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Physical and Life Sciences

Cover cropping can increase farming yields

Cropland management practices that restore soil organic carbon (SOC) are often looked at as climate solutions that also enhance yields. But how often these benefits align at the farm level — the scale of farmers’ decision-making — remains unclear. In a new study in Nature Sustainability, a Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) scientist and collaborators examined…

All eyes on Lizz Lantz

Lizz Lantz has always been driven by curiosity about how the world works. “I’m really interested in the materials that make up the world around us, which we often take for granted,” Lizz Lantz said. “And, what better way to explore the world’s fabric than to inspect it under the microscope?” Lizz Lantz exercises this interest in her position as a metallography technician…

Three graduate students earn awards to work at Lawrence Livermore

Three graduate students have earned Department of Energy Office of Science Graduate Student Research (SCGSR) Program awards to perform their doctoral dissertation research at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL). They are three among the 87 graduate students representing 33 states for the SCGSR program’s 2022 Solicitation 2 cycle. Through world-class training and…

Researchers explore how viruses enhance our understanding of life in the universe

On Earth, viruses are abundant and an integral part of life. However, very little is known about them outside human health contexts, especially in areas related to space. Understanding the role viruses play on Earth and how they interact with their hosts in extreme environments can better inform human spaceflight missions (environmental control, life support systems, and…

Next-generation simulation infrastructure bridges multiscale models

One of the fundamental challenges in computational modeling is to balance the trade-off between the length and time scales that need to be simulated and the corresponding computational costs. Relevant time scales are typically determined by a phenomena of interest, e.g., a protein’s activation or a chemical reaction, whereas length scales are usually chosen based on the…

Microgravity experiments reveal metallurgical phenomena

In solidification processing, such as casting, welding, or additive manufacturing, cellular or dendritic patterns develop during the growth of a solid crystal from the liquid phase. In metallurgy, each similarly patterned region is referred to as a grain—which must be controlled during processing as grains affect structural performance. Additionally, the grain texture—the…

Microenvironment engineering for improved electrochemical reduction of CO<sub>2</sub>

Copper-based catalysts are highly active for electrochemical reduction of CO2 (CO2R) to several desirable hydrocarbon products, such as methane (CH4), formic acid (HCOOH), ethylene (C2H4), and ethanol (C2H5OH). CO2R is dually beneficial, as it allows for the conversion of excess atmospheric CO2 into useful chemicals. However, using copper-based catalysts for CO2R depends…

New report finds that carbon capture and storage in California can concurrently serve local communities, the environment and the economy

A new report co-authored by George Peridas of the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) and Benjamin Grove of the Clean Air Task Force examines the economic viability of carbon capture and storage (CCS) projects in California and finds that several classes of projects are viable today. These can help the state meet its climate goals and hold a sizable potential to…

Experiments shed light on pressure-driven ionization in giant planets and stars

Scientists have conducted laboratory experiments at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) that provide new insights on the complex process of pressure-driven ionization in giant planets and stars. Their research, published today in Nature, unveils the material properties and behavior of matter under extreme compression, offering important implications for…

Energy Inks wins regional FLC award

A Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL)-developed technology known as Energy Inks has won a best in region award for the Far West region from the Federal Laboratory Consortium for Technology Transfer (FLC). This is the technology’s second award in the past nine months, as it received an R&amp;D 100 award last September as one of the top 100 industrial inventions in…

Lab researchers assist for new Compact X-ray FEL

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) and University of California, Davis researchers are assisting Arizona State University with a new laser facility that will use ultrafast pulsed X-ray beams to study biological processes, materials and other research at the atomic level. In March, the National Science Foundation announced that it was awarding $90.8 million to…

Clear human influence on atmospheric temperature changes

New research shows that it is now virtually impossible for natural causes to explain satellite-measured changes in the thermal structure of Earth’s atmosphere. The analysis conducted by Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) scientists and colleagues for the first time demonstrates that extending “fingerprinting” techniques — used to identify the human effects on…

A rock hard technique to harvest atmospheric CO2

Carbonate minerals are formed when carbon dioxide reacts with magnesium and calcium-rich rocks. But where does that CO2 come from? If it comes from the atmosphere, this process at sufficient scale may be able to reliably draw down atmospheric greenhouse gas levels, according to new research by Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) scientists. The research appears…

Understanding material degradation in titanium alloys

Titanium (Ti) and its alloys are attractive for a wide variety of structural and functional applications due to the metal’s excellent strength, toughness and stiffness, and corrosion resistance. Specific applications include lightweight structural materials, bioimplants, and energy storage materials. However, if exposed to hydrogen sources, these alloys are susceptible to…

Testing immune responses against Chlamydia

Chlamydia trachomatis is the most common bacterial sexually transmitted pathogen in the world and can cause ocular, respiratory, and gastrointestinal infections. As the number of chlamydial infections continues to increase, there is a growing and urgent need for the development of a safe and efficacious vaccine. In a new study, researchers from LLNL and UC Davis tested…

Long-term coastal cliff loss due to climate change

The dangers of coastal erosion are an all-too-familiar reality for the modern residents of California’s iconic mountainous coastal communities. With a new tool, researchers are now bringing historical perspective to the topic of how to manage these disappearing coastlines. Using a model that incorporates measurements of the amount of time coastal cliffs and their remnant…

Target evolution is a key to LLNL's continued success

Part 8 in a series of articles describing the elements of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory's fusion breakthrough. The intricate, delicate targets used in Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL)’s National Ignition Facility (NIF) experiments are marvels of design, engineering and precise manufacturing. “We’ve been working over the last 16 years on continuously…

LLNL celebrates National Physics Day

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) is celebrating National Physics Day (April 24) by highlighting just a few of the thousands of physicists that work at the Lab. Physics is a scientific practice that seeks to understand the way the universe behaves by examining properties of matter and energy. Representing a cross-section of the broad scope of focus areas and…

Electronic “programming” of cell populations

Cell death and lysis (breakdown of a cell) play an important role in a wide array of biological processes. Scientists propose that the genetic “programming” of microbial cell lysis could provide new methodologies for biomanufacturing and biocontainment. To this end, LLNL and collaborators at the University of Maryland are focused on developing robust and generalizable…

Ion–water clusters in carbon nanotubes

In 1888, Walther Nernst proposed a universal relation between a charged particle’s electrophoretic mobility (a solute’s velocity in response to an applied electric field) and its diffusion coefficient (the rate at which a particle free-diffuses through medium). The microscopic origins of this relation were revealed in 1905 by Albert Einstein. These works cemented the…