Friday, July 24, 2009

LANL scientists win R&D awards

Los Alamos National Laboratory scientists won four of R&D Magazine's 2009 R&D 100 Awards. Recognized as the “Oscars of Invention” by the Chicago Tribune, these awards honor the top 100 proven technological advances of the past year.

Winning LANL projects are MagViz, the SIMTECHE CO2 Capture Process, Lasonix and TeraOps Software Radio. (Read all about it—subscription or viewing of advertising required.)

LANL computers on Green 500 list

For most people, a $100,000 monthly electricity bill would raise eyebrows. But as giant supercomputers go, the cost of running Los Alamos National Laboratory's Roadrunner is a bargain.

Roadrunner, famous as the world's fastest supercomputer, is also one of the world's most energy efficient. Which is a good thing, according to Roadrunner project director Andy White. (Read the whole story—subscription or viewing of advertising required.)

Digging at black holes' mysteries

Try looking at a black object that's 50 million light years from Earth, then describe what you see.

If you said "nothing," then you understand the first problem with studying black holes.

They might be some of the most powerful objects in the universe, but viewing them is well, kind of a let down.

To understand how they work, scientists instead have to look at the space near black holes, at other objects, energies and magnetic fields that are influenced by them.

"We believe most galaxies have black holes in the center," said Bill Junor, a scientist at Los Alamos National Laboratory. "Black holes might be very important in the evolution of any galaxy, but there's still a lot of mystery about them, about how they work." (Read all about it!)

Staying a step ahead of natural disasters
LANL hurricane modeling program helps prepare for aftermath

If you want to see the future, don't look to one of those Merlin-like wizards from the movies, mysteriously waving his hands over a translucent orb.

The modern version of the crystal ball is much more likely to be hidden inside the silicon, wires and transistors of the nation's most powerful computers.

It's that technology — not magic — that has created the field of computer modeling, which is a considerably more practical and accurate method of fortunetelling than the wizards of old would care to admit.

Scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory also don't plan to use their fortunetelling power for personal gain or to support a king. Instead one of their major efforts is to use it to help foresee the damage that natural disasters might do — so help can get to victims more quickly. (Read the whole story.)

White House honors LANL physicist

The White House has awarded Ivan Vitev, a Los Alamos National Laboratory physicist, the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers.

The honor is the highest bestowed by the federal government to outstanding scientists early in their careers. (Read the whole story.)

BioCel automation system: Taking the panic out of pandemics

Los Alamos National Laboratory, the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) and Agilent have teamed up to create a system that can sequence the DNA pattern of an influenza virus anywhere from 10 to 100 times faster than previous methods. (The whole story is here.)

LANS awards $100,000 to Santa Fe college

Los Alamos National Security (LANS), which manages and operates Los Alamos National Laboratory, has awarded a $100,000 grant to Santa Fe Community College’s planned Sustainable Technologies Center.

The center will provide education and training for alternative energy and green jobs. (Read all about it!)

LANL stimulus work saves and creates jobs

Los Alamos National Laboratory has received $212 million for environmental clean up activities under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

The funds will shore up environmental compliance efforts and the clean up of Cold War-era buildings slated for demolition, said George Rael, assistant manager for environmental operations at the National Nuclear Security Administration’s Los Alamos office. (Read the entire story.)

Lujan Center touts string of successes

A burgeoning number of college students and seasoned scientists from across the globe are conducting research projects together at the Manuel Lujan, Jr. Neutron Scattering Center.

The 150,000 square-foot facility is unique in many ways as nationally recognized, award-winning scientist Alan Hurd pointed out during an in-depth tour on Tuesday afternoon. (Read it all

White House honors young quantum theoretician

Ivan Vitev knew he had been nominated for a Presidential Early Career Awards for Scientists and Engineers because he was asked to provide curriculum vitae very quickly for the review process. (Read the full story.)

United Way gives nearly $1 million to member agencies

Nearly $1 million in United Way of Northern New Mexico designations and allocations went to its member agencies this year from the 2009 campaign that ended Dec. 31.

“We really appreciate the generosity of the community, Los Alamos National Laboratory employees and the Los Alamos National Security (LANS) dollar for dollar match,” said United Way Executive Director Donna Schroeder in an interview this morning. (Read the whole story.)

House passes energy bill with a boost

In a rare gesture, the House added a special gratuity to a funding bill for the Department of Energy and national science laboratories that passed with a substantial majority Friday.

In the process, they boosted the funds available for Laboratory Directed Research and Development by an extra 1 percent.

“It is wonderfully refreshing to see the house show support for LDRD, which I don’t think we have seen for some time,” said Bob Kraus, deputy director for the Los Alamos LDRD. (Read the full story.)

Pueblo youth study Valles watershed

Some 65 students from Northern New Mexico Pueblos came out to get some hands-on experience and wrap their minds around the teeming environment of Vales Caldera National Preserve.

Counting the students, interns and scientists from the preserve and Los Alamos National Laboratory, sponsors of the event, there were more than 100 people. (Read the full story.)

Having fun with science

Researchers, educators, innovators, businesses and artisans from Los Alamos and the surrounding areas shared their hands-on activities and ideas with the crowd at the Next Big Idea Festival near Ashley Pond on Saturday.

Children and adults alike gathered around tents that featured a myriad of scientific experiments. While some were reminiscent of school science experiments, others were more complicated. (Read the full story.)

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