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LANL Study's Tree Death Climate Change Connection [VIDEO]

on September 10, 2012 - 2:02pm

Los Alamos National Laboratory News:

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

These are the questions that scientists are trying to answer in a Los Alamos National Laboratory research project called SUMO.

SUMO stands for SUrvival/MOrtality study; it's a plot of land on the Lab's southern border that features 18 climate controlled tree study chambers and a large drought structure that limits rain and snowfall.

Scientists are taking a wide variety of measurements over a long period of time to determine what happens

UPDATE: SFI Lecture: Leveraging Social Science for Prediction

on September 6, 2012 - 9:35am

Richard Colbaugh of Sandia National Laboratories will give the talk, "Leveraging Social Science for Prediction" at 12:15 p.m. Friday, Sept. 7 in the Medium Conference Room at the Santa Fe Institute.

Abstract: There is significant interest in developing methods for predicting human behavior, for instance to enable the outcomes of unfolding events to be forecast or the nature of ongoing but “hidden” activities to be inferred, and machine learning (ML) has proven to be a useful approach to such problems.

In this talk I suggest that the performance of ML algorithms can often be improved by

Comment Dates on Plans to Expand Disposal at WIPP

on September 6, 2012 - 7:31am

Concerned Citizens for Nuclear Safety News:

There are two opportunities to make public comment on the Department of Energy (DOE) proposals to expand the disposal options at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP).

DOE is seeking to use lead shielded containers for disposal of “hot” Remote-Handled (RH) waste and to dispose of six metric tons of “surplus plutonium.” 

Fact sheets and sample comment letters about both proposals are available on the CCNS website: Public comments about the proposal to use shielded containers are due to the New Mexico Environment

Disseminating the Kilogram, No Strings Attached

on September 5, 2012 - 8:44am

Patrick Abbot inspects the upper (vacuum) section of the apparatus. Courtesy/ NIST

NIST News:

The impending redefinition of the kilogram presents a weighty dilemma. Methods to be used to realize the redefined kilogram are based on the Planck constant and the Avogadro constant respectively and realize the kilogram in vacuum.

But secondary standards, as well as transfer standards for laboratory and industrial use, must be deployed in air.

Devising a practical method of resolving this difference is extremely complicated. Two masses can easily be compared when both are in vacuum.

Just Crazy to Ski Raffle Benefits Bathtub Row Press

on September 1, 2012 - 11:42am


The Los Alamos Historical Society and Pajarito Mountain Ski Area have teamed up for a raffle featuring the publication, Just Crazy to Ski: A Fifty Year History of Skiing at Los Alamos.

For $10, raffle ticket buyers will receive the book and an opportunity to win a 2013-2014 season pass to the Ski Hill.

Only 700 tickets will be sold. The drawing will be held Nov. 1, 2013. (Yes, that is more than one year away, as is the season for which the ski pass can be used.)

Proceeds from the raffle will benefit the Historical Society’s publishing venture, Bathtub Row

Los Alamos Historical Museum Prepares Exhibit 'Jack Aeby: His Life and Work Beyond the Blast'

on August 31, 2012 - 10:21am

A new exhibit is going up today in the Changing Exhibit Room of the Los Alamos Historical Museum: "Jack Aeby: His Life and Work Beyond the Blast." Aeby took the only color photograph of the Trinity test. His daughter has been working together with a museum specialist and an archivist to prepare the extraordinary exhibit for a special public opening from 4-6 p.m. Friday, Sept. 7. Courtesy/LAHM

Former LANL Director Drops By Local Bookstore

on August 31, 2012 - 9:44am

Former Los Alamos National Laboratory Director Robert Kuckuck stopped in to peruse the books and gifts available in the Otowi Station Bookstore Thursday. Consensus among employees: "What a nice man." Kuckuck is pictured here in his office preparing for a business meeting. Courtesy photo


LANL Researcher Named as American Chemical Society Fellow

on August 31, 2012 - 9:27am

LANL News:

Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) scientist Kristin Omberg was named as an American Chemical Society (ACS) Fellow for her contributions to national security as a “technical leader in detecting and mitigating biological threats” and to the ACS community.

Omberg is the acting division leader of the Decision Applications Division and the Laboratory’s project leader for the Department of Homeland Security’s BioWatch Program.

BioWatch is a detection system that monitors for potential airborne bioterror attacks.

Federal Sustainability Requirements and LANL

on August 31, 2012 - 7:53am


Energy Manager Monica Witt of Utilities & Institutional Facilities at Los Alamos National Laboratory will present a talk on "Federal Sustainability Requirements and LANL" at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 5 in the upstairs meeting rooms at Mesa Public Library.

Witt has worked at LANL for 10 years in the environmental and energy management fields. She has a Master’s Degree in Environmental Studies.

As the Energy Manager of Utilities & Institutional Facilities, she is responsible for implementing projects to reduce energy and water to meet the Laboratory's sustainability goals.

LANL Provides HOPE for Radiation Belt Storm Probes

on August 30, 2012 - 9:36am

Artist's rendering showing two spacecraft representing the not-yet-designed Radiation Belt Storm Probes that will study the sun and its effects on Earth. Courtesy/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory

LANL News:

  • Spacecraft pair to explore mysterious region where other satellites fear to tread

Los Alamos National Laboratory expertise in radiation detection and shielding is poised to help a national team of scientists better understand a mysterious region that can create hazardous space weather near our home planet.

The Helium Oxygen Proton Electron (HOPE) analyzer is one of a

Tauscher named to LLNS and LANS Boards of Governors

on August 30, 2012 - 6:58am

LANL News:

Norman J. Pattiz, chairman of Lawrence Livermore National Security, LLC (LLNS) and Los Alamos National Security, LLC (LANS), has announced that the Honorable Ellen O. Tauscher has been named as an independent governor on the LLNS and LANS Boards of Governors.

The LLCs manage Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in Livermore and Los Alamos National Laboratory in Los Alamos, respectively, for the U.S. Department of Energy. The appointments take effect Sept. 17.

Tauscher has also been appointed as a member of the LANS/LLNS Boards’ Mission Committee.

County Responds to LANL's Technetium 99 Incident

on August 29, 2012 - 2:57pm


Los Alamos County officials participated in a briefing this morning with DOE officials regarding last week’s incident involving the inadvertent spread of Technetium 99 by lab employees and contractors working at the Lujan Neutron Scattering Center at LANSCE.

After several days of interviews, measuring, surveying and assessment, the DOE’s Radiological Assistance Program (RAP) has been able to successfully identify all individuals and report on their whereabouts since the incident occurred.

About a dozen people had been reportedly involved in the incident, many of whom live

LANL Physicist Honored by American Physical Society

on August 29, 2012 - 11:31am


LANL News:

Los Alamos National Laboratory physicist George Kyrala, along with researchers from Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL), is among a team honored with the American Physical Society’s 2012 John Dawson Award for Excellence in Plasma Physics Research.

The team is being recognized for its work on a far-reaching discovery about laser-matter interaction, which has important implications for LLNL’s National Ignition Facility (NIF.)

The award is for “predicting and demonstrating the technique of laser scatter on self-generated plasma-optics

Chamisa Gets 'All Clear' Following LANL's Technetium-99 Assessment Conducted Sunday

on August 29, 2012 - 7:32am

Staff report

On short notice Sunday, Los Alamos National Laboratory and the Department of Energy conducted a precautionary assessment of Chamisa Elementary School.

The sweep by DOE's RAP team (Radiological Assistance Program) resulted in an "all clear."

The assessment was the result of the Laboratory's investigation of an inadvertent spread of Technetium-99 by employees and contractors at LANSCE as reported in the Los Alamos Daily Post Monday.

LANL has determined that about a dozen people came into potential contact with this material, and some tracked small amounts of Technetium-99

Valerie Plame Wilson is Keynote Speaker for 5th Annual Women in Technology Celebration

on August 28, 2012 - 7:48am

NMTC News:

New Mexico Technology Council's 5th Annual Women in Technology Celebration is set for 8:30-10 a.m Thursday, Nov. 1 at the Albuquerque Marriott Pyramid, 5151 San Francisco Road NE in Albuquerque.

The Nov. 1 event recognizes exceptional women in New Mexico who are working in a technology field and who encourage other women to pursue careers and leadership roles in technology.

The 5th Annual Women in Technology Celebration also recognizes women in technology across the state of New Mexico as well as deserving female high school seniors who receive scholarship funds for college.

LANL Emergency Exercise Planned For Wednesday

on August 28, 2012 - 7:47am

LANL News:

Los Alamos National Laboratory is conducting an emergency preparedness exercise on Wednesday, Aug. 29. It is an exercise only.

LANL routinely conducts emergency exercises to test the preparedness of emergency response and other LANL personnel who would respond to an actual emergency.

The majority of the exercise is on LANL property and shouldn't affect the public. Signs will be in place outside the Los Alamos Medical Center, alerting the public that an exercise is under way.

Laboratory employees who work in facilities near the exercise scenario have been notified.

LANL Responds to Radiological Incident at LANSCE

on August 27, 2012 - 10:56pm
  • Multiple tests indicate no health risks to public or employees

Los Alamos National Laboratory is investigating the inadvertent spread of Technetium 99 by employees and contractors at the Lujan Neutron Scattering Center at the Los Alamos Neutron Science Center (LANSCE), a multidisciplinary accelerator facility used for both civilian and national security research.

The Laboratory has determined that about a dozen people came into contact with the material, and some tracked small amounts of Technetium 99 off-site.

The contamination poses no danger to the public.

SFI Colloquium: 'Ulam's Demons' Set for Thursday

on August 26, 2012 - 8:34am

SFI Colloquium: "Ulam's Demons" is set for 3:30 p.m. Thursday Aug. 30 in Noyce Conference Room.


George Dyson
Author and Historian of Technology

Abstract: Stanislaw Ulam (1909-1984), one of the inspirations for SFI, performed useful work, without the visible expenditure of energy, by letting good ideas in and keeping bad ideas out.

Four of the twentieth century’s most imaginative inventions — the Monte Carlo method, the hydrogen bomb, self-reproducing cellular automata, and nuclear pulse propulsion — originated with help from Stan.

Monte Carlo was the realization of what Maxwell had

ChemCam Laser First Analyses Yield Beautiful Results

on August 24, 2012 - 7:09am

This photo mosaic shows the scour mark, dubbed Goulburn, left by the thrusters on the sky crane that helped lower NASA's Curiosity rover to the Red Planet. It is located 16 to 20 feet (5 to 6 meters) to the left of the rover's landing position. The sky crane appears to have uncovered an outcrop of loosely consolidated rocks during the rover's landing. The mosaic consists of six images from the remote micro-imager (RMI) on the Chemistry and Camera (ChemCam) instrument, shown around an image from the Mast Camera for context.

LANL Engineer Selected for 'Frontiers of Engineering' Symposium

on August 23, 2012 - 5:49am

LANL News:

  • Nathan Moody, specialist in electromagnetic radiation, honored

Nathan Moody of Los Alamos National Laboratory is among 78 of the nation's brightest young engineers selected for the National Academy of Engineering's (NAE) 18th annual U.S. Frontiers of Engineering symposium.

Engineers between 30 to 45 who are performing exceptional engineering research and technical work in a variety of disciplines attend the 2-1/2 day event, the academy announced.

The participants -- from industry, academia, and government -- were nominated by fellow engineers or organizations and chosen from

Explosions for Research at Los Alamos

on August 22, 2012 - 9:43am
The Bradbury Science Museum has provided the following video depicting some of what goes on behind the fence at Los Alamos National Laboratory:

The science of explosives has been important at Los Alamos since 1943. A variety of experiments with explosives are represented in this video. Music Credit: Nerves - by Kevin MacLeod,  Larva - by PhreDdy M.

Click HERE to view other videos provided by the Bradbury Science Museum including an interview with KRSN AM1490 owner David Sutton regarding the Las Conchas Fire and a video of President John F. Kennedy's 1962 visit to Los Alamos.

For more

LANL Laser Research Shows Promise for Cancer Treatment

on August 21, 2012 - 7:08am

Sasi Palaniyappan, right, and Rahul Shah inside a target chamber where the TRIDENT short pulse laser is aimed at a very thin foil target. Courtesy/LANL

LANL News:

  • New insights gained on how lasers generate ions in dense plasmas

Scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory have observed for the first time how a laser penetrates dense, electron-rich plasma to generate ions.

The process has applications for developing next generation particle accelerators and new cancer treatments.

The results, published online August 19 in Nature Physics, also confirm predictions made more than 60 years

SFI Seminar - Models.Behaving.Badly: On Theories, Models, Intuition and Finance

on August 21, 2012 - 7:05am

SFI News:

Models.Behaving.Badly: On Theories, Models, Intuition and Finance

By Emanuel Derman
Columbia University

Thursday, Aug. 23 • 12:15 p.m. • Medium Conference Room

Abstract: Models are metaphors that explain the world we don’t understand in terms of worlds we do.

They are merely analogies, provide partial insight, stand on someone else's feet.

Theories stand on their own feet, and rely on no analogies.

Models tell you what something is more or less like; theories try to tell you what something is.

Financial models are not theories; they are analogies, idealizations that always

DOE Hosts Public Hearing Tonight at Holiday Inn Express

on August 21, 2012 - 7:04am

DOE News:

The Department of Energy is holding public hearings on a Surplus Plutonium Disposition Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement.

The hearings are scheduled for:

  • Los Alamos on Tuesday, Aug. 21 at the Holiday Inn Express, 60 Entrada Drive;
  • Santa Fe on Thursday, Aug. 23 at the Courtyard by Marriott, 3347 Cerrillos Road; and
  • Carlsbad on Aug. 28 hearing at the Pecos River Village Conference Center, 711 Muscatel Avenue.

The hearings will be 5:30-8 p.m. with a presentation beginning at 6:30 p.m. and public comments beginning around 6:45 p.m.

The comment period ends Sept. 25.


Planned Steam Plant Outage Underway at LANL

on August 20, 2012 - 5:30pm

LANL News:

Los Alamos National Laboratory's Utilities and Institutional Facilities Division began a planned steam outage for maintenance at 7 a.m. Sunday, Aug. 19.

The planned steam outage is scheduled to conclude at 7 p.m., Aug. 25.

The centralized steam distribution system must be shut down for required maintenance of equipment, including replacing and upgrading key components of the Laboratory’s utility system.

During the outage, there will be no heating and no process steam available in building systems served by the Steam Plant.

All buildings within the TA-3 and TA-43 area will be affected