Argonne National Laboratory, located in Dupage county Illinois, have a European White Deer herd on their grounds.

Fermilab, located outside Batavia, Illinois, have an American Bison herd on their grounds.

Question: I have been hearing that the deer around your forest are turning white. Why is that? 


Argonne National Laboratory has a herd of imported European white deer roaming around the site. Not to be outdone, Fermilab has a herd of Bison. No weird atomic mutants to report, sorry.


Odd properties of water and ice explained: Water exists as two different liquids

We normally consider liquid water as disordered with the molecules rearranging on a short time scale around some average structure. Now, however, scientists at Stockholm University have discovered two phases of the liquid with large differences in structure and density. The results are based on experimental studies using X-rays, which are now published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Science.

Most of us know that water is essential for our existence on planet Earth. It is less well-known that water has many strange or anomalous properties and behaves very differently from all other liquids. Some examples are the melting point, the density, the heat capacity, and all-in-all there are more than 70 properties of water that differ from most liquids. These anomalous properties of water are a prerequisite for life as we know it.

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#CYMATICS: SOUND WAVES #LEVITATE LIQUID. Scientists use sound waves at #ArgonneNationalLabratory  to 
develop an “acoustic levitator.” Water droplets are placed between two vertically stacked speakers that produce high range sound waves. This interference creates a standing wave causing the water droplets to levitate in mid air. Acoustic levitation has also been used by other scientists to levitate many small objects. This cymatic research could lead to new developments in transportation, architecture and design.
#4Biddenknowledge (at Argonne National Laboratory)

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Hope to discover sure signs of life on Mars? New research says look for the element vanadium

The search for biology on neighbor planet Mars won’t play out like a Hollywood movie starring little green men. Rather, many scientists agree if there was life on the Red Planet, it probably will present itself as fossilized bacteria. To find it, astrobiologists likely will need to decode the chemical analysis of rock samples performed by a rover (like the one NASA plans to send to Mars in 2020). Only then might humankind know conclusively that life exists beyond Earth.

A new paper in the journal Astrobiology suggests NASA and others hunting for proof of Martian biology in the form of “microfossils” could use the element vanadium in combination with Raman spectroscopy on organic material as biosignatures to confirm traces of extraterrestrial life.

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“Today is the birthday of Maria Goeppert Mayer, one of only two women to win the Nobel Prize in Physics (Marie Curie is the other). Mayer was born in Kattowitz, Germany (now Katowice, Poland), in 1906. She studied under three Nobel laureates, including Max Born, at the University of Göttingen in Germany and in 1930 earned a doctorate in theoretical physics. In 1946 Mayer moved to Chicago and started working at the University of Chicago and Argonne National Laboratory. She started researching nuclear physics and the question of why some atomic nuclei are stable while others are not. In 1948 she came up with an explanation: the nuclear shell model, in which protons and neutrons fill a series of shells of increasing energy, similar to the orbitals of electrons surrounding the nucleus. Nuclei with 2, 8, 20, 28, 50, 82, or 126 total protons and neutrons (these are called magic numbers) are the most stable. Mayer’s work, published in Physical Review, appeared one issue after a paper by Hans Jensen and colleagues that contained the same insight. Rather than become fierce competitors, Mayer and Jensen teamed up on research and cowrote a book on nuclear shell structure. Mayer, Jensen, and Eugene Wigner shared the 1963 Nobel Prize in Physics.” - Physics Today 


The BORAX Experiments were a series of five destructive tests of boiling water reactors built and conducted by Argonne National Laboratory in the 1950s and 1960s at the National Reactor Testing Station in eastern Idaho.

The synopsis of the final test of BORAX-I in 1954, as seen in the photos above, is as follows: “The (test was) carried out by withdrawing four of the five control rods far enough to make the reactor critical at a very low power level. The fifth rod was then fired from the core by means of a spring. In this test, the rod was ejected in approximately 0.2 seconds. After the control rod was ejected, an explosion took place in the reactor which carried away the control mechanism and blew out the core. At half a mile, the radiation level rose to 25 mr/hr. Personnel were evacuated for about 30 minutes.”

The destruction of BORAX-I caused the “aerial distribution of contaminants resulting from the final experiment of the BORAX-I reactor” and the likely contamination of the topmost 1 foot of soil over about 2 acres in the vicinity. The site was cleaned prior to being used for subsequent experiments. The BORAX-I burial ground is located roughly 820 m (2,730 ft) northwest of the Experimental Breeder Reactor-I, a publicly accessible national monument. 

The only demonstration of BORAX-I principles during a real nuclear accident occurred several years later within the SL-1 (Stationary Low-Power Reactor Number One) nuclear reactor operated by the United States Army, in which the reactor underwent a steam explosion and meltdown, subsequently killing its three operators.


Epoxy+Electricity=New Hairy Materials

Scientists have created a new kind of structure by running alternating current through a mixture of epoxy, hardener and solvent. Their technique causes long fibers to grow from the raw materials.

The method, developed by Argonne National Laboratory physicists and colleagues, could be useful in producing new materials for batteries, photovoltaic cells or sensors. These technologies require components with high surface areas. Such characteristics are offered by the new “hairy” fiber-sprouting materials, which can then be coated with a semiconducting layer, for example, to meet the technology’s needs.

It could also be used to make superhydrophobic surfaces, which repel water and dust by being covered by nano-sized hairs. 

See a video of the hairy fibers growing below.

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Experiment resolves mystery about wind flows on Jupiter

Using a spinning table and a massive garbage can, geophysicist leads team in simulating the planet’s atmosphere

One mystery has been whether the jets exist only in the planet’s upper atmosphere – much like Earth’s own jet streams – or whether they plunge into Jupiter’s gaseous interior. If the latter is true, it could reveal clues about the planet’s interior structure and internal dynamics.

Now, UCLA geophysicist Jonathan Aurnou and collaborators in Marseille, France, have simulated Jupiter’s jets in the laboratory for the first time. Their work demonstrates that the winds likely extend thousands of miles below Jupiter’s visible atmosphere.

This research is published online in Nature Physics.

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Graphene Roll-Ups Make Friction Disappear, Could Revolutionize Machine Engineering

Chalk another amazing ability up for the supermaterial graphene. It seems the atom-thick sheets of linked carbon atoms can virtually eliminate friction. 

The simulation above depicts the graphene-lubricant discovery–blue graphene sheets roll up to encase gold nanodiamonds as a surface of black diamond-like carbon slides over. Once the graphene wraps into so-called nanoscrolls around the nanodiamonds, the sheets make friction disappear.

“The nanoscrolls combat friction in very much the same way that ball bearings do by creating separation between surfaces,” said Argonne National Lab researcher Sanket Deshmukh. Learn more and see photos below.

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