Wednesday, January 16, 2008

News from Los Alamos National Laboratory for Jan. 7-11

Scopes Assist Space Hunters; Lenses Search Deep Space for Changes (Sky &

Tom Vestrand's time machine, at first glance, looks more like one of those backyard sheds you build because there's no room in the garage for the riding mower. The similarity evaporates, though, as the roof opens at dusk to reveal a rack of lenses pointed skyward. As night falls over Fenton Hill in the mountains west of Los Alamos, Vestrand's RAPTOR-T telescopes go to work, peering into the deepest space. RAPTOR-T is part of a new tool kit for peering into the nurseries where our universe's first stars were born.

LANL director: Layoffs not needed (Associated Press)

Los Alamos National Laboratory's work force has been r
educed by more than 550, and the lab's director says there's no need for layoffs. The Northern New Mexico nuclear weapons lab announced in November that it must trim between 500 and 750 jobs because of expected federal budget cuts, flat revenue and higher operating costs under the lab's new corporate manager.

Anastasio tells employees no involuntary staff reductions
No Laboratory employees will be asked to involuntarily leave their jobs as part of Los Alamos's workforce restructuring effort, Director Michael Anastasio said Tuesday. The announcement drew applause from employees at an all-employee meeting in the National Security Sciences Building. Anastasio’s All-Employee memo is available here.

Science to make you shiver

NOVA series to focus on ‘the Conquest of Cold’

A two-part program on the PBS science series NOVA explores the quest of scientists worldwide to attain absolute zero (zero degrees Kelvin or minus 273 degrees Celsius), the temperature at which all molecular motion ceases. Absolute Zero and the Conquest of Cold premiers at 8 this evening on KNME Channel 5. How cold is absolute zero? According to the NOVA series, absolute zero “is a temperature so cold that the physical world as we know it transforms completely, electricity and fluids flow without resistance, and the speed of light can be reduced to 38 miles per hour.” Click here for LANL Newsbulletin story.

Laboratory hosts New Mexico congressman

U.S. Rep. Steve Pearce, left, talks with Glenn Mara, principal associate director for weapons programs, on Tuesday outside the Director's Office in the National Security Sciences Building. Pearce, R-New Mexico, was at the Laboratory Tuesday, January 8 for a series of briefings on Laboratory programs.