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DOE Funds New Center for Computational Materials Sciences

Gabriel Kotliar

Gabriel Kotliar, credit Rutgers University

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) recently announced that Brookhaven Lab will host a new center devoted to developing computational tools to advance materials science. With $12 million in funding from DOE’s Office of Basic Energy Sciences over the next four years, this center will be led by Gabriel Kotliar of Rutgers University and Brookhaven, with additional partners from the University of Tennessee and Ames Laboratory. Center scientists will develop next-generation methods and software to accurately describe electronic properties in complex strongly correlated materials as well as a companion database to help scientists predict targeted properties with energy-related application to thermoelectric materials. 

“Strong correlated materials pose an outstanding challenge in condensed matter science, as they fall outside the so-called ‘Standard Model’ of solid state physics,” Kotliar said. “Developing tools to increase our understanding of these most interesting substances–ranging from battery materials to nuclear fuels, high-temperature superconductors, and high-performance thermoelectrics (which can be used to convert heat into electricity)–could result in the development of important new technologies.” 

The award is one of three announced by DOE for computational materials science research aimed at integrating theory and computation with experiment to provide the materials community with advanced tools and techniques. The projects are expected to develop open-source, robust, validated, user-friendly software and databases cataloging the essential physics and chemistry of certain classes of materials so the broader research community and industrial scientists can use these resources to accelerate the design of new functional materials. The awards directly support the goals of the Materials Genome Initiative, an effort to reduce the time it takes for laboratory-based discoveries to be deployed as new advanced materials, with the ultimate aim of revitalizing American manufacturing.

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2015-6016  |  INT/EXT  |  Media & Communications Office

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BNL Link to 2015 Nobel Prize in Physics

2015 Nobel Prize in Physics

Brookhaven Lab joins in the worldwide celebration of physicists Takaaki Kajita and Arthur B. McDonald, who were awarded the 2015 Nobel Prize in Physics for their roles in demonstrating the “flavor-changing” property of neutrinos. Kajita presented the discovery that neutrinos from the atmosphere switch between two identities (“flavors”) on their way to the SuperKamiokande detector in Japan, while McDonald led experiments showing that neutrinos from the Sun were not disappearing on their way to Earth, but rather changing their flavor before arriving at the Sudbury Neutrino Observatory (SNO) in Canada.

Brookhaven Lab scientists made important contributions to both of these neutrino experiments, fueled by the Lab’s legacy in the study of these abundant yet elusive subatomic particles. Scientists working at Brookhaven’s Alternating Gradient Synchrotron in 1962 were the first to demonstrate that there was more than one type of neutrino, earning them the 1988 Nobel Prize in Physics. In addition, the 2002 Nobel Prize-winning research of Brookhaven chemist Raymond Davis Jr., the first to detect solar neutrinos, introduced the mystery solved by the work recently honored by the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences.

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2015-6017  |  INT/EXT  |  Media & Communications Office

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Honors for Those Making Science Happen at BNL

Congratulations to Velijko Radeka, of Brookhaven’s Instrumentation Division, who along with David Nygren, University of Texas, Arlington, were jointly presented with the inaugural American Physical Society (APS) Division of Particles and Fields Instrumentation Award. Radeka and Nygren were honored "for widespread contributions and leadership in the development of new detector technologies and low-noise electronics instrumentation in particle physics as well as other fields, and in particular work leading to the development and instrumentation of large volume liquid argon time projection chambers that are now a key element in the global particle physics program."

Velijko Radeka

Velijko Radeka

"I am honored to be a co-recipient of this inaugural APS Division of Particles and Fields award with David Nygren," said Radeka. "It is very gratifying that novel, often speculative radiation instrumentation development—with an impact on science beyond what could be foreseen—is being recognized by this new award."

Congratulations also to Brookhaven physicist Dennis Perepelitsa, a Goldhaber Distinguished Fellow, who has been named a 2015 Blavatnik Regional Award Finalist in Physical Sciences & Engineering. This prestigious award is granted annually to postdoctoral level scientists conducting outstanding research at institutions located in New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut. Perepelitsa is being recognized for his work exploring fundamental nuclear physics at Brookhaven Lab's Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider (RHIC). Founded by business entrepreneur Len Blavatnik, in partnership with the New York Academy of Sciences, the Blavatnik Awards for Young Scientists seek to promote early-career researchers engaged in innovative, high-impact research.

Dennis Perepelitsa

Dennis Perepelitsa

"It is an honor to be recognized, and to know that the discoveries we are making at RHIC and at the LHC are interesting to the larger scientific community," said Perepelitsa. Using both the PHENIX experiment at RHIC and the ATLAS experiment at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), Perepelitsa studies the jets of particles that are emitted when two atomic nuclei smash together at high speeds. His work suggested that asymmetric collisions—collisions between a smaller particle and a much larger particle—can be used in a novel way to explore unexpected properties of the smaller particle, such as the fluctuations in its size and internal structure. These results provided yet more evidence that these asymmetric collisions are even more interesting than expected. 

To learn more, visit the Brookhaven lab newsroom:

2015-6018  |  INT/EXT  |  Media & Communications Office

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  • November 12 – Community Advisory Council meeting, 6:30 p.m., Berkner Hall, Room B.
  • November 18 – Noon recital. The Stony Brook Opera will present a concert of famous ensemble scenes from opera and operettas under the direction of David Lawton and staged by Brenda Harris. Berkner Hall.

*The events above are free and open to the public. Visitors 16 and older must bring a photo ID for access to BNL events.

2015-6019  |  INT/EXT  |  Media & Communications Office