Friday, February 12, 2016

Gravitational waves found, black-hole models led the way

Two merging black holes, creating gravitational waves. LIGO image.

Gravitational waves were predicted by Einstein's theory of general relativity in 1916, and now, almost exactly 100 years later, the faint ripples across space-time have been found. The advanced Laser Interferometric Gravitational-wave Observatory (aLIGO) has achieved the first direct measurement.

"We already have indirect evidence of gravitational wave emission from binary pulsars like the Hulse-Taylor system. But this aLIGO measurement provides the first direct detection and confirms what our modeling and simulation results have been suggesting - Einstein was right," said Christopher Fryer, Los Alamos National Laboratory Fellow and longtime researcher in this field. (Full Story)

Also in Space Daily

Scientists detect Einstein-predicted gravitational ripples

Gravitational waves generated by binary neutron stars. CalTech JPL illustration.

In an announcement that electrified the world of astronomy, scientists said Thursday that they have finally detected gravitational waves, the ripples in the fabric of space-time that Einstein predicted a century ago.

Scientists from New Mexico contributed to the discovery, through use of models and super-computing technology.

“Working with experts in radiation transport and atomic physics in the Advanced Simulation and Computing program at Los Alamos, members of the theoretical astrophysics center are modeling this emission to compare theoretical models with direct observations,” said Charlie McMillan, Los Alamos National Laboratory director. (Full Story)

Also from the New Mexican this week:

Science on the Hill: Turning windows into solar panels

Quantum Dots at various color wavelengths, LANL image.

Given New Mexico’s border-to-border sunshine and vast expertise in energy-related research, there’s no question our state plays a significant role in the nation’s turn to a more diverse energy portfolio.

A joint research team from the Center for Advanced Solar Photophysics at Los Alamos National Laboratory and the University of Milano-Bicocca, working with intriguing materials called quantum dots, the team achieved a breakthrough in solar-concentrating technology that can turn windows into electric generators and revolutionize the way we think about where and how we generate energy. (Full Story)

Los Alamos virus expert gave early warning on Zika

Microbiologist Brian Foley, LANL photo.

Research scientist Brian Foley has worked in bioinformatics since 1984. He has spent 20 years in HIV research at Los Alamos National Laboratory and has published 98 papers currently listed on Research Gate, the science networking site.

“Although Zika virus is generally considered a relatively benign Flavivirus, it is hypothesized that the study of this virus is useful as an indicator of other more virulent viruses," said Foley. (Full Story)

Also from the Daily Post this week:

Five Los Alamos scientists receive 2015 Fellows Prize

Five Los Alamos National Laboratory scientists were honored for their achievements in the fields of leadership and science at an award ceremony Tuesday.

Hou-Tong Chen, Manvendra Dubey and Herbert Van De Sompel are the winners of the 2015 Fellows Prize for Outstanding Research; Rebecca Chamberlin and David Morris are the winners of the Fellows Prize for Outstanding Leadership.

“These scientists demonstrate excellence in both scientific research and leadership and represent the highest of research standards we encourage at Los Alamos,” said Dipen Sinha of Laboratory’s Materials Synthesis and Integrated Devices Group and the Coordinator for the Fellows Organization. “I congratulate all of them on their achievements.” (Full Story)


Innovative internship program building workforce development

The internship program—titled the Community Internship Collaboration—is built on a recent partnership between UNM-LA, Los Alamos High School and LANL Community Programs Office. It differs from other workforce development initiatives in that it provides both high school and college students with real-world work experience in local small businesses. Each student is matched with a project from a business, which will serve as a mentor to the students during the paid one-credit internship. (Full Story)

Young scientists show skills

Fifth-graders Monique Candelario and Miquela Peña display their "Wacky Water" experiment, RG Sun photo.

Cariños de los Niños Charter School held its first-ever science fair and projects were judged by a panel from the Northern New Mexico Inquiry Science Education Consortium. The Consortium is comprised of a collective of public school educators in the region, organized by the Los Alamos National Laboratory Foundation.

Len Valerio, network professional at the Los Alamos Laboratory and former Española School Board member, said he was very impressed with the variety of projects. (Full Story)

Native groups receive $60K in grants

Four businesses owned and operation by Native Americans in Northern New Mexico have been awarded a total of $60,000 in grants through a Native American Venture Acceleration Fund created by Los Alamos National Security LLC and the Regional Development Corporation. (Full Story)

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