NERSCPowering Scientific Discovery Since 1974

Science Highlights Presentations

NERSC collects highlights of recent scientific work carried out by its users. If you are a user and have work that you would like us to highlight please send e-mail to  In the list below, names of researchers who did the work appear in brackets.

September 2014

Presentation [PDF]

Relearning Acid-Base Fundamentals [Mundy]
Probing Mercury's Partnering Preferences [Smith]
Fusion Simulations Could Reduce Reactor Costs [Landreman/Dorland]
NERSC Projects Put Data in the Fast Lane Read more... 
Meraculous Genomics Performance [Yelick]
Unusual Demise for Some Ancient Stars [Chen/Woosley] Read more...  

June 2014

Presentation [PDF]

Promising Approach to Solar Conversion [Galli]
Basic Understanding of Water as Solvent [Xantheas]
Tokamak Stabilization via Simulation [Citrin]
Unusual Climate Modeling Result: Decreased Flooding From Higher Temps [Stone] Read more ...
Improving LED Efficiency Through Computation [Kioupakis] Read more ...
Controlling NanoParticle Assembly [Grest] 

March 2014

Presentation [PDF]

Controlling Nanoparticle Interactions to Engineer New Materials [Grest]
Computational High-Throughput Screening of Organic Materials for Solar Energy and Lighting [Kara] 
Materials Informatics Helps Optimize Gas Storage [Smit] 
Colossal Magnetic Moments Discovered [Jena]
Exploring Magnetism in a Single Atom [Gangopadhyay]
Disordered Materials Hold Promise for Better Batteries [Ceder]

December 2013

Presentation [PDF] Presentation [PPT]

Model Shows Arrangement of Proteins in Photosynthetic Membranes [Geissler]
How Many Earths are There? [Petigura]
IceCube is 2013 Physics Breakthrough of the Year [Gerhardt] Read more...
Simulation Couples with Experiment to Boost Energy Research [Smith]
Simulation Captures the Essence of Carbonate Crystallization [Whitelam]
Project Discovers 'Fingers' of Heat that Help Explain the ’Plumbing' of Earth’s Mantle [Romanowicz] Read more...

September 2013

Presentation [PDF 5MB] Presentation [PPT 4MB]

Developing Better Catalysts [Mei]
World's Thinnest Solar Cell [Grossman]
Stabilizing Carbon Nanotubes [Striolo]
New Theory of Crystallization [Wallace]
Fusion Snakes [Sugiyama]
Alzheimer's and Amyloid Fibril Assembly [Ghatty] 

July 2013

Presentation [PDF 4 MB] Presentation [PPT 6 MB]

IceCube Finds Neutrinos Invading from Another Galaxy [Gerhardt] 
First Independent Confirmation of Global Land Warming  [Compo]
Mail-Order Metal Organic Frameworks  [Smit]
Study Shows How a Greenhouse Gas Could be Converted to Fuel [Batista]
NERSC Collaboration will Improve Materials Analysis  [Persson, Jain, Cholia] 
Reduced Climate Change Impact in California from Emission Regulations [Collins] Read more...

June 2013

Presentation [PDF 8 MB] Presentation [PPT 6 MB]

Tundra Bushes Add Fuel to Northern Thaw [Bonfils]
New Method Improves Simulations of Foams, Membranes, Detergents, and More  [Saye, Sethian] Read more...
Using Computation to Understand the Basis of Circadian Rhythm  [Batista]
Computation Improves Lithium Batteries [Leung]
NERSC Helps Planck Mission Expose Ancient Light [Borrill]
Studies Suggest Super-Efficient Solar Cells [Wippermann, Galli] 

March 2013

Presentation [PDF 8 MB] Presentation [PPT 6 MB]

Explaining the Origin of Semiconductor Exciton Binding Energy Variation [Zu]
Freely Decaying Turbulence in 2-D Electrostatic Gyrokinetics [Dorland]
Study of Runaway Electron Currents is Important Step Towards Understanding ITER Plasma Disruption [Izzo]
Magnetic and Plasma Stochasticity can be Intrinsically Generated in Confined Toroidal Plasma Edges [Sugiyama]
Determining the Sign of the Pairing State in High-Tc Superconductors [Das] Read more...
Study Points to More Efficient Catalysts [Chen]

January 2013

Presentation [PDF 3 MB] Presentation [PPT 3 MB]

Nailing Down the Structure of Mullite (Ching)
Climate Change Mitigation and Sea Level Rise (Washington/Meehl/Hu)
Science at Scale: Plasma Finding is Key for ITER (Chang) Read more...
Understanding Battery Failure (Miller)
Computational Studies Shed Light on Energetic Materials Degradation (Kuklja) 
Science at Scale: Understanding CO2 Sequestration (Trebotich) 

September-October 2012

Presentation [PDF 5 MB] Presentation [PPT  5 MB]

Using Computation to Improve Water Desalination (Grossman)
Dramatically Increasing Weather Forecasting Skill (Hamill/Bates)
"Windows of Opportunity" for Efficient Gas Separation Using Carbon Nanotubes (Jiang)
Modeling Feat Sheds Light on Protein Channel's Function (Miller) Read More...
Simulations Reveal Universal Viscosity Behavior of Polymer Nanocomposites (Grest)
Implications of the Higgs Boson Discovery (Nath)
A Climate Extension to the Weather Research and Forecasting Model, CWRF (Liang)
Modeling Reveals How Oceans Plunged the Planet into a Catastrophic Big Freeze  (Condron)
Efficient Discovery of Porous Materials for Gas Separation and Storage (Smit) Read More... 
Simulations Reveal Key Fuel Cell Membrane Characteristics (Devanathan)
Calculations Suggest Promise for Graphene-Nanotube Transistors (Varga / Cook) 
Computer as Laboratory: Test-Tube Simulations of Protein Unfolding  (Daggett) 

June 2012

Presentation [PDF 6 MB]   Presentation [PPT 11 MB]

Promise for Onion-Like Carbons as Supercapacitors (Jiang/Cummings)
Learning from Photosynthesis  (Cheung) 
Science at Scale: Parallel I/O Supports Analysis of Trillion-Particle Simulation (Byna/Karimabadi) Read More...
Unlocking the Mysteries of the Neutrino (Gratta/Marino)
Tuning Nanoporous Graphene for Gas Separation (Schrier)
Science Through Volume:NDCX-II Simulations Help Clear the Path to Heavy Ion Fusion (Friedman) Read More...
Science and Energy Insight from NERSC + ALS (Saykally/Prendergast
Computations Reveal the Mechanism of Catalytic Reduction of Ntirogen Dioxide (Broadbelt/Snurr) 

March 2012

Presentation [PDF 6 MB]   Presentation [PPT 11 MB]

Science at Scale: Simulations Aid in Understanding Climate Impacts (Collins)
A New Kind of Neutrino Transformation  (DayaBay) 
Powered by NERSC, JGI Database Now Contains 3 Billion Genes (Markowitz) Read More...
Deep Oceans Can Mask Global Warming for Decade-Long Periods (Washington)  Read More...
Designer Piezoelectricity (Chu)
Important New Method For Studying Solar Materials (Kioupakis)

December 2011

Newsletter [PDF 4 MB]   Presentation [PDF 3 MB]   Presentation [PPT 7 MB]

Breakthroughs in Battery Technologies (Wang, Mei)
JCAP Simulations for Artificial Photosynthesis (Wang, Lewis)
Materials Genome Simulations Speed Materials Discovery (Persson)
Clearest Pictures Yet of Dark Matter and the Universe (Nugent, White) Read More...
Turning Grass Into Gas For Less (Chu)
A Better Way to ID Extreme Weather Events in Climate Models (Wehner, Prabhat) Read More...
Origin of Diverse Melting Behavior in Nanoclusters (S. Wei)
Quantitative Assessment of a Coal Gasification Model (P. Smith)

September 2011

Newsletter [PDF 2 MB]   Presentation [PDF 3 MB]   Presentation [PPT 3MB]

Astrophysics: NERSC Played Key Role in Nobel Prize-Winning Discovery (Perlmutter) Read More...
Astrophysics: Earliest Ever Supernova Detection (Nugent)
Nuclear Physics: Geoneutrinos and Earth's Heat Source (KamLAND)
Climate: Small Particles, Big Impact (Gustafson) 
Materials Science: True Rational Materials Design (Aspuru-Guzik)
Chemistry: Improved Carbon Nanotube Production (Striolo)

June 2011

Presentation [PDF 8MB]   Presentation [PPT 13MB]

LED Lighting Breakthrough (Kioupakis, Van de Walle)
Solar System Bubbles (Drake)
LQCD Evidence for Dibaryon (Savage)
Speeding Materials Evaluation for Carbon Capture (Haranczyk, Sethian)
Improving Insulin via Molecular Dynamics (Mikre, Masunov)
Heaviest Antimatter Nucleus Detected (STARcollaboration)
Nanoscale Modeling for Carbon Capture (Bourg, Sposito)
Speculative 14F Nucleus (Maris, Shirokov, Vary)
Thermoelectric Materials to Recycle Energy (Kent)

March 2011

Presentation [PDF 9MB]   Presentation [PPT 8MB]

Dark Galaxy Detected (Chakrabarti, Blitz)
Rechargeable Heat Batteries (Grossman)
Runaway Electrons Affect ITER (Izzo)
20th Century Reanalysis (Compo)
Faster Computational Docking (Collignon, Schulz, Smith, Baudry)
Recyling Carbon Dioxide (Ping Liu)
Computational Chemistry for Better Batteries
Nanofluids Change Phase (Cummings)

December 2010

Presentation [PDF 14MB]   Presentation [PPTX 14MB]

Simulation Helps Validate Key New Experimental Technique (Pantalides, Pennycock)
Quantum Dynamics Revealed (H. Guo)
Nanocatalysis: Small *is* Different (Landman, Barnett)
Ultra Low-Power Computing? (Yoon, Salahuddin)
Designing Fuel Cell Membranes (Davanathan, Dupuis)
Magnetic Reconnection and Anomalous Cosmic Rays (Drake)

September 2010

Newsletter [PDF]   Presentation [PDF]   Presentation [PPT]

New Method Sheds Light on Protein-Salt Interactions (Prendergast, Saykally)
ALICE + NERSC + ESnet = Results (Jacobs)
"Sweaty" Flowers Cool the World (Lee, Boyce)
What's Pliocene Got to Do With it?* (Federov, Brierly)
You Need 3D to Watch Stars Explode (Burrows, Nordhaus, Bell, Almgren)
Simulation of Electrocatalytic Hydrogen Production by a Bio-inspired Catalyst* (Car, Selloni)

* In presentation only; not in Newsletter

June 2010

Newsletter [PDF]   Presentation [PDF]   Presentation [PPTX]

Silicon Uncommon in Deep Earth (Wilkins, Driver)
First-Ever Antimatter Hypernucleus (N. Xu)
Why Neon is Missing from Jupiter's Atmosphere (Wilson, Militzer)
Massive, Young, Star-Forming Galaxies (Ceverino, Klypin)
First-Principles Modeling of Distant Metal-Water Bonds* (Bogatko, Bylaska,Weare)
Thermophillic Protein Stability* (Daggett)
FLASH Modeling Laser-Created Dense Plasmas* (Plewa, Drake)
Accelerator Simulations Reframed* (Mori)
MADmap CMB (Cantaloupo, Borrill, Jaffe, Kisner, Stompor)
Radiation Damage in Ceramics* (Devanathan)
Transparent Conducting Oxides* (Medvedeva)
Connecting the Molecular Scale to the Continuum Scale* (Bourg, Sposito)

* In presentation only; not in Newsletter

March 2010

Newsletter [PDF]   Presentation [PDF]   Presentation [PPT]

Mismatched Alloy Thermoelectrics (Wu, Lee, Grossman)
Nanoelectronic Switches (Neaton, Quek)
Cultural Analytics (Manovich)
Early Hopper Science
Sudbury Neutrino Data (Poon, Martin)
Proteins and Water* (Head-Gordon, Johnson, Malardier-Jugroot)
New Plasma Instability* (Sugiyama)
Combustion Simulation* (Bell, Day, Gao)
Graphene Sheets are Pliable* (Kral)
Halocarbon Greenhouse Gases* (Wuebbles)
Magma Dynamics* (Spera, Nevins)

* In presentation only; not in Newsletter

December 2009

Presentation [PDF]

Mitigating Global Climate Change (Washington)
EMGeo hydrocarbon reservoir mapping software (Newman, Commer)
AMR for CO2 Sequestration Studies (Bell, Pau, Pruess, Almgren, Lijewski, Zhag)
Graphene Membrane for Gas Separation (Jiang, Cooper, Dai)
First of Its Kind Supernova (Aldering, Nugent, Thomas)
New 3-D Radiation Transfer Capability (Baron)
Restructuring Catalyst Surfaces (L-W Wang)

August 2009

Presentation [PDF]

Material Science:
Optical Data Storage (G. Zhang)
Nanoparticle Catalysis (P. Liu)
Nuclear Physics:
Lattice QCD (Savage, Detmold)
Materials Science:
NanoPropellers and Other Structures (Kral)
Mechanism of Alzheimer's Disease (Head-Gordon)
Laboratory Scale Turbulent Lean Hydrogen (Bell)
Low Mach Number Flows(Woosley, Bell)
Supernova Core-Collapse (Woosley, Burrows)
Novel Material Simulations (Ching)
Improving Catalysis (Balbuena)
Molecular Geochemistry (Bylaska, Felmy)
Cloud-Resolving Climate Model (Randall)
Palomar Transient Factory (Nugent)
Deep Sky Science Gateway (Aragon)
Visualization Technology (Bethel)
Catalysis for Higher Fuel Cell Efficiency (Mavrikakis)
Accelerator Modeling (Qiang)
Gyrokinetic Modeling (Z. Lin)
Quantum Monte Carlo Electronic Structure (Lester)
Role of Eddies inOcean Circulation (Cessi, Wolfe)
Laser Wakefield Acceleration (Geddes)
Adaptive Mesh Refinement (Bell)
Subsurface Biogeochemistry (Scheibe)
DOE-NOAA/GFDL Collaboration on Climate Modeling (Balaji)
Direct Numerical Simulation of Turbulent Jet Flames (J. Chen)
DNA Packaging in Viruses (Andricioaei)