June 1, 1999

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Cosmologists say a wide range of evidence is forcing them to consider the possibility that an unknown "dark energy" exists that is causing the expansion of the universe to accelerate.  "The universe is made mostly of dark matter and dark energy," says the Lab's Saul Perlmutter, "and we don't know what either of them is."   The concept of dark energy is expanded upon in a May 28 Science article titled, "The Cosmic Triangle: Revealing the State of the Universe."

Stopping an underground leak can be costly and difficult.  One emerging approach is to inject fluids into the ground that gel and form a barrier. Unfortunately, controlling the flow of these fluids has been a problem.  Now, researchers are experimenting with ferrofluids that respond to a magnetic field.  Ferrofluid barriers could be steered into place by magnets, sealing leaking waste tanks, pipes, or landfills with minimum environmental disturbance.


Metallic glasses have high hardness, high strength-to-weight ratios, and excellent wear properties. Now, researchers are examining an unexpected property of one form of metallic glass: When fractured in air, the material ejects a shower of sparks.

San Francisco Chronicle: B Factory Conceived by Lab's Pier Oddone Debuts

Improved carbon monoxide sensor for occupational use

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