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Argonne National Laboratory is a science and engineering research national laboratory operated by the University of Chicago Argonne LLC for the United States Department of Energy located in Lemont, Illinois, outside Chicago. It is the largest national laboratory by size and scope in the Midwest. Argonne was initially formed to carry out Enrico Fermi's work on nuclear reactors as part of the Manhattan Project, and it was designated as the first national laboratory in the United States on July 1, 1946. In the post-war era the lab focused primarily on non-weapon related nuclear physics, designing and building the first power-producing nuclear reactors, helping design the reactors used by the USA's nuclear navy, and a wide variety of similar projects. In 1994, the lab's nuclear mission ended, and today it maintains a broad portfolio in basic science research, energy storage and renewable energy, environmental sustainability, supercomputing, and national security.

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3D-printed weather stations could enable more science for less money

“An inexpensive monitoring system with 3D-printed parts and low-cost sensors might not last as long as a commercial one, but it can be just as accurate, researchers found. Across the United States, weather stations made up of instruments and sensors …

Promising new research identifies innovative approach for controlling defects in 3D printing

“Argonne scientists use temperature data to tune — and fix — defects in 3D-printed metallic parts. With its ability to yield parts with complex shapes and minimal waste, additive manufacturing has the potential to revolutionize the production of metallic components. That potential …

Turning carbon dioxide into liquid fuel

“New electrocatalyst efficiently converts carbon dioxide into ethanol. Catalysts speed up chemical reactions and form the backbone of many industrial processes. For example, they are essential in transforming heavy oil into gasoline or jet fuel. Today, catalysts are involved in …

Researchers eye manganese as key to safer, cheaper lithium-ion batteries

“One of Earth’s most abundant metals, manganese could help replace expensive cobalt in battery cathodes. Most of the lithium-ion batteries that power electric cars today depend, to some degree, on cobalt. This blue-gray metal helps pack more power into …

Theoretical breakthrough shows quantum fluids rotate by corkscrew mechanism

“If a drop of creamer falls from a spoon into a swirling cup of coffee, the whirlpool drags the drop into rotation. But what would happen if the coffee had no friction — no way to pull the drop into a …

Platinum-free catalysts could make cheaper hydrogen fuel cells

“The high cost of platinum catalysts used in hydrogen fuel cells limits the commercialization of fuel cell electric vehicles. Scientists are studying alternative catalysts to increase cost-effectiveness and maintain efficiency of hydrogen fuel cells. Researchers are increasingly looking to hydrogen …

Capturing 3D microstructures in real time

“Machine-learning based algorithm characterizes 3D material microstructure in real time Modern scientific research on materials relies heavily on exploring their behavior at the atomic and molecular scales. For that reason, scientists are constantly on the hunt for new and improved …

A joint venture at the nanoscale

“When superconductivity material science meets nuclear physics Imagine a wire with a thickness roughly one-hundred thousand times smaller than a human hair and only visible with the world’s most powerful microscopes. They can come in many varieties, including semiconductors …

Scientists pioneer new generation of semiconductor neutron detector

“Scientists discover new neutron-detecting material for applications in science and national security. Whether you are trying to detect a possible radiation signature from a suspicious package or vehicle, or you are measuring power output in a nuclear reactor, being able …

Getting a look under the hood of topological insulators

“Certain materials, like copper, conduct electricity very well. Other materials, like glass, do not. A certain kind of material, called a topological insulator, acts partially like one and partially like the other ― it behaves like a conductor at its surface …