Friday, February 22, 2008

News from Los Alamos National Laboratory for Feb. 18-22

Scientists Would Turn Greenhouse Gas
Into Gasoline

By Kenneth Chang
If two scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory are correct, people will still be driving gasoline-powered cars 50 years from now, churning out heat-trapping carbon dioxide into the atmosphere - and yet that carbon dioxide will not contribute to global warming. In a proposal by two scientists, vehicle emissions would no longer contribute to global warming. The scientists, F. Jeffrey Martin and William L. Kubic Jr., are proposing a concept, which they have patriotically named Green Freedom, for removing carbon dioxide from the air and turning it back into gasoline. The idea is simple. Air would be blown over a liquid solution of potassium carbonate, which would absorb the carbon dioxide. The carbon dioxide would then be extracted and subjected to chemical reactions that would turn it into fuel: methanol, gasoline or jet fuel. See story here

DHS To Test MRI At Albuquerque

By John M. Doyle
The Dept. of Homeland Security (DHS) plans to test magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) technology to screen air travelers' baggage for liquid explosives, the head of the department's research and development unit says. The ultra-low level MRI technology, developed by scientists at New Mexico's Los Alamos National Laboratory, is able to differentiate among "probably 200 different" liquids and gels, classifying them as hazardous, non-hazardous or uncharacterized, says Rear Adm. Jay Cohen (ret.), DHS undersecretary for Science & Technology. Story here

Breaking News:

Los Alamos National Laboratory
launches “YouTube” Channel

The Laboratory joined the “YouTube” phenomenon this week with the start of its own YouTube channel, a place to view short videos about the Laboratory and link to other videos about science and technology. The site is available to everyone here.

The initial posts include short videos that depict past and present experiments and tests involving high explosives at the Laboratory and the Nevada Test Site, nighttime training for Laboratory guards, and recent tests using a mini-helicopter to gather stress and strain data from structures like highway bridges. When viewing any YouTube video, be sure to click on ► About This Video.

Fire and ice: Café talk discusses big 'what if?'
(Los Alamos Monitor)

By Carol Clark
Joyce Ann Guzik of Los Alamos National Laboratory spoke about the sun to more than 80 teenagers at the Bradbury Science Museum Wednesday evening. Guzik's presentation - titled "What if the Sun Stopped Shining?" - covered everything from the sun's suspected origin to its projected demise. The fast-paced, information packed talk was part of the rapidly expanding Café Scientifique program for youth, brought to Los Alamos and three other Northern New Mexico cities by Science Education Solutions President Michelle Hall. "These kids are just amazing," Hall said, describing the youths' mature demeanor and intelligent questions. Guzik agreed, saying she thoroughly enjoys talking with high school students and is impressed by their questions. See the Los Alamos Monitor story here.