Friday, May 10, 2013

Government Lab Reveals It Has Operated Quantum Internet for Over Two Years

A generation 1 QKarD. LANL photo.

A quantum internet capable of sending perfectly secure messages has been running at Los Alamos National Labs for the last two and a half years, say researchers.

One of the dreams for security experts is the creation of a quantum internet that allows perfectly secure communication based on the powerful laws of quantum mechanics. (Full Story)

"Quantum" Internet tested in government lab for two years

Quantum Cryptography researcher Richard Hughes. LANL photo.

A more secure Internet is possible, and a government lab has been testing it for over two years. 

Researchers at the Los Alamos National Lab released a paper called "Network-Centric Quantum Communications with Application to Critical Infrastructure Protection" last week that outlined a way to achieve a more secure Internet connection by using its hub and spokes model. The researchers don't actually use the term "quantum Internet." Instead, what the paper describes is network-centric quantum communications(NQC). (Full Story)

This story also appeared in Forbes, Popular Science, Physics Today,, The Verge, and many others.

The Power of the Muon

A Muon Tomography Detection System.  LANL illustration.

A team of scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico, led by Chris Morris, originally demonstrated the possibility of using charged particles to generate images of objects. Seeing a ubiquitous,free source of high-energy charged particles in cosmic ray muons, they began looking into the feasibility of muon-based imaging. (Full Story)

New LANL plans call for lower-cost approach to nuke facility

Charlie McMillan testified before the Senate Armed Services Subcommittee on Strategic forces. LANL photo.

The new preliminary plans, which would undergo a business case analysis over the next year if Congress approves a $120 million budget reprogramming request, are sketched out in an April 8 letter from the Department of Defense and the National Nuclear Security Administration.

The strategy not only aims to address the abandoned Chemistry and Metallurgy Research Replacement Facility project, but also aims to enhance the capacity of the lab’s existing Plutonium Facility, where up to 50 plutonium triggers, known as pits, could be made annually, McMillan testified. (Full Story)

New techniques behind Energy's plan for exascale computing

The Cielo supercomputer. LANL photo.

From the outside, it may look like several countries are in a neck-and-neck race to produce the fastest supercomputer, but the truth, at least for the United States, is that supercomputer growth is driven by application needs. And it’s an ongoing process…

…Gary Grider, acting leader of the High Performance Computing Group at Los Alamos National Laboratory, says that similar leaps have been made in the past. “We saw this type of jump in the ‘90s with the ASCI program to get us from gigaflops to teraflops,” he said, “So it’s not unheard of.” (Full Story)

LANL improves biofuels process

Microscopic image of blue green algae.

For years, scientists have been seeking efficient means to convert non-food based biomass into fuels and chemical feedstocks, reducing fossil-fuel dependence and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. To that end, Los Alamos scientists and collaborators from The University of Guelph in Canada published an article in the scientific journal Nature Chemistry this week that could offer a big step on the path to renewable energy. (Full Story)

Mars rover wakes up, gets better laser aiming

Spring break is over for NASA's Mars rover. But before it can get to work, Curiosity will receive some upgrades, such as the ability to fire its laser with more autonomy.

…The rover woke up on 1 May and is transitioning to new software. As a result, the ChemCam tool, which shoots rocks with a laser to analyse the resulting puff of gas, will be able to auto-adjust to avoid glare from the sun, letting it aim at a wider range of rocks. (Full Story)

US warheads to get a facelift

The B-61 bomb. NNSA photo.

When he took office in 2009, US President Barack Obama bolstered efforts to secure nuclear materials around the globe. That spring, speaking in Prague, he said that he would push Congress to ratify a long-pending treaty to ban nuclear testing. By 2010, he had reached an agreement with Russia to reduce the number of nuclear weapons in both countries’ arsenals to historic lows. (Full Story)

To subscribe to Los Alamos Report, please e-mail and include the words subscribe losalamosreport in the body of your email message; to unscubscribe, include unsubscribe losalamosreport.

Please visit us at
And follow us on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Flickr