Friday, October 13, 2017

Predicting earthquakes using machine learning

A simulation of the buildup and release
of stress along an artificial fault. LANL image.

By listening to the acoustic signal emitted by a laboratory-created earthquake, a computer science approach using machine learning can predict the time remaining before the fault fails.

“At any given instant, the noise coming from the lab fault zone provides quantitative information on when the fault will slip,” said Paul Johnson, a Los Alamos National Laboratory fellow and lead investigator on the research, which was recently published in Geophysical Research Letters. (Full story)

Computing the physics that links nuclear structure, element formation, and the life and death of stars

When a neutron star forms, compression creates
heat that generates neutrinos. ORNL image.

Collaborators on the first project, the Nuclear Computational Low Energy Initiative (NUCLEI), will calculate properties and reactions of diverse atomic nuclei that are important in earthly experiments and astrophysical environments. Approximately 30 researchers at 12 national labs and universities are slated to share funding of $10 million. Joseph Carlson of Los Alamos National Laboratory heads NUCLEI, with Stefan Wild of Argonne National Laboratory as co-director for applied math and computer science and Thomas Papenbrock of the University of Tennessee, Knoxville (UTK) and ORNL as the co-director for physics. (Full story)

Gevo and Los Alamos to collaborate on high energy denisity biofuels

News has emerged from Gevo (GEVO) in Colorado and New Mexico’s Los Alamos National Lab that the two will collaborate to improve the energy density of Gevo hydrocarbon products to meet product specifications for tactical fuels for specialized military applications such as RJ-4, RJ-6 and JP-10, which are currently purchased by the US Department of Defense (DoD).

High energy-density fuels are currently used in air and sea-launched cruise missiles used by the US military forces. If this project is successful in scaling the fuels cost-effectively, there may be an even broader application in the general aviation sector, enabling higher energy density jet fuel that would provide superior mileage to traditional aviation fuels. (Full story)

Dena Edwards named DOE outstanding contractor security professional of the year

Dena Edwards receives the award from
Laboratory Director Charlie McMillan, LANL photo.

Dena Edwards, a security professional in Los Alamos National Laboratory’s Associate Directorate for Mission Assurance, Security and Emergency Response, was named Outstanding Contractor Security Professional of the Year by the Department of Energy.

“Dena is a true professional who has made a visible and valuable positive difference in our laboratory and our community,” said Laboratory Director Charlie McMillan. (Full story)