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Story tips From the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory, March 2012
Date:3/14/2012

MATERIALS -- POWGEN open for business . . .

The Spallation Neutron Source's Powder Diffractometer POWGEN has launched a rapid access sample mail-in system for users who use the flexible general-purpose instrument for a wide range of structural studies of novel materials. The instrument will be made available to rapid access users for a few days each cycle, offering data collection for two temperatures between 12 degrees Kelvin and 300 degrees Kelvin per sample. Users with a new material to test will not have wait six months for beam time. If response is good, the instrument could run tests on as many as 24 mail-in samples over two days. The instrument scientists would send back the data to the users. POWGEN specializes in magnetic materials such as high-Technitium superconductors and metal insulator phase transitions as well as nonmagnetic materials, polycrystalline materials for pharmaceutical compounds, metals and semi-conductors and new battery materials. [Written by Agatha Bardoel; media contact: Ron Walli, (865) 576-0226; wallira@ornl.gov]

CHEMISTRY -- Unraveling methane's structure . . .

Considering how ubiquitous it is on earth, methane (natural gas) at the molecular level is a scientific unknown. To understand it and to manage it both as energy and as an environmental hazard, scientists need to know more about its molecular structure. A neutron diffraction study at the Spallation Neutrons and Pressure Diffractometer at Oak Ridge National Laboratory has successfully mapped the structure of methane and water cages, known as clathrates, under more than half a million pounds of pressure per square inch. The researchers came up with a new potential ─ a new calculation of the repulsion force that exists between methane molecules in these cages ─ that indicated there were five methane molecule "guests" inside the enlarged polyhedral structures that emerged under the hig
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Contact: Ron Walli
wallira@ornl.gov
865-576-0226
DOE/Oak Ridge National Laboratory
Source:Eurekalert

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