Friday, January 11, 2013


New approach for simulating supernovas

Two University of Texas at Arlington researchers want to bridge the gap between what is known about exploding stars and the remnants left behind thousands of years later. So they're trying something new -- using SNSPH, a complex computer code developed at Los Alamos National Laboratory.

Co-authors of the abstract include: Gabriel Rockefeller and Chris Fryer, of the Computer, Computational, and Statistical Sciences division at Los Alamos National Laboratory (full story).

Killing trees in the name of science

Scientists do not fully understand how trees die. Why do some live and others die? How long does the process take?What is the impact of stress? Nate McDowell is one of the scientists at the Los Alamos National Laboratory trying to find answers.

McDowell runs what you might call a "tree torture" lab. Plastic gutters keep rain away from the tree roots, to simulate drought. The trees themselves are growing inside clear plastic chambers -- tubes with no tops. Silvery hoses carry heated air into the chambers (full story).

DOE announces grants to establish 46 Energy Frontier Research Centers

DOE Office of Science will invest $777 million in Energy Frontier Research Centers (EFRCs) including The Center for Advanced Solar Photophysics and The Center for Extreme Environment-TolerantMaterials at LANL.

The CASP is directed by Victor Klimov and has the objective to capitalize on recent advances in the science of how nanoparticles interact with light to design materials that have vastly greater efficiencies for the conversion of sunlight into electricity.

The CEETA is directed by Michael Nastasi and has the objective to understand, at the atomic scale, the behavior of materials subject to extreme radiation doses and mechanical stress (full story).

NASA researchers studying advanced nuclear rocket technologies

Advanced propulsion researchers at NASA are a step closer to solving the challenge of safely sending human explorers to Mars and other solar system destinations.

NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center is using non-nuclear materials to simulate nuclear thermal rocket fuels.  Marshall researchers are partnering with NASA's Glenn Research Center, Los Alamos National Laboratory, and others (full story).
Nuclear power in space? Petition asks White House to rekindle project

There was a time when the federal government tested nuclear thermal rocket technology for the flights that would follow the Apollo moonshots.

Back in the 1960s, Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico and its industrial partners set up Project NERVA, which stands for Nuclear Energy for Rocket Vehicle Application.

The idea was to use a nuclear reactor to heat up liquid hydrogen propellant and blast a rocket out of Earth orbit. A trip to the moon would take just 24 hours, Mars only three months (full story).

Jews had big role building A-Bomb

While the Holocaust was still raging during World War II, a small group of Jews was helping devise a plan that ultimately ended the war in the Pacific Theater. They were members of the Theoretical Division at Project Y – now known as Los Alamos National Laboratory.

Dr. Jack Shlachter, an ordained rabbi who has worked at LANL since 1979, was surprised to discover how many of them in leadership positions were Jewish – at least by some definition of the term (full story).

Homestead lecture kicks off series

In commemoration of its 70th anniversary, Los Alamos National Laboratory kicks off a year-long lecture series at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, with a presentation about homesteading on the Pajarito Plateau at the Bradbury Science Museum.

The inaugural lecture is based on a book by local writers Dorothy Hoard, Judy Machen and Ellen McGehee, about the area’s settlement between 1887 and 1942 (full story).

Local scientist competing in 3,000-mile race

Local athlete Lisa Dougherty is a Ph.D. materials scientist, Project Management Professional and Certified Quality Engineer working full-time as an engineer at Los Alamos National Laboratory.

In November, she qualified to participate in the 3,000mile non-stop Race Across AMerica - RAAM. She will start in Oceanside, Calif., June 11 and finish in Annapolis, Md. (full story)

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