Skip directly to content

National Laboratory

Santa Fe Institute Elects New Chair

on November 24, 2012 - 9:13am

Michael Mauboussin, Chief Investment Strategist for Legg Mason Capital Management, has been elected chairman of the Santa Fe Institute’s Board of Trustees.

His three-year appointment began Nov. 4 and he replaces Jim Rutt, who served as chairman since 2009.

Mauboussin has been an active member of SFI’s Board since 2000 and of SFI’s Business Network since 1998.

He has contributed extensively to the Network’s activities as a speaker, panel member and co-organizer of Network Topical Meetings and Symposia.

His complex systems-inspired advice on market behavior and dynamics is frequently sought by

LANL Employees Make Gifts of Time, Talent and Money

on November 22, 2012 - 8:17am

A student receives a new pair of shoes from the generosity of Los Alamos National Laboratory employees through the LANL Laces Program. Courtesy/LANL

Staff Report

Throughout the year, the generous efforts of Los Alamos National Laboratory management and employees helps to enhance the lives of others through the sharing of their time, talent and money.

Each Thanksgiving season, LANL hosts "Take a Turkey to Work Day." Last year, employees donated more than 400 frozen turkeys and helped fill holiday meal food baskets for 852 Northern New Mexico families.

LANL's manager, Los Alamos National

SFI's Science On Screen Series: Raiders of the Lost Ark

on November 21, 2012 - 10:11am

Photo: George J. Gumerman

SFI News:

Science On Screen

Raiders of the Lost Ark will be presented by George J. Gumerman, Senior Scholar, School for Advanced Research and External Professor, Santa Fe Institute at 7 p.m. today, Nov. 21 at the Center for Contemporary Arts, 1050 Old Pecos Trail in Santa Fe.

Thirty years after its premiere, Steven Spielberg’s Oscar-winning tale of archaeological derring-do remains one of cinema’s most thrilling and rugged film adventures.

Archaeologist and SFI External Professor George Gumerman shares real-life tales of risk and reward on his journey of

Scientists Chart Emergence of High-Temperature Superconductivity

on November 21, 2012 - 8:28am

Brookhaven Lab physicist Ivan Bozovic with the molecular beam epitaxy system he uses to engineer atomically precise superconducting materials. Courtesy/BL

BL News:

  • New study reveals unexpected disappearance of superconducting fluctuations at super-cold temperatures

UPTON, NY – The next generation of sustainable energy systems, from magnetic storage to offshore wind turbines, hinges in part on high-temperature superconductors (HTS), which can carry current with zero loss and perfect efficiency.

Unfortunately, that loss-free behavior comes at the cost of extreme and inefficient cooling,

LASO's Kevin Smith Gets New Assignment

on November 20, 2012 - 12:24pm


Washington, D.C. – The Office of Environmental Management (EM) and the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) today jointly announced two key personnel changes that will bring significant leadership and project management experience to both organizations.

Scott Samuelson, Manager of the Office of River Protection (ORP), will be leaving EM in January to return to NNSA, where he previously worked from the date it was formed in 2000. With Samuelson’s departure, Kevin Smith, Manager of NNSA’s Los Alamos Site Office (LASO), will become the ORP Manager.

“Scott and Kevin are

Los Alamos Research and Leadership Prizes Awarded

on November 20, 2012 - 9:16am

  • Garzon, Batista and Beyerlein noted for exemplary research

Commendations for exemplary scientific research and leadership have been bestowed upon three Los Alamos National Laboratory researchers, Fernando Garzon, Cristian Batista and Irene Beyerlein, by the Laboratory Fellows organization.

Leadership Prize – Fernando Garzon

Over the course of a 20-year career at LANL, Fernando Garzon’s efforts in the development of electrochemical sensors have become recognized world-wide, and have received sustained support through a multi-million dollar program from DOE’s Energy Efficiency and

Los Alamos Honors Laboratory Fellows

on November 19, 2012 - 4:49pm
  • Engineering, physics and computer science leaders announced

Three distinguished members of the Los Alamos National Laboratory scientific staff are being honored with appointment as Laboratory Fellows for 2012.

The committee ranked a collection of nominations on the basis of:

  • Sustained, high-level achievements in programs of importance to the Laboratory;
  • A fundamental or important discovery that has led to widespread use;
  • Having become a recognized authority in the field, including outside recognition and an outstanding record of publications.

The new Los Alamos Fellows are Charles Farrar,

New Companies Get Boost from Los Alamos National Security

on November 19, 2012 - 4:09pm

  • Venture Acceleration Fund awards help region’s businesses grow

Two local biotech start ups, a water and power company and a hardware inventor are the latest recipients of $165,000 in Venture Acceleration Fund (VAF) awards from Los Alamos National Security, LLC.

Mustomo, Inc., IX Power, Synfolia, and Tape-Ease will receive funding to take their products and services to the next development level.

Three of the four companies are commercializing technology and intellectual property developed by New Mexico’s national laboratories and educational institutions.

“Although the program was

NNSA Delivers W76-1 Units to Navy for 2012

on November 18, 2012 - 11:16am

W76-1 units. Courtesy/SNL

NNSA News:

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) has announced that it delivered all of its scheduled W76-1 Submarine Launched Ballistic Missile warhead units to United States Navy in FY 2012.

“As our stockpile ages, we have to put ourselves in a position where the president can be certain that it is safe, secure and effective,” said NNSA Deputy Administrator for Defense Programs Don Cook. “Our continued success with the W76-1 Life Extension Program is key to the United States’ nuclear deterrent.

LANL's Ward Hawkins to Speak on Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty

on November 17, 2012 - 12:05pm
Ward L. Hawkins, Program Manager for Nuclear Testing Limitations at Los Alamos National Laboratory, will present a talk at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 27 at an open meeting of the Los Alamos Committee on Arms Control and International Security.
Hawkins talk, "CTBT On-Site Inspection: The Final Verification Measure” will provide general background information on the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty and a detailed description of the On-Site Inspection verification regime.
The public is invited to attend Hawkin's talk, which will be held in Room 311 in the Education

US, Kazakhstan Commission Radiation Detection Systems Aimed at Preventing Nuclear Smuggling

on November 17, 2012 - 10:11am

Anne Harrington. Courtesy/NNSA

NNSA News:

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) and the Kazakhstan Customs Control Committee (KCCC) recently held a ceremony to commission the specialized radiation detection equipment at Astana International Airport – a significant milestone in the joint effort to prevent the illicit trafficking of nuclear and other radioactive materials.

The ceremony recognized the effective ongoing cooperation between the U.S.

'Voices of the Manhattan Project' Website Launched

on November 16, 2012 - 12:26pm
Manhattan Project Insignia. Courtesy/Atomic Heritage Foundation
Staff Report
Voices of the Manhattan Project is a joint project by the Atomic Heritage Foundation and the Los Alamos Historical Society to create a public archive of our oral history collections of Manhattan Project veterans and their families. 
The Manhattan Project was a great human collaboration with 130,000 people around the country working on the top-secret project.
A list of the available Los Alamos Oral Interviews available today on the website (more will be added):
  • Arno Roensch, a glass blower in the Army,

Shrinking Horizons: Help Preserve Indigenous Human Societies in SFI's First Crowdfunding Campaign

on November 13, 2012 - 6:51am

SFI News:

Working with the SciFund Challenge, SFI has joined other scientists and science research centers in this emerging, social-networked way to generate financial backing for critical scientific research. The campaign runs through Dec. 15.

For SFI’s first cowdfunding campaign we are highlighting SFI Postdoctoral Fellow Marcus Hamilton and his collaborators at the University of Missouri, who are seeking better ways to understand how to preserve the rainforest land on which indigenous human groups depend.

Visit the SFI campaign page here.

There are an estimated 100 uncontacted human groups

Clouds Could Explain How Snowball Earth Thawed Out

on November 12, 2012 - 8:26am

Giant snowball created by Oxford students. Courtesy photo

AGU News:

Glaciation events during the Neoproterozoic (524-to-1,000 million years ago) and Paleoproterozoic (1,600-to-2,500 million years ago) periods - events that
spawned ice ages that persisted for millions of years at a time - may have seen glacier ice encircle the planet in a frosty planetary configuration known as a
Snowball Earth.

Whether the planet could have existed in such a state, however, is a matter of considerable debate.

An elevated planetary albedo, caused by the planet being covered in reflective snow and ice,

First Controllable Atom SQUID

on November 10, 2012 - 11:55am

Researcher Kevin Wright checks part of the experimental apparatus. Courtesy/NIST

NIST News:

Scientists have created the first controllable atomic circuit that functions analogously to a superconducting quantum interference device (SQUID) and allows operators to select a particular quantum state of the system at will.

By manipulating atoms in a superfluid ring thinner than a human hair the investigators were able for the first time to measure rotation-induced discrete quantized changes in the atoms’ state, thereby providing a proof-of-principle design for an “atomtronic” inertial sensor.

Column: Insecurity with LANL Security Project

on November 9, 2012 - 10:20am

By Greg Kendall
When news broke out a few months ago that an 80-year-old nun and two retiree peace activist had defeated our nation's highest level security systems at the Y-12 site in Oak Ridge, Tenn., and had spent a leisurely evening throwing blood on the walls of a building that houses nuclear weapon components, I was glad that it had not happened here in Los Alamos. 
Los Alamos security had to be better - much better than the apparent joke that is security at Y-12, I thought to myself. I have now had to re-evaluate that thought.
Would an octogenarian nun

OBITUARY: THOMAS ILG Sept. 9, 1958 – Nov. 2, 2012

on November 6, 2012 - 9:24am


Thomas Ilg of Los Alamos, N.M., passed away unexpectedly Friday Nov. 2, 2012. He died while perusing his passion of photographing the ruins of the Jemez Mountains.

He was born Sept. 30, 1958 in Suffern, N.Y. He was graduated from Northeastern University in Boston, Mass. in 1980 with an engineering degree.

He lived in the town of White Rock, with his wife Wendy, the love of his life for 17 years.

Tom was employed at Los Alamos National Laboratory for more than 20 years where he worked as a mechanical engineer.

He was an avid and accomplished photographer; he loved hiking,

Contractors Hear New LANL Cost Model Details

on November 4, 2012 - 11:50am

LANL Budget Officer K. Aaron Menefee explains the new LANL budgeting formula to LANL contractors attending a Nov. 1 Chamber Business Breakfast at UNM-LA. Photo by Bonnie J. Gordon

By Bonnie J. Gordon

Los Alamos National Laboratory has adopted a new cost model for Fiscal Year 2013 and LANL contractors have expressed concern about the consequences the new model may have on their businesses.

The Los Chamber of Commerce organized a special Chamber Breakfast for LANL officials and contractors Nov. 1 at UNM-LA.

LANL Budget Officer K.

LANL's Carl Beard Presents Talk to Rotarians

on November 4, 2012 - 8:14am

Carl Beard presents a talk on LANL's environmental stewardship program to local Rotarians. Photo by Hal Davis

By Carol A. Clark

Dr. Carl Beard presented a talk on the Los Alamos National Laboratory's long-term environmental stewardship and sustainability strategy during Tuesday's Rotary lunch meeting at the Dixie Girl Restaurant in downtown Los Alamos.

Beard is the Principal Associate Director for Operations and Business Services (PADOPS) at LANL.

PADOPS provides oversight of Business Services, Maintenance and Infrastructure Planning, Environment, Safety and Health, Nuclear High Hazard

NNSA Completes 50th Shipment Under Threat Reduction Program

on November 1, 2012 - 12:10pm

NNSA Administrator Thomas D’Agostino. Courtesy/NNSA

NNSA News:

Cooperative Program Removes Highly Enriched Uranium from Uzbekistan

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) today announced the successful removal of 72.8 kilograms of highly enriched uranium (HEU) spent fuel from the Institute of Nuclear Physics (INP) in Tashkent, Uzbekistan.

Today’s announcement marks the 50th shipment under NNSA’s cooperative program with Russia to return Russian-origin HEU.

Since the program began 10 years ago, NNSA and its Russian counterparts have closely cooperated to

LANL Demolishing DP Road Excavation Enclosures

on November 1, 2012 - 11:35am

Los Alamos National Laboratory plans to demolish the enclosures used to safely excavate and clean up LANL's oldest waste disposal site near DP Road in Los Alamos. Courtesy/LANL

LANL News:

LANL to Demolish Excavation Enclosures

  • Work is beginning this week

Los Alamos National Laboratory is about to begin demolishing the metal enclosures used to cover the excavation and cleanup of a decades-old waste disposal site at the historic Technical Area 21.

Pre-demolition activities are beginning this week and the work should be completed by the end of March 2013.

The project brings the

LANL Scientist Nate McDowell Presenting Nov. 1 Talk

on October 31, 2012 - 4:21pm


The Los Alamos Master Gardeners and Los Alamos Extension Office are sponsoring a program by Nate McDowell, a staff scientist in the Earth and Environmental Sciences Division at Los Alamos National Laboratory.

McDowell will share his research methods and results with the community at 7 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 1 at Fuller Lodge.

McDowell studies the inter-dependency of plant and ecosystem water and carbon cycles and their response to climate and disturbance.

What are the exact physiological mechanisms that lead to tree death during prolonged drought and rising temperatures?

These are

Local Fire Agencies Warn About Fall Fire Danger!

on October 31, 2012 - 3:50pm

LAFD News:

Local Fire Agencies Warn About Fall Fire Danger – Please Be Fire Safe!

As the fall and winter holidays approach and more New Mexicans plan vacations or hunting trips close to home, local, federal and state fire agencies are urging caution about fire danger across many parts of the state.

Lack of moisture and warm mild conditions this fall have caused fine, grassy fuels and brush to dry, making them susceptible to wildfire.

While the immediate region shows Northern New Mexico at “High” Fire Danger risk, Los Alamos County will remain at “Moderate” risk until there is snow on the

NNSA Saves More Than $519M Through Strategic Sourcing

on October 31, 2012 - 10:20am

Energy Secretary Steven Chu. Courtesy/DOE

NNSA News:

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) today announced that the agency has saved taxpayers $519.3 million since 2007 through strategic sourcing.

In 2010, Secretary Steven Chu recognized NNSA for saving $213 million over the prior four years, but challenged the agency to increase cumulative savings to $450 million by 2012.

NNSA achieved this goal by implementing an enterprise-wide strategic sourcing solution, which includes the processes of the Supply Chain Management Center (SCMC) created by NNSA