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The Great Gas Hydrate Escape

January 25, 2012

For some time, researchers have explored flammable ice for low-carbon or alternative fuel or as a place to store carbon dioxide. Now, a computer analysis of the ice and gas compound, known as a gas hydrate, reveals key details of its structure. The results show that hydrates can hold hydrogen at an optimal capacity of 5 weight-percent, a value that meets the goal of a Department of Energy standard and makes gas hydrates practical and affordable. Read More »

Bubbles Help Break Energy Storage Record for Lithium Air-Batteries

January 25, 2012

One of the biggest weaknesses of today’s electric vehicles (EV) is battery life—most cars can only go about 100-200 miles between charges. But researchers hope that a new type of battery, called the lithium-air battery, will one day lead to a cost-effective, long-range EV that could travel up to 300 miles or more between charges. Read More »

Computing steps up to capture, keep carbon dioxide underground

January 25, 2012

Producing electricity to power our homes and businesses while also reducing carbon dioxide emissions remains difficult. Fossil fuels provide most electricity in the United States. Coal-burning plants produce nearly three quarters of the nation’s power, simultaneously spewing carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. - See more at: http://ascr-discovery.science.doe.gov/feature/carbon1.shtml#sthash.TWMdavSb.dpuf Read More »

Inspiring Careers in Science Research

January 21, 2012

In an effort to expose high school students to careers in research, the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory’s (Berkeley Lab) Computing Sciences Diversity Outreach Program partnered with San Francisco’s Lowell High School Science Research Program, an after school program that aims to give highly motivated juniors and seniors a chance to develop research projects with professional guidance with the intent to have the students enter the Intel Science Talent Search, a competition sponsored by Intel that offers college scholarships for outstanding scientific work. Read More »

Calculating What’s in the Universe from the Biggest Color 3-D Map

January 11, 2012

Since 2000, the three Sloan Digital Sky Surveys (SDSS I, II, III) have surveyed well over a quarter of the night sky and produced the biggest color map of the universe in three dimensions ever. Read More »

A Better Way to ID Extreme Weather Events in Climate Models

December 7, 2011

You’d think that spotting a category 5 hurricane would never be difficult. But when the hurricane is in a global climate model that spans several decades, it becomes a fleeting wisp among mountains of data. Read More »

Ten Billion Light Years Away, A Gang of Supernovae Reveals a Cosmic Secret

November 10, 2011

An international team of astronomers has exposed the largest sample of distant supernovae ever found—150 events, many of which are located about 10 billion light years away from Earth. These events reveal that a particular breed of cosmic explosions, called Type 1a supernovae, occurred five times more frequently when the universe was young than they do today. The paper, authored by a team of American, Israeli and Japanese astronomers, was published in the October 2011 issue of Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society (MNRAS). Read More »

Berkeley Lab to have Strong Presence at SC11 Conference

November 10, 2011

Once again, scientists and engineers from Berkeley Lab are making significant contributions to the SC11 Technical Program, sharing their expertise and experience with thousands of attendees at the annual conference sponsored by the IEEE Computer Society and ACM SIGARCH. SC11 will be held Nov. 12-16 in Seattle.SC11 Technical Program Sessions with Berkeley Lab Contributors TECHNICAL PAPERSThe SC11 Technical Papers program received 352 high quality submissions covering a variety of advanced… Read More »

Accelerating Advanced Material Development

October 31, 2011

New materials are crucial to building a clean energy economy—for everything from batteries to photovoltaics to lighter weight vehicles—but today the development cycle is too slow: around 18 years from conception to commercialization. To speed up this process, a team of researchers from the Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) teamed up to develop a new computational tool. Called the Materials Project, it launches this month. Read More »

Experimental Mathematics: Computing Power Leads to Insights

October 13, 2011

Providence, RI—In his 1989 book "The Emperor's New Mind," Roger Penrose commented on the limitations on human knowledge with a striking example: He conjectured that we would most likely never know whether a string of 10 consecutive 7s appears in the digital expansion of the number pi. Just 8 years later, Yasumasa Kanada used a computer to find exactly that string, starting at the 17387594880th digit of pi. Penrose was certainly not alone in his inability to foresee the tremendous power that computers would soon possess. Read More »