Friday, June 3, 2011
New LANL chief emphasizes science
Charlie McMillan, LANL director. LANL photo.
As he took over the helm at Los Alamos National Laboratory on Wednesday, Charles McMillan reflected on the legacy of J. Robert Oppenheimer, the legendary physicist who created the lab nearly 70 years ago.
Oppenheimer left his mark, McMillan said, in his emphasis of the importance of science to the laboratory’s mission. “I see science as at the core of how we do our job as a laboratory,” McMillan said Wednesday in a telephone interview. (Full Story - requires you to view an ad or have a subscription)
New Los Alamos director is weapons veteran
The new director of Los Alamos National Laboratory, Charles McMillan, is a career weapons scientist and a Massachusetts Institute of Technology-trained physicist.
McMillan is said to be well-respected among lab scientists. He's certainly plugged in to its top management, having come to Los Alamos in 2006 as part of the team that won the contract to manage the Department of Energy (DOE) lab as part of a for-profit company. (Full Story)
New head for US nuclear-weapons lab
A physicist with more than 25 years' experience in nuclear-weapons science and technology has become the 10th director of the Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico.
Charles McMillan, 56, succeeds physicist Michael Anastasio, who had been lab boss since 2006. Established in 1943, Los Alamos now has an annual budget of about $2bn and employs nearly 10,000 staff. (Full Story)
Laws of the rings
Polymerization is the random bonding of initially isolated monomers to form polymer chains or clusters. Bonds may also be severed, leading to fission. Eli Ben-Naim of Los Alamos National Laboratory and Paul L. Krapivsky of Boston University add a new twist to this venerable subject by restricting clusters to be ring-shaped. (Full Story)
Kickstart for fuel cells
The carbon and polyaniline compound is exposed to heat to form layers of analine and metals (yellow) around the carbon (grey). DTE graphic.
Platinum is a precious metal used as a catalyst in fuel cells. But the high cost of platinum restricts fuel cells’ contribution to global energy solution.
Researchers from Los Alamos National Laboratory and Oak Ridge National Laboratory have developed a catalyst made of cheap and easily available materials like polyanaline (PANI), iron and cobalt. (Full Story)
New Global Bio Lab under way
A new Global Bio Lab at UCLA is currently under construction. Its goal is to improve responses to epidemics like tuberculosis and malaria. Daily Bruin photo.
UCLA has introduced a new Global Bio Lab, which is currently under construction on campus.
The facility is housed in the California NanoSystems Institute and represents a collaboration between the UCLA School of Public Health and Los Alamos National Laboratory. (Full Story)
Quantum computing: The power of discord
Discord [is] an obscure measure of quantum correlations first proposed8 in 2000 by Wojciech Zurek, a quantum physicist at the Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico. Discord quantifies how much a system can be disrupted when people observe it to gather information. (Full Story)
LANL sends waste to WIPP facility
Los Alamos National Laboratory has shipped more than 100,000 plutonium-equivalent curies of transuranic waste from Cold War-era nuclear operations to the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant near Carlsbad — about one-third of the lab's total. (Full Story - requires you to view an ad or have a subscription)
Supercomputing exhibit opens at Bradbury
On Thursday, The Road to Roadrunner opened at the Bradbury Science Museum. The new exhibit updates the supercomputing exhibit, and explores milestones in computing from FERMIAC to Roadrunner, the world’s first computer to operate at speeds exceeding one petaflop – a million billion calculations per second. (Full story - subscription required)
See a LANL YouTube video about the new exhibit!
Also from the Monitor this week:
Local bomb squad places in competition
A Los Alamos Police Department hazardous devices robot pulls hose from a reel during competition at the fifth annual Robot Rodeo. SNL photo.
The Los Alamos Police Department-Los Alamos National Laboratory Bomb Team came in fourth in this year’s robot rodeo, which wrapped up Friday. This was the fifth annual Western National Robot Rodeo, held at Sandia National Laboratories. (Full story - subscription required)
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