Today at Berkeley Lab

Taming the Flood of Big Climate Data

Big Data, it seems, is everywhere, usually characterized as a Big Problem. But Lab researchers are adept at moving and analyzing massive scientific datasets. At a recent climate-science workshop, CRD’s Prabhat described a large-scale data analysis project to assess how well climate models predict extra-tropical hurricanes. More>

You can leave a comment. View the Comment Policy.

Tiny Laser Sensor Heightens Bomb Detection Sensitivity

A team of researchers led by Materials Sciences Director Xiang Zhang has found a way to dramatically increase the sensitivity of a light-based plasmon sensor to detect incredibly minute concentrations of explosives. The researchers noted that the sensor could potentially be used to sniff out a hard-to-detect explosive popular among terrorists. More>

You can leave a comment. View the Comment Policy.

Dyeing to Learn More About Marine Viruses

The sheer volume of oceanic cyanobacteria makes them major players in the global carbon cycle and responsible for up to a third of the carbon fixed. However, very little is known about the viruses in the water. To help resolve this lack of knowledge, a population-scale survey was conducted at JGI using a game-changing new technique. More>

You can leave a comment. View the Comment Policy.

Roadblock to More Efficient Solar Cells Cleared

Lab researchers have developed the first ab initio method — meaning a theoretical model free of adjustable or empirical parameters — for characterizing the properties of “hot carriers” in semiconductors. More>

You can leave a comment. View the Comment Policy.

Photoelectrochemical Generation of Hydrogen Assessed

New research from the Joint Center for Artificial Photosynthesis assesses the energy balance of large-scale photoelectrochemical hydrogen production using life-cycle analysis. More>

You can leave a comment. View the Comment Policy.

Fundamental Chemistry Findings Could Help Extend Moore’s Law

Computer chips have gotten smaller thanks to advances in materials science and manufacturing technologies. This doubling of transistors on a microprocessor roughly every two years is called Moore’s Law. But one component of the chip-making process needs of an overhaul if Moore’s law is to continue: the chemical mixture called photoresist. More>

You can leave a comment. View the Comment Policy.

Hot Plasma Partial to Bootstrap Current

Supercomputers at NERSC are helping plasma physicists create a “bootstrap” that could help reduce or eliminate the need for an external current driver and pave the way to a more cost-effective fusion reactor. If successful, fusion reactors could provide almost limitless clean energy. More>

You can leave a comment. View the Comment Policy.

Researchers From EETD, MIT, and Spain Collaborate on Microgrids

The Environmental Energy Technologies Division has signed a collaboration license with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and IIT-Comillas University in Madrid to develop microgrids using software created by EETD researchers. More>

You can leave a comment. View the Comment Policy.

Postcards from the Photosynthetic Edge

Using the world’s most powerful x-ray laser, a collaboration led by Lab researchers took femtosecond “snapshots” of water oxidation in photosystem II. The results should help advance the development of artificial photosynthesis for clean, green and renewable energy. More>

You can leave a comment. View the Comment Policy.

ALS Helps Researchers Figure Out How to Make More Efficient Fuel Cells

Using high-brilliance X-rays at the Advanced Light Source, researchers track the process that fuel cells use to produce electricity, knowledge that will help make large-scale alternative energy power systems more practical and reliable. More>

You can leave a comment. View the Comment Policy.