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Geek-Up[6.10.10]: Attosecond Absorption Spectroscopy and Kinked Nanopores

August 6, 2010 - 6:07pm


A classical diagram of a krypton atom shows its 36 electrons arranged in shells. | Photo Courtesy of: Berkeley Lab.

A classical diagram of a krypton atom shows its 36 electrons arranged in shells. | Photo Courtesy of: Berkeley Lab.

Thanks to the attosecond absorption spectroscopy process, an international team of scientists from Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (MPQ), Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and the University of California at Berkeley were able to observe an atom’s electrons moving in real time – for the first time ever.

Basically, the team used ultrashort flashes of laser light to directly observe the movement of an atom’s outer electrons. You can find their much more detailed explanation here.

As you can probably imagine, DNA sequencing, though indispensible for research projects and applied fields alike, is not an easy task. Sculpted from silicon dioxide, solid-state nanopores -- used as sensors to detect and characterize DNA -- are generally straight, tiny tunnels more than a thousand times smaller than the diameter of a human hair. Because DNA shoots through such holes so rapidly, sequencing the DNA can be a problem. So how do you slow DNA passage for a simpler process? A team of researchers led by Sandia National Laboratories has reported that slower transmission can be achieved through kinked nanopores. Learn how >

We’ve recently posted about renewable energy projects everywhere from the Pacific Northwest to New York to Hawaii but in war zones? The National Renewable Energy Laboratory sits down with Lt. Col. Brian Stevens of the Texas Army National Guard and a group of 66 soldiers who are determined to bring renewable energy to rural Afghanistan. Read more >

Who has not one but two scientists named as 2010 American Chemical Society fellows hard at work? The Pacific Northwest National Laboratory’s chemical physicist Bruce D. Kay and chemical engineer Yong Wang are among 192 researchers being recognized nationwide for their outstanding contributions to science and the profession of chemistry.

Fossil Energy’s University Turbine Systems Research Program, managed through the National Energy Technology Laboratory, has selected seven universities across the country to conduct advanced turbine technology studies. Meet the class of 2010 here.

The National Safety Council has named Ames Laboratory a 2010 Industry Award Winner for its safety performance, one of only 81 companies or organizations -- or the top 5% of members -- to receive the award nationwide. Congratulations, Ames Laboratory employees! Keep up the great (and safe) work.