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Award Finalists Demonstrate Improved Nuclear Physics Code for Supercomputing

André Walker-Loud, a staff scientist at the Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab), is co-leader of a team that is among the six finalists for the Association of Computing Machinery’s Gordon Bell Prize that will be awarded this month.

Photosynthesis Like a Moss

Moss evolved after algae but before vascular land plants, such as ferns and trees, making them an interesting target for scientists studying photosynthesis, the process by which plants convert sunlight to fuel. Now researchers at the Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory have made a discovery that could shed light on how plants evolved to move from the ocean to land.

Berkeley Lab Joins Other Labs and Universities in LaserNetUS, A New Nationwide High-Intensity Laser Network

To help foster the broad applicability of high-intensity lasers, Berkeley Lab is a partner in a new research network called LaserNetUS. The network will provide U.S. scientists increased access to the unique high-intensity laser facilities at the Lab’s BELLA Center and at eight other institutions.

A Solar Cell That Does Double Duty for Renewable Energy

Researchers at the Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and the Joint Center for Artificial Photosynthesis, a DOE Energy Innovation Hub, have developed an artificial photosynthesis device called a “hybrid photoelectrochemical and voltaic (HPEV) cell” that turns sunlight and water into two types of energy – hydrogen fuel and electricity.

Improving Climate Models to Account for Plant Behavior Yields ‘Goodish’ News

Climate scientists have not been properly accounting for what plants do at night, and that, it turns out, is a mistake. A new study from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory has found that plant nutrient uptake in the absence of photosynthesis affects greenhouse gas emissions to the atmosphere.

Machine Learning to Help Optimize Traffic and Reduce Pollution

Applying artificial intelligence to self-driving cars to smooth traffic, reduce fuel consumption, and improve air quality predictions may sound like the stuff of science fiction, but researchers at the Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) have launched two research projects to do just that.

Acrylic Tanks Provide Clear Window Into Dark Matter Detection

Scientists have a new window into the search for dark matter – an acrylic vessel that features a grouping of 12-foot-tall transparent tanks with 1-inch-thick walls. The tanks, which will surround a central detector for a nearly mile-deep experiment under construction in South Dakota called LUX-ZEPLIN (LZ), will be filled with liquid that produces tiny flashes of light in some particle interactions.

Scientists Present New Clues to Cut Through the Mystery of Titan’s Atmospheric Haze

Experiments at Berkeley Lab have helped scientists to zero in on a low-temperature chemical mechanism that may help to explain the complex molecular compounds that make up the nitrogen-rich haze layer surrounding Titan, Saturn’s largest moon.

By Jove! Methane’s Effects on Sunlight Vary by Region

Scientists investigating how human-induced increases in atmospheric methane also increase the amount of solar energy absorbed by that gas in our climate system have discovered that this absorption is 10 times stronger over desert regions such as the Sahara Desert and Arabian Peninsula than elsewhere on Earth, and nearly three times more powerful in the presence of clouds.

Toward a New Light: Advanced Light Source Upgrade Project Moves Forward

The Advanced Light Source (ALS), a scientific user facility at Berkeley Lab, has received federal approval to proceed with preliminary design, planning and R&D work for a major upgrade project that will boost the brightness of its X-ray beams at least a hundredfold. The upgrade will give the ALS, which this year celebrates its 25th anniversary, brighter beams with a more ordered structure – like evenly spaced ripples in a pond – that will better reveal nanoscale details in complex chemical reactions and in new materials, expanding the envelope for scientific exploration.