Welcome to the Fundamental & Computational Sciences website.
I hope you take the opportunity to explore it and learn about the outstanding people, capabilities and scientific research at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory.
—Doug Ray, Associate Lab Director
"We strive to make progress on today's important scientific challenges."
Agriculture's Growing Effects on Rain
Research shows the impact of land-use change on African monsoon precipitation
Increased agricultural activity is a rain taker, not a rain maker, according to researchers at PNNL and their collaborators at UCLA and the University of Texas. They found the expansion of agriculture in the African Sahel region decreases summer rainfall through its impact on monsoon rains. The model simulations show a decrease in summer rainfall reaches 10 percent over the Sahel, a region that is already stressed by water demand for human and ecological use.
Several Faces of Physics Become One
Water moves through multifaceted physical boundaries. This poses a
significant challenge for scientists who must simulate water flow across many
domains. Scientists at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory conquered
this barrier by merging different physical laws. Their new approach can
describe any type of water flow in soils and the terrestrial ecosystem, in soil
pores, streams, lakes, rivers and oceans, and in mixed media of pores and
solids for soil and aquifer. The versatile properties of the new approach allow
cross-domain simulation of water flow at different scales. The research was published
in the Soil Science Society of America
New multiscale model unifies physical laws of water flow to span all scales
Full Story | March 2014
Uncovering the Details of Proton Relays Vital to Creating New Catalysts for Energy Storage
Invited article reviews the science behind proton motion in hydrogen-generating catalysts
In their invited review for Chemical Communications, Dr. R. Morris Bullock, Dr. Aaron Appel, and Dr. Monte Helm at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory describe how proton relays and other factors influence catalysts that could store intermittent renewable energy in chemical bonds for later use. They were asked to write this review for a special themed collection in the journal on electrocatalytic hydrogen evolution because of their groundbreaking research in proton movements in reactions that break and form hydrogen. Dr. Jonathan Darmon and Dr. Charles Weiss at PNNL designed artwork that graces the journal's cover.