Friday, August 5, 2011

From detonation to diapers at Los Alamos National Laboratory

LANL scientists use a 3-D visualization theater, called the CAVE, to peer inside complex computer simulations. LANL photo.

hen you think of Los Alamos National Laboratory what comes to mind?

You probably don't think of diapers. But you should.

There is a direct correlation between the advanced computational tools developed over the years to help ensure the reliability of the nation's nuclear weapons and high tech diapers invented by Procter & Gamble to keep kiddies dry and comfortable. (
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NASA’s ChemCam gets final destination

Artist’s rendering of ChemCam laser analyses. LANL illustration.

fter months of analysis and discussion, NASA’s Mars Science Laboratory rover team has picked a landing site on which the rover’s adventures can begin.

The rover, named Curiosity, carries the ChemCam instrument, developed at Los Alamos, on top of an exterior mast, providing information on the chemical composition of rocks at which it can fire its laser. (Subscription required to see
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Gentle nudges towards Vesta

An ion engine provides Dawn with the propulsion it needs. NASA photo.

he Dawn space probe is equipped with the Gamma Ray and Neutron Spectrometer, or GRaND, that will help to detect the elements oxygen, magnesium, aluminium, silicon, calcium, titanium and iron. GRaND originates from the workshops of the Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico. (
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Another step closer to Vesta

Close up view of Vesta's surface. From Space Daily.

ASA's Dawn spacecraft is another step closer to Vesta; only 5200 kilometres now separate the asteroid and its new 'neighbour', Dawn. The spacecraft is carrying the Gamma Ray and Neutron Detector (GRaND) instrument, built by the Los Alamos National Laboratory. (
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Our sun and planets were made differently

Our solar system’s rocky inner planets. NASA image.

he sun and the solar system's rocky inner planets, including the Earth, may have formed differently than previously thought, according to scientists analyzing samples returned by NASA's Genesis mission.

A team from Los Alamos National Laboratory led by Roger Wiens built a device on the Genesis spacecraft for the analysis of oxygen and nitrogen from the solar wind. Wiens and his colleagues are also co-authors of the study. (
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Good licensing practices for entrepreneurs are critical to U.S. economy

Marcie Black, CTO, Bandgap Engineering

Entrepreneurship built this country. Small business create 64 percent of new jobs, hire 40 percent of all tech workers, and produce 13 times more patents per employee than large businesses. Moreover, every large business began as a small one, and many small businesses spun out of universities or government labs.

Since the Bayh-Dole act of 1980, licensing of technology from government labs and universities has been very successful in allowing companies to commercialize a new idea. The Obama administration has enhanced this focus on helping small companies innovate through licensing. As an entrepreneur, however, I have to ask myself, “Can we do it better?” (Full story)

High tech interns learn sustainability

n Thursday morning, Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) student interns gathered at the San Ildefonso Visitor Center, where they met Tribal Council member and Farm Mentor Timothy Martinez.

The visit to San Ildefonso is one of several field trips for the LANL Student Sustainability Challenge, which is exploring issues like food security with this year’s theme of “Sustainability is National Security.” (Subscription required to see
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Los Alamos lab intern from Jacksonville plays role in New Mexico's worst wildfire

University of North Florida student Jomarie Berlofsky poses in front of Emergency Operations Center during Las Conchas Fire.

andarin [Florida] resident Jomarie Berlofsky was chosen for a prestigious national laboratory internship in New Mexico.

But the University of North Florida student didn't count on being evacuated from Los Alamos and seeing smoke from a 156,000-acre wildfire, the largest in the state's history, covering the town like "a blanket."

Berlofsky, a psychology and criminal justice major who will be a senior, is an intern in the lab's Emergency Operations Center near historic Los Alamos. (
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Las Conchas 100% contained

Sen. Tom Udall, center, receives a briefing from Tony Stanford, left, Los Alamos National Laboratory's Emergency Operations Manager, and LANL Director Charles McMillan at the LANL Emergency Operations Center. LANL photo.

he Las Conchas fire broke out in the Jemez Mountains southwest of Los Alamos on June 26, threatening Los Alamos National Laboratory, forcing the evacuation of the town of Los Alamos, and causing significant destruction in the neighboring SantaClara Pueblo watershed. (Subscription or viewing an ad required to see
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