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Welcome to the Fundamental & Computational Sciences website.
I hope you take the opportunity to explore it and learn about the outstanding people, capabilities and scientific research at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory.

—Doug Ray, Associate Lab Director

"We strive to make progress on today's important scientific challenges."


Research Highlights

vegetation fires
Full Story | March 2015

Hot on the Burn's Trail
Scientists developed global model on the role of human activity and weather on vegetation fires

Led by PNNL scientists, researchers developed a new vegetation fire model that will improve understanding of such fires around the world today. It can also predict their evolution with future changes in the environment and society. HESFIRE (Human-Earth System FIRE) integrates the role of atmospheric changes like humidity, terrestrial factors like the amount of vegetation available to burn, and human interactions with the environment.

girdled trees in dying forest
Full Story | March 2015

Does Death Stalk the Forest?
No, say scientists: current forest models are at odds with real-world observations

Trees are dying at increasing rates across much of the U.S., surprising forest managers and climate scientists alike. After all, the memories of early 20th century land clearing and logging are fading from today's forests. New research led by PNNL shows that the problem in predicting how forests age may lie in the forest models, not the trees. The trees may be dying from old age, but in general, forests are much more resilient than originally thought.

add alt text
Full Story | March 2015

Putting Batteries on Stage Spotlights Performance at the Nanoscale
New device lets scientists take images of lithium battery as it works and recharges

To gain an atomic-level understanding of what happens inside the ubiquitous lithium battery, scientists designed and implemented an operando electrochemical stage. Using this stage inside a state-of-the-art aberration-corrected transmission electron microscope, they took nanoscale-resolution pictures of lithium ions as they are deposited on or dissolve off of an electrode while the battery runs. With the new stage, scientists can directly image changes as they occur. This information is vital to control performance- and safety-limiting processes.

Full Story | March 2015

StreamWorks: Pattern Detection for Your Protection
Novel graph method detects cyber-attack patterns in complex computing networks

Detecting cyber security breaches and identifying their attack patterns in complex computing networks as they emerge in real time remains a paramount concern and growing challenge. In their work involving streaming graphs, scientists at PNNL and Washington State University, devised a novel framework, StreamWorks, that categorizes cyber attacks as graph patterns, which then can be examined using a continuous search on a single, large streaming dynamic graph. Identifying events and patterns as they emerge will go a long way in evading and mitigating the computer network intrusions that have potentially criminal, even dangerous, consequences and have made cyber security a multi-billion dollar industry.

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