As part of the 2017 EFRC-Hub-CMS Principal Investigators’ Meeting, the Department of Energy’s Office of Basic Energy Sciences (BES) is sponsoring an Intersection of Sound and Science Podcast Contest. Following the EFRC tradition, during each meeting there is an optional contest designed to educate, inspire and entertain an intelligent, but not expert, audience with the extraordinary science, innovation, and people in the Energy Frontier Research Centers (EFRC), Energy Innovation Hubs (Hub), and Computational Materials Sciences Awards (CMS). In 2017, the 36 EFRCs, 2 Hubs, and 5 CMS were challenged to share the excitement and mystery of science using sounds.

The entry that received the most votes from the public from June 28 to July 19, 2017 11:59 pm was given the People’s Choice Award at the Principal Investigators’ Meeting on July 24.



Big Things, Small Packages

“Big Things, Small Packages” is an original song written by Chuck Martin and recorded in Gainesville, FL. In the scientific circles, Martin is Dr. Charles R. Martin, a University of Florida Distinguished Professor of Chemistry, a pioneer on nanoscience.

Tailoring Alloys to be Radiation-tolerant for Clean and Safe Energy Production

The EDDE team enjoyed this opportunity to communicate the Center’s mission:  Gain a better understanding of radiation damage formation and evolution in its early stages in order to design materials that can intrinsically recover from the damaged state. The EDDE podcast aims to enthusiastically…

The Dance of the Electrons and the Scientist

The first half of the piece takes a walk through the world of the electrons, as predicted by quantum theory. We use sound waves controlled by the electron energies to interpret the crystal, with echoes marking the passing high symmetry points. The second half of the piece moves the theory into…

Plant Cell Walls, a Symphony of Solid Sunlight

Like Prokofiev's Peter and the Wolf, this podcast assigns the sound of an instrument to each component of the cell wall and uses the music produced by an orchestra as a metaphor for the plant cell wall and its assembly.

This Side of Perfect

Some may think that the pursuit of perfection sounds like a musician practicing a beautiful song or the soft sounds of an artist sketching, but we at the Light Material Interactions EFRC think that it sounds mostly like dissonant mix of clinking glassware, vacuum pumps, and flowing gas.  Our…

The Rhythm of Science

Anastasia Ilgen, Assistant Director for CFSES and a researcher at Sandia National Laboratory, talks about her current research and how the sounds and rhythms of her childhood in Russia influenced her work today.

The Musicality of Electrons

Electrons—the invisible subatomic particles that give us electricity and drive cellular processes—can be somewhat mystifying. In this podcast, we highlight the musical nature of electrons and the way biology exploits their power.

Listening to Batteries

Did you know that batteries emit sound as they are charged and discharged? Acoustic emission measurements collected during electrochemical tests, combined with advanced imaging techniques such as transmission X‐ray microscopy, provide a window into the internal workings of battery materials…

The Kitchen and the Lab: Two Parallel Universes for Making Things by Design

Two girls baking a new snack in their kitchen at home are surprised to discover that what they are doing is closely related to what their dad does at work in his lab. The ingredients and equipment may be much different, but the processes followed in the two venues—kitchen and lab—track well with…

Stop the Phonons

Stop the Phonons is an upbeat song that takes a look at the role of phonons within a thermoelectric generator.  The lyrics tell a story of how researchers at MIT’s S3TEC center want to harness thermal energy for electricity generation, but must find a way to “stop the phonons from giving away…

The Sounds of Science

This podcast discusses the goals and recent accomplishments of the CASP EFRC. We relate our work to sound by composing a song from the sounds that are heard in our labs on a daily basis.

Sound to Analyze, Interpret, and Understand Data from Experiment and Theory

This podcast explores the use of sound to analyze, interpret, and understand data from experiment and computer simulations. Test cases are illustrated from data obtained within the IDREAM EFRC - specifically examining the behavior of aluminum in solutions that begin to approach the conditions of…

Hacking the Sun: Infrared-to-Visible Photon Upconversion for Next-Generation Solar Energy Harvesting

Much of the infrared light from the sun is too low in energy to be absorbed by traditional solar cells. To harvest the lost solar energy, we develop a solid-state device that turns infrared photons into visible ones, a phenomenon called photon upconversion. Our device makes use of special…

How to Control Heat with Hypersound

In solids, sounds and heat are entangled in the form of a quasiparticle called a phonon. Researchers at the SHINES center showed that they could control phonons by confining them in a field of nanowires. This finding will have major implications for managing heat in nanoscale electronics.