Friday, January 29, 2010

The President’s nuclear vision

he United States faces no greater threat than the spread of nuclear weapons. That is why, last April in Prague, President Obama laid out a comprehensive agenda to reverse their spread, and to pursue the peace and security of a world without them. (By Joe Biden) (more)

Sandia and LANL step up energy-related research

Both Sandia National Laboratories and Los Alamos National Laboratory have worked for decades on everything from nuclear power to geothermal, wind and solar electric generation. Investment in those areas has grown significantly in recent years (more).

MRI refinements may one day end 3-1-1

TSA says it is working with Los Alamos National Laboratory on fine-tuning Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) technology to develop the MagVis [MagViz], or Magnetic Vision Innovative Prototype which could discern between shave gel and C-4 (more).

Airport full-body scanners mean better security . . . but at the expense of safety?

The scanners use terahertz wave radiation (THz). The waves don't have enough energy to break chemical bonds and that's a plus. But according to a study from Los Alamos National Laboratory, THz waves create resonant effects that may interfere with DNA replication (more).

Gecko's lessons transfer well

Rice University graduate student Cary Pint has come up with a way to transfer patterns of strongly aligned, single-walled carbon nanotubes from a substrate to another surface - any surface - in a matter of minutes. Stephen Doorn, a researcher at Los Alamos National Laboratory [is one of the paper's coauthors] (more).

Scientists produce unprecedented 1 megajoule laser shot, step towards fusion ignition

This experimental program to achieve fusion ignition is known as the National Ignition Campaign sponsored by NNSA and is a partnership among LLNL, Los Alamos National Laboratory, the Laboratory for Laser Energetics, General Atomics, Sandia National Laboratories, as well as numerous other national laboratories and universities (more).

Optical refrigeration expected to enhance airborne, spaceborne applications

raduate students Denis Seletskiy and Seth Melgaard designed and performed the experiments at UNM's department of Physics and Astronomy in collaboration with researchers from Los Alamos National Laboratory and the University of Pisa, Italy (more).

Governor launches statewide access to New Mexico's supercomputer

he founding institutions for the New Mexico Computing Applications Center, which runs the Supercomputer, are UNM, NMSU, New Mexico Tech, and Sandia and Los Alamos National Laboratories (more).

To subscribe to Los Alamos Report, please send an email and include the words subscribe los alamosreport in the body of your email message; to unscubscribe, include unsubscribe losalamosreport.

Please visit us at

Friday, January 22, 2010

Opinion: How to protect our nuclear deterrent

By Shultz, Perry, Kissinger, and Nunn -- The three labs [Livermore, Los Alamos, and Sandia] in particular should be applauded for the success they have achieved in extending the life of existing weapons. Their work has led to important advances in the scientific understanding of nuclear explosions and obviated the need for underground nuclear explosive tests. (
Full Story)

"Four Horsemen" call for lab funding

From John Fleck's Science Blog - The four national security luminaries who have been calling for a world with zero nuclear weapons say increased funding for the U.S. nuclear weapons labs is a key requirement in the near term. (Full Story - requires subscription or viewing an ad)

Cosmic currents may move faster than light

Clouds of charged particles move along a pulsar's magnetic field lines (blue) creating a beam of gamma rays (purple) in this NASA illustration.

"No laws of physics were broken or harmed in this production," said researcher John Singleton of Los Alamos National Laboratory in Los Alamos, N. M. "This is not science fiction; it's real." (Full Story)

Funding for biofuels research

The project has a three-year timeline and will involve universities, laboratories and companies, including Iowa State University; the University of California, Davis; the Los Alamos National Laboratory; and BP Products. (
Full Story)

Researchers achieve milestone in laser cooling

Graduate students Denis Seletskiy and Seth Melgaard designed and performed the experiments at UNM's Department of Physics and Astronomy in collaboration with researchers from Los Alamos National Lab and the University of Pisa, Italy. (
Full Story)

Team bags another 3,000 curies

A half dozen technical experts from Los Alamos hauled in a couple more highly radioactive sources recently, a reminder that the work of keeping the raw ingredients for dirty bombs out of the hands of bad actors is a daily activity. (
Full Story)

Also in the Monitor this week:

Material Disposal Area-B activity quickens

The cleanup of the six-acre waste site known as Material Disposal Area B (MDA-B) is moving again, although the major excavation is now planned for early summer. (Full Story)

To subscribe to Los Alamos Report, please e-mail and include the words subscribe los alamosreport in the body of your email message; to unscubscribe, include unsubscribe losalamosreport.

Please visit us at

Friday, January 15, 2010

New studies point to 'carbon starvation' as a cause for tree mortality

ree death rates could increase globally because of rising temperatures and prolonged droughts linked to climate change, according to multiple studies.

The reasons for tree mortality in a warmer, drier world have been narrowed down to three main scenarios -- greater prevalence of insects and diseases in a warmer world, the drying out of plants, and a third mechanism where water-stressed trees stop photosynthesizing, called carbon starvation.

While researchers are still debating the relative merits of the three, scientists from Los Alamos National Laboratory have pointed to the last scenario as the most relevant for tree mortality. (Full story)

LANL screener detects dangerous liquids

Congressman Ben Ray Lujan said one of the best ways to keep planes from blowing up in the sky can be found at the Los Alamos National Laboratory, and President Barack Obama is listening. (Full story)

Green topics top Los Alamos lab’s most popular science stories

limate change mitigation-related stories were among the top ten most read science stories from the Los Alamos National Laboratory in 2009. (Full Story)

News also posted on Earth Times (here)

U.S. uses CT scans to check out nuclear stockpile

rom the New York Times -- The first user of the CoLOSIS will be Los Alamos National Laboratory, which will test the Air Force's B61 gravity bomb, checking components for signs of aging or manufacturing defects. (Full story)

NREL, Mines, CSU, Solix join in new biofuels partnerships

The federal National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Golden will help lead a new national program, funded with $33.8 million in economic stimulus money, to develop advanced biofuels. Members of the consortium include Argonne National Laboratory, BP Products North America Inc., Los Alamos National Laboratory, University of California-Davis, and several others. (Full story)

How terahertz waves tear apart DNA

The evidence that terahertz radiation damages biological systems is mixed. "Some studies reported significant genetic damage while others, although similar, showed none," say Boian Alexandrov at the Center for Nonlinear Studies at Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico and a few buddies. Now these guys think they know why. (Full story)

Solar tech company helps catch a brighter ray

Starting with Energy Related Devices (ERD) a research and development company with technology transferred out of Los Alamos National Laboratory, [Bob] Hockaday later teamed up with a Japanese company, Kyosemi Corporation to combining their complementary technological strengths in order to develop micro concentrator arrays. (Full story)

Los Alamos' acoustic flow cytometry going to market

Life Technologies recently released a flow cytometer, an analyzer to sort through large quantities of cells, that features acoustic focusing technology developed at Los Alamos National Laboratory. (Full story)

Group briefed on reduced chromium threat

In October, the researchers formally reported that the pollutant has largely been absorbed or transformed into a harmless substance by geochemical processes in the mountain. That document is now in the hands of the environment department, which is due to respond in the spring. (Full story)

LANL Foundation awards science grants

Santa Fe Public Schools, Santa Fe Community College and Santa Fe Indian School are among dozens of recipients of science education grants handed out by the Los Alamos National Laboratory Foundation.

The foundation awarded 155 educational enrichment, educational outreach and small grants totaling $3,630,993 in 2009. Most awards address critical public education needs in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. (Full story)

To subscribe to Los Alamos Report, please send an email and include the words subscribe los alamosreport in the body of your email message; to unscubscribe, include unsubscribe losalamosreport.

Please visit us at

Friday, January 8, 2010

Roadrunner led the way for the lab

LANL’s Roadrunner supercomputer

The year was the best of times and the second best of times for Los Alamos National Laboratory’s high performance supercomputer, the Roadrunner. In May the Roadrunner was named the speediest supercomputer in the world for the third half-year in a row, a lifetime at the top, in terms of supercomputer years. Full Story.

(Roadrunner is one of LANL’s Top 10 Science Stories for 2009)

LANL project can help airport security

Michelle Espy, leads the LANL effort to develop MagViz. (LANL photo)

U.S. Rep. Ben Ray Luján is urging the Department of Homeland Security to help speed up the implementation of liquid scanning technology being developed at Los Alamos National Laboratory in light of a failed Christmas Day airline attack. Full Story.

Faster-than-light pulsar phenomena

Pulsar at the center of the Crab Nebula, imaged
by NASA’s Chandra spacecraft.

Andrea Schmidt and John Singleton of Los Alamos National Laboratory provide detailed analyses of several pieces of observational data that suggest that pulsars emit the electromagnetic equivalent of the well-known "sonic boom" from accelerating supersonic aircraft. Full Story.

Also covered by the Los Alamos Monitor:

Light slingers
LANL team presents “faster than light” analysis

Among the astonishing concepts coming into view at this year’s American Astronomical Society was a homegrown explanation for how pulsars sling light through the universe. John Singleton and Andrea Schmidt of Los Alamos National Laboratory have taken their observational analysis of a poorly understood cosmic phenomenon to the Marriott Wardman Park in Washington, D.C., as part of what is expected to be the largest gathering of astronomers in history. Full Story.

Covered as well in Universe Today:

Faster-than-light pulsar phenomena

bservational data from nine pulsars, including the Crab pulsar, suggest these rapidly spinning neutron stars emit the electromagnetic equivalent of a sonic boom, and a model created to understand this phenomenon shows that the source of the emissions could be traveling faster than the speed of light.
Full Story.

Scientists study link between lightning in a hurricane and intensity of the storm

2005’s Hurricane Katrina. NASA image.

t turns out that lightning and nuclear bombs have a lot in common. Both release radio waves at different frequencies, which is why some scientists at the Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico are now turning their attention to hurricanes.
Full Story.

Hand-held devices will detect infectious pathogens

A new high-tech device to detect dangerous pathogens in ordinary medical situations is being developed through a partnership between Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) and Biomagnetics Diagnostics Corporation (BMCP).
Full Story.

LANL details dealings with small businesses

In fiscal year 2009, Los Alamos National Laboratory committed to more than $1 billion of multi-year purchase orders/subcontracts to small businesses.
Story in brief.

How would Manhattan Project historical park work?

Restored buildings at LANL’s WWII-era V Site. LANL photo.

With a Manhattan Project National Historical Park having taken its first steps toward becoming a reality, officials now must determine how the park could work within the Los Alamos community. Full Story.

NNSA, DoD partnership generates technologies to meet warfighting needs

The Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration and the Department of Defense today recognized the 25th anniversary of a joint program between NNSA and the Department of Defense that has contributed to the development of advanced technologies necessary to meet warfighting needs and improve non-nuclear munitions.
Full Story.

Tech Management to pair students with Socorro businesses

he Management Department at New Mexico Tech and the national laboratories are partnering on a new project to pair management and engineering students with Socorro small businesses.

The Animal Haven project, funded by Los Alamos National Laboratory, is focused on developing an inexpensive technology solution to a manual recordkeeping problem. The project team’s task is to devise a stream-lined method of digitally tracking medications at the veterinary clinic.
Full Story.

To subscribe to Los Alamos Report, please e-mail and include the words subscribe los alamosreport in the body of your email message; to unscubscribe, include unsubscribe losalamosreport.

Please visit us at