Friday, January 21, 2011

Breakthrough laser could revolutionize Navy's weaponry

Click here to watch an ONR produced video about the FEL program on YouTube

cientists with the Navy's Office of Naval Research have demonstrated a prototype system capable of producing from thin air the electrons needed to generate ultrapowerful, "megawatt-class" laser beams for the agency's next-generation system.

"The injector performed as we predicted all along," said Dinh Nguyen, senior project leader for the Free Electron Laser (FEL) program at the Los Alamos National Lab, N.M. "We were so happy to see our design, fabrication and testing efforts finally come to fruition." (Full Story)

Bingaman sees continued NM gain from federal money

Senator Jeff Bingaman

ew Mexico will continue to receive an economic boost from federal spending despite expected cuts by Congress in governmental programs, U.S. Sen. Jeff Bingaman said Thursday. (
Full Story)

Curiosity's mission to Mars

This NASA illustration catalogs Curiosity's many science instruments, including ChemCam at the upper left.

o what is ChemCam exactly? It is a rock-zapping laser instrument that can hit rocks with a laser powerful enough to excite a pinhead-size spot into a glowing, ionized gas.

ChemCam then observes the flash through a telescope and analyzes the spectrum of light to identify the chemical elements in the target. (Full Story)

Scrambling to close the isotope gap

Processing Mo-99 in hot cells. IOP photo.

o-98 neutron capture contain lower concentrations [which] would require larger columns, says Robert Atcher, a radiopharmacist at Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico who directs the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE's) virtual National Isotope Development Center. (
Full Story)

Jump starting prebiotic photochemistry

Hydrocarbons trapped in fatty membranes could have captured and stored energy from the sun in the first cell-like structures. Chemistry World illustration.

ames Boncella at the Los Alamos National Laboratory and colleagues have made vesicles and used them to mimic a possible primitive energy transduction (energy transfer) mechanism. (
Full Story)

Swift survey finds 'missing' active galaxies

The Swift spacecraft. NASA illustration.

wift, launched in November 2004, is managed by NASA Goddard. It was built and is being operated in collaboration with Penn State, the Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico, and General Dynamics. (
Full Story)

Will bugs warn of vineyard mildew?

Powdery mildew attacks a grape cluster. University of Kentucky photo.

very farmer knows of the importance of honeybees in fertilizing plants. Now researchers at the University of California, Davis, and Los Alamos National Laboratory find they also may help provide an early warning of powdery mildew.

They’re hoping this research will help them eventually develop a “smart nose” that can warn of the fungus and help both to destroy it in vineyards and reduce unneeded application of fungicides. (Full Story)

LANL selects architectural firm

Conceptual drawing of the planned transuranic waste staging facility at Technical Area 63.

os Alamos National Laboratory has selected an Albuquerque business, Weidlinger-Navarro Northern New Mexico Joint Venture, to perform architectural and engineering work for the lab's new transuranic waste staging facility. (
Full Story)

Chess league championship tests students' skills

Phillip Ionkov, 7, a student at Aspen Elementary
School in Los Alamos, waits for his turn during the
Northern Schools Chess League finals. Santa Fe
New Mexican photo.

he driving force behind the school chess league is Andy Nowak, 65, a retired Los Alamos National Laboratory chemist and flood-control engineer for the state. He began the league in 1978 in Los Alamos and has been at it ever since. (
Full Story)

B&W applauds clean-coal-technologies cooperation with China

he consortium [led by West Virginia University] includes The Babcock & Wilcox Co., several universities, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Los Alamos National Laboratory, National Energy Technology Laboratory, and others. (
Full Story)

LANL demolishes 24th building

Built in 1965, the 34,000-square-foot High Temperature Chemistry Facility was the hub of Project Rover, research into using nuclear reactors to propel rockets in space. (Full Story)

atch a
video story about the 24th building demolition on YouTube.

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