Friday, June 8, 2012

Computer simulations of hurricane lightning could be the key to predicting and avoiding the storms' real-world punch

Time evolution of the primary convective activity (white) and lightning (red dots) for Hurricane Rita. LANL image.
Jon Reisner, a computational physicist at Los Alamos National Laboratory, is building the biggest, meanest hurricane model he can, one that grows over the sea from a relatively weak category 1 to a crushing, city-swamping category 5 by the time it makes landfall. He wants everything a hurricane has to offer, from violent, convective updrafts that turn vast quantities of tropical water vapor into ice, to the massive vortex’s swirling eye wall. (Full Story)

Northern lights process like untangling twisted strands of spaghetti?

Diffuse gas—called plasma—flows outward from the sun asthe “solar wind."  NASA image.
Jack Scudder, UI professor of physics and astronomy, and his colleagues – including Los Alamos National Laboratory’s Bill Daughton – have reached a milestone in describing how the northern lights work by way of a process called “magnetic reconnection.” (Full Story)

See a video about magnetic reconnection research by Bill Daughton at Los Alamos National Laboratory.

Also from Science Daily this week:
Precise measurement of radiation damage on materials

Model of the electronic wake (blue surfaces) generated byan energetic proton (red sphere) traveling in an aluminum crystal (yellow spheres). LLNL image.
LLNL’s Alfredo Correa along with colleagues Alfredo Caro from Los Alamos National Laboratory, Jorge Kohanofffrom the UK and Emilio Artacho and Daniel S├ínchez-Portal from Spain, have directly simulated this quantum friction of the electrons in a real material for the very first time. (Full Story)

LANL raises bar with May shipments

More transuranic waste heads for WIPP.  LANL image.
Los Alamos National Laboratory’s Transuranic Waste Program is looking at another record-setting month for the amount of TRU waste leaving Area G, and headed off the hill to the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) for permanent disposal. LANL exceeded its planned removal of TRU waste from Area G in April, shipping more than 91 cubic meters of waste to WIPP — more than the lab has ever shipped there in a single month. (Full Story)

New Mexico Small Business Assistance program recognized by U.S. Department of Commerce

The New Mexico Small Business Assistance (NMSBA) program, a collaboration of Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL), Sandia National Laboratories and the state of New Mexico, received the 2012 Manufacturing Advocate of the Year award from the Manufacturing Extension Partnership under the U.S. Department of Commerce. (Full Story)

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