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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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Liquid-like motion in crystals could explain their promising behavior in solar cells

“Spontaneous, liquid-like vibrations in crystalline materials may explain their efficiency in harvesting solar energy. The sun delivers more energy to Earth in one hour than humanity consumes over an entire year. Scientists worldwide are searching for materials that can cost-effectively …

New 2D superconductor forms at higher temperatures than ever before

“New interfacial superconductor has novel properties that raise new fundamental questions and might be useful for quantum information processing or quantum sensing. Interfaces in solids form the basis for much of modern technology. For example, transistors found in all our …

Little swirling mysteries: New research uncovers dynamics of ultrasmall, ultrafast groups of atoms

“Exploring and manipulating the behavior of polar vortices in material may lead to new technology for faster data transfer and storage. Researchers used the Advanced Photon Source at Argonne and the Linac Coherent Light Source at SLAC to learn more …

Nature’s funhouse mirror: understanding asymmetry in the proton

“Asymmetry in the proton confounds physicists, but a new discovery may bring back old theories to explain it. Symmetry — displayed in areas ranging from mathematics and art, to living organisms and galaxies — is an important underlying structure in nature. It …

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 …