Friday, March 15, 2013

Ancient stone tools show the pace of remarkable technological enhancements over time

Ancient stone tools showing the pace of remarkable technological enhancements over time (1.75 to 0.85 million years ago). LANL image

Los Alamos National Laboratory Fellow Giday WoldeGabriel and a team of Ethiopian, Japanese, American and German researchers recently examined the world's oldest handaxes and other stone tools from southern Ethiopia. Their observation of improved workmanship over time indicates a distinct advance in mental capabilities of the residents in the entire region, with potential impacts in tool-development skills, and in overall spatial and navigational capabilities, all of which improved their hunting adaptation. (Full Story)

Curiosity's mission to Mars with x-ray vision

The first CheMin diffraction pattern from Mars. NASA image.

David Bish’s interest in planetary science started at Los Alamos, thanks in part to the close proximity of a space science group. ‘We would get together and we would ask them questions about the moon or Mars.

After a three year postdoc at Harvard, working on x-ray diffraction, Bish moved to Los Alamos National Laboratory, New Mexico, where he remained for 23 years. (Full Story)

“Seven minutes of terror”: The secret story of the Mars rover landing

Curiosity's tension-filled landing.  NASA illustration.

Excerpted with permission from "Red Rover: Inside the Story of Robotic Space Exploration from Genesis to the Mars Rover Curiosity" by Roger Wiens.

The idea that the whole series of events would come off perfectly seemed rather improbable. In all, seventy-six pyrotechnic devices, mostly bolt or cable cutters, would have to do their job flawlessly. I tried not to think about it much. (Full Story)

Opportunity knocks: But which door should you open?

Eric Brown.  LANL photo.

Game-changing career opportunities for postdocs are everywhere. Whether it is a paper to write, a fellowship to chase, or an informal conversation to have, any opportunity could be “the one”  —how do you pick which avenues to pursue?    

For any opportunity, Eric Brown, deputy group leader in the Physics Division of Los Alamos National Laboratory, advises weighing “the potential return on investment versus the time you would put in and whether you’ve done something that can achieve this goal in a different way.” (Full Story)

Social media experts to speak on technology’s benefits during disasters

The Lab's Emergency Operations Center during the Las Conchas Fire.  LANL photo.

Los Alamos National Laboratory jumped heavily into using social media during the 2011 Las Conchas Fire, as did national forest managers in New Mexico. In 2011, the magazine Emergency Management said incident commanders at wildfires, floods and other natural disaster events needed to pay attention to what was happening on the social media front. (Full Story)

Two years after Fukushima: Carlsbad radiation center helped monitor US for nuclear fallout

Schematic of Fukushima Reactor One. LANL image.

As the disaster unfolded, 10,000 miles away, the Carlsbad Environmental Monitoring and Research Center, an independent environmental monitoring laboratory, began monitoring the air for radiation fallout.         

“We study and collect data on our air, groundwater, drinking water, the soil and sediments in the river bed,” said Russell Hardy, CEMRC director. “We work closely with Los Alamos National Laboratory. We also work with scientists from all over the world. (Full Story)

LANL economic impact focus of successful house memorial

Rep. Garcia Richard. From the Post.

The New Mexico Legislature recognized the critical importance of the National Laboratories to the state’s economy. The Regional Coalition of LANL Communities supported passage of the House Memorial.

"I am thrilled that my colleagues around the state have come together to recognize the immense impact that LANL and our other national laboratories and DOE facilities have on the overall economy of New Mexico," said State Representative Stephanie Garcia Richard, a newly elected representative from Los Alamos. (Full Story)

Opinion: Give families, teachers and students tools to succeed

The LANL Foundation wanted to have more than the “curriculum du jour” so we researched and found a program called Inquiry Science. It is hands-on learning that puts science kits in classrooms, trains teachers how to use them, and provides continued professional development for teachers. (Full Story)

Improved synchronicity: Preventive care for the power grid

Scientists have identified conditions and properties that keep power generators in the desired synchronized state and help make a self-healing power grid a reality. Co-authors include Marian Anghel of Los Alamos National Laboratory. (Full Story)

Albuquerque Business First announces BizTech Innovation Awards honorees

The presence of major entities like Sandia National Laboratories and Los Alamos National Laboratory has helped to spin off and influence a research community that’s creating some incredible technologies. (Full Story)

Fuel Cell Technologies - Most experienced companies in the fuel cell industry

Fuel Cell Technologies, based in Albuquerque, NM, incorporated in 1993, is one of the most experienced companies in the fuel cell industry.  Founded by Chuck Derouin and Software Engineer, Don McMurry, each worked for over 15 years in the Los Alamos National Laboratory Fuel Cell Core Research Program. (Full Story)

Astronomers conduct first remote reconnaissance of another solar system

Researchers have conducted a remote reconnaissance of a distant solar system. From Space Daily.                

"The variation in the spectra of the four planets is really intriguing," said Didier Saumon, an astronomer at Los Alamos National Laboratory who was not involved in this study. "Perhaps this shouldn't be too surprising, given that the four gaseous planets of the solar system are all different. The hundreds of known exoplanets have forced us to broaden our thinking, and this new data keeps pushing that envelope." (Full Story)

New radioactive waste repackaging facility in Los Alamos

A delivery arrives at the box line.  LANL photo.               

The Los Alamos National Laboratory has brought a third waste repackaging facility online to increase its capability to process nuclear waste for permanent disposal. The box line facility is largest of its kind ever built.

Built inside a dome once used to house containers of waste at the Laboratory, the facility is the largest Perma-Con structure ever constructed. A Perma-Con is a modular structure typically used for radiological or hazardous containment. (Full Story)

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