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Nanomaterials, which are measured in billionths of a meter, are prized for their use in everything from golf clubs and swimwear to microchips, paints and pharmaceutical products, thanks to their singular properties. These include exceptional strength and flexibility and high electrical conductivity. Carbon nanotubes, for example, are tens of thousands of times thinner than a human hair, yet are stronger than steel on an ounce-per-ounce basis.

PPPL researchers have launched a nanotechnology laboratory that they envision as a step toward research capabilities that could serve as a resource for institutions and industries around the world.

Big steps toward control of production of tiny building blocks

Nanoparticles, superstrong and flexible structures such as carbon nanotubes that are measured in billionths of a meter — a diameter thousands of times thinner than a human hair — are used in everything from microchips to sporting goods to pharmaceutical products. But large-scale production of high-quality particles faces challenges ranging from improving the selectivity of the synthesis that creates them and the quality of the synthesized material to the development of economical and reliable synthesis processes. 

Ten stories in 2017 you may have missed, plus a bonus

Throughout 2017 researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL) have produced new insights into the science of fusion energy that powers the sun and stars and the physics of plasma, the hot, charged state of matter that consists of electrons and atomic nuclei, or ions, and makes up 99 percent of the visible universe. The research advances the development of fusion as a safe, clean and plentiful source of power, produced in doughnut-shaped facilities called tokamaks, and explores the diverse aspects and applications of plasma.

PPPL launches expanded new laboratory for research on the use of plasma to synthesize nanoparticles

Plasma – the hot ionized gas that fuels fusion reactions – can also create super-small particles used in everything from pharmaceuticals to tennis racquets. These nanoparticles, which measure billionths of a meter in size, can revolutionize fields from electronics to energy supply, but scientists must first determine how best to produce them.

PPPL launches expanded new laboratory for research on the use of plasma to synthesize nanoparticles

Plasma – the hot ionized gas that fuels fusion reactions – can also create super-small particles used in everything from pharmaceuticals to tennis racquets. These nanoparticles, which measure billionths of a meter in size, can revolutionize fields from electronics to energy supply, but scientists must first determine how best to produce them.

Hunting for Big Bang neutrinos that could provide fresh insight on the origin of the universe

Big Bang neutrinos are believed to be everywhere in the universe but have never been seen.  The expansion of the universe has stretched them and they are thought to be billions of times colder than neutrinos that stream from the sun.  As the oldest known witnesses or “relics” of the early universe, they could shed new light on the birth of the cosmos if scientists could pin them down. That’s a tall order since these ghostly particles can speed through planets as if they were empty space.

Hunting for Big Bang neutrinos that could provide fresh insight on the origin of the universe

Big Bang neutrinos are believed to be everywhere in the universe but have never been seen.  The expansion of the universe has stretched them and they are thought to be billions of times colder than neutrinos that stream from the sun.  As the oldest known witnesses or “relics” of the early universe, they could shed new light on the birth of the cosmos if scientists could pin them down. That’s a tall order since these ghostly particles can speed through planets as if they were empty space.

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