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 an e-mail to  In the list below, names of researchers who did the work appear in brackets.

September 2016

 Presentation [PDF]

  • Advances in Cost-Effective Fuel Cells [Y. Choi (SABIC Technology Center), Journal of Materials Chemistry A, 2016, 4, 5869-5876] [BES]
  • Earth’s Viral Diversity Unveiled [N. Kryprides (Berkeley Lab),  Nature, 536, 425–430, Aug. 25, 2016] [BER]
  • The Search for a Visible Gravitational Wave Source [M. Kasliwal (Caltech), The Astrophysical Journal Letters, Vol. 824, No. 2, June 17, 2016] [HEP]
  • Advanced Simulations Support Breakthrough Coupling of Two Plasma Accelerator Stages [C. Benedetti (Berkeley Lab), , Nature, 530, February 2016] [HEP]
  • New In-situ Analysis Framework Enables Modeling at Scale [O. Rübel (Berkeley Lab), IEEE Computer Graphics and Applications, 36, May-June 2016] [ASCR/HEP]
  • Speeding Up a Bioinformatics Application [G. Luecke (Iowa State), International journal of High Performance Computing Applications, July 12, 2016, doi:10.1177/1094342016658110] [BER/ASCR]
  • Advances in a Theoretical Understanding of  Fusion Edge Plasma Transport [D. Hatch (University of Texas-Austin), Nuclear Fusion, 56,  August 2016] [FES]

June 2016

Presentation [PDF]

  • Better Materials for Quantum Computing [Govoni, Galli (University of Chicago), Nature Scientific Reports, Vol. 6, No. 20803, Feb. 16, 2016] [BES]
  • Interactions Between Climate and Regional Weather [Hagos (Pacific Northwest National Laboratory),  Journal of Climate, Vol. 29, No. 3, February 2016, 1091-1107] [BER]
  • Design and Discovery of New Ferroelectric Materials [Rappe (University of Pennsylvania), Nature 534, 360-363, June 16, 2016] [BES]
  • Brown-Dwarf Companion to Accreting White Dwarf [Baron (University of Oklahoma), Nature 533, 366-368, May 2016] [HEP]
  • How Climate Fluctuations Influence Sea Ice Expansion [Meehl, National Center for Atmospheric Research), Nature Geoscience, July 4, 2016, doi: 10.1038/ngeo2751] [BER]
  • Efficiency-Limiting Defects in LEDs [Van de Walle (UC-Santa Barbara), Applied Physics Letters, 108, 141101, April 2016] [BES]
  • ‘New Math’ Captures Fluid Interface Dynamics in Unprecedented Detail [Saye (Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory), Science Advances, Vol. 2, No. 6, June 3, 2016] [ASCR]

March 2016

Presentation [PDF]

  • Results explain the mismatch between predictions and observations of heat loss in tokamak reactors [Howard (MIT), Holland, White, Greenwald and Candy, Nuclear Fusion, Vol. 56, No. 1, Dec. 17, 2015] [FES]
  • Researchers have reduced the time needed to detect important features in large climate datasets from years to hours. [D. Millstein, R. Levinson, P. Rosado, M. Cao, Z. Lin, Environmental Science & Technology,  November 2015, 49, 14672-14679]
  • Simulations support findings that migration of liquids and gases due to fracking have not had a widespread impact on drinking water. [M. Reagan, G. Moridis, N. Keen, J. Johnson, Water Resources Research, Volume 51, Issue 4, April 2015, 2543–2573]
  • Scientists use Edison to perform the first LQCD calculations of the radiative capture process. [S. Beane, E. Chang, W. Detmold, K. Orginos, A. Parreno. M. Savage, B Tiburzi, Physical Review Letters, 115, 132001 September 24, 2015]
  • New tools handle increasingly large datasets produced by ATLAS experiments at the Large Hadron Collider.  [P. Calafiura, et al, on behalf of the ATLAS Collaboration, Journal of Physics: Conference Series 664, (2015) 092025]

December 2015

Presentation [PDF]

  • Creating Nanoscale Ferroelectricity from a Nonferroelectric Film [X. Wu, Temple University, Science, 349, 6254, 1314-1317, Sep. 2015] [BES]
  • Stabilizing a Tokamak Plasma [S. Jardin, Princeton Plasma Physics Lab, Phys. Rev. Lett., 115, 2140001, Nov. 2015] [FES]
  • Predicting a New Phase of Superionic Ice [J. Sun, Princeton U., Nature Comm., 6, 8156, August 2015] [BES]
  • LUX Dark Matter Experiment [R. Jacobsen, Berkeley Lab, Phys. Rev. Lett., Dec. 11, 2015] [HEP/NP]
  • Reflective Roofs Help Reduce Energy Use [D. Millstein, Berkeley Lab, Env. Sci. & Tech., 49, 14672-14679, Nov. 2015] [BER]

September 2015

Presentation [PDF]

  • Nobel Prize in Physics 2015 [SNO Collaboration, Phys. Rev. Lett. 87, 071301, 2001] [HEP/NP]
  • CT Scan of Earth Links Mantle Plumes with Volcanic Hotspots [s. French, B. Romanowicz, UC Berkeley, Nature 525, 95-99, Sep. 3, 2015] [BES]
  • Electron Heat Loss in Fusion Plasma [Belova, Princeton Plasma Physics Lab, Phys. Rev. Lett., 115, June 29, 2015] [FES]
  •  BISICLES Ice Sheet Model and Climate Change [D. Martin, Berkeley Lab, The Cryosphere, 1579-1600, 2015] [BER]
  • Polarized Laser Pulses Could Change Nature of Graphene [T. Deveraux, Stanford, Nature Comm., 6, 70475, 2015] [BES]
  • High Accuracy Modeling of Geothermal Wells [Melior Innovations, Inc.] [Industrial Partnerships]

June 2015

Presentation [PDF]

  • Modelling Aids Radiation Damage Studies [R. Devanathan, Pacific Northwest National Lab, J. Materials Res., vol. 30, no. 9, May 14, 2015] [BES]
  • Using Supercomputers to Analyze Syncrotron Experiments [R. Saykally/D. Prendergast, UC Berkeley, Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., 2014] [BES] Read more...
  • Simulation Insights into Water and Soft Matter [A. Striolo, Univ. College London, J. Phys. Chem. B, 119, 5467-5474, 2015] [BES]
  • Observing a Supernova Colliding with its Neighbor [P. Nugent. Berkeley Lab, Nature, Vol. 521, May 21, 2015] [HEP]  Read more...
  • Assessing the Impact of Fracking on Drinking Water [G. Moridis, AGU Water Resources Research, 51, 2543-2573, 2015[BES] Read more...
  • Expanding the Impact of Pore Scale Simulations [T. Scheibe, AGU Water Resources Research, Feb. 2015] [BER]

March 2015

Presentation [PDF]

  • Improved multiscale modeling method leads to key result for batteries [T. Miller, Caltech, J. Phys. Chem. C, 119(8), 3865-3880] [BESRead more...
  • Climate change effects on wind turbine industry are being evaluated [S. Capps, Vertum Partners] [SBIR]
  • Multiscale Two-Phase Bubbly Flow Modeling [J. Ma, Dynaflow, Inc., Chem. Eng. Sciences, 128, 64-81, 2015] [SBIR]
  • Using NERSC to Help Optimize SNS [S. Veltzer, Tech-X] [SBIR]
  • Investigating element 106, seaborgium [G. Malli, Simon Fraser U., J. Chem. Phys., 142, 064311, 2015] [NP]
  • Those bothersome fusion blobs [W. Lee/ M. Urbansky, UC San Diego/Livermore Lab, Phy. of Plasmas, 22, 12505, 2015] [FES]

December 2014

Presentation [PDF]

  • Boosting Combustion Research [Bell]
  • Power to the Electrons [Leemans]
  • Material Genomics to the MAX [Ching]
  • Tracking Tropical Clouds to Polish Climate and Weather Prediction [Hagos]
  • 'CT Scan' of Distant Universe Reveals Cosmic Web in 3D [Lee] Read more...
  • New Inexpensive Silicon-based Semiconductor for Solar Energy Conversion [Galli]

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] Read more...

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] Read more...
  • 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] Read more...
  • 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] Read more...
  • 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) Read More...
  • 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) Read More...
  • 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]