel” 

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    From Oak Ridge National Laboratory

    January 8, 2019

    Jason Ellis, Communications
    ellisjk@ornl.gov
    865.241.5819


    By automating the production of neptunium oxide-aluminum pellets, Oak Ridge National Laboratory scientists have eliminated a key bottleneck when producing plutonium-238 used by NASA to fuel deep space exploration.

    Pu-238 provides a constant heat source through radioactive decay, a process that has powered spacecraft such as Cassini and the Mars Rover. “Automating part of the Pu-238 production process is helping push annual production from 50 grams to 400 grams, moving closer to NASA’s goal of 1.5 kilograms per year by 2025,” said ORNL’s Bob Wham. “The automation replaces a function our team did by hand and is expected to increase the output of pressed pellets from 80 to 275 per week.”

    Once the pellets are pressed and enclosed in aluminum tubing, they are irradiated at ORNL’s High Flux Isotope Reactor and chemically processed into Pu-238 at the Radiochemical Engineering Development Center.

    In 2012, NASA reached an agreement with the Department of Energy to restart production of Pu-238, and ORNL was selected to lead the project.

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    Oak Ridge National Laboratory scientists have automated part of the process of producing plutonium-238, which is used by NASA to fuel deep space exploration. Resolving this key bottleneck will help boost annual production of the radioisotope towards NASA’s goal of 1.5 kilograms of Pu-238 per year by 2025. Credit: Genevieve Martin and Jenny Woodbery/Oak Ridge National Laboratory, U.S. Dept. of Energy.

    See the full article here .


    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings
    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    ORNL is managed by UT-Battelle for the Department of Energy’s Office of Science. DOE’s Office of Science is the single largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States, and is working to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time.

    i2

     
  • richardmitnick 12:37 pm on January 2, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , ORNL, Top 10 of 2018   

    From Oak Ridge National Laboratory: “Top 10 of 2018” 

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    From Oak Ridge National Laboratory

    ORNL advances science, technology in 75th anniversary year

    December 31, 2018

    Morgan McCorkle, Communications
    mccorkleml@ornl.gov
    865.574.7308

    2018 was an eventful and historic year for the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory, marking 75 years since its creation as part of the World War II Manhattan Project.

    This roundup of the lab’s 10 most-read news items in 2018 reflects how the lab’s mission has evolved and diversified to include world-leading research and development in computing, transportation, isotope production, physics, neutron science, materials science and grid technology, among many other disciplines. Read on for a glimpse of the lab’s scientific and technological accomplishments in 2018:

    ORNL launches Summit supercomputer

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    ORNL unveiled Summit as the world’s most powerful and smartest scientific supercomputer on June 8. With a peak performance of 200,000 trillion calculations per second—or 200 petaflops—Summit earned the No. 1 ranking on the TOP500 list. ORNL researchers put Summit through its paces, garnering ACM’s Gordon Bell prize for a genomics code that was first in the world to break the exascale barrier.

    ORNL demonstrates 120-kilowatt wireless charging for vehicles

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    State-of-the-art power electronics manage the safe and efficient flow of electricity among the system’s components. Credit: Genevieve Martin/Oak Ridge National Laboratory, U.S. Dept. of Energy (hi-res image)
    ORNL researchers used computer simulations to design coils that generate the magnetic field required for wireless power transfer. Credit: Genevieve Martin/Oak Ridge National Laboratory, U.S. Dept. of Energy

    Researchers at ORNL demonstrated a 120-kilowatt wireless charging system for vehicles—providing six times the power of previous lab technology and a big step toward charging times that rival the speed and convenience of a gas station fill-up. The wireless system transfers 120 kilowatts of power with 97 percent efficiency, which is comparable to conventional, wired high-power fast chargers.

    Nuclear physicists leap into quantum computing with first simulations of atomic nucleus

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    Graphical representation of a deuteron, the bound state of a proton (red) and a neutron (blue). Credit: Andy Sproles/Oak Ridge National Laboratory, U.S. Dept. of Energy.

    Scientists at ORNL are the first to successfully simulate an atomic nucleus using a quantum computer. The results demonstrate the ability of quantum systems to compute nuclear physics problems and serve as a benchmark for future calculations. In the future, quantum computations of complex nuclei could unravel important details about the properties of matter, the formation of heavy elements, and the origins of the universe.

    ORNL ramps up production of key radioisotope for cancer-fighting drug

    4
    As part of the production process, an actinium-227 sample goes through a final step in the hot cell before being prepared for shipment.

    ORNL is now producing actinium-227 (Ac-227) to meet projected demand for a highly effective cancer drug through a 10-year contract between the U.S. DOE Isotope Program and Bayer. Xofigo (radium Ra-223 dichloride) is used to treat prostate cancer that no longer responds to hormonal or surgical treatment that lowers testosterone.

    UT-ORNL team makes first particle accelerator beam measurement in six dimensions

    5
    The artistic representation illustrates a measurement of a beam in a particle accelerator, demonstrating the beam’s structural complexity increases when measured in progressively higher dimensions. Each increase in dimension reveals information that was previously hidden. Credit: Jill Hemman/Oak Ridge National Laboratory, U.S. Dept. of Energy

    The first full characterization measurement of an accelerator beam in six dimensions will advance the understanding and performance of current and planned accelerators around the world. A team of researchers led by the University of Tennessee, Knoxville conducted the measurement in a beam test facility at ORNL using a replica of the Spallation Neutron Source’s linear accelerator, or linac.

    ORNL marks 75th anniversary with Lab Day


    ORNL welcomed the public June 9 to its Lab Day, marking the laboratory’s 75th anniversary with exhibits, science talks, tours, music and food. Approximately 4,500 attendees experienced ORNL’s Traveling Science Fair exhibits, toured facilities including the High Flux Isotope Reactor, Spallation Neutron Source, Oak Ridge Leadership Computing Facility, Historic Graphite Reactor Museum and the Building Technologies Research and Integration Center.

    Underground neutrino experiment sets the stage for deep discovery about matter

    6
    Collaborators of the MAJORANA DEMONSTRATOR, an experiment led by ORNL, have shown they can shield a sensitive, scalable 44-kilogram germanium detector array from background radioactivity. This accomplishment is critical to developing and proposing a much larger future experiment—with approximately a ton of detectors—to study the nature of neutrinos. These electrically neutral particles interact only weakly with matter, making their detection exceedingly difficult.

    Grid—Balancing act

    7
    ORNL scientists have devised a method to control the heating and cooling systems of a large network of buildings for power grid stability—all while ensuring the comfort of occupants. This control architecture can manage a fleet of heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems, which could allow utilities to harness the demand from a city’s worth of buildings to help balance the power grid.

    Researchers run first tests of unique system for welding highly irradiated metal alloys

    8
    ORNL and EPRI built an enclosed welding system in a hot cell of ORNL’s Radiochemical Engineering Development Center. C. Scott White (ORNL) performs operations with remotely controlled manipulators and cameras. The system combines capabilities for laser welding and frictional stir welding of irradiated stainless steels. Image credit: DOE LWRS; photographer Keith Leonard

    Scientists of the Department of Energy’s Light Water Reactor Sustainability Program and partners from the Electric Power Research Institute have conducted the first weld tests to repair highly irradiated materials at ORNL. The welding system, designed and installed in a hot cell at ORNL’s Radiochemical Engineering Development Center, safely encloses equipment for laser and friction-stir welding. It will allow researchers to advance welding technologies for repair of irradiated materials by developing processing conditions and evaluating post-weld materials properties.

    Method to grow large single-crystal graphene could advance scalable 2D materials

    10
    In a controlled environment, the fastest-growing orientation of graphene crystals overwhelms the others and gets “evolutionarily selected” into a single crystal, even on a polycrystalline substrate, without having to match the substrate’s orientation. An Oak Ridge National Laboratory-led team developed the novel method that produces large, monolayer single-crystal-like graphene films more than a foot long. Credit: Andy Sproles/Oak Ridge National Laboratory, U.S. Dept. of Energy

    A new method to produce large, monolayer single-crystal-like graphene films more than a foot long relies on harnessing a “survival of the fittest” competition among crystals. The novel technique, developed by a team led by ORNL, may open new opportunities for growing the high-quality two-dimensional materials necessary for long-awaited practical applications.

    See the full article here .


    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings
    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    ORNL is managed by UT-Battelle for the Department of Energy’s Office of Science. DOE’s Office of Science is the single largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States, and is working to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time.

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  • richardmitnick 12:20 pm on October 10, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , ORNL, Scientists forge ahead with electron microscopy to build quantum materials atom by atom,   

    From Oak Ridge National Laboratory: “Scientists forge ahead with electron microscopy to build quantum materials atom by atom” 

    i1

    From Oak Ridge National Laboratory

    October 9, 2018
    Sara Shoemaker, Communications
    shoemakerms@ornl.gov
    865.576.9219

    A novel technique that nudges single atoms to switch places within an atomically thin material could bring scientists another step closer to realizing theoretical physicist Richard Feynman’s vision of building tiny machines from the atom up.

    A significant push to develop materials that harness the quantum nature of atoms is driving the need for methods to build atomically precise electronics and sensors. Fabricating nanoscale devices atom by atom requires delicacy and precision, which has been demonstrated by a microscopy team at the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

    They used a scanning transmission electron microscope, or STEM, at the lab’s Center for Nanophase Materials Sciences to introduce silicon atoms into a single-atom-thick sheet of graphene. As the electron beam scans across the material, its energy slightly disrupts the graphene’s molecular structure and creates room for a nearby silicon atom to swap places with a carbon atom.

    Custom-designed scanning transmission electron microscope at Cornell University by David Muller/Cornell University

    “We observed an electron beam-assisted chemical reaction induced at a single atom and chemical bond level, and each step has been captured by the microscope, which is rare,” said ORNL’s Ondrej Dyck, co-author of a study published in the journal Small that details the STEM demonstration.

    2
    Ondrej Dyck of Oak Ridge National Laboratory used a scanning transmission electron microscope to move single atoms in a two-dimensional layer of graphene, an approach that could be used to build nanoscale devices from the atomic level up for quantum-based applications. Credit: Carlos Jones/Oak Ridge National Laboratory, U.S. Dept. of Energy.

    Using this process, the scientists were further able to bring two, three and four silicon atoms together to build clusters and make them rotate within the graphene layer. Graphene is a two-dimensional, or 2D, layer of carbon atoms that exhibits unprecedented strength and high electrical conductivity. Dyck said he selected graphene for this work, because “it is robust against a 60-kilovolt electron beam.”

    “We can look at graphene for long periods of time without hurting the sample, compared with other 2D materials such as transition metal dichalcogenide monolayers, which tend to fall apart more easily under the electron beam,” he added.

    STEM has emerged in recent years as a viable tool for manipulating atoms in materials while preserving the sample’s stability.

    3
    With a STEM microscope, ORNL’s Ondrej Dyck brought two, three and four silicon atoms together to build clusters and make them rotate within a layer of graphene, a two-dimensional layer of carbon atoms that exhibits unprecedented strength and high electrical conductivity. Credit: Ondrej Dyck/Oak Ridge National Laboratory, U.S. Dept. of Energy.

    Dyck and ORNL colleagues Sergei Kalinin, Albina Borisevich and Stephen Jesse are among few scientists learning to control the movement of single atoms in 2D materials using the STEM. Their work supports an ORNL-led initiative coined The Atomic Forge, which encourages the microscopy community to reimagine STEM as a method to build materials from scratch.

    The fields of nanoscience and nanotechnology have experienced explosive growth in recent years. One of the earlier steps toward Feynman’s idea of building tiny machines atom by atom—a follow-on from his original theory of atomic manipulation first presented during his famous 1959 lecture—was seeded by the work of IBM fellow Donald Eigler. He had shown the manipulation of atoms using a scanning tunneling microscope.

    “For decades, Eigler’s method was the only technology to manipulate atoms one by one. Now, we have demonstrated a second approach with an electron beam in the STEM,” said Kalinin, director of the ORNL Institute for Functional Imaging of Materials. He and Jesse initiated research with the electron beam about four years ago.

    Successfully moving atoms in the STEM could be a crucial step toward fabricating quantum devices one atom at a time. The scientists will next try introducing other atoms such as phosphorus into the graphene structure.

    “Phosphorus has potential because it contains one extra electron compared to carbon,” Dyck said. “This would be ideal for building a quantum bit, or qubit, which is the basis for quantum-based devices.”

    Their goal is to eventually build a device prototype in the STEM.

    Dyck cautioned that while building a qubit from phosphorus-doped graphene is on the horizon, how the material would behave at ambient temperatures—outside of the STEM or a cryogenic environment—remains unknown.

    “We have found that exposing the silicon-doped graphene to the outside world does impact the structures,” he said.

    They will continue to experiment with ways to keep the material stable in non-laboratory environments, which is important to the future success of STEM-built atomically precise structures.

    “By controlling matter at the atomic scale, we are going to bring the power and mystery of quantum physics to real-world devices,” Jesse said.

    Co-authors of the paper titled, Building Structures Atom by Atom via Electron Beam Manipulation
    are Ondrej Dyck, Sergei V. Kalinin and Stephen Jesse of ORNL; Songkil Kim of Pusan National University in South Korea; Elisa Jimenez-Izal of the University of California and UPV/EHU and DIPC in Spain; and Anastassia N. Alexandrova of UPV/EHU and DIPC in Spain and the California NanoSystems Institute.

    The research was funded by ORNL’s Laboratory-Directed Research and Development program. Microscopy experiments were performed at the Center for Nanophase Materials Sciences, 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

    ORNL is managed by UT-Battelle for the Department of Energy’s Office of Science. DOE’s Office of Science is the single largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States, and is working to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time.

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  • richardmitnick 2:32 pm on October 5, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , DOE Ofice of HIgh Energy Physics, ORNL, ORNL researchers advance quantum computing science through six DOE awards, ,   

    From Oak Ridge National Laboratory: “ORNL researchers advance quantum computing, science through six DOE awards” 

    i1

    From Oak Ridge National Laboratory

    October 3, 2018
    Scott Jones, Communications
    jonesg@ornl.gov
    865.241.6491

    1
    Oak Ridge National Laboratory will be working on new projects aimed at accelerating quantum information science. Credit: Andy Sproles/Oak Ridge National Laboratory, U.S. Dept. of Energy.

    2
    ORNL researchers will leverage various microscopy platforms for quantum computing projects. Credit: Genevieve Martin/Oak Ridge National Laboratory, U.S. Dept. of Energy.

    The Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory is the recipient of six awards from DOE’s Office of Science aimed at accelerating quantum information science (QIS), a burgeoning field of research increasingly seen as vital to scientific innovation and national security.

    The awards, which were made in conjunction with the White House Summit on Advancing American Leadership in QIS, will leverage and strengthen ORNL’s established programs in quantum information processing and quantum computing.

    The application of quantum mechanics to computing and the processing of information has enormous potential for innovation across the scientific spectrum. Quantum technologies use units known as qubits to greatly increase the threshold at which information can be transmitted and processed. Whereas traditional “bits” have a value of either 0 or 1, qubits are encoded with values of both 0 and 1, or any combination thereof, at the same time, allowing for a vast number of possibilities for storing data.

    While in its infancy, the technology is being harnessed to develop computers that, when mature, will be exponentially more powerful than today’s leading systems. Beyond computing, however, quantum information science shows great promise to advance a vast array of research domains, from encryption to artificial intelligence to cosmology.

    The ORNL awards represent three Office of Science programs.

    “Software Stack and Algorithms for Automating Quantum-Classical Computing,” a new project supported by the Office of Advanced Scientific Computing Research, will develop methods for programming quantum computers. Led by ORNL’s Pavel Lougovski, the team of researchers from ORNL, Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Lab, University of Southern California, University of Maryland, Georgetown University, and Microsoft, will tackle translating scientific applications into functional quantum programs that return accurate results when executed on real-world faulty quantum hardware. The team will develop an open-source algorithm and software stack that will automate the process of designing, executing, and analyzing the results of quantum algorithms, thus enabling new discovery across many scientific domains with an emphasis on applications in quantum field theory, nuclear physics, condensed matter, and quantum machine learning.

    ORNL’s Christopher M. Rouleau will lead the “Thin Film Platform for Rapid Prototyping Novel Materials with Entangled States for Quantum Information Science” project, funded by Basic Energy Sciences. The project aims to establish an agile AI-guided synthesis platform coupling reactive pulsed laser deposition with quick decision-making diagnostics to enable the rapid exploration of a wide spectrum of candidate thin-film materials for QIS; understand the dynamics of photonic states by combining a novel cathodoluminescence scanning electron microscopy platform with ultrafast laser spectroscopy; and enable understanding of entangled spin states for topological quantum computing by developing a novel scanning tunneling microscopy platform.

    ORNL’s Stephen Jesse will lead the “Understanding and Controlling Entangled and Correlated Quantum States in Confined Solid-State Systems Created via Atomic Scale Manipulation,” a new project supported by Basic Energy Sciences that includes collaborators from Harvard and MIT. The goal of the project is to use advanced electron microscopes to engineer novel materials on an atom-by-atom basis for use in QIS. These microscopes, along with other powerful instrumentation, will also be used to assess emerging quantum properties in-situ to aid the assembly process. Collaborators from Harvard will provide theoretical and computational effort to design quantum properties on demand using ORNL’s high-performance computing resources.

    ORNL is also partnering with Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Berkeley Laboratory, and the University of Michigan on a project funded by the Office of Basic Energy Sciences titled “Embedding Quantum Computing into Many-Body Frameworks for Strongly-Correlated Molecular and Materials Systems.” The research team will develop methods for solving problems in computational chemistry for highly correlated electronic states. ORNL’s contribution, led by Travis Humble, will support this collaboration by translating applications of computational chemistry into the language needed for running on quantum computers and testing these ideas on experimental hardware.

    ORNL will support multiple projects awarded by the Office of High Energy Physics to develop methods for detecting high-energy particles using quantum information science. They include:

    “Quantum-Enhanced Detection of Dark Matter and Neutrinos,” in collaboration with the University of Wisconsin, Tufts, and San Diego State University. This project will use quantum simulation to calculate detector responses to dark matter particles and neutrinos. A new simulation technique under development will require extensive work in error mitigation strategies to correctly evaluate scattering cross sections and other physical quantities. ORNL’s effort, led by Raphael Pooser, will help develop these simulation techniques and error mitigation strategies for the new quantum simulator device, thus ensuring successful detector calculations.

    “Particle Track Pattern Recognition via Content Addressable Memory and Adiabatic Quantum Optimization: OLYMPUS Experiment Revisited,” a collaboration with John Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory aimed at identifying rare events found in the data generated by experiments at particle colliders. ORNL principal investigator Travis Humble will apply new ideas for data analysis using experimental quantum computers that target faster response times and greater memory capacity for tracking signatures of high-energy particles.

    “HEP ML and Optimization Go Quantum,” in collaboration with Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory and Lockheed Martin Corporation, which will investigate how quantum machine learning methods may be applied to solving key challenges in optimization and data analysis. Advances in training machine learning networks using quantum computer promise greater accuracy and faster response times for data analysis. ORNL principal investigators Travis Humble and Alex McCaskey will help to develop these new methods for quantum machine learning for existing quantum computers by using the XACC programming tools, which offer a flexible framework by which to integrate quantum computing into scientific software.

    See the full article here .


    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings
    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    ORNL is managed by UT-Battelle for the Department of Energy’s Office of Science. DOE’s Office of Science is the single largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States, and is working to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time.

    i2

     
  • richardmitnick 12:50 pm on September 14, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , ORNL, Synthesis studies transform waste sugar for sustainable energy storage applications   

    From Oak Ridge National Laboratory: “Synthesis studies transform waste sugar for sustainable energy storage applications” 

    i1

    From Oak Ridge National Laboratory

    September 6, 2018
    Scott Jones, Communications
    jonesg@ornl.gov
    865.241.6491

    1
    A molecular dynamics simulation depicts solid (black) and hollow (multicolored) carbon spheres derived from the waste sugar streams of biorefineries. The properties of the hollow spheres are ideal for developing energy storage devices called supercapacitors. Credit: Monojoy Goswami/ORNL

    Biorefinery facilities are critical to fueling the economy—converting wood chips, grass clippings, and other biological materials into fuels, heat, power, and chemicals.

    A research team at the US Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Oak Ridge National Laboratory has now discovered a way to create functional materials from the impure waste sugars produced in the biorefining processes.

    Using hydrothermal carbonization, a synthesis technique that converts biomass into carbon under high temperature and pressure conditions, the team transformed waste sugar into spherical carbon materials. These carbon spheres could be used to form improved supercapacitors, which are energy storage devices that help power technologies including smartphones, hybrid vehicles, and security alarm systems. The team’s results are published in Scientific Reports, a Nature research journal.

    “The significant finding is that we found a way to take sugar from plants and other organic matter and use it to make different structures,” said Amit Naskar, a senior researcher in ORNL’s Materials Science and Technology Division. “Knowing the physics behind how those structures form can help us improve components of energy storage.”

    By modifying the synthesis process, the researchers created two varieties of the novel carbon spheres. Combining sugar and water under pressure resulted in solid spheres, whereas replacing water with an emulsion substance (a liquid that uses chemicals to combine oil and water) typically produced hollow spheres instead.

    “Just by substituting water for this other liquid, we can control the shape of the carbon, which could have huge implications for supercapacitor performance,” said Hoi Chun Ho, a PhD candidate working with Naskar at the Bredesen Center for Interdisciplinary Research and Graduate Education, a joint venture of ORNL and the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. The team also discovered that altering the duration of synthesis directly affected the size and shape of the spheres.

    To further explore the discrepancies between solid and hollow carbon structures, the team ran synthesis simulations on the Cray XK7 Titan supercomputer at the Oak Ridge Leadership Computing Facility (OLCF), a DOE Office of Science User Facility located at ORNL.

    ORNL Cray Titan XK7 Supercomputer

    They also used transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and small-angle x-ray scattering (SAXS) tools at the Center for Nanophase Materials Sciences (CNMS), another DOE Office of Science User Facility, to characterize the capabilities and structure of the carbon samples.

    3
    From left, Andrew Lupini and Juan Carlos Idrobo use ORNL’s new monochromated, aberration-corrected scanning transmission electron microscope, a Nion HERMES to take the temperatures of materials at the nanoscale. Image credit: Oak Ridge National Laboratory, U.S. Dept. of Energy; photographer Jason Richards

    “We wanted to determine what kind of surface area is good for energy storage applications, and we learned that the hollow spheres are more suitable,” said ORNL researcher Monojoy Goswami of CNMS and the Computer Science and Engineering Division. “Without these simulations and resources, we wouldn’t have been able to reach this fundamental understanding.”

    With this data the team tested a supercapacitor with electrodes made from hollow carbon spheres, which retained about 90 percent capacitance—the ability to store an electric charge—after 5,000 charge cycles. Although supercapacitors cannot store as much energy as batteries can store, they have many advantages over batteries, such as faster charging and exceptionally long lifetimes. Some technologies contain both batteries to provide everyday energy and supercapacitors to provide additional support during peak power demands.

    “Batteries often support smartphones and other electronic devices alone, but supercapacitors can be useful for many high-power applications,” Ho said. “For example, if a vehicle is driving up a steep hill with many passengers, the extra strain may cause the supercapacitor to kick in.”

    The pathway from waste sugar to hollow carbon spheres to supercapacitors demonstrates new potential for previously untapped byproducts from biorefineries. The researchers are planning projects to find and test other applications for carbon materials derived from waste sugar such as reinforcing polymer composites with carbon fibers.

    “Carbon can serve many useful purposes in addition to improving supercapacitors,” Ho said. “There is more work to be done to fully understand the structural evolution of carbon materials.”

    Making use of waste streams could also help scientists pursue forms of sustainable energy on a broader scale. According to the ORNL team, biorefineries can produce beneficial combinations of renewable energy and chemicals but are not yet profitable enough to compete with traditional energy sources. However, the researchers anticipate that developing useful materials from waste could help improve efficiency and reduce costs, making outputs from these facilities viable alternatives to oil and other fossil fuels.

    “Our goal is to use waste energy for green applications,” Goswami said. “That’s good for the environment, for the biorefinery industry, and for commerce.”

    Coauthors with Goswami, Ho, and Naskar are CNMS researchers Jihua Chen, who collected TEM data, and Jong Keum, who collected SAXS data. The research was supported by the Laboratory Directed Research and Development Program at ORNL with additional support from the DOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, Bioenergy Technologies Office.

    See the full article here .

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

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    ORNL is managed by UT-Battelle for the Department of Energy’s Office of Science. DOE’s Office of Science is the single largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States, and is working to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time.

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