Physical Sciences Division
2012 Fundamental & Computational Sciences Accomplishments Report Now Available
Since 2004, the Fundamental & Computational Sciences Directorate publishes a full-color brochure that highlights discoveries and solutions made during the fiscal year. 2012 Key Accomplishments Report of the Fundamental & Computational Sciences is now available as a downloadable PDF.
This year's report was expanded from 12 to 32 pages to represent the Directorate's eight Research Areas: Biological Systems Science, Chemical Imaging, Chemical Sciences, Climate & Earth Systems Science, Computational Sciences & Mathematics, Material Sciences, Subsurface Science, and Nuclear and Particle Physics.
Research performed by PNNL scientists and collaborators continues to advance scientific frontiers to transform our understanding and control of chemical, physical, and biological processes as well as unravel important energy, environmental, and security challenges. For example, our scientists
- Increased understanding of the toxicity of nanoparticles on lung cells
- Found faster, more efficient ways to produce hydrogen with a catalyst
- Showed that pollution increases atmospheric warming by invigorating thunderstorm clouds
- Developed a process for designing the next generation of high-performance computer systems
- Created a graphene structure built around bubbles that has the highest energy capacity to date
- Discovered a reaction that transforms CO2 into a mineral, effectively trapping it underground
- Are developing an ultra-low-background cryostat to help search for dark matter.
Several staff members were recognized for their achievements. For example, five climate and aircraft team members received the prestigious NASA group achievement award. Wei-Jun Qian won the government's highest science and engineering award. Julia Laskin received an inaugural award from the American Chemical Society. Jae Edmonds was named a Battelle Fellow, the organization's highest recognition for science and technology achievement. Alessandro Morari and Roberto Gioiosa wrote the best software paper presented at an international symposium.