Friday, July 10, 2009

President honors outstanding early-career scientists

President Obama today [July 9] named 100 beginning researchers as recipients of the Presidential Early Career Awards for Scientists and Engineers, the highest honor bestowed by the United States government on young professionals in the early stages of their independent research careers.

This year’s honoree from Los Alamos National Laboratory is Ivan Vitev of Theoretical Division, Nuclear and Particle Physics, Astrophysics and Cosmology. See the White House
press release here.

Making green fireworks 'greener'

Scientists are helping pyrotechnicians make fireworks displays less environmentally hazardous (ABC News photo).

In the 1990s, Disney recruited scientists at the Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico to develop fireworks that produce less smoke and contaminants.

"If everything in a firework worked perfectly, you would just make gaseous products like carbon dioxide and nitrogen gas," said LANL chemist David Chavez.

But imperfections in the chemical reactions leave a fog of particles that include unburned carbon and crystallized metals such as barium. See the
full story here.

LANL ships last of radioactive waste

The last shipment heads down the road to WIPP.

Los Alamos National Laboratory has shipped its final canister of a special type of radioactive waste to southern New Mexico.

Sixteen canisters of robotic handled radioactive waste had been stored at the laboratory in vertical, concrete shafts since 1995. See the
story here.

Watch a cool video about the
last shipment on YouTube.

Stimulus ramps up in New Mexico
Bruce Shappell, deputy associate director for environmental programs, laid out the outlines of the lab's $212 million stimulus project. The project, which is funded directly through the Department of Energy, aims to tear down and haul away contaminated waste from former plutonium processing facilities and a major hazardous waste disposal area along DP Road. See the Monitor
story here.

VLBA locates superenergetic
bursts near giant black hole

Artist's impression of s supermassive black hole ripping apart a star and consuming some of its matter. NASA illustration.

Worldwide telescope collaboration pinpoints mysterious origin of extremely energetic gamma rays coming from giant galaxy's core.

The scientific team includes Bill Junor of Los Alamos National Laboratory. See the
supermassive story here.

Building the computer that could halt nuclear Armageddon

Roadrunner “nodes” are built around a unique “hybrid” architecture. LANL photo.

One exaflop is 1,000 times faster than a petaflop. The fastest computer in the world is currently the IBM-based Roadrunner, which is located in Los Alamos, New Mexico.

Roadrunner runs at an astounding one petaflop, which equates to more than 1,000 trillion operations per second. Read more about Roadrunner here.

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