ORNL Visit

Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) would like to invite you to take a tour of our facilities on the morning of Monday, 2008 January 7. The areas we will be visiting include the National Center for Computational Sciences, the Center for Nanophase Material Sciences, and the Spallation Neutron Source. A brief description of each of these areas is provided below along with associated web links.

National Center for Computational Sciences (NCCS)

The NCCS was founded in 1992 to advance the state of the art in high-performance computing by putting new generations of powerful parallel supercomputers into the hands of the scientists who can use them the most productively. It is a managed activity of the Advanced Scientific Computing Research program of the Department of Energy Office of Science (DOE-SC).

The Center is host to the Cray XT4 "Jaguar" supercomputer, ranked No. 2 on the Top500 list of the world's fastest supercomputers in 2007. Jaguar is actually the most powerful supercomputer in the world for open scientific use, with a peak performance of more than 119 trillion calculations per second (119 teraflops). To support its extraordinary concentration of computing power, the NCCS has put in place high-speed fiber-optic networks to expedite data movement, a scientific visualization center that enables researchers to analyze their simulation results quickly and comprehensively, and a high-performance data archiving and retrieval system.

The NCCS continues to aggressively expand its computing power. Steps are under way to expand the speed of the Jaguar to 250 teraflops in 2008 and in 2009 to install a petaflop computer, capable of a quadrillion calculations per second. NCCS hosts only those projects capable of producing groundbreaking results. Each year a few research efforts that require enormous computing resources to realize their promise are rewarded allocations of computing time that reach as much as several million processor-hours. Such unprecedented levels of computational power are key to cracking fundamental questions that underlie issues of vital importance such as designing fusion reactors that provide clean, virtually unlimited energy; engineering proteins to provide new therapies for diseases and release energy from biomass efficiently; making wise choices to protect our planet and avoid runaway climate change; and designing new materials with specialized properties.

Center for Nanophase Materials Sciences (CNMS)

The Center for Nanophase Materials Sciences (CNMS) at ORNL is a Department of Energy / Office of Science Nanoscale Science Research Center (NSRC) operating as a highly collaborative and multidisciplinary user research facility. The CNMS is one of five DOE NSRCs that form an integrated national user network. Each NSRC is associated with other major national research facilities at one of DOE's national laboratories, enabling their application to nanoscale science and technology. The central organizing concept of CNMS is to provide unique opportunities to understand nanoscale materials, assemblies, and phenomena, by creating a set of scientific synergies that will accelerate the process of discovery.

To accomplish this, the CNMS integrates nanoscale science with three highly synergistic national needs:

  • Neutron Science, using the Spallation Neutron Source, SNS, and the recently upgraded High Flux Isotope Reactor, HFIR.
  • Synthesis Science, or what we call "science-driven synthesis," facilitated by extensive and novel synthesis capabilities in the CNMS' first five Scientific Themes (described below) and by a new Nanofabrication Research Laboratory.
  • Theory, Modeling and Simulation, through establishing a new Nanomaterials Theory Institute, with close connections to the staff expertise and computational capabilities of ORNL's Center for Computational Sciences and the new national Leadership Scientific Computing Facility.

The CNMS's research capabilities provide a broad community of scientists, engineers, and students from throughout the nation, but particularly the southeastern United States, with ready access to the full range of tools and collaborative capabilities needed for nanoscale research, in a single location.

Spallation Neutron Source (SNS)

SNS is an accelerator-based neutron source in Oak Ridge. When at full power, this one-of-a-kind facility will provide the most intense pulsed neutron beams in the world for scientific research and industrial development.

SNS was built by a partnership of six U.S Department of Energy laboratories. Along with its sister facility, the High Flux Isotope Reactor, SNS makes Oak Ridge a mecca for neutron-scattering research.

Although most people don't know it, neutron-scattering research has a lot to do with our everyday lives. For example, things like medicine, food, electronics, and cars and airplanes have all been improved by neutron-scattering research.

Neutron research also helps scientists improve materials used in a multitude of different products, such as high-temperature superconductors, powerful lightweight magnets, aluminum bridge decks, and stronger, lighter plastic products.

Registration and schedule

Registration Please register for the tour on the registration form. If you need to change your request, contact Sherry Hempfling at 865-574-5162 or hempflingce@ornl.gov.

If you need to go directly to the airport after the tour, you can also drive your car into the lab, but you will have to park your car across the street from the Visitor Center and take the bus during the tour. We will bring you back to the Visitor Center to pick up your car. Please make sure Sherry has you signed up to take the tour and remember to bring identification with you. If you are a foreign national, you will need your passport and visa to show to the guards at the portal.

Maps to Oak Ridge National Laboratory and the airport: http://www.ornl.gov/ornlhome/ornl_maps.shtml

You are welcome to bring cameras with you.


0800 Pick-up at the Crowne Plaza Hotel; travel to ORNL via motorcoach or van
0830 Arrive at Visitor Center at ORNL
0900 Tour of National Center for Computational Sciences
1000 Travel to SNS/CNMS
1015 Tour of Spallation Neutron Source
1100 Tour of Center for Nanophase Materials Sciences
1130 Depart for Visitor Center
1145 Depart for Crowne Plaza Hotel
1230 Arrival at Crowne Plaza Hotel