Chongai Kuang, an environmental scientist at Brookhaven, has won the 2012 Sheldon K. Friedlander Award from the American Association of Aerosol Research for his doctoral dissertation on the formation of aerosol particles in the atmosphere.
Cited as one of the most accomplished and talented aerosol scientists in the world, Kuang’s dissertation or thesis, focused on particle formation that occurs due to both natural and man-made emissions into the atmosphere that include contributions from sources such as organic bacteria and pollen as well as emissions released from the burning of fossil fuels. He studied how these particles are formed, developed models that predicted how they were formed, and also developed instrumentation to measure the particles as they formed. The award recognized his combination of elegant, theoretical descriptions of key processes with much needed observational constraints.
The field of aerosol science focuses not only on particle formation, but also on how these particles affect atmospheric conditions for clouds and the ripple effect that they can have on regional climates. Despite being commonly understood as the spray from an aerosol spray can, aerosols are any and all suspensions of solid and liquid particles in a gas, meaning everything from dust, sea salt, and allergens to car exhaust, cigarette smoke, and pesticides. The field also closely studies how this range of natural aerosols interact with those man-made ones, providing a detailed understanding of the effect aerosols can have on human health and global climate trends.
Within the Department of Energy, the models that scientists like Kuang develop are aimed at providing a better understanding of the environment for both scientists and policy-makers who are tasked with developing strategies to mitigate the effects aerosols have on the environment.
The Horizon Spirit makes the round trip between Los Angeles and Hawaii every two weeks
Meteorological and atmospheric instruments installed by scientists from Brookhaven’s Environmental Sciences Department and Argonne National Laboratories aboard the Horizon Lines container ship Spirit recently began taking data for a yearlong mission aimed at improving the representation of clouds in climate models.
After four years of preparation, the collaborative effort between the Department of Energy’s Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) program Climate Research Facility and Horizon Lines marks the first official marine deployment of an ARM Mobile Facility.
The project - dubbed MAGIC for the Marine ARM GPCI Investigation of Clouds, where GPCI is a project comparing results from the major climate models - will take place through September 2013 and is likely the most elaborate climate study ever mounted aboard a commercial vessel. The Spirit makes the round trip between Los Angeles and Hawaii every two weeks which will allow data to be collected on a wide range of atmospheric conditions over an entire year. A better understanding of the transitions among cloud types along the ship’s route and the factors that influence these transitions will help to refine and validate models of Earth’s climate.
The science team, which in addition to Brookhaven and Argonne, includes researchers from Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, NASA, Stony Brook University, and a range of other universities and private consultants, is anxiously anticipating the data which will enhance the understanding of clouds, aerosols, Earth’s energy and water balance, and the interactions among the marine environment.
Molecular beam epitaxy system used to engineer atomically precise superconducting materials
Superconducting materials are considered to be an important component for solutions to the Nation’s energy challenges because they can conduct electricity without any electrical resistance or energy wasted. At Brookhaven, researchers in our Condensed Matter Physics and Material Science Department are studying the properties of these promising materials.
Unfortunately, high-temperature superconductors’ loss-free conductivity comes at the cost of extreme and inefficient cooling, and the fundamental physics that governs the behavior of these remarkable materials remains mysterious.
Now, scientists at the Laboratory and other collaborating institutions have discovered unexpected behavior that could be the key to solving the high-temperature superconductor puzzle.
Rising temperature always quenches (stops) superconductivity, but the new study reveals that extremely low temperatures can cause structural defects to produce a similar shutdown. This observation, which helps illuminate the murky emergence of superconductivity, could one day open the door for scientists to engineer inexpensive, high capacity, room-temperature superconductors.
You can receive each month's issue of LabLink by email. If you're not already subscribed, you may subscribe here.
*The events above are free and open to the public. Visitors 16 and over must bring a photo ID for access to BNL events.