Friday, October 15, 2010

New scanner aims to make liquids on planes safer

MagViz technology is explained by Stephen Surko, a Homeland Security program manager. AP photo.

The latest airport security technology being developed at Los Alamos National Laboratory could open the door for airline passengers to bring their soft drinks and full-size shampoo bottles on board again.

Los Alamos scientist Michelle Espy said she knows what it's like to be in a checkpoint and have her young daughter's bottle taken away. "This would be a very great solution, a quick solution," she said. "Obviously, the end goal is to be able to seamlessly, without slowing anything down, just let people take their liquids on." (Full Story)

Liquid scanner could hit airports

LANL's Michelle Espy demonstrates the technology to reporters. From KRQE-TV.

Los Alamos National Laboratory scientists showed off a machine Wednesday that could give back some freedom to travelers who must obey strict restrictions when flying.

LANL scientist Michelle Espy showed off a liquid scanner at the Sunport that reads through bottles and even aluminum cans without opening the containers. The machine tells security whether a liquid is safe or not. (Full Story)

Additional television coverage includes stories from
KOB-TV and KOAT-TV in Albuquerque.

Bombing Earth-bound asteroids a viable option, experts say

The asteroid Itokawa, as seen by the Hayabusa spacecraft in 2005. Sensor data courtesy JAXA.

Considering the damage a large asteroid strike could do to humanity, bombing any so-called near-Earth objects, or NEOs, headed our way might be a viable last resort "if we have the international political will," said Robert Weaver of Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico.

Catherine Plesko, also of the Los Alamos lab, and her colleague Don Korycansky of the University of California, Santa Cruz, used computer programs to model the explosion of a rubble-pile asteroid a half mile (one kilometer) wide, which is large enough to cause global destruction when intact. (Full Story)

Solar winds research could improve outer-space weather forecasts

Plasma particles spiral off from the sun in a network of tubes, depicted here in blue. LANL image.

"There's about 10 particles per cubic centimeter, protons and electrons," said Joseph Borovsky, a scientist at Los Alamos National Laboratory who has analyzed 81/2 years of data from the Advanced Composition Explorer satellite. "It's hot — about 200 degrees — and fast. It adds up to a lot of mass per second," Borovsky said. (Full Story)

New kind of uranium could power your car

cientists from the Los Alamos National Laboratory have created a long-sought molecule known as uranium nitride. Besides offering cheaper and safer nuclear fuel, the new molecule could extract more energy from fossil fuels. (
Full Story)

New class of metal for dental prosthetics to be introduced

Nanotitanium is the product of a collaboration of American scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and Russian scientists to repurpose weapons technology for peaceful means. According to co-inventor Dr. Lowe, it is a breakthrough advancement for the prosthetics and medical device industry. (Full Story)

2 New Mexico nuke sites get awards

Also named to receive [pollution prevention] awards were New Mexico's Los Alamos National Laboratory and Sandia National Laboratories. The Y-12 National Security Complex in Oak Ridge, Tenn., and the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California also received awards. (Full Story)

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