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Fundamental Interactions

The theoretical Chemical Physics program at Ames Laboratory supports integrated efforts in electronic structure theory and non-equilibrium statistical mechanical & multiscale modeling. The primary focus is on the development and application of methods that enable the study of surface phenomena, heterogeneous catalysis, cluster science and nucleation theory, and mechanisms in organometallic chemistry.

our Participation Needed: Safety Performance Improvement Plan Review and Operation Safety Day

Weight Loss Regime for Massive Low Temperature Electrons

A compound made out of ytterbium (Yb), platinum (Pt), and bismuth (Bi) offers researchers the opportunity to watch the birth of magnetic behavior by applying small changes in magnetic field or temperature.  Despite the electrons having effective masses of nearly 10,000 times their normal mass when YbPtBi becomes magnetic, researchers have been able to monitor its quantum oscillations, key for determining important electronic properties.  From the results they deduced that as it moves further and further from magnetism its electrons lose weight fast.  These findings provide key ins

Small Business Voucher Pilot Program Announced!

Starting September 23, 2015, the DOE EERE Small Business Vouchers Pilot is accepting proposals for Round 1 through October 23, 2015.  The pilot program sponsored by the DOE EERE National Lab Impact Initiative. The goal of the program is to increase engagement between the U.S. small business community and DOE’s national laboratories. A small business operating in the clean energy space can apply for a voucher to be used on their behalf at a national lab.

Not shaken, not stirred: New molecular modeling techniques for catalysis in unmixed systems

Scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Ames Laboratory have developed molecular modeling simulations and new theoretical formulations to help understand and optimize catalytic reactions that take place in chemical environments where the reactant “ingredients” for catalysis are not well mixed.

Can’t We All Just Get Along?

Two types of magnetic configurations—antiferromagnetism (AFM) and ferromagnetism (FM)—have been found to compete with each other, thwarting the rise of superconductivity in iron pnictides, a class of high-temperature superconductors.  In an AFM fluctuation electron spins temporary align in an alternating checkboard pattern while electron spins align temporary in the same direction in a FM fluctuation.  While FM fluctuations have been suggested in the iron pnictide superconductors by theoretical calculations, the possible existence of FM fluctuations has not yet been examined from a experim


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