Argonne National Laboratory

Argonne National Laboratory

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Argonne National Laboratory is the first science and engineering research national laboratory in the United States, receiving this designation on July 1, 1946. It is the largest national laboratory by size and scope in the Midwest. A multipurpose laboratory led since 2009 by director Eric Isaacs
Eric Isaacs
Eric Isaacs is an American physicist. He is the current director of the United States Department of Energy's Argonne National Laboratory, since May 2009. He previously worked at Bell Labs and at the Center for Nanoscale Materials...

, Argonne maintains a broad portfolio in basic science research, energy storage and renewable energy, environmental sustainability, and national security. It is managed for the United States Department of Energy
United States Department of Energy
The United States Department of Energy is a Cabinet-level department of the United States government concerned with the United States' policies regarding energy and safety in handling nuclear material...

 by UChicago Argonne, LLC, which is composed of the University of Chicago
University of Chicago
The University of Chicago is a private research university in Chicago, Illinois, USA. It was founded by the American Baptist Education Society with a donation from oil magnate and philanthropist John D. Rockefeller and incorporated in 1890...

 and Jacobs Engineering Group Inc. Argonne is a part of the expanding Illinois Technology and Research Corridor
Illinois Technology and Research Corridor
The Illinois Technology and Research Corridor is a region of commerce and industry located along Interstate 88 in the Chicago metropolitan area, primarily in DuPage, Kane, and DeKalb Counties...

.

The laboratory is located on 1,700 acres (6.9 km2) in DuPage County
DuPage County, Illinois
As of the 2010 Census, the population of the county was 916,924, White Americans made up 77.9% of Dupage County's population; non-Hispanic whites represented 70.5% of the population. Black Americans made up 4.6% of the population. Native Americans made up 0.3% of Dupage County's population...

, 25 miles (40 km) southwest of Chicago, Illinois, on Interstate 55
Interstate 55
Interstate 55 is an Interstate Highway in the central United States. Its odd number indicates that it is a north–south Interstate Highway. I-55 goes from LaPlace, Louisiana at Interstate 10 to Chicago at U.S. Route 41 , at McCormick Place. A common nickname for the highway is "double...

, completely encircled by Waterfall Glen Forest Preserve
Waterfall Glen Forest Preserve
Waterfall Glen Forest Preserve is a forest preserve in southern DuPage County. It is known for its waterfall, which actually is a dam, which is in its ravine. It completely surrounds Argonne National Laboratory...

. When it was first established it was known as the University of Chicago
University of Chicago
The University of Chicago is a private research university in Chicago, Illinois, USA. It was founded by the American Baptist Education Society with a donation from oil magnate and philanthropist John D. Rockefeller and incorporated in 1890...

's Metallurgical Laboratory
Metallurgical Laboratory
The Metallurgical Laboratory or "Met Lab" at the University of Chicago was part of the World War II–era Manhattan Project, created by the United States to develop an atomic bomb...

 (Met Lab), and it was previously located within Red Gate Woods
Red Gate Woods
Red Gate Woods is a forest preserve within the Palos Division of the Forest Preserve District of Cook County, Illinois. Located within the preserve is the original site of Argonne National Laboratory and the Site A/Plot M Disposal Site, which contains the buried remains of Chicago Pile-1, the...

. Early in its history, the laboratory was part of the Manhattan Project
Manhattan Project
The Manhattan Project was a research and development program, led by the United States with participation from the United Kingdom and Canada, that produced the first atomic bomb during World War II. From 1942 to 1946, the project was under the direction of Major General Leslie Groves of the US Army...

, which built the first atomic bomb.

Argonne National Laboratory had a smaller facility called Argonne National Laboratory-West (or simply Argonne-West) in Idaho next to the Idaho National Engineering and Environmental Laboratory. In 2005, the two Idaho-based laboratories merged together to become the Idaho National Laboratory
Idaho National Laboratory
Idaho National Laboratory is an complex located in the high desert of eastern Idaho, between the town of Arco to the west and the cities of Idaho Falls and Blackfoot to the east. It lies within Butte, Bingham, Bonneville and Jefferson counties...

.

Overview


Argonne has five main areas of focus. These goals, as stated by the DOE
United States Department of Energy
The United States Department of Energy is a Cabinet-level department of the United States government concerned with the United States' policies regarding energy and safety in handling nuclear material...

 in 2008, consist of:
  • Conducting basic scientific research
    Basic Research
    Basic Research is an herbal supplement and cosmetics manufacturer based in Salt Lake City, Utah that distributes products through a large number of subsidiaries. In addition, their products are sold domestically and internationally through a number of high-end retailers. Dennis Gay is the...

    ;
  • Operating national scientific facilities;
  • Enhancing the nation's energy resources;
  • Developing better ways to manage environmental problems;
  • Protecting national security.

History


Argonne traces its birth from Enrico Fermi's
Enrico Fermi
Enrico Fermi was an Italian-born, naturalized American physicist particularly known for his work on the development of the first nuclear reactor, Chicago Pile-1, and for his contributions to the development of quantum theory, nuclear and particle physics, and statistical mechanics...

 secret charge — the Manhattan Project
Manhattan Project
The Manhattan Project was a research and development program, led by the United States with participation from the United Kingdom and Canada, that produced the first atomic bomb during World War II. From 1942 to 1946, the project was under the direction of Major General Leslie Groves of the US Army...

 — to create the world's first self-sustaining nuclear reaction. Code-named the "Metallurgical Lab", the team constructed Chicago Pile-1
Chicago Pile-1
Chicago Pile-1 was the world's first man-made nuclear reactor. CP-1 was built on a rackets court, under the abandoned west stands of the original Alonzo Stagg Field stadium, at the University of Chicago. The first self-sustaining nuclear chain reaction was initiated in CP-1 on December 2, 1942...

, which achieved criticality on December 2, 1942, underneath the University of Chicago's Stagg
Stagg Field
Amos Alonzo Stagg Field is the name of two different football fields for the University of Chicago. The earliest Stagg Field is probably best remembered for its role in a landmark scientific achievement by Enrico Fermi during the Manhattan Project. The site of the first nuclear reaction received...

 football field stands. Because the experiments were deemed too dangerous to conduct in a major city, the operations were moved to a spot in nearby Palos Hills
Palos Hills, Illinois
Palos Hills is a city in Cook County, Illinois, United States. It is a suburb of Chicago. The population was 17,665 at the 2000 census. It is the home of Moraine Valley Community College as well as Amos Alonzo Stagg High School.-Geography:...

 and renamed "Argonne" after the surrounding forest.

On July 1, 1946, the laboratory was formally chartered as Argonne National Laboratory to conduct "cooperative research in nucleonics." At the request of the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission
United States Atomic Energy Commission
The United States Atomic Energy Commission was an agency of the United States government established after World War II by Congress to foster and control the peace time development of atomic science and technology. President Harry S...

, it began developing nuclear reactors for the nation's peaceful nuclear energy program. In the late 1940s and early 1950s, the laboratory moved to a larger location in Lemont, Illinois
Lemont, Illinois
Lemont is a village located in Cook, DuPage, and Will Counties in the U.S. state of Illinois, and is roughly southwest of Chicago. The population was 16,625 at the 2007 Special Census.-History:...

, and established a remote location in Idaho
Idaho
Idaho is a state in the Rocky Mountain area of the United States. The state's largest city and capital is Boise. Residents are called "Idahoans". Idaho was admitted to the Union on July 3, 1890, as the 43rd state....

, called "Argonne-West," to conduct further nuclear research.

In quick succession, the laboratory designed and built Chicago Pile 3
Chicago Pile 3
Chicago Pile 3 was the first heavy water reactor, It was in operation from 1943-1954 and was built near Lemont, Illinois on the former site of Argonne National Laboratory...

, the world's first heavy-water moderated reactor
Heavy water reactor
A pressurised heavy water reactor is a nuclear power reactor, commonly using unenriched natural uranium as its fuel, that uses heavy water as its coolant and moderator. The heavy water coolant is kept under pressure in order to raise its boiling point, allowing it to be heated to higher...

, and the Experimental Breeder Reactor I
Experimental Breeder Reactor I
Experimental Breeder Reactor I is a decommissioned research reactor and U.S. National Historic Landmark located in the desert about southeast of Arco, Idaho. At 1:50 pm on December 20, 1951 it became the world's first electricity-generating nuclear power plant when it produced sufficient...

, built in Idaho, which lit a string of four light bulbs to produce the world's first nuclear-generated electricity in 1951. A complete list of the reactors designed and, in most cases, built and operated by Argonne can be viewed in the, "Reactors Designed by Argonne" page. The knowledge gained from the Argonne experiments conducted with these reactors 1) formed the foundation for the designs of most of the commercial reactors currently used throughout the world for electric power generation and 2) inform the current evolving designs of liquid-metal reactors for future commercial power stations.

Conducting classified research, the laboratory was heavily secured; all employees and visitors needed badges to pass a checkpoint, many of the buildings were classified, and the laboratory itself was fenced and guarded. Such alluring secrecy drew visitors both authorized — including King Leopold III of Belgium
Leopold III of Belgium
Leopold III reigned as King of the Belgians from 1934 until 1951, when he abdicated in favour of the Heir Apparent,...

 and Queen Frederica of Greece — and unauthorized. Shortly past 1 a.m. on February 6, 1951, Argonne guards discovered reporter Paul Harvey
Paul Harvey
Paul Harvey Aurandt , better known as Paul Harvey, was an American radio broadcaster for the ABC Radio Networks. He broadcast News and Comment on weekday mornings and mid-days, and at noon on Saturdays, as well as his famous The Rest of the Story segments. His listening audience was estimated, at...

 near the 10 feet (3 m) perimeter fence, his coat tangled in the barbed wire. Searching his car, guards found a previously prepared four-page broadcast detailing the saga of his unauthorized entrance into a classified "hot zone". He was brought before a federal grand jury on charges of conspiracy to obtain information on national security and transmit it to the public, but was not indicted.

Not all nuclear technology went into developing reactors, however. While designing a scanner for reactor fuel elements in 1957, Argonne physicist William Nelson Beck put his own arm inside the scanner and obtained one of the first ultrasound
Medical ultrasonography
Diagnostic sonography is an ultrasound-based diagnostic imaging technique used for visualizing subcutaneous body structures including tendons, muscles, joints, vessels and internal organs for possible pathology or lesions...

 images of the human body. Remote manipulators designed to handle radioactive materials laid the groundwork for more complex machines used to clean up contaminated areas, sealed laboratories or caves. In 1964, the "Janus" reactor opened to study the effects of neutron radiation on biological life, providing research for guidelines on safe exposure levels for workers at power plants, laboratories and hospitals. Scientists at Argonne pioneered a technique to analyze the moon's
Moon
The Moon is Earth's only known natural satellite,There are a number of near-Earth asteroids including 3753 Cruithne that are co-orbital with Earth: their orbits bring them close to Earth for periods of time but then alter in the long term . These are quasi-satellites and not true moons. For more...

 surface using alpha radiation
Alpha decay
Alpha decay is a type of radioactive decay in which an atomic nucleus emits an alpha particle and thereby transforms into an atom with a mass number 4 less and atomic number 2 less...

, which launched aboard the Surveyor 5
Surveyor 5
Surveyor 5 was the fifth lunar lander of the American unmanned Surveyor program sent to explore the surface of the Moon.*Launched September 8, 1967; landed September 11, 1967*Weight on landing: 303 kg...

 in 1967 and later analyzed lunar samples from the Apollo 11
Apollo 11
In early 1969, Bill Anders accepted a job with the National Space Council effective in August 1969 and announced his retirement as an astronaut. At that point Ken Mattingly was moved from the support crew into parallel training with Anders as backup Command Module Pilot in case Apollo 11 was...

 mission.

In addition to nuclear work, the laboratory maintained a strong presence in the basic research of physics
Physics
Physics is a natural science that involves the study of matter and its motion through spacetime, along with related concepts such as energy and force. More broadly, it is the general analysis of nature, conducted in order to understand how the universe behaves.Physics is one of the oldest academic...

 and chemistry
Chemistry
Chemistry is the science of matter, especially its chemical reactions, but also its composition, structure and properties. Chemistry is concerned with atoms and their interactions with other atoms, and particularly with the properties of chemical bonds....

. In 1955, Argonne chemists co-discovered the elements
Chemical element
A chemical element is a pure chemical substance consisting of one type of atom distinguished by its atomic number, which is the number of protons in its nucleus. Familiar examples of elements include carbon, oxygen, aluminum, iron, copper, gold, mercury, and lead.As of November 2011, 118 elements...

 einsteinium
Einsteinium
Einsteinium is a synthetic element with the symbol Es and atomic number 99. It is the seventh transuranic element, and an actinide.Einsteinium was discovered in the debris of the first hydrogen bomb explosion in 1952, and named after Albert Einstein...

 and fermium
Fermium
Fermium is a synthetic element with the symbol Fm. It is the 100th element in the periodic table and a member of the actinide series. It is the heaviest element that can be formed by neutron bombardment of lighter elements, and hence the last element that can be prepared in macroscopic quantities,...

, elements 99 and 100 in the periodic table
Periodic table
The periodic table of the chemical elements is a tabular display of the 118 known chemical elements organized by selected properties of their atomic structures. Elements are presented by increasing atomic number, the number of protons in an atom's atomic nucleus...

. In 1962, laboratory chemists produced the first compound of the inert noble gas
Noble gas
The noble gases are a group of chemical elements with very similar properties: under standard conditions, they are all odorless, colorless, monatomic gases, with very low chemical reactivity...

 xenon
Xenon
Xenon is a chemical element with the symbol Xe and atomic number 54. The element name is pronounced or . A colorless, heavy, odorless noble gas, xenon occurs in the Earth's atmosphere in trace amounts...

, opening up a new field of chemical bonding research. In 1963, they discovered the hydrated electron.

High-energy physics made a leap forward when Argonne was chosen as the site of the 12.5 GeV Zero Gradient Synchrotron, a proton accelerator
Particle accelerator
A particle accelerator is a device that uses electromagnetic fields to propel charged particles to high speeds and to contain them in well-defined beams. An ordinary CRT television set is a simple form of accelerator. There are two basic types: electrostatic and oscillating field accelerators.In...

 that opened in 1963. A bubble chamber
Bubble chamber
A bubble chamber is a vessel filled with a superheated transparent liquid used to detect electrically charged particles moving through it. It was invented in 1952 by Donald A. Glaser, for which he was awarded the 1960 Nobel Prize in Physics...

 allowed scientists to track the motions of subatomic particle
Subatomic particle
In physics or chemistry, subatomic particles are the smaller particles composing nucleons and atoms. There are two types of subatomic particles: elementary particles, which are not made of other particles, and composite particles...

s as they zipped through the chamber; in 1970, they observed the neutrino
Neutrino
A neutrino is an electrically neutral, weakly interacting elementary subatomic particle with a half-integer spin, chirality and a disputed but small non-zero mass. It is able to pass through ordinary matter almost unaffected...

 in a hydrogen bubble chamber for the first time.

Meanwhile, the laboratory was also helping to design the reactor for the world's first nuclear-powered
Nuclear marine propulsion
Nuclear marine propulsion is propulsion of a ship by a nuclear reactor. Naval nuclear propulsion is propulsion that specifically refers to naval warships...

 submarine
Submarine
A submarine is a watercraft capable of independent operation below the surface of the water. It differs from a submersible, which has more limited underwater capability...

, the U.S.S. Nautilus
USS Nautilus (SSN-571)
USS Nautilus is the world's first operational nuclear-powered submarine. She was the first vessel to complete a submerged transit beneath the North Pole on August 3, 1958...

, which steamed for more than 513,550 nautical miles (951,090 km). The next nuclear reactor model was Experimental Boiling Water Reactor
Boiling water reactor
The boiling water reactor is a type of light water nuclear reactor used for the generation of electrical power. It is the second most common type of electricity-generating nuclear reactor after the pressurized water reactor , also a type of light water nuclear reactor...

, the forerunner of many modern nuclear plants, and Experimental Breeder Reactor II
Experimental Breeder Reactor II
Experimental Breeder Reactor-II is a reactor at the Materials and Fuels Complex of the Idaho National Laboratory, formerly the West Campus of Argonne National Laboratory in Idaho....

 (EBR-II), which was sodium-cooled, and included a fuel recycling facility. EBR-II was later modified to test other reactor designs, including a fast-neutron reactor and, in 1982, the Integral Fast Reactor
Integral Fast Reactor
The Integral Fast Reactor is a design for a nuclear reactor using fast neutrons and no neutron moderator . IFR is distinguished by a nuclear fuel cycle that uses reprocessing via electrorefining at the reactor site.The U.S...

 concept — a revolutionary design that reprocessed its own fuel, reduced its atomic waste and withstood safety tests of the same failures that triggered the Chernobyl
Chernobyl disaster
The Chernobyl disaster was a nuclear accident that occurred on 26 April 1986 at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant in Ukraine , which was under the direct jurisdiction of the central authorities in Moscow...

 and Three Mile Island
Three Mile Island accident
The Three Mile Island accident was a core meltdown in Unit 2 of the Three Mile Island Nuclear Generating Station in Dauphin County, Pennsylvania near Harrisburg, United States in 1979....

 disasters. In 1994, however, the U.S. Congress terminated funding for the bulk of Argonne's nuclear programs.

Argonne moved to specialize in other areas, while capitalizing on its experience in physics, chemical sciences and metallurgy
Metallurgy
Metallurgy is a domain of materials science that studies the physical and chemical behavior of metallic elements, their intermetallic compounds, and their mixtures, which are called alloys. It is also the technology of metals: the way in which science is applied to their practical use...

. In 1987, the laboratory was the first to successfully demonstrate a pioneering technique called plasma wakefield acceleration, which accelerates particles in much shorter distances than conventional accelerators. It also cultivated a strong battery
Battery (electricity)
An electrical battery is one or more electrochemical cells that convert stored chemical energy into electrical energy. Since the invention of the first battery in 1800 by Alessandro Volta and especially since the technically improved Daniell cell in 1836, batteries have become a common power...

 research program.

Following a major push by then-director Alan Schriesheim, the laboratory was chosen as the site of the Advanced Photon Source
Advanced Photon Source
The Advanced Photon Source at Argonne National Laboratory is a national synchrotron-radiation light source research facility funded by the United States Department of Energy Office of Science...

, a major X-ray facility which was completed in 1995 and produced the brightest X-rays in the world at the time of its construction.

Directors


Over the course of its history, 11 eminent scientists have served as Argonne Director:
  • 1946–1956 Walter Zinn
  • 1957–1961 Norman Hilberry
  • 1961–1967 Albert V. Crewe
    Albert V. Crewe
    Albert Victor Crewe was a British born American physicist and inventor of the modern scanning transmission electron microscope capable of taking still and motion pictures of atoms, a technology that provided new insights into atomic interaction and enabled significant advances in and had...

  • 1967–1973 Robert B. Duffield
  • 1973–1979 Robert G. Sachs
  • 1979–1984 Walter E. Massey
    Walter E. Massey
    Walter Eugene Massey is an educator, physicist, and business executive. He is the current President of The School of the Art Institute of Chicago and the former Chairman of Bank of America, replacing Ken Lewis on April 29, 2009...

  • 1984–1996 Alan Schriesheim
    Alan Schriesheim
    Dr. Alan Schriesheim, Ph.D. is The Director Emeritus and the retired CEO of Argonne National Laboratory, one of the U.S. Department of Energy's largest research centers...

  • 1996–1998 Dean E. Eastman
  • 2000–2005 Hermann A. Grunder
  • 2005–2008 Robert Rosner
    Robert Rosner
    Robert Rosner is an astrophysicist and was the director of Argonne National Laboratory from 2005 to 2009. Prior to his appointment as director, his research was focused primarily on astrophysical fluid dynamics and plasma physics problems. He is a member of the Norwegian Academy of Science and...

  • 2009–present Eric Isaacs
    Eric Isaacs
    Eric Isaacs is an American physicist. He is the current director of the United States Department of Energy's Argonne National Laboratory, since May 2009. He previously worked at Bell Labs and at the Center for Nanoscale Materials...


Initiatives

  • Hard X-ray Sciences — Argonne is home to one of the world’s largest high-energy light sources: the Advanced Photon Source
    Advanced Photon Source
    The Advanced Photon Source at Argonne National Laboratory is a national synchrotron-radiation light source research facility funded by the United States Department of Energy Office of Science...

     (APS). Each year, scientists make thousands of discoveries while using the APS to characterize both organic
    Organic compound
    An organic compound is any member of a large class of gaseous, liquid, or solid chemical compounds whose molecules contain carbon. For historical reasons discussed below, a few types of carbon-containing compounds such as carbides, carbonates, simple oxides of carbon, and cyanides, as well as the...

     and inorganic materials
    Inorganic compound
    Inorganic compounds have traditionally been considered to be of inanimate, non-biological origin. In contrast, organic compounds have an explicit biological origin. However, over the past century, the classification of inorganic vs organic compounds has become less important to scientists,...

     and even processes, such as how vehicle fuel injectors spray gasoline in engines.


  • Leadership Computing — Argonne maintains one of the fastest computers for open science, the IBM
    IBM
    International Business Machines Corporation or IBM is an American multinational technology and consulting corporation headquartered in Armonk, New York, United States. IBM manufactures and sells computer hardware and software, and it offers infrastructure, hosting and consulting services in areas...

     Blue Gene/P
    Blue Gene
    Blue Gene is a computer architecture project to produce several supercomputers, designed to reach operating speeds in the PFLOPS range, and currently reaching sustained speeds of nearly 500 TFLOPS . It is a cooperative project among IBM Blue Gene is a computer architecture project to produce...

     supercomputer
    Supercomputer
    A supercomputer is a computer at the frontline of current processing capacity, particularly speed of calculation.Supercomputers are used for highly calculation-intensive tasks such as problems including quantum physics, weather forecasting, climate research, molecular modeling A supercomputer is a...

    , and has developed system software for these massive machines. Argonne works to drive the evolution of leadership computing from petascale
    Petascale
    In computing, petascale refers to a computer system capable of reaching performance in excess of one petaflop, i.e. one quadrillion floating point operations per second. The standard benchmark tool is LINPACK and Top500.org is the organisation which tracks the fastest supercomputers...

     to exascale
    Exascale computing
    Exascale computing is a 21st-century attempt to move computing capabilities beyond the existing petascale. If achieved, it would represent a thousandfold increase over that scale...

    , develop new codes and computing environments, and expand computational efforts to help solve scientific challenges. For example, in October 2009, the laboratory announced that it would be embarking on a joint project to explore cloud computing
    Cloud computing
    Cloud computing is the delivery of computing as a service rather than a product, whereby shared resources, software, and information are provided to computers and other devices as a utility over a network ....

     for scientific purposes.

  • Materials for Energy — Argonne scientists work to predict, understand, and control where and how to place individual atoms and molecules to achieve desired material properties. Among other innovations, Argonne scientists helped develop an ice slurry to cool the organs of heart attack victims, described what makes diamonds slippery at the nanoscale level, and discovered a superinsulating
    Superinsulator
    A superinsulator is a material that at low temperatures under certain conditions has an infinite resistance and no current will pass through it. The superinsulating state has many parallels to the superconducting state, and can be destroyed by increased temperature, magnetic fields and voltage.The...

     material that resists the flow of electric current more completely than any other previous material.

  • Electrical Energy Storage — Argonne develops batteries
    Battery (electricity)
    An electrical battery is one or more electrochemical cells that convert stored chemical energy into electrical energy. Since the invention of the first battery in 1800 by Alessandro Volta and especially since the technically improved Daniell cell in 1836, batteries have become a common power...

     for electric transportation technology
    Electric transportation technology
    Electric transportation technology is:# technology used in vehicles that use an electric motor for all or part of the motive power of the vehicles, including battery electric, hybrid electric, plug-in hybrid electric, fuel cell, and plug-in fuel cell vehicles, or rail transportation; or# equipment...

     grid storage for intermittent energy
    Energy
    In physics, energy is an indirectly observed quantity. It is often understood as the ability a physical system has to do work on other physical systems...

     sources like wind
    Wind power
    Wind power is the conversion of wind energy into a useful form of energy, such as using wind turbines to make electricity, windmills for mechanical power, windpumps for water pumping or drainage, or sails to propel ships....

     or solar, and the manufacturing processes for these materials-intensive devices. The laboratory has been working on advanced battery research and development for over 40 years. In the past 10 years, the laboratory has focused on lithium-ion batteries, and in September 2009, it announced an initiative to explore and improve their capabilities. Argonne also maintains an independent battery-testing facility, which tests sample batteries from both government and private industry to see how well they perform over time and under heat and cold stresses.

  • Alternative Energy and Efficiency — Argonne develops both chemical and biological
    Biofuel
    Biofuel is a type of fuel whose energy is derived from biological carbon fixation. Biofuels include fuels derived from biomass conversion, as well as solid biomass, liquid fuels and various biogases...

     fuel
    Fuel
    Fuel is any material that stores energy that can later be extracted to perform mechanical work in a controlled manner. Most fuels used by humans undergo combustion, a redox reaction in which a combustible substance releases energy after it ignites and reacts with the oxygen in the air...

    s tailored for current engines as well as improved combustion
    Internal combustion engine
    The internal combustion engine is an engine in which the combustion of a fuel occurs with an oxidizer in a combustion chamber. In an internal combustion engine, the expansion of the high-temperature and high -pressure gases produced by combustion apply direct force to some component of the engine...

     schemes for future engine technologies. The laboratory has also recommended best practices for conserving fuel; for example, a study that recommended installing auxiliary cab heaters for trucks in lieu of idling the engine. Meanwhile, the solar energy research program focuses on solar-fuel and solar-electric devices and systems that are scalable and economically competitive with fossil energy sources. Argonne scientists also explore best practices for a smart grid, both by modeling power flow between utilities and homes and by researching the technology for interfaces.

  • Nuclear Energy — Argonne generates advanced reactor and fuel cycle technologies that enable the safe, sustainable generation of nuclear power
    Nuclear power
    Nuclear power is the use of sustained nuclear fission to generate heat and electricity. Nuclear power plants provide about 6% of the world's energy and 13–14% of the world's electricity, with the U.S., France, and Japan together accounting for about 50% of nuclear generated electricity...

    . Argonne scientists develop and validate computational models and reactor simulations of future generation nuclear reactors. Another project studies how to reprocess spent nuclear fuel
    Spent nuclear fuel
    Spent nuclear fuel, occasionally called used nuclear fuel, is nuclear fuel that has been irradiated in a nuclear reactor...

    , so that waste is reduced up to 90%.

  • Biological and Environmental Systems — Understanding the local effect of climate change requires integration of the interactions between the environment and human activities. Argonne scientists study these relationships from molecule to organism to ecosystem. Programs include bioremediation
    Bioremediation
    Bioremediation is the use of microorganism metabolism to remove pollutants. Technologies can be generally classified as in situ or ex situ. In situ bioremediation involves treating the contaminated material at the site, while ex situ involves the removal of the contaminated material to be treated...

     using tree
    Tree
    A tree is a perennial woody plant. It is most often defined as a woody plant that has many secondary branches supported clear of the ground on a single main stem or trunk with clear apical dominance. A minimum height specification at maturity is cited by some authors, varying from 3 m to...

    s to pull pollutant
    Pollutant
    A pollutant is a waste material that pollutes air, water or soil, and is the cause of pollution.Three factors determine the severity of a pollutant: its chemical nature, its concentration and its persistence. Some pollutants are biodegradable and therefore will not persist in the environment in the...

    s out of groundwater
    Groundwater
    Groundwater is water located beneath the ground surface in soil pore spaces and in the fractures of rock formations. A unit of rock or an unconsolidated deposit is called an aquifer when it can yield a usable quantity of water. The depth at which soil pore spaces or fractures and voids in rock...

    ; biochips to detect cancers earlier; a project to target cancer
    Cancer
    Cancer , known medically as a malignant neoplasm, is a large group of different diseases, all involving unregulated cell growth. In cancer, cells divide and grow uncontrollably, forming malignant tumors, and invade nearby parts of the body. The cancer may also spread to more distant parts of the...

    ous cells using nanoparticle
    Nanoparticle
    In nanotechnology, a particle is defined as a small object that behaves as a whole unit in terms of its transport and properties. Particles are further classified according to size : in terms of diameter, coarse particles cover a range between 10,000 and 2,500 nanometers. Fine particles are sized...

    s; soil metagenomics
    Metagenomics
    Metagenomics is the study of metagenomes, genetic material recovered directly from environmental samples. The broad field may also be referred to as environmental genomics, ecogenomics or community genomics. Traditional microbiology and microbial genome sequencing rely upon cultivated clonal cultures...

    ; and a major climate change
    Climate change
    Climate change is a significant and lasting change in the statistical distribution of weather patterns over periods ranging from decades to millions of years. It may be a change in average weather conditions or the distribution of events around that average...

     research project, ARM.

  • National Security — Argonne develops security technologies that will prevent and mitigate events with potential for mass disruption or destruction. These include sensors that can detect chemical, biological, nuclear and explosive materials; portable Terahertz radiation
    Terahertz radiation
    In physics, terahertz radiation refers to electromagnetic waves propagating at frequencies in the terahertz range. It is synonymously termed submillimeter radiation, terahertz waves, terahertz light, T-rays, T-waves, T-light, T-lux, THz...

     ("T-ray") machines that detect dangerous materials more easily than X-rays at airports; and tracking and modeling the possible paths of chemicals released into a subway.

User facilities


Argonne builds and maintains scientific facilities that would be too expensive for a single company or university to construct and operate. These facilities are used by scientists from Argonne, private industry, academia, other national laboratories and international scientific organizations.
  • Advanced Photon Source
    Advanced Photon Source
    The Advanced Photon Source at Argonne National Laboratory is a national synchrotron-radiation light source research facility funded by the United States Department of Energy Office of Science...

     (APS) – a national synchrotron X-ray research facility which produces the brightest x-ray
    X-ray
    X-radiation is a form of electromagnetic radiation. X-rays have a wavelength in the range of 0.01 to 10 nanometers, corresponding to frequencies in the range 30 petahertz to 30 exahertz and energies in the range 120 eV to 120 keV. They are shorter in wavelength than UV rays and longer than gamma...

     beams in the Western Hemisphere
    Western Hemisphere
    The Western Hemisphere or western hemisphere is mainly used as a geographical term for the half of the Earth that lies west of the Prime Meridian and east of the Antimeridian , the other half being called the Eastern Hemisphere.In this sense, the western hemisphere consists of the western portions...

    .

  • Center for Nanoscale Materials
    Center for Nanoscale Materials
    The Center for Nanoscale Materials is one of five Nanoscale Science Research Centers the United States Department of Energy sponsors. The Center is at Argonne National Laboratory location in Argonne, Illinois....

     (CNM) – a user facility located on the APS which provides infrastructure and instruments to study nanotechnology
    Nanotechnology
    Nanotechnology is the study of manipulating matter on an atomic and molecular scale. Generally, nanotechnology deals with developing materials, devices, or other structures possessing at least one dimension sized from 1 to 100 nanometres...

     and nanomaterials
    Nanomaterials
    Nanomaterials is a field that takes a materials science-based approach to nanotechnology. It studies materials with morphological features on the nanoscale, and especially those that have special properties stemming from their nanoscale dimensions...

    . The CNM is one of five U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science Nanoscale Science Research Centers.

  • Argonne Tandem Linac Accelerator System (ATLAS) – ATLAS is the world's first superconducting particle accelerator for heavy ion
    Heavy ion
    Heavy ion refers to an ionized atom which is usually heavier than helium. Heavy-ion physics is devoted to the study of extremely hot nuclear matter and the collective effects appearing in such systems, differing from particle physics, which studies the interactions between elementary particles...

    s at energies in the vicinity of the Coulomb barrier
    Coulomb barrier
    The Coulomb barrier, named after Coulomb's law, which is named after physicist Charles-Augustin de Coulomb , is the energy barrier due to electrostatic interaction that two nuclei need to overcome so they can get close enough to undergo a nuclear reaction...

    . This is the energy domain suited to study the properties of the nucleus, the core of matter and the fuel of stars.

  • Electron Microscopy Center
    Electron Microscopy Center
    The Electron Microscopy Center is a scientific user facility at Argonne National Laboratory. The EMC works to solve materials problems using their unique capabilities for electron beam characterization....

     (EMC) – one of three DOE-supported scientific user facilities for electron beam microcharacterization. The EMC conducts in situ studies of transformations and defect processes, ion beam modification and irradiation effects, superconductors, ferroelectrics and interfaces. Its intermediate voltage electron microscope, which is coupled with an accelerator, represents the only such system in the United States.


  • Argonne Leadership Computing Facility – Provides leadership-class computing resources, including computer time, resources and data storage, to the scientific community. Argonne is home to Intrepid, an IBM
    IBM
    International Business Machines Corporation or IBM is an American multinational technology and consulting corporation headquartered in Armonk, New York, United States. IBM manufactures and sells computer hardware and software, and it offers infrastructure, hosting and consulting services in areas...

     Blue Gene/P
    Blue Gene
    Blue Gene is a computer architecture project to produce several supercomputers, designed to reach operating speeds in the PFLOPS range, and currently reaching sustained speeds of nearly 500 TFLOPS . It is a cooperative project among IBM Blue Gene is a computer architecture project to produce...

     supercomputer
    Supercomputer
    A supercomputer is a computer at the frontline of current processing capacity, particularly speed of calculation.Supercomputers are used for highly calculation-intensive tasks such as problems including quantum physics, weather forecasting, climate research, molecular modeling A supercomputer is a...

    , recently ranked the second most energy-efficient supercomputer of its class by Green500 and ranked the eighth-fastest supercomputer worldwide.

  • Structural Biology Center (SBC) – The SBC is a user facility located off the Advanced Photon Source X-ray facility, which specializes in macromolecular crystallography
    X-ray crystallography
    X-ray crystallography is a method of determining the arrangement of atoms within a crystal, in which a beam of X-rays strikes a crystal and causes the beam of light to spread into many specific directions. From the angles and intensities of these diffracted beams, a crystallographer can produce a...

    . Users have access to an insertion-device, a bending-magnet, and a biochemistry laboratory. SBC beamlines are often used to map out the crystal structures of protein
    Protein
    Proteins are biochemical compounds consisting of one or more polypeptides typically folded into a globular or fibrous form, facilitating a biological function. A polypeptide is a single linear polymer chain of amino acids bonded together by peptide bonds between the carboxyl and amino groups of...

    s; in the past, users have imaged proteins from anthrax
    Anthrax
    Anthrax is an acute disease caused by the bacterium Bacillus anthracis. Most forms of the disease are lethal, and it affects both humans and other animals...

    , meningitis
    Meningitis
    Meningitis is inflammation of the protective membranes covering the brain and spinal cord, known collectively as the meninges. The inflammation may be caused by infection with viruses, bacteria, or other microorganisms, and less commonly by certain drugs...

    -causing bacteria, salmonella
    Salmonella
    Salmonella is a genus of rod-shaped, Gram-negative, non-spore-forming, predominantly motile enterobacteria with diameters around 0.7 to 1.5 µm, lengths from 2 to 5 µm, and flagella which grade in all directions . They are chemoorganotrophs, obtaining their energy from oxidation and reduction...

    , and other pathogenic bacteria
    Pathogenic bacteria
    Pathogenic bacteria are bacteria that cause bacterial infection. This article deals with human pathogenic bacteria.Although the vast majority of bacteria are harmless or beneficial, quite a few bacteria are pathogenic...

    .

  • Transportation Research & Analysis Computing Center (TRACC) – a facility which uses high-performance computing
    High-performance computing
    High-performance computing uses supercomputers and computer clusters to solve advanced computation problems. Today, computer systems approaching the teraflops-region are counted as HPC-computers.-Overview:...

     to analyze and create data and visual models for a variety of transportation issues, including crashworthiness, aerodynamics
    Aerodynamics
    Aerodynamics is a branch of dynamics concerned with studying the motion of air, particularly when it interacts with a moving object. Aerodynamics is a subfield of fluid dynamics and gas dynamics, with much theory shared between them. Aerodynamics is often used synonymously with gas dynamics, with...

    , combustion
    Combustion
    Combustion or burning is the sequence of exothermic chemical reactions between a fuel and an oxidant accompanied by the production of heat and conversion of chemical species. The release of heat can result in the production of light in the form of either glowing or a flame...

    , thermal management, weather modeling
    Weather forecasting
    Weather forecasting is the application of science and technology to predict the state of the atmosphere for a given location. Human beings have attempted to predict the weather informally for millennia, and formally since the nineteenth century...

     and traffic simulation.

  • Atmospheric Radiation Measurement
    Atmospheric Radiation Measurement
    The United States Department of Energy's Atmospheric Radiation Measurement Program was created in 1989 to develop several highly instrumented ground stations to study cloud formation processes and their influence on radiative transfer...

     Climate Research Facility (ARM) – Argonne is one of nine national laboratories which contribute to the ARM program, designed to research global climate change
    Climate change
    Climate change is a significant and lasting change in the statistical distribution of weather patterns over periods ranging from decades to millions of years. It may be a change in average weather conditions or the distribution of events around that average...

    . Argonne oversees ARM operations and manages a meteorological data-gathering site in Oklahoma and a mobile data-gathering facility.

  • The Network Enabled Optimization System (NEOS) Server is the first network-enabled problem-solving environment for a wide class of applications in business, science, and engineering. Included are state-of-the-art solvers in integer programming, nonlinear optimization, linear programming
    Linear programming
    Linear programming is a mathematical method for determining a way to achieve the best outcome in a given mathematical model for some list of requirements represented as linear relationships...

    , stochastic programming
    Stochastic programming
    Stochastic programming is a framework for modeling optimization problems that involve uncertainty. Whereas deterministic optimization problems are formulated with known parameters, real world problems almost invariably include some unknown parameters. When the parameters are known only within...

    , and complemetarity problems. Most NEOS solvers accept input in the AMPL modeling language
    AMPL
    AMPL, an acronym for "A Mathematical Programming Language", is an algebraic modeling language for describing and solving high-complexity problems for large-scale mathematical computation AMPL, an acronym for "A Mathematical Programming Language", is an algebraic modeling language for describing and...

    .

Educational and community outreach



Argonne welcomes all members of the public age 16 or older to take guided tours of the scientific and engineering facilities and grounds. Tours last about two and a half hours. For children under 16, Argonne offers a range of hands-on learning activities suitable for K-12 field trips and scout outings. The laboratory also hosts educational science and engineering outreach for schools in the surrounding area.

Argonne scientists and engineers help advance science, engineering, and mathematics education in the United States by taking part in the training of nearly 1,000 college graduate students and post-doctoral researchers every year as part of their research and development activities.

Argonne in modern media


Significant portions of the 1996 chase movie Chain Reaction
Chain Reaction (film)
Chain Reaction is a 1996 American film starring Keanu Reeves, Morgan Freeman, Rachel Weisz, Brian Cox, Kevin Dunn and Fred Ward. It presents a fictional account of the invention of bubble fusion using sonoluminescence and the attempts by the United States Government to prevent the spreading of this...

 were filmed in the Zero-Gradient Synchrotron ring room and the former Continuous Wave Deuterium Demonstrator laboratory.http://www.anl.gov/Media_Center/Chain_Reaction/anchainrvw.html

Notable staff

  • Alexei Alexeyevich Abrikosov
    Alexei Alexeyevich Abrikosov
    Alexei Alexeyevich Abrikosov is a Soviet and Russian theoretical physicist whose main contributions are in the field of condensed matter physics. He was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics in 2003.- Biography :...

  • Rodney Cotterill
    Rodney Cotterill
    Rodney Michael John Cotterill Order of the Dannebrog was an English-Danish physicist, and neuroscientist, who was educated at University College London , Yale and Cambridge University...

  • Walter E. Massey
    Walter E. Massey
    Walter Eugene Massey is an educator, physicist, and business executive. He is the current President of The School of the Art Institute of Chicago and the former Chairman of Bank of America, replacing Ken Lewis on April 29, 2009...

  • Maria Goeppert Mayer
  • Gilbert Jerome Perlow
    Gilbert Jerome Perlow
    Gilbert "Gil" Jerome Perlow , was an American physicist famous for his work related to the Mössbauer effect, and an editor of the Journal of Applied Physics and Applied Physics Letters.- Life :...

  • Nestor J. Zaluzec
    Nestor J. Zaluzec
    Nestor J. Zaluzec is an American scientist and inventor who works at Argonne National Laboratory. He invented and patented the Scanning Confocal Electron Microscope...


See also

  • Canadian Penning Trap Spectrometer
  • Gammasphere
    Gammasphere
    The Gammasphere is a third generation gamma ray spectrometer used to study rare and exotic nuclear physics. It consists of 108 Compton-suppressed large volume, high-purity germanium detectors arranged in a spherical shell....

  • Track Imaging Cherenkov Experiment
    Track Imaging Cherenkov Experiment
    The Track Imaging Cherenkov Experiment is a ground-based cosmic ray telescope located at Argonne National Laboratory near Chicago, IL. The telescope, which contains a Fresnel lens, eight spherical mirrors, and a camera with 16 multianode photomultiplier tubes, uses the atmospheric Cherenkov...


External links