Oak Ridge National Laboratory

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An experimental and theoretical exploration of the quantum chromodynamics (QCD) phase diagram. The matter produced in collisions at the highest energies and the smallest baryon chemical potentials can change from quark-gluon plasma (QGP) to a hadron gas through a smooth crossover. But lower energy collisions can access higher baryon chemical potentials where a first-order phase transition line is thought to exist. The reach of the future DOE Basic Energy Sciences program at RHIC is shown, as are the trajectories on the phase diagram followed by the cooling droplets of QGP produced in collisions with varying energy. The present reach of lattice QCD calculations is illustrated by the yellow band. (Illustration: Swagato Mukherjee, Brookhaven National Laboratory.)

Early-universe soup

June 22nd, 2016 Updated: June 22nd, 2016

ORNL’s Titan supercomputer is helping Brookhaven physicists understand the matter that formed microseconds after the Big Bang.


The group behind AnalyzeThis tested their system on complex, real-word workflows, including Montage, a program used to produce astronomical images like this, the Large Magellanic Cloud. This mosaic compiled from the NASA Spitzer Space Telescope was made as part of the Suveying the Agents of Galaxy's Evolution (SAGE). (Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/M. Meixner (Space Telescope Science Institute) and the SAGE legacy team.)

Analysis restaurant

November 12th, 2015 Updated: November 12th, 2015

The AnalyzeThis system deals with the rush of huge data-analysis orders typical in scientific computing.



Layered look

August 26th, 2015 Updated: August 26th, 2015

With help from the Titan supercomputer, an Oak Ridge National Laboratory team is peering at the chemistry and physics between the layers of superconducting materials.



Slippery subject

February 11th, 2015 Updated: June 2nd, 2015

University of Texas researchers are out to improve computational models of ice sheets by refining estimates of basal friction: how much rocks and earth slow the sheet’s movement.


In this false-color image, NuSTAR data, which show high-energy X-rays from radioactive material, are colored blue. Lower-energy X-rays from non-radioactive material, imaged previously with NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory, are shown in red, yellow and green. (NASA/JPL-Caltech/CXC/SAO.)

Supernova shocks

May 6th, 2014 Updated: May 6th, 2014

More than 10 years after simulations first suggested its presence, observations appear to confirm that a key instability drives the shock behind one kind of supernova.


Permafrost creates a polygonal landscape, irregularity that makes simulating thawing’s impact on climate change a challenge requiring advanced algorithms and high-performance computers. (Photo: Konstanze Piel, Alfred Wegener Institute.)

After the thaw

February 19th, 2014 Updated: February 19th, 2014

Simulations of melting permafrost promise changes in climate modeling.


Argentina's Perito Moreno glacier.

Deciphering the big thaw

July 16th, 2013 Updated: July 16th, 2013

Scientists thought they had figured out what ended the last ice age – except for one nagging problem. Researchers using Oak Ridge National Laboratory computers may now have discovered the final answer.


nanosponge boomerang

Kinky nanotubes

September 6th, 2012 Updated: September 6th, 2012

With the help of Oak Ridge computations, scientists are probing the properties of macroscale sponges made of nanoscale carbon-boron tubes. The material could soak up oil spills, help store energy or meet other needs.


This frame from the Via Lactea II visualization shows the dark matter halo as it might look today, more than 13.7 billion years since the Big Bang. Gravity has drawn the partcles into dense clumps, which retain much of their stucture as they are drawn toward the halo’s center.  The color scale shows dark matter density increasing from blue to white.

Seeing the invisible

October 6th, 2010 Updated: January 13th, 2016

Armed with computing power from Oak Ridge National Laboratory, researchers are detailing the nature of dark matter surrounding a galaxy much like our own Milky Way.


Atomic-detailed model of lignocellulose of softwoods. Based on experimental data on the structure of cellulose (brown) and lignin (cyan and red).

Breaking the biomass barrier

December 22nd, 2009 Updated: June 20th, 2014

What Oak Ridge National Laboratory researchers are learning could help make ethanol from cellulose a viable fuel alternative – and help the United States replace foreign oil with a green, renewable resource.