Friday, June 27, 2014

Scientist highlights the importance of teachers

Los Alamos National Laboratory Director Charlie McMillan
(Courtesy Photo)
The leader of the federal science lab founded to create the atomic bomb said here Monday said that having more citizens educated in science “will create a better democracy.”

Science and technology have become such driving forces in society that having a population of voters who understand the issues “will make a better society,” Charles F. McMillan, director of the Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico, said Monday at the 4th annual EXSEED Conference at Loma Linda University. (full story)

Science Matters: LANL group working on improving solar cells

Quantum dot LSC devices under ultraviolet illumination
(LANL Photo)
One of the tours offered to community members this month at Los Alamos National Laboratory took them behind the security fence to the Center for Advanced Photophysics. There, bent over spectroscopes, reaching into glove boxes and turning on high-powered lasers in darkened rooms, free of dust and ambient vibrations, a team of about 30 people are working to realize a more perfect solar cell. (full story)

This story also appeared in Compound Semiconductor, Laser Focus World, Photonics dot com, and the Los Alamos Monitor

Researchers Review Studies on Nanotwinned Metallic Materials

Bright-field transmission electron microscopy (TEM) images
of magnetron sputtered (a) epitaxial nanotwinned (NT) Cu,
(b) epitaxial NT Ag (20), (c) polycrystalline NT 330 stainless
steel films (arrows indicate the location of twin boundaries),
and (d) electrodeposited (ED) NT Cu (14). (e) EBSD image of
a defective twin boundary in sputtered NT Cu (X indicates a
twin boundary that has defects—the so-called defective twin
boundary). ( f ) Extremely fine twins in ED NT Cu nanopillars.
(g) NT Au nanowires. (Courtesy Image)
Dr. Xinghang Zhang and his colleagues, Irene J. Beyerlein and Amit Misra from Los Alamos National Labs, reviewed studies on nanotwinned metallic materials. Nanotwins were shown to induce numerous unique properties in metallic materials, including high strength and ductility, high temperature thermal stability and superior radiation tolerance. (full story)

Robot Rodeo Underway at Los Alamos National Lab

A competitor at the annual Robot Rodeo tests his skill
(LANL Photo)
Eight teams from around the Southwest will be putting their bomb squad robots to the test as part of a three-day competition at Los Alamos National Laboratory. (full story)

This story also aired twice on KRQE (story 1, story 2) and on KOAT

Probing Fukushima with Cosmic Rays Should Speed Cleanup

Los Alamos National Laboratory postdoctoral researcher Elena
Guardincerri, right, and undergraduate research assistant Shelby
Fellows prepare a lead hemisphere inside a muon tomography
machine, which can peer inside closed containers and provide
detailed images of dense objects such as nuclear materials or
other items of interest. (LANL Photo)
Los Alamos National Laboratory will partner with Toshiba Corporation to use a Los Alamos technique called muon tomography to safely peer inside the cores of the Fukushima Daiichi reactors and create high-resolution images of the damaged nuclear material inside without ever breaching the cores themselves. The initiative could reduce the time required to clean up the disabled complex by at least a decade and greatly reduce radiation exposure to personnel working at the plant. (full story)

Nvidia, ARM Team Up to Tackle Supercomputing

Three computer makers have signed on to use Nvidia graphics processors and ARM-based CPU cores to launch the world's first 64-bit ARM development systems for high performance computing (HPC).

In addition, Nvidia is working with Los Alamos National Laboratory to "explore how we can unite GPU acceleration with novel technologies like ARM to drive new levels of scientific discovery and innovation," said Pat McCormick, senior scientist at the lab. "We aim to leverage the latest technology advances, both within and beyond the HPC market, to move science forward in entirely new ways." (full story)

Observations and simulations improve space weather models

NASA's Van Allen Probes sample the Earth's magnetosphere.
(LANL Image)
Los Alamos researchers and collaborators used data from NASA's Van Allen Probes to demonstrate an improved computer model to help forecast what is happening in the radiation environment of near-Earth space—a place seething with fast-moving particles and a space weather system that varies in response to incoming energy and particles from the sun, potentially threatening satellites that orbit there. The work was published in a pair of articles in a special section on early results from the Van Allen probes in the Geophysical Research Letters. (full story)

Photosynthesis research project wins $14.4m funding from US Department of Energy

A research project aimed at understanding and learning from the natural process of photosynthesis to advance the development of clean energy has received further funding from the US Department of Energy totaling $14.4m.

The PARC collaboration is hosted and administered by Washington University whose partners include investigators from the Los Alamos National Laboratory, North Carolina State University, Northwestern University, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Sandia National Laboratories, University of California-Riverside, University of Glasgow, University of New Mexico, University of Pennsylvania, University of Sheffield,, Princeton University, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Penn State. (full story)

Multi-fuel power generation gets boost with NICTA deal

NICTA’s Hugh Durrant-Whyte (Courtesy Photo)
The global demand for efficient ‘multi-fuel’ electricity generation has brought together some of the world’s leading computer scientists in an R&D effort aimed at creating systems to connect and manage electricity and natural gas supplies on a shared platform.

As part of a deal announced today the work will take place under a twelve-month Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) between NICTA and Los Alamos National Laboratory, announced today. (full story)

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