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NSF-Wide Investments--Images

Semiconducting metal junction formed from two carbon nanotubes National Nanotechnology Initiative (NNI)
A team led by Vincent Crespi, associate professor of physics, has simulated carbon nanotubes that are smaller and stronger than any other nanotube. Using supercomputers in California, Michigan and Texas to model the electronic states and total energies of various carbon molecules, Crespi and his colleagues discovered a tetrahedral carbon atom that creates tight and stable bonds to form tiny tubes only six atoms across, the smallest diameter theoretically possible.

Credit: Vin Crespi, Pennsylvania State Physics. Distributed under the Creative Commons license
Researcher welding a GPS station on the flanks of Mount St. Helens Networking and Information Technology R&D
EarthScope is one of an eventual network of 400 seismographic stations that will spread across the United States, making observations at more than 2,000 geographic locations to map the structure and composition of North America. The photo shows Peter Gray welding one of five GPS stations on the flanks of Mount St. Helens in Washington state. The stations will precisely monitor deformation associated with magma movement within the volcano.

Credit: Earthscope
Surf along a coastline U.S. Global Change Research Program (USGCRP)
The influx of fresh water from Arctic climate change is impacting seasonal fisheries and plankton cycles. Ecosystems along the continental shelf waters of the Northwest Atlantic Ocean--from the Labrador Sea south of Greenland all the way to North Carolina--are experiencing large, rapid changes, NSF-supported oceanographers reported in the Feb. 23, 2007, issue of the journal Science.

Credit: JupiterImages
EcoCradle packaging material is composed of agricultural byproducts bound by fungal roots Advanced Manufacturing
EcoCradleâ„¢ packaging material is composed of agricultural byproducts (cotton gin trash) bound together by fungal mycelium. With an appearance and functionality of polymer foams, EcoCradle™ can be manufactured with just one eighth the energy and one tenth the carbon dioxide of traditional foam packing material.

Credit: Edward Browka, Ecovative Design
Dye pattern resembling a green apple NSF Centers Programs and Funding
A fluorescent dye injected into a tank of stirred liquid creates a pattern that resembles a green apple. The demonstration, conducted by Rutgers researchers from the NSF Engineering Research Center on Structured Organic Composites, shows how liquids mix in a typical pharmaceutical manufacturing operation. Engineers will use such studies to help drug makers improve product uniformity.

Credit: M. M. Alvarez, T. Shinbrot, F. J. Muzzio, Rutgers University, Center for Structured Organic Composites
Visualization of Internet connections in the U.S. Cyberinfrastructure Framework for 21st Century Science and Engineering (CIF21)
A visualization of Internet connections in the United States. The lines represent connections between routers in major urban areas throughout the country. From its humble beginnings in the academic research community to its current state, the Internet's infrastructure grew in a relatively short period of time as private sector providers scrambled to meet the rising public demand for greater access and band width. This growth will continue into the foreseeable future as the nature of the network evolves and more devices such as cellular phones, PDAs and even common appliances are brought online.

Credit: Zina Deretsky, National Science Foundation, adapted from maps by Chris Harrison, Human-Computer Interaction Institute Carnegie Mellon University,
Composite of electron cloud visualization with gallium arsenide crystal structure Science and Engineering Beyond Moore's Law
Substitution of magnetic atoms (manganese) into a semiconductor (gallium arsenide) creates the material for future electronics. Spins of the magnetic atoms interact via a cloud of electrons, which can be visualized using a scanning tunneling microscope. The image is a composite of microscopic visualization of electron cloud together with a model of the gallium arsenide crystal structure.

Credit: A. Yazdani, Princeton University
Cover of NSB report, Building a Sustainable Energy Future Science, Engineering and Education for Sustainability (SEES)
Building a Sustainable Energy Future: U.S. Actions for an Effective Energy Economy Transformation. The National Science Board initiated a study in October 2007 to examine current activities in sustainable energy and the science and engineering challenges related to the development of sustainable energy. The study, lead by the Board's Task Force on Sustainable Energy, includes recommendations for a nationally coordinated science and engineering research and education initiative, including explicit guidance on the role of the National Science Foundation.

Credit: NSB
Students using a microscope Selected Crosscutting Programs
Participants in the InSTEP (Integrated Science Teaching Enhancement Partnership) Program--part of NSF's Graduate Fellowships in K-12 Education (GK-12) Program--make observations using a microscope. The GK-12 program is designed to foster student interest in science while boosting teacher confidence in integrated science content and inquiry-based instruction.

Credit: InSTEP Program, Florida Institute of Technology

Back to the brief descriptions of NSF-Wide Investments in the current budget request.


NSF has designated special areas of emphasis or priority areas in previous budget years. A select list of materials from previous years is available here.


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