Friday, September 24, 2010

Curiosity's ChemCam instrument arrives at JPL

The ChemCam instrument for NASA's Mars Science Laboratory mission uses a pulsed laser beam to vaporize a pinhead-size target. NASA-LANL photo.

Experts at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, who are in charge of building the next NASA rover that will go on Mars, have just received one of the key elements of the new robot – the ChemCam.

This is an instrument of a class that has never flown to space before. It will go on the Mars Science Laboratory rover, which is now called Curiosity. It was constructed by experts at Los Alamos National Laboratory, who have just delivered it to the JPL, in Pasadena, California. (Full Story)

Decades after discovery, neutrons still a mystery

Andy Saunders, of Los Alamos National Laboratory, is passionate about neutrons — and with good reason.

Neutrons and protons clustered together make up the central mass of atoms. They represent 99.9 percent of the actual matter in the universe. Our bodies and our physical world have substance because of neutrons and protons. (
Full Story)

Physics experiments abound in WIPP underground

There are several research areas at the underground waste
repository. WIPP photo.

One long-standing particle physics experiment in the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant's underground is taking the slow but steady approach to particle physics research.

"Our team at LANL has had something or another going on at WIPP since the early to mid 90s," said Victor Gehman, Postdoctoral Research Associate with LANL. "We've been working on this project since we built a clean room in 2003." (Full Story)

Earth to Rosetta: Head south!

The European Space Agency's Rosetta spacecraft should deposit its lander, Philae, on the southern hemisphere of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, EU-funded researchers are recommending….

“Churyumov-Gerasimenko is a time capsule holding material from the birth of the Solar System,” explains Jeremie Lasue of Los Alamos National Laboratory in the US….(Full Story)

Bradbury Science Museum takes part in Museum Day

Los Alamos National Laboratory's Bradbury Science Museum is participating for the sixth year in the Smithsonian's Museum Day on Saturday.

Sponsored by Smithsonian Media, during Museum Day participating museums and cultural institutions across the United States open their doors free to anyone presenting a Smithsonian Museum Day ticket. (
Full Story)

Science on Wheels begins new classes

Los Alamos National Laboratory's Bradbury Science Museum Science on Wheels program is offering new, renewable energy-related workshops during the current school year.

Beginning in October, the museum's educators will offer four Science on Wheels workshops on Energy Explorations, Solar Energy, Wind Energy and Fuel Cells. They are geared toward students in fourth through eighth grades, offering opportunities for hands-on learning. (
Full Story)

Oppenheimer’s Los Alamos home goes to museum

Los Alamos Historical Society photo

The Los Alamos Historical Society is hosting a symposium to plan how best to memorialize the wartime home of J. Robert Oppenheimer in the historic area of Los Alamos known as "Bathtub Row." (Full Story)

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Friday, September 17, 2010

US conducts non-nuclear test at Nevada proving ground

Pictured is the Cygnus 2.5 mEv x-ray machine, used to take detailed x-ray imagery of subcritical experiments. NNSS Photo.

NNSA spokesman Darwin Morgan said Thursday the subcritical test, dubbed Bacchus, was conducted Wednesday at the recently renamed Nevada National Security Site.

The experiment involved the detonation of explosives around radioactive material in a vault some 1,000 feet under ground.
It was conducted at the former Nevada Test Site by scientists from the government's Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico. (Full Story)

United Way kicks off campaign

LANL’s Vera Vigil responds to a survey at the Santa Fe Children's Project information booth. LANL Photo.

"Give, advocate, volunteer," was the mantra of the evening event attended by community members and campaign volunteers from Los Alamos National Laboratory.

The laboratory's 2011 employee giving campaign also kicked off Monday.
"We opened the campaign today at the laboratory and we already have 30 pledges," said Kurt Steinhaus, director of LANL's Community Programs Office. (Full Story)

Also from the Monitor this week

LANS picnic honors 9/11

David Swingle of the Lab's Veterans Committee speaks during the 9/11 commemoration. LANL photo.

A somber ceremony led by Los Alamos National Laboratory Director Michael Anastasio this afternoon at Overlook Park was filled with memories of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attack and the people who lost their lives on that horrific day. (Full Story)

Boeing receives task order for design of Free Electron Laser lab demonstrator

oeing is partnering on FEL with U.S. Department of Energy laboratories, academia and industry. The laboratories include the Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility in Newport News, Va., and Los Alamos National Laboratory in Los Alamos, N.M. (
Full Story)

Hyperion to build demo reactor at Savannah River

Diagram of a basic modular reactor. LANL illustration.

Hyperion Power Generation has entered into an agreement with Savannah River National Laboratory that could lead to deployment of its 25MWe modular reactor at the US Department of Energy's Savannah River Site. (Full Story)

LANL says goodbye to early nuclear fusion research facility

Demolition video includes time-lapse footage of the building’s destruction. LANL video.

An early nuclear fusion research facility at Los Alamos National Laboratory has been demolished as part of environmental cleanup funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. (Watch the video here)

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Friday, September 10, 2010

LANL shows off its projects

Buffalo Thunder hosts Research and Development Day

Research and development, according to program director William Priedhorsky, is the driver for economic progress: It's the reason life expectancy has increased by almost 30 years over the last century; it's why diseases get cured and men have walked on the moon (full story—web site requires subscription or viewing of advertising).

Also this week in the Albuquerque Journal:

Los Alamos Security Invests in SFCC

For the second straight year, Los Alamos National Security — which runs the national lab — has invested $100,000 in the Sustainable Technologies Center at Santa Fe Community College. . . . The goal of the partnership is to foster a trained work force for jobs in renewable energy and supporting technologies. The LANS funds support operating costs of the center, while the LANS Advanced Technology Education Endowment Fund supports the salaries of instructors in the sustainable technologies program. . . (full story).

Udall: 'I was most impressed by the scientists'

For New Mexico Senator Tom Udall, the takeaway from a whirlwind tour of a clean-up area at the Los Alamos National Laboratory was twofold. He was impressed by the lab's scientific nature and plans to press for additional funds to continue the lab's work (full story).

Los Alamos Lab launches private cloud

The Energy Department's Los Alamos National Laboratory has launched a private cloud that lets researchers automatically request virtual servers on-demand. "Infrastructure On-Demand is the first infrastructure-as-a-service private cloud, to my knowledge, in the [DOE]," said Anil Karmel, solutions architect at Los Alamos' engineering division (full story).

ChemCam takes closer look at Mars

Los Alamos has a long history of space-related instruments, tied primarily to its role in defense-related treaty verification. Space-based detectors have helped determine the differences between signals from lightning bolts and potential nuclear explosions (full story).

LANL attracts record number of student interns

It was a record summer for students at Los Alamos National Laboratory. More than 1,300 students interned in technical and nontechnical fields and a record 415 postdoctoral students are working at Los Alamos this year (full story).

Deepwater Horizon oil could reach Atlantic Ocean

Oil released by the Deepwater Horizon spill could reach the western North Atlantic Ocean by November. That’s according to researchers from the US and Germany who have modelled the transport of dye from the site. “It is likely that small amounts of either oil or an oil-water-dispersant mixture will, at some time in the six months or so following the spill, make its way into the Gulf Stream and the North Atlantic,” Mat Maltrud of Los Alamos National Laboratory, US, told environmentalresearchweb (full story).

Shortage of medical isotopes a concern

"Although the public may not be fully aware, we are in the midst of a global shortage of medical and other isotopes," Robert Atcher, director of the National Isotope Development Center at the Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico, said in an interview (full story).

US and China join forces on clean energy research

The West Virginia University consortium, meanwhile, which includes Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Los Alamos National Laboratory, General Electric, Duke Energy and Babcock & Wilcox, will focus on developing and testing new carbon capture and storage technologies (full story).

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Friday, September 3, 2010

Domestic well event
attracts crowd

Good Water Company, a water treatment and testing company, organized the free event.

Volunteers from Los Alamos National Laboratory and the state Environment Department helped process samples for hardness, total dissolved solids, pH, iron, fluoride and nitrate. Stephen Wiman, owner of Good Water Company, said it took until Wednesday for to complete those tests. (
Full Story)

Hot rocks and high hopes

The LANL hot dry rock facility in the 1990s. LANL photo.

he first conventional geothermal power station, powered by hot springs near Larderello, Italy, began generating electricity in the early 1900s.

In the early 1970s the concept of “hot dry rock” geothermal power emerged at Los Alamos National Laboratory, New Mexico, and researchers from the lab conducted the first tests at nearby Fenton Hill. This led to similar projects in Britain, Japan, France and elsewhere. (
Full Story)

Los Alamos lab gets OK to design waste facility

Los Alamos National Laboratory has obtained federal approval to begin design of a new transuranic waste staging facility. The approval came Wednesday from the U.S. Department of Energy. The four-acre complex will serve as a staging area for low-level nuclear waste destined for the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant near Carlsbad. (Full Story)

BMGP continues work on pathogen detection and disease diagnostics technology

Mycobacterium tuberculosis scanning electron micrograph. CDC image.

os Alamos laboratory personnel are working on a test cartridge assay designed specifically to identify tuberculosis biomarkers. The resulting technology has the potential to revolutionize tuberculosis diagnostics throughout the world. (
Full Story)

The mountain west can lead the way on energy innovation

The Mountain West region already offers many existing assets that can help advance the nation’s clean energy priorities including world-leading federal energy research facilities, such as the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Colorado and the Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico. (Full Story)

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