Thursday, January 31, 2008

News from Los Alamos National Laboratory for Jan. 28-31

Press Release:
Los Alamos National Laboratory to Begin DARHT 2 Operations
Hydrodynamic testing at the frontier of science

The Dual Axis Radiographic Hydrodynamic Test (DARHT) facility has officially become "dual" with authorization to begin full power operations of Axis 2, adding both new capability and higher energy to the unique accelerator facility. Los Alamos National Laboratory has received authorization from the National Nuclear Security Administration to begin operating Axis 2, an important diagnostic instrument that helps ensure the integrity of the nation's nuclear stockpile without nuclear testing. Scientists and engineers at DARHT can now begin test firings of the second axis electron beam as early as this week. The first truly dual axis hydrodynamic test should take place in early summer 2008. LANL News Release

LANL X-Ray Back in Business (Albuquerque Journal)

By John Fleck
Los Alamos National Laboratory could begin firing a massive nuclear weapons X-ray machine at full power as soon as this week, lab officials announced Tuesday. The announcement marks a successful turnaround for the project, which ran into trouble in 2003 when lab scientists realized the recently completed machine did not work. "It's running beautifully," said Ray Scarpetti, who headed up the rescue mission to get the Dual-Axis Radiographic Hydrotest machine working. Located on a wooded Los Alamos mesa, the big machine creates two massive X-ray beams. Hitting the target at right angles, the two beams are designed to create a three-dimensional image of a mock nuclear weapon as it is detonated. Full Story Subscription Required

Read all about the DARHT facility in the Laboratory's
science and technology magazine 1663.

Dream Jobs (IEEE Spectrum)
Sigrid Close: Star Struck

By Sarah Adee
“A hundred billion,” says Sigrid Close. That's how many meteors collide with the Earth's atmosphere every day. Most are whittled away in the ionosphere, and Close spends her days studying exactly how they disintegrate. That's right: she gets paid to watch shooting stars. Close is the resident expert in ionospheric and near-Earth phenomena at Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico. Her work regularly takes her to places like India, China, Puerto Rico, and the Marshall Islands, where she uses the most advanced space surveillance telescopes and radar to study the uppermost reaches of the atmosphere, some 85 kilometers above the Earth's surface. Full Story

Magnet Lab shows the value of investing in
assee Democrat)

By Gregory S. Boebinger
The state of Florida recently announced it will give $60 million to Oregon Health and Science University to create a branch of its Vaccine & Gene Therapy Institute on Florida's east coast. The institute joins Germany's Max Planck Institute, the Burnham Institute, Torrey Pines and Scripps Florida, wooed since 2003 with hundreds of millions in taxpayer dollars. As director of the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory, a consortium among Florida State University, the University of Florida and Los Alamos National Laboratory, let me use as an example the laboratory I know best - the one described as " ... truly a jewel in the crown of U.S. science" by the National Science Foundation review committee that most recently visited the magnet lab. We received a similar assessment from our external advisory committee, whose membership consists of scientific heavyweights from around the nation, including two winners of the Nobel Prize. Full Story

LANL Daily NewsBulletin
UNM Los Alamos receives funds from LANS New technician training program

University of New Mexico Los Alamos Executive Director Cedric Page (center) receives a ceremonial check to support a new technician training program during Monday's UNM-LA Advisory Board meeting. Joe Scarpino (right) and Nelson Hoffman (left), representatives from Los Alamos National Security, LLC and the Laboratory, presented the check for $100,000 to UNM-LA for the new applied sciences program in the in the areas of manufacturing and nanotechnology. Full Story