Friday, March 20, 2009

News from Los Alamos National Laboratory for March 20

Map of Knowledge

A new map of knowledge based on electronic data searches. LANL image.

A new map of knowledge has been assembled by scientists at the research library of the Los Alamos National Laboratory.

It is based on electronic data searches in which users moved from one journal to another, thus establishing associations between them. Map your way to the
New York Times story here.

Labs' Staff Called 'Key to Our Future'

he head of the nation's nuclear weapons program told Congress on Tuesday that the national laboratories can operate "a smaller, safer, more secure" stockpile, but that scientists with increasingly rare skills should not be placed on the budget chopping block. Read the
story here. A subscription may be required.

Lab safety officer honored

he Chief Electrical Safety Officer of Los Alamos National Laboratory has won high national recognition for outstanding leadership in electrical safety.
Lloyd Gordon is an experimental researcher in high-energy, pulsed power engineering and plasma physics.

Among his many contributions in his parallel career as a national authority in the field of electrical safety, Gordon has developed a measuring stick for comparing the severity of electrical accidents. Safely read the
story here.

High-temperature superconducting explained?

The newest high-temperature superconducting material is a metal called iron pnictides with alternating layers of iron and arsenic. Illustration from EE Times.

Superconductors transport electrons with zero resistance by synchronizing their movement through changes in the internal structure of materials. Hence, no physical collisions occur.

The key to high-temperature superconductors, according to the new theory, is their different "quantum phases," which are similar to the difference between solids and liquids, according to researchers from Rice University, Rutgers University, Zhejiang University and the Los Alamos National Laboratory. Show no resistance to the story here.

Cornering the Terahertz Gap

A material made up of micrometer-sized structures, each formed to function as both an electric and magnetic dipole, is shown up close. Image from Science News.

In April 2008, collaborators from Boston University and Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico published work in Nature Photonics that showed how nonchiral, semiconducting, split-ring resonator metamaterials could interact with light to absorb and reemit T-rays.

Link Reporting online in the same journal on February 22, the team showed that its latest version of a hybrid structure of metallic split-ring resonators could allow increasingly precise manipulation of terahertz radiation. Fill in the story gap here.

Structure of enzyme against chemical warfare agents determined

The LANSCE facility at Los Alamos, home of the Lujan Neutron Scattering Center. LANL photo.

A detailed understanding of the mechanism by which enzymes catalyze chemical reactions is necessary for efforts aiming to improve their properties.

A group of researchers at the University of Frankfurt, the Bundeswehr Institute for Pharmacology and Toxicology in Munich, and Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico, USA, have successfully determined the structure of DFPase using neutron diffraction.
Read about it here.

Shifting sound to light may lead to better computer chips

A plasma is generated by a laser pulse similar to how sound is converted to light. LLNL image.

y reversing a process that converts electrical signals into sounds heard out of a cell phone, researchers may have a new tool to enhance the way computer chips, LEDs and transistors are built.

To do it, lead researchers Michael Armstrong, Evan Reed and Mike Howard, LLNL colleagues, and collaborators from Los Alamos National Laboratory and Nitronex Corp., used a very high frequency sound wave - about 100 million times higher frequency than what humans can hear - to generate light. Convert this story into
full text here.

Forum Highlights Needed U.S. Actions To Fight Cyberwar

A consortium of IT companies called the Secure Enterprise Network Consortium (SEN-C) formed in October "to help the United States address its cyber security needs," and Tuesday's forum was its first public event. SEN-C's members are Accenture, CA, Cisco, Sun Microsystems and the Energy Department's Los Alamos National Laboratory. SEN-C the 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.

Please visit us at