Friday, October 25, 2013

Solar ‘gardens’ let communities share renewable power

Solar array at UNM Taos. UNM Photo.

In northern New Mexico the sun shines nearly every day of the year. If solar energy is going to be viable anywhere, it will be here—and a small electric cooperative in historic Taos is taking advantage of it. Kit Carson Electric Cooperative is offering its customers the opportunity to buy solar energy from “plots” in a “garden” of solar power generation.           

The cooperative has solar power projects with Los Alamos National Laboratory, beginning with a project that provides electric energy for the Taos campus of the University of New Mexico. (Full Story)

A golden anniversary for space-based treaty verification

Richard Belian performs a final check of the Vela V-B satellite prior to its launch. LANL photo.

Fifty years ago this month, Los Alamos National Laboratory sensor technology lifted off into space to help verify that world Superpowers were abiding by the newly signed Limited Test Ban Treaty-a pledge by the United States, the former Soviet Union and the United Kingdom to refrain from testing nuclear weapons in the atmosphere, underwater or in space.

"For the past 70 years, Los Alamos National Laboratory has serviced the country and provided technical solutions to the some of biggest national security challenges facing the nation," said Terry Wallace, Principal Associate Director for Global Security at Los Alamos. (Full Story)

This story also appeared in Hispanic Business

LANL wins 4 NNSA awards

Dennis Hjeresen received a best-in-class award.  LANL photo.

The National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) Tuesday announced that it has awarded 18 Sustainability Awards for innovation and excellence to its national laboratories and sites.        

Los Alamos National Laboratory won four awards for work in DNA, greenhouse gases, environmental sustainability and energy management. (Full Story)

Nanoscale engineering boosts performance of quantum dot light emitting diodes

The quantum dot device structure. LANL image.

Dramatic advances in the field of quantum dot light emitting diodes (QD-LEDs) could come from recent work by the Nanotechnology and Advanced Spectroscopy team at Los Alamos National Laboratory.

Quantum dots are nano-sized semiconductor particles whose emission color can be tuned by simply changing their dimensions. They feature near-unity emission quantum yields and narrow emission bands, which result in excellent color purity. (Full Story)

Nanostructures offer way to control quantum effect

Researchers measured the Casimir attraction between a metallic grating and a gold coated sphere. NIST image.

Prevailing theory does a good job describing the Casimir force between featureless, flat surfaces and even between most smoothly curved surfaces. However, according to researchers existing theory fails to predict the interactions they observed in their experiment.

This work was performed in collaboration with scientists from Los Alamos National Laboratory; the Univ. of Maryland, College Park; Argonne National Laboratory; and Indiana Univ. – Purdue Univ. (Full Story)

Nuclear cleanup project could be model for other sites

Kurchatov city, center of the Semipalatinsk nuclear test site. From NTI.

A Soviet-era nuclear test site in Kazakhstan was cleaned up through a collaborative international project that could provide lessons for tackling other dangerous nuclear sites across the globe

Nuclear scientists from Los Alamos National Laboratory, a US nuclear research institution, first met their Kazakh and Russian counterparts in 1992 following the Soviet Union’s collapse. (Full Story)

To subscribe to Los Alamos Report, please e-mail and include the words subscribe losalamosreport in the body of your email message; to unscubscribe, include unsubscribe losalamosreport.

Please visit us at
And follow us on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Flickr

Friday, October 18, 2013

How the Earth works

Cathy Plesko works with some of the world’s most powerful supercomputers at Los Alamos National Laboratory. You can almost imagine a T-Rex out there, can’t you? Ah, you really can.

Cathy's going to show me a highly accurate simulation of the impact. And it reveals how a wave of death spread from here in the Gulf of Mexico right the way around the world. (Watch Here)

Former enemies sign agreement to work on nuclear weapons to tackle the danger of asteroids

Los Alamos computer model of an asteroid detonation. LANL image.

The two countries were once at loggerheads over the use of nuclear warheads, but now the U.S. and Russia have joined forces to develop the technology together - and the partnership could one day lead to weapons being used to destroy asteroids hurtling towards earth.

Research scientist Robert Weaver, from Los Alamos National Laboratory, has been studying the effects of detonations on asteroids since 2012 and has simulated explosions using the Energy Department’s Cielo supercomputer. (Full Story)

Los Alamos researcher: Ocean temps may delay region’s disaster

LANL climatologist Petr Chylek. LANL image.         

Scientists worldwide agree the climate is changing, global temperatures are warming, the Arctic ice is melting and humans are a primary cause. But don’t panic — yet — if you live in the Southwestern United States, says a team of Los Alamos National Laboratory climatologists.

The next five years will determine whether the Southwest keeps on its hotter, drier path or enjoys a reprieve with some increased precipitation, according to the LANL research team headed by Petr Chylek. (Full Story)

Sky survey captures stunning details of two new cosmic explosions

The Palomar Observatory.  Cal Tech image.

Astronomers using the intermediate Palomar Transient Factory (iPTF) began observing the skies for certain types of stars and related phenomena in February of this year.

Since its inauguration, iPTF has been tremendously successful in the early discovery and rapid follow-up studies of transient objects, and two recent papers by iPTF astronomers illustrate first-time detections

The iPTF is a scientific partnership between Caltech; Los Alamos National Laboratory; the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee; the Oskar Klein Centre in Sweden; and others. (Full Story)

History buff’s gift will help tell the story of Los Alamos

The late Harold Agnew at a 2012 colloquium. LANL image.

Clay Perkins and his wife, Dorothy, made public a $530,000 donation to the Los Alamos Historical Society that will significantly expand that group’s exhibition space and its efforts to describe the history of the Atomic City.

The Bethe House, as the 1350 Bathtub Row residence is known, will house the Harold Agnew Cold War Museum, named after the physicist and former LANL director who died last month. (Full Story)

Also from the ABQ Journal this week:

Atomic bomb has Italian family, New Mexican roots

Enrico Fermi at the University of Chicago in 1946.  From the Journal. 

July 16, 1945. The first nuclear device had just exploded. It consisted of an overwhelming light illuminating the mountains all around, and a mushroom cloud rising into the bright desert sky.

Among the scientists attending the detonation was Enrico Fermi. Italian-born and worldwide-celebrated physicist, he had fled from Italy to save his family from the fascist racial persecutions. (Full Story)

To subscribe to Los Alamos Report, please e-mail and include the words subscribe losalamosreport in the body of your email message; to unscubscribe, include unsubscribe losalamosreport.

Please visit us at
And follow us on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Flickr

Friday, October 11, 2013

Due to the U.S. Government Shutdown, Los Alamos Report has been temporarily suspended.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Predicting solar assaults

Magnetic flux ropes (blue) along a selection of magnetic field lines (yellow). LANL image.

Bill Daughton, a physicist at Los Alamos National Laboratory, explains. First, magnetic field lines in a plasma move with it, so if part of a large-scale plasma moves, the magnetic field lines can distort. “Think of the lines like rubber bands. They can become stressed in regions and, figuratively, snap and then move back together.” These magnetic fields store energy, and the snapping can take place quickly, releasing that energy explosively, something visible in a solar flare bursting off the sun. (Full Story)

Recent study reduces Casimir force to lowest recorded level

Schematic of the experimental configuration. Perdue University image.

A research team has recorded a drastically reduced measurement of the Casimir effect, a fundamental quantum phenomenon experienced between two neutral bodies that exist in a vacuum. Co-authors include Diego Dalvit and Francesco Intravaia of Los Alamos National Laboratory.

The Casimir effect, a long-standing point of study in quantum physics, refers to this unavoidable physical force that exists between the objects, even when those objects are placed in an environment void of any external forces. (Full Story)

Improving lithium-ion batteries with nanoscale research

Silicon germanium nanowire built layer-by-layer. UCSD image.

UC San Diego’s Shadi Dayeh is aimed at improving lithium ion batteries through possible new nanowire electrode architectures. Dayeh grew the nanowires as a postdoctoral researcher at Los Alamos National Laboratory.

The research team have presented nanowires that block diffusion of lithium across the wire's silicon surface and promote layer-by-layer axial lithiation of the nanowire's germanium core. (Full Story)

Ex-Los Alamos Director Harold Agnew Dies

Harold Agnew (right) with Norris Bradbury in 1970.  LANL photo.              

Harold Agnew, a former Los Alamos National Laboratory Director who worked on the Manhattan Project and later led the effort to train the first group of international atomic inspectors, died Sunday. He was 92.

According to the Los Alamos National Laboratory, Agnew was its third director and served from 1970 to 1979. Under his leadership, Los Alamos developed an underground nuclear test containment program, acquired the first Cray supercomputer, and trained the first class of International Atomic Energy Agency inspectors. (Full Story)

To subscribe to Los Alamos Report, please e-mail and include the words subscribe losalamosreport in the body of your email message; to unscubscribe, include unsubscribe losalamosreport.

Please visit us at
And follow us on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Flickr