Friday, August 15, 2014

Young scientists study LANL’s impact on wildlife

From left, Audrey Smith, Emily Phillips and Maria Musgrave are undergraduate science students helping repair and monitor nestboxes at Los Alamos. LANL photo.           

Three undergraduate science students are adding new data to a 17-year project to monitor the impact of Los Alamos National Laboratory activities on birds and other wildlife.

As part of their internship with Los Alamos National Laboratory’s Environmental Stewardship group, the three monitor about 500 nesting boxes set up on lab property and in the county. (Full Story)

LANL probes mysteries of uranium dioxide’s thermal conductivity

Illustration of anisotropic thermal conductivity in uranium dioxide. LANL image.

Nearly 20 percent of the electricity in the United States is generated by nuclear energy from uranium dioxide fuel, but mysteries still surround exactly how the material controls the electrical production: poor thermal conductivity can limit the conversion rate of heat produced by fission, however we don’t know the physics underlying this behavior or, as it turns out, some of the properties to which it gives rise.

“A deeper understanding of the physics that governs the performance of important engineering materials, should lead to improvements in efficiency and safety,” said David Andersson, of Los Alamos National Laboratory. (Full Story)

Cosmic rays to pinpoint Fukushima cores

By comparing results from two detectors DSIC will be able to identify the exact location and condition of the fuel within them. LANL illustration.

Los Alamos chief scientist and leader of its muon tomography team Christopher Morris recently noted, "Los Alamos researchers began working on an improved method for muon radiography within weeks of the 2011 earthquake and tsunami that damaged the Fukushima reactor complex. Within 18 months we had refined our technique and published a paper showing that the Los Alamos method was superior to traditional muon radiography techniques for remotely locating and identifying nuclear materials, and that it could be employed for field use." (Full Story)

Improving solar cell efficiency

Core/shell PbSe/CdSe quantum dots (a) and a carrier multiplication (CM) pathway (b). LANL illustration.

Los Alamos researchers have demonstrated an almost four-fold boost of the carrier multiplication yield with nanoengineered quantum dots. Carrier multiplication is when a single photon can excite multiple electrons.

“Typical solar cells absorb a wide portion of the solar spectrum, but because of therapid cooling of energetic (or ‘hot’) charge carriers, the extra energy of blue and ultraviolet solar photons is wasted in producing heat,” said Victor Klimov, director of the Center for Advanced Solar Photophysics (CASP) at Los Alamos National Laboratory. (Full Story)

LANL Director makes surprise appearance at LAPS all hands breakfast

Director Charlie McMillan thanks Los Alamos Public School employees. Daily Post photo.

McMillan told school employees that their service made Los Alamos a better place to live, thereby benefiting LANL recruiting efforts. Los Alamos teachers have future Lab employees in their classrooms now, he said.

"Now kids can't wait to get away from Los Alamos, but in the future, when they have kids and careers, they can't wait to come back," McMillan said, and urged them to remember the impact good teachers have on students for years to come. (Full Story)

Also from the Daily Post

Los Alamos scientist wins American Chemical Society award

Jaqueline L. Kiplinger, LANL photo.

Los Alamos National Laboratory scientist Jaqueline L. Kiplinger has been selected as the 2015 recipient of the F. Albert Cotton Award in Synthetic Inorganic Chemistry.

“To be nominated and selected for the Cotton Award by my American Chemical Society colleagues is such an extraordinary honor,” Kiplinger said. “I have found so much joy in actinide chemistry research, both in advancing fundamental knowledge for the nation, and in training future generations of scientists.” (Full Story)

Two LANL scientists named ACS Fellows

Rebecca Chamberlin and Donivan Porterfield. LANL photos.

Rebecca Chamberlin and Donivan Porterfield, both of Los Alamos National Laboratory’s Actinide Analytical Chemistry group, have been selected as a 2014 Fellows of the American Chemical Society (ACS).

Chamberlin is currently the co-principal investigator for development of novel microreactor-based systems for plutonium process chemistry and one-step extraction and separation of rare earths at the laboratory.

Porterfield is a radiochemist engaged in research and development and analytical services supporting stockpile stewardship and nuclear forensics and nonproliferation. (Full Story)

Also from the Monitor

LANL Foundation a beneficiary of an annuity

Donald Rose, a retired longtime scientist at Los Alamos National Laboratory named the Los Alamos National Laboratory Foundation and two other nonprofits as beneficiaries of a $700,800 annuity.

Rose died in April at the age of 91. He came to LANL in 1956, joined the Weapons Subsystem Group (WX-5) in 1982 and was named Assistant to the Deputy Associate Director for Defense Construction Programs in 1984. He retired in 1990, returning as an associate and later guest scientist at LANL until 2000. (Full Story)

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