Friday, December 10, 2010

Outstanding, superlinear cities

New York City seems pretty extraordinary, but according to LANL mathematician Luís Bettencourt, New York is actually quite average, given its size. For a really exceptional place, swap coasts and look at San Francisco.

The apparently unusual qualities of New York are actually natural and unsurprising products of its size, argues Bettencourt, a researcher at Los Alamos National Laboratory and the Santa Fe Institute, both in New Mexico. (
Full Story)

Using new materials to make more reliable nanoelectromechanical systems

Simple carbon nanotube structure. SNI image.

Given their outstanding mechanical and electrical properties, carbon nanotubes are attractive building blocks for next-generation nanoelectromechanical devices. Researchers at Northwestern University, the Center for Integrated Nanotechnologies at Sandia and Los Alamos National Laboratories, and Binghamton University have found a way to dramatically improve the reliability of carbon nanotube-based nanoelectromechanical systems. (Full Story)

Los Alamos linear proton accelerator gets upgrade

Steve Wender of the Los Alamos Neutron Science Center examines the fission ion chamber. LANL photo.

Starting in early 2011, repair and upgrade work will begin at the Los Alamos Neutron Science Center (LANSCE), one of the most powerful linear proton accelerators in the United States. Its capability to support experiments and tests will be effectively doubled once work is completed. (Full Story)

LANL begins energy-saving project

Chris Sharp installs energy-efficient fluorescent bulbs. LANL photo.

Federal officials say an energy-savings project under way at Los Alamos National Laboratory is expected to save $28 million over 20 years.

The National Nuclear Security Administration projects the program will save $1.2 million annually in electrical, heating, ventilating and air-conditioning costs at the northern New Mexico lab.

The first phase of the effort will replace light fixtures in 28 buildings — including 2,300 light fixtures and 1,900 retrofit light boxes. (
Full Story)

LANL spending buoys business

Sixty-three percent of all purchases were from small businesses in fiscal year 2010

Los Alamos National Laboratory purchased nearly $1 billion in goods and services in the 2010 fiscal year ending September 30, 2010. The $925 million in purchases was helped in part by funding from the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act the Laboratory received for environmental remediation and basic research. The Laboratory also exceeded its goals for purchases made by small businesses in Northern New Mexico, the state and the country. (Full Story)

Buckman board: Water safe

The Buckman Direct Diversion water-treatment plant during the first test of the system. Santa Fe New Mexican photo.

The joint city and county Buckman Direct Diversion Board again tried to reassure Santa Fe residents that the water soon to enter the drinking-water system from the Rio Grande downstream from Los Alamos National Laboratory meets or exceeds all safe drinking-water standards.

The board issued a statement after a Tuesday night public meeting where ChemRisk scientists hired to review data about the water quality gave their final report. More than 100 people turned out for the meeting. (
Full Story)

What I found in North Korea
Pyongyang’s plutonium is no longer the only problem

On a visit to North Korea last month, I was amazed by the scale and sophistication of the country’s uranium enrichment program.

With tension rising on the Korean peninsula, it was more urgent than ever that Washington do whatever it can to limit Pyongyang’s nuclear programs. . . .

By Siegfried Hecker, codirector of the Center for International Security and Cooperation at Stanford University and, from 1986 to 1997, director of Los Alamos National Laboratory. (Full Story)

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