Friday, June 1, 2018

Pair of Los Alamos scientists monitoring eruption from a distance

Kilauea lava flow, from the SF New Mexican.

If you are a scientist interested in the ongoing eruption of Hawaii’s Kilauea volcano you don’t have be there ducking the dangerous lava “splatter bombs” and avoiding toxic gases to almost get the full effect.

Los Alamos National Laboratory seismologist Charlotte Rowe has studied volcanoes around the world and has visited Kilauea twice. What’s happening there this month, she said, is riveting, even for scientists thousands of miles away.

“I’m liking the fact that I can — just like everybody else in the world — I can see these phenomena in near real-time without having to physically go there and dodge out of the way of falling debris,” Rowe said with a chuckle in a telephone interview. (Full Story)

Using digital technology to detect vector-borne diseases

Nick Generous, LANL photo.

Infectious Disease Advisor spoke with Nicholas Generous, MPH, a digital epidemiologist at Los Alamos National Laboratory, New Mexico, who has co-authored numerous journal articles on the topic, about this emerging field and findings from recent publications.

Nicholas Generous: Traditional public health surveillance systems rely heavily on clinician submitted data on infectious diseases. These data are often considered the gold standard in epidemiology and are used to monitor levels of disease and to determine if there is an outbreak. (full Story)

Muons: Helping probe the impenetrable

Muon detector, from SciAm

The particle, a heavy version of the electron that rains down on every square centimetre of Earth, is little known outside particle physics. Volcanologists and nuclear engineers are finding new uses for a technique called muography, which harnesses muons to probe the innards of dense structures.

In the United States, trials at the Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico have found that similar technology can spot where fuel rods have been removed from casks of spent fuel. (Full Story)

Learn about observing the highest energy light

The HAWC observatory in central Mexico.

Join astrophysicist Dr. Brenda Dingus to learn about an observatory made of water located at an elevation of 14,000 feet in central Mexico.

This unique observatory is called HAWC and it detects the highest-energy light ever observed. This planetarium show is at 7 p.m. Friday, June 1 at the Los Alamos Nature Center.

HAWC observations of extreme astrophysical sources, such as supermassive black holes and rapidly spinning neutron stars, are key to understanding the origin of the cosmic rays that are continuously bombarding the earth from above. (Full Story)
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