Friday, October 20, 2017

Seeing one example of merging neutron stars raises five incredible questions

Merging neutron stars can exhibit gravitational wave and electromagnetic signals simultaneously, from Forbes.

Chris Fryer of Los Alamos National Laboratory, a specialist in supernovae, neutron stars, and gamma ray bursts, is interviewed by Ethan Siegel of Forbes. There was very little expectation that LIGO and Virgo were going to see a merger at this early stage in the project, just two years after the first successful detection and well before reaching design sensitivity. Yet not only did they see it, they were able to use the data to pinpoint the precise location of the merger, resulting in the incredible multiwavelength follow-up that's brought us so many surprises. (Full Story)

Los Alamos researchers and supercomputers help interpret the latest LIGO findings

The merger of two equal mass neutron stars is simulated using the 3-D code SNSPH. LANL image.

Astrophysicist Chris Fryer was enjoying an evening with friends on August 25, 2017, when he got the news of a gravitational-wave detection by LIGO, the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory. The event appeared to be a merger of two neutron stars -- a specialty for the Los Alamos National Laboratory team of astrophysicists that Fryer leads. As the distant cosmic cataclysm unfolded, fresh observational data was pouring in from the observation -- only the fifth published since the observatory began operating almost two years ago. (Full Story)

Behind enemy transmission lines

Dr. Raymond Newell leads a team at Los Alamos National Laboratory focused on building quantum networks to protect the grid. Newell believes that the Department of Energy has taken an increased interest in quantum cybersecurity in recent months, but stresses that more must be done to help scientists mitigate future threats.

The U.S. is at a crucial moment regarding quantum cybersecurity and must take active steps to realize the technology as quickly and effectively as possible. The threat posed to the electric grid by classical and quantum computers — especially in the hands of foreign actors — will only increase. (Full Story)

Where there’s smoke, there’s science

To discover the finer points of smoke’s composition, Los Alamos National Laboratory has launched the Center for Aerosol Forensic Experiments — CAFE, for short. The lab has a long history of researching the atmosphere, work that stems from its primary mission as a national nuclear security laboratory and its role in monitoring nuclear activity around the globe. This new suite of instruments, which centers on an aerosol mass spectrometer, provides detailed information on the chemistry of wildfire smoke particles. (Full Story)

Also on YouTube!

Adding extra electrons improves quantum-dot lasing

Jaehoon Lim (right) synthesizes quantum dots along with Young-Shin Park, LANL photo.

In new research from the Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL; Los Alamos, NM) Nanotech Team, nanometer-sized quantum dots are being doctored, or "doped," with additional electrons, a treatment that nudges the dots ever closer to producing the desired laser light with less stimulation and energy loss. The research is published in Nature Nanotechnology.

"When we properly tailor the compositional profile within the particles during their fabrication, and then inject two or more electrons in each quantum dot, they become more able to emit laser light. Importantly, they require considerably less power to initiate the lasing action," said Victor Klimov, leader of the Nanotech team. (Full Story)

UbiQD named Breakout Labs portfolio company

Quantum dots in solution, from UbiQD.

New Mexico-based quantum dot manufacturer, announced today that it has been recognized as one of the newest portfolio companies in Breakout Labs, a fund within the Thiel Foundation that finances and nurtures early-stage science-based companies.

Spun out of technology developed at Los Alamos National Laboratory, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, The University of Washington, and Western Washington University, UbiQD envisions a future where quantum dots are ubiquitous in a wide spectrum of applications. (Full Story)

Satellite imaging firm Descartes expands in Santa Fe

Descartes expansion plans, from the New Mexican.     

Mark Johnson launched Descartes three years ago in partnership with a group of scientists from Los Alamos National Laboratory and $3 million in seed capital. The company recently closed on a new round of financing, raising $30 million from private backers.

The scientists at Descartes Labs program super-fast computers to translate satellite data into visual images. Johnson helps recruit scientists from all over the country to Santa Fe to work for clients doing deep dives into agriculture, climate, drought and Earth imaging. (Full Story)

NNMC offers new classes in cybersecurity

Jorge Crichigno heads the IET program at NNMC. Journal photo.

A recently accredited program backed by a $433,000 grant from National Science Foundation and partly supported by Los Alamos National Laboratory aims to create a workforce to protect against cyber threats.

The three-year grant will introduce some aspects of cybersecurity in starting-level classes and create a higher-level Applied Cybersecurity class to begin next year. Internships, including 10 already being offered by LANL, are also part of the program. (Full Story)

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