Friday, October 18, 2013

How the Earth works

Cathy Plesko works with some of the world’s most powerful supercomputers at Los Alamos National Laboratory. You can almost imagine a T-Rex out there, can’t you? Ah, you really can.

Cathy's going to show me a highly accurate simulation of the impact. And it reveals how a wave of death spread from here in the Gulf of Mexico right the way around the world. (Watch Here)

Former enemies sign agreement to work on nuclear weapons to tackle the danger of asteroids

Los Alamos computer model of an asteroid detonation. LANL image.

The two countries were once at loggerheads over the use of nuclear warheads, but now the U.S. and Russia have joined forces to develop the technology together - and the partnership could one day lead to weapons being used to destroy asteroids hurtling towards earth.

Research scientist Robert Weaver, from Los Alamos National Laboratory, has been studying the effects of detonations on asteroids since 2012 and has simulated explosions using the Energy Department’s Cielo supercomputer. (Full Story)

Los Alamos researcher: Ocean temps may delay region’s disaster

LANL climatologist Petr Chylek. LANL image.         

Scientists worldwide agree the climate is changing, global temperatures are warming, the Arctic ice is melting and humans are a primary cause. But don’t panic — yet — if you live in the Southwestern United States, says a team of Los Alamos National Laboratory climatologists.

The next five years will determine whether the Southwest keeps on its hotter, drier path or enjoys a reprieve with some increased precipitation, according to the LANL research team headed by Petr Chylek. (Full Story)

Sky survey captures stunning details of two new cosmic explosions

The Palomar Observatory.  Cal Tech image.

Astronomers using the intermediate Palomar Transient Factory (iPTF) began observing the skies for certain types of stars and related phenomena in February of this year.

Since its inauguration, iPTF has been tremendously successful in the early discovery and rapid follow-up studies of transient objects, and two recent papers by iPTF astronomers illustrate first-time detections

The iPTF is a scientific partnership between Caltech; Los Alamos National Laboratory; the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee; the Oskar Klein Centre in Sweden; and others. (Full Story)

History buff’s gift will help tell the story of Los Alamos

The late Harold Agnew at a 2012 colloquium. LANL image.

Clay Perkins and his wife, Dorothy, made public a $530,000 donation to the Los Alamos Historical Society that will significantly expand that group’s exhibition space and its efforts to describe the history of the Atomic City.

The Bethe House, as the 1350 Bathtub Row residence is known, will house the Harold Agnew Cold War Museum, named after the physicist and former LANL director who died last month. (Full Story)

Also from the ABQ Journal this week:

Atomic bomb has Italian family, New Mexican roots

Enrico Fermi at the University of Chicago in 1946.  From the Journal. 

July 16, 1945. The first nuclear device had just exploded. It consisted of an overwhelming light illuminating the mountains all around, and a mushroom cloud rising into the bright desert sky.

Among the scientists attending the detonation was Enrico Fermi. Italian-born and worldwide-celebrated physicist, he had fled from Italy to save his family from the fascist racial persecutions. (Full Story)

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