Friday, August 1, 2008

News from Los Alamos National Laboratory for July 28-Aug. 1, 2008

Los Alamos National Laboratory, 2007-2008 Year in Review

The Laboratory has
launched a new Web site to highlight achievements during the second full year of management by Los Alamos National Security, LLC

See it here.

Scientist Makes Tough Materials

A Los Alamos scientist is perfecting a method for weaving and braiding some of the toughest materials known to man, to make fabrics and ropes that might one day be used in bulletproof vests or even to lift an elevator into space.

"Everyone needs stronger cable," Los Alamos National Laboratory scientist James Maxwell said in an interview last week.

The technology is named Laser-Weave for the bright laser beam that, when focused into a chamber of gas, can literally grow inorganic fibers while simultaneously intertwining them together.

Bang for the Buck

Much of the nearly $3 billion the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) spends on HIV/AIDS research each year supports basic studies that may not yield insights for decades.

But three relatively modest inve
stments continue to advance the field in ways large and small, year after year. Working on GenBank, the genetic sequence database at Los Alamos, Gerald Myers in 1986 became fascinated by the genetic differences between HIV variants. He soon emerged as a world expert on HIV genetic diversity, building a public database that has helped researchers trace the origin of the epidemic

Myers handed off the project more than a decade ago to immunologist Bette Korber, who added an immunology database that offers some of the most detailed, comprehensive in
formation available about how the virus interacts with immune cells.

Read all about it!

Magnetic Fields Forever: LANL Astophysicist Battles a Mystery

A distinguished colleague, Stirling Colgate, once called him “Mr. Magnetic Fields in
the Universe,” and Philip Kronberg continues to live up to that reputation.

Monday, Los Alamos National Laboratory announced Kronberg’s participation in a newly publis
hed paper that has turned around another theory about magnetic fields.

The findings, published as a letter in the journal Nature July 17, strengthen the idea that galactic magnetic fields have not grown up over billions of years, as some have thought, but were there from an early age.

Get the whole story

Sky Eye Offers Airborne Security

Although still somewhat under wraps, a project known as Angel Fire has been mentioned enough recently to arouse some curiosity.

Described formally as a “wide field of view persistent surveillance aerial collection asset,” in an Air Force document, it is also less formally described by Los Alamos National Laboratory Director Michael Anastasio as technology for real tim
e situational awareness on the battlefield.

Want to know more? Click here

Building 'The Matrix'
Simulating the complexity of quantum physics would quickly overwhelm even the most advanced of today's computers

If The Matrix really existed, it would probably have to be a quantum simulator. The fictional
computer in that story can create virtual worlds indistinguishable from the real one and project them into people's minds. But the real world includes quantum phenomena, something ordinary computers can't fully simulate.

Now physicists have created a rudimentary prototype of a machine that sim
ulates quantum phenomena using quantum physics, rather than using data kept in a classical computer. "This is pretty important that they've been able to demonstrate the principle," says John Chiaverini of the Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico.

This way to the truth, Mr. Anderson....

LANL, Arizona Firm Ink Solar Tech Agreement

RoseStreet Labs Energy Inc. has signed a Cooperative Research and Development Agree
ment with Los Alamos National Laboratory to integrate new solar technology into RoseStreet products.

LANL developed a process called ENABLE that uses an energetic neutral atom beam to make high-quality thin films for photovoltaics. The technology could make solar cells more efficient, said Wladek Walukiewicz, RoseStreet's chief technology officer, in a news release.

Read about it here.

General Automotive Announces High-Temperature Sealing System for Fuel Cells

General Automotive Company today announced that its joint venture with SenCer Inc. has developed a high-temperature glass/ceramic sealing system for fuel cell and oxygen sensor applications.

David Burt, President of SenCer and Chief Technology Officer of the joint venture, explained, "The development is an extension of a core glass developed at Los Alamos National Laboratory for space-based atmospheric re-entry.

In addition to the Lab's core national security mission, its work advances many other fields such as materials science. By building on the Lab's years of research, we can accelerate the development of commercial solutions for these complex problems."

Here's the scoop.

Senate Resolution Lauds Laboratory, IBM on Roadrunner

New Mexico Senator Pete Domenici on Thursday introduced a resolution (pdf format) in Congress recognizing the Laboratory and IBM for its supercomputing achievements with the new Roadrunner high performance computer.

The Roadrunner high-performance computer is now the fastest in the world. The computer, developed in partnership with IBM and housed at the Laboratory, recently reached a petaflop of sustained performance.

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