Friday, August 21, 2009

NM to compete for fed funds on smart grid project

A map of U.S. electric control area operators — systems at each CAO monitor the power grid activity and balance power supply with power demand. (DOE illustration)

New Mexico wants to give people greater control over how they use electricity in their homes through a demonstration project aimed at reducing demand and saving money.

The goal is to find out if people will use smart devices and how well. "Involving you in the decision-making, that's what smart grid's about," Los Alamos National Laboratory engineer Venkat Rao Dasari said. Read the Associated Press story at

Quakes known risk since geothermal inception
The LANL Hot Dry Rock pilot project at Fenton Hill, New Mexico, proved the technology is viable. (LANL illustration)

Drilling deep to tap the heat of ancient volcanoes for their virtually limitless energy began less than 40 years ago at the Los Alamos nuclear weapons laboratory in New Mexico.

An optimistic nuclear engineer named Don Brown knew that only 25 miles from the lab, at an altitude of 8,000 feet, a pine-studded area called Fenton Hill stood atop what was once a huge volcanic crater - the remains of a mountain that erupted millions of years ago.

See the whole San Francisco Chronicle story here.

Computational eudaemonics: expert happiness systems

This is an interview with Marko A. Rodriguez, a scientist at the Los Alamos National Laboratory. Besides doing basic research on applied mathematics and computer science, he is doing work on computational eudaemonics--the use of computer algorithms to increase happiness by helping us make better decisions, even suggesting new options. Read the interview here.

To understand the universe, science calls on the ultrasmall

The Sudbury Neutrino Observatory (SNO) under construction. Image from SNO.

"The neutrino has the smallest observed mass for any elementary particle, but they appear in such astonishing numbers in the universe that they are a large portion of its mass," said Steven Elliott, Ph.D. He is a physicist at Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico. Read the Science Daily press release here.

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