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 2015

Presentation [PDF]

  • Nobel Prize in Physics 2015 [SNO Collaboration]
  • CT Scan of Earth Links Mantle Plumes with Volcanic Hotspots [Romanowicz, UC Berkeley]
  • Electron Heat Loss in Fusion Plasma [Belova, Princeton Plasma Physics Lab]
  •  BISICLES Ice Sheet Model and Climate Change [Martin, Berkeley Lab]
  • Polarized Laser Pulses Could Change Nature of Graphene [Deveraux, Stanford]
  • High Accuracy Modeling of Geothermal Wells [Melior Innovations, Inc.]  

June 2015

Presentation [PDF]

  • Modelling Aids Radiation Damage Studies [Devanathan]
  • Using Supercomputers to Analyze Syncrotron Experiments [Saykally/Prendergast]
  • Simulation Insights into Water and Soft Matter [Striolo]
  • Observing a Supernova Colliding with its Neighbor [Nugent] Read more...
  • Assessing the Impact of Fracking on Drinking Water [Moridis] Read more...
  • Expanding the Impact of Pore Scale Simulations [Scheibe]

March 2015

Presentation [PDF]

  • Improved multiscale modeling method leads to key result for batteries [Miller] Read more...
  • Climate change effects on wind turbine industry are being evaluated [Capp]
  • Multiscale Two-Phase Bubbly Flow Modeling [Ma]
  • Using NERSC to Help Optimize SNS [Veltzer]
  • Investigating element 106, seaborgium [Malli]
  • Those bothersome fusion blobs [Lee/Urbansky] 

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]