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Coupling Experiments to Theory to Build a Better Battery

A Berkeley Lab-led team of researchers has reported that a new lithium-sulfur battery component allows a doubling in capacity compared to a conventional lithium-sulfur battery, even after more than 100 charge cycles.

X-Rays Reveal ‘Handedness’ in Swirling Electric Vortices

Scientists used spiraling X-rays at Berkeley Lab to observe, for the first time, a property that gives left- or right-handedness to swirling electric patterns – dubbed polar vortices – in a layered material called a superlattice.

Ingredients for Life Revealed in Meteorites That Fell to Earth

A detailed study of blue salt crystals found in two meteorites that crashed to Earth – which included X-ray experiments at Berkeley Lab – found that they contain both liquid water and a mix of complex organic compounds including hydrocarbons and amino acids.

Real World Native Biocrusts: Microbial Metabolism

Specific compounds are transformed by and strongly associated with specific bacteria in native biological soil crust (biocrust) using a suite of tools called “exometabolomics.” Understanding how microbial communities in biocrusts adapt to harsh environments could shed light on the roles of soil microbes in the global carbon cycle.

Star Mergers: A New Test of Gravity, Dark Energy Theories

Observations and measurements of a neutron star merger have largely ruled out some theories relating to gravity and dark energy, and challenged a large class of theories.

X-Rays Provide Key Insights on Path to Lithium-Rich Battery Electrode

A research team including scientists from Berkeley Lab created a comprehensive picture of how the same chemical processes that give lithium-rich battery cathodes their high capacity are also linked to changes in atomic structure that sap their performance.

Dark Fiber: Using Sensors Beneath Our Feet to Tell Us About Earthquakes, Water, and Other Geophysical Phenomena

Scientists at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory have shown for the first time that dark fiber – the vast network of unused fiber-optic cables installed throughout the country and the world – can be used as sensors for detecting earthquakes, the presence of groundwater, changes in permafrost conditions, and a variety of other subsurface activity.

Watching a Quantum Material Lose Its Stripes

In quantum materials, periodic stripe patterns can be formed by electrons coupled with lattice distortions. To capture the extremely fast dynamics of how such atomic-scale stripes melt and form, Berkeley Lab scientists used femtosecond-scale laser pulses at terahertz frequencies. Along the way, they found some unexpected behavior.

‘Holy Grail’ for Batteries: Solid-State Magnesium Battery a Big Step Closer

A team of Department of Energy (DOE) scientists at the Joint Center for Energy Storage Research (JCESR) has discovered the fastest magnesium-ion solid-state conductor, a major step towards making solid-state magnesium-ion batteries that are both energy dense and safe.

How the Earth Stops High-Energy Neutrinos in Their Tracks

In an analysis of data from an experiment embedded in Antarctic ice, a research collaboration including scientists from Berkeley Lab has demonstrated that the Earth stops high-energy neutrinos – particles that only very rarely interact with matter.