Friday, March 14, 2014

Van Allen Probes improve space weather models

Van Allen Probes orbiting radiation belts. NASA Image.

Using data from NASA's Van Allen Probes, researchers have tested and improved a model to help forecast what's happening in the radiation environment of near-Earth space.

"The Van Allen Probes are gathering great measurements, but they can't tell you what is happening everywhere at the same time," said Geoff Reeves, a space scientist at Los Alamos National Laboratory. (Full Story)

Detecting bioterrorism: Is chemistry enough?

Kristin Omberg.  LANL photo.

A biological attack could spread through a population quickly and have a devastating effect. An early detection system would be key to reducing a population's chance of exposure. The challenge is how to detect and identify an agent before people start getting sick.

"The 2001 anthrax letters contained only a few grams of material--about two sugar cubes' worth. So how do we protect ourselves against a whole bag of sugar?" said Kristin Omberg, a Los Alamos National Laboratory chemist. (Full Story)

Production of tetrapod quantum dots closer

Quantum Materials Corp. announced that the Los Alamos National Laboratory's Thick-Shell technology will be integrated with a variety of QMC's composite tetrapod quantum dots to develop a line of advanced high performance quantum dots.

QMC has teamed with LANL and jointly written and submitted a proposal for funding to the recent DOE EERE Funding Opportunity for Solid-State Lighting Advanced Technology R&D, which aims to increase performance and market readiness of efficient LED lights incorporating improved quantum dots. (Full Story)

Nanoscale optical switch breaks miniaturization barrier

Kent Hallman checks sample alignment. Vanderbilt photo.

An ultra-fast and ultra-small optical switch has been invented that could advance the day when photons replace electrons in the innards of consumer products ranging from cell phones to automobiles.

The device has been developed by a team of scientists from Vanderbilt, Alabama-Birmingham, and Los Alamos National Laboratory and is described in the journal Nano Letters. (Full Story)

Is ECC performance price worth it?

One of several elements that separates high performance computing GPUs from their gaming and graphics brethren is the addition of Error Correction Codes (ECC).

According to researchers from the San Diego Supercomputer Center and Los Alamos National Laboratory, enabling ECC cuts the size of the system available by 10% because of the amount of memory consumed by the error correction codes. (Full Story)

Santa Fean new NSF director

France Córdova.  Purdue photo.

Santa Fe resident and astrophysicist France Córdova was confirmed Wednesday as director of the National Science Foundation. Córdova worked at Los Alamos National Laboratory from 1979 to 1989.

“France Córdova is an internationally recognized astrophysicist with a distinguished career in academia and government service,” said Sen. Tom Udall, D-N.M., upon the scientist’s confirmation. (Full Story)

Bechtel-led team to manage Y-12 & Pantex

The Bechtel-led Consolidated Nuclear Security, LLC  has been directed by the U.S. National Nuclear Security Administration to immediately resume transitioning to take over the management and operation of the Pantex Plant in Amarillo, Texas, and the Y-12 National Security Complex in Oak Ridge, Tennessee.

The company also provides management and operations for NNSA at Los Alamos National Laboratory and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, two of the U.S. government's premier research and development institutions. (Full Story)

Jeff Mousseau named LAESF scholarship chair

Jeff Mousseau.  LANL photo.

Jeff Mousseau, Associate Director of Environmental Programs for Los Alamos National Laboratory, is chairing the 2014 Los Alamos Employees’ Scholarship Fund campaign.

Laboratory employees contributed $308,000 to the campaign last year, and Los Alamos National Security, LLC, through its employee match program, gave $250,000. (Full Story)

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