Friday, June 27, 2008

News from Los Alamos National Laboratory for June 23 - 27

See the whole story in the LANL Daily NewsBulletin

2007-2008 Achievements Video on YouTube

A Laboratory-produced video, shown during DMichael Anastasio’s all-employee talk on June 26, outlines the challenges and successes of the past year. The video is available for download from the Daily NewsBulletin story (above) and can be viewed on the Laboratory’s YouTube channel.

Diversification Eyed

Los Alamos National Laboratory needs to reach beyond the nuclear weapons program to find the money to support its national security work, lab director Michael Anastasio said Thursday. At a time of shrinking nuclear weapons budgets, the lab must pursue work outside the weapons program to support the lab's scientific base, according to Anastasio. Anastasio's comments came during a briefing Thursday morning for lab employees and in subsequent news media briefings. See the Albuquerque Journal story here. (Subscription Required).

Planetary science: Tunguska at 100

The fact that, by the 1960s, various craters around the world had been accepted as meteorite strikes meant that the anomalous lack seemed all the more confusing. In 1993 that confusion was allayed, at least for most people, by Chris Chyba, Kevin Zahnle and Paul Thomas.

With the help of computer simulations derived from nuclear weapons' tests they showed that a solid, stony object about 50 metres across — the most likely sort of thing in that size range to hit the Earth — would not be expected to reach the ground.

A similar explanation was arrived at by Jack Hills, working at Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico with Patrick Goda, and both teams had been to some extent pre-empted by a Soviet team led by V. P. Korobeinikov, the work of which had not been widely appreciated in the West. These various models led to an estimate that the blast was equivalent to about 15 megatonnes of high explosive - bigger than all but the very largest thermonuclear weapons. Read the Nature News story here.

The Top 500 Super Ranking
Now Counts Watts as Well as Flops

Click here to see the Roadrunner video on YouTube

The 31st edition of the semi-annual Top 500 listing of supercomputers in the world was announced last week at the International Supercomputing Conference 2008 event in Dresden, Germany, and the list will be noteworthy for two reasons First, this will be the first time that a supercomputer of any make, vendor, or architecture has broken through the petaflops performance barrier, a feat accomplished by the "Roadrunner" hybrid Opteron-Cell machine created for the U.S. government's Los Alamos National Laboratory by IBM. And second, and perhaps foremost, this will be the first ranking where watts are being counted for big machines in a manner that is as consistent as the Linpack Fortran benchmark that is the touchstone for performance. Read the Roadrunner story here.

Scholarship recipient Salazar is big on community involvement

“Go Aggies” is a cheer that soon will be all too customary for Los Alamos Employees’ Scholarship Fund Platinum scholarship winner Alicia Salazar. Salazar plans to attend New Mexico State University this fall to study chemical engineering. “I absolutely love chemistry, and chemical engineering will allow me to apply chemistry in a way that will impact the world in a positive way,” Salazar said. “NMSU has an excellent reputation for engineering.” See the LANL Daily NewsBulletin story here.

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