Friday, May 18, 2012

Plutonium signature captured after 50 years of trying

The molecular structure of plutonium dioxide-239

To overcome the magnetic property problems, Georgios Koutroulakis of the Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico and colleagues cooled very pure plutonium dioxide powder to just 4 °C above absolute zero. This widened the window of time in which they could perform measurements and nearly eliminated the interfering magnetic effects. (Full Story)

Life’s a peach at pueblo orchard

Jaden Martinez, 10, of San Ildefonso Day School prepares to plant a fruit tree Tuesday in a new orchard at the pueblo. SF New Mexican photo.

San Ildefonso Pueblo elders, youngpeople and teachers on Tuesday began planting 150 fruit trees in hand-dug holes.

With grants from the federal Administration for Native America, National Geographic and Los Alamos National Laboratory, Lana Paolillo and two mentors from the pueblo sought advice from elders, plowed a field, planted crops and built the first of two greenhouses. (Full Story)

High-temperature superconductors: determining the sign of the pairing state

We propose a comparative study of indirect probes inelastic neutron scattering and the quasiparticle interference pattern to provide a more convincing tool for determining the sign reversal of the superconducting gap structure in iron-based superconductors.

Superconductivity occurs due to the formation of electron pairs. The energy cost to form the electron pair is defined by an energy value known as the superconducting gap. (Full Story)

LANL, Y-12 introduce a kinder, gentler technique for analyzing nuclear warhead parts

Click on the picture to see a video about a similar non-destructive technology from LANL.

The Y-12 nuclear weapons plant, with help from Los Alamos National Laboratory, is putting into play this month a refined technique for analyzing warhead parts [called] The Non-Destructive Laser Gas Sampling system.

"The new nondestructive laser gas sampling process, or NDLGS, is a fully-automated system that combines the enhancement of the sampled entity's sealed surface to obtain optimal metallurgical characteristics." (Full Story)

LA scientist heads to India for climate-monitoring research

Manvendra Dubey.  LANL photo.

Manvendra Dubey, a Los Alamos National Laboratory climate scientist, has received a J. William Fulbright scholarship to conduct monsoon-related research in India.

The Divecha Center for Climate Change and Center for Atmospheric Science at the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, will host the researcher in late 2012 for several months. (Full Story)

Also from the Monitor this week:

Agnew recounts lab's early days

Harold Agnew speaks with Alan Carr (far left) and Glen McDuff. LANL photo.

During a Director’s Classified Colloquium May 10, former Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory Director Harold Agnew spent more than two hours recalling his history with Los Alamos from the very beginnings of the Manhattan Project, through his nine-year directorship that ended in 1979.

He displayed a remarkable ability to remember names, rattling off whole lists of people who worked on projects with him more than 60 years ago. (Full Story)

New Mexico Consortium to break ground on research center

A groundbreaking ceremony is scheduled May 18 for the New Mexico Consortium’s biology research facility, a 24,000 square-foot research center and greenhouse that will focus in part on biofuel production, especially fuels derived from certain plants and algae.

Partners in the endeavor include Los Alamos County, NMC, Los Alamos National Laboratory and Richard Sayre, who holds a joint appointment with LANL and NMC, relocated his research team to Los Alamos from the Donald Danforth Plant Science Research Center in St. Louis last October. (Full Story)

EGS takes geothermal global 

Typical "Hot Dry Rock" energy system.  From REW.

As ancient as the earth itself, unharnessed geothermal energy most often bubbles to the surface in geological hot spots long known for geysers and naturally-boiling mud pots.

Although Enhanced Geothermal Systems technology was proven in the 1980s at Los Alamos National Lab, the technology remains a commercial fledgling with start up companies worldwide trying to make EGS practical on commercial scales. (Full Story) 

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