Still among the 25 fastest supercomputers in the world, the $121 million Roadrunner at Los Alamos National Laboratory was decommissioned Sunday. Roadrunner, constructed with the help of IBM, was the first to break the petaflop barrier in 2008, and was unusual at the time for being entirely built out of commercially available parts. Its replacement is smaller, cheaper, and faster.
Recently, a Los Alamos National Laboratory quantum cryptography (QC) team successfully completed the first-ever demonstration of securing control data for electric grids using quantum cryptography. The project, says experts, shows that quantum cryptography is compatible with electric-grid control communications, providing strong security assurances rooted in the laws of physics, without introducing excessive delays in data delivery.
Wireless communications and optical computing could soon get a significant boost in speed, thanks to “slow light” and specialized metamaterials through which it travels. Researchers have made the first demonstration of rapidly switching on and off “slow light” in specially designed materials at room temperature. This work opens the possibility to design novel, chip-scale, ultrafast devices for applications in terahertz wireless communications and all-optical computing.
Scientists made a major step forward recently towards transforming biomass-derived molecules into fuels. The team led by Los Alamos National Laboratory researchers elucidated the chemical mechanism of the critical steps, which can be performed under relatively mild, energy-efficient conditions.
A team of researchers have built a new type of nuclear reactor that is reliable enough to be used on space flights. The prototype, which has been used to generate 24 W of electricity, relies on heat pipe technology developed at Los Alamos National Laboratory in 1983. The fluid-based cooling system requires no moving parts and the reactor itself is based on a simply closed-loop Stirling engine.
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.
Members of the Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity rover ChemCam team have received the first photos from the instrument's remote microimager. The successful capture of ChemCam's first 10 photos sets the stage for the first test bursts of the instrument's rock-zapping laser in the near future.
A team of researchers studying the fundamental properties of the actinide elements has significantly advanced the understanding of the electronic structure of elements that have electrons occupying f-orbitals.
Two Los Alamos National Laboratory scientists are among the team recently funded to explore ways to create the precise immune factors needed for effective vaccines against HIV. The Duke University-led consortium will largely concentrate on inducing broadly neutralizing antibodies that can prevent HIV-1 infection, as well as on generating protective T-cell and innate immune system responses.
Using a one-of-a-kind laser system at Los Alamos National Laboratory, scientists have created the largest neutron beam ever made by a short-pulse laser, breaking a world record. To create the neutron beam the scientists used the TRIDENT laser to focus high-intensity light on an ultrathin plastic sheet infused with an isotope of hydrogen called deuterium.
A Princeton University-led team of scientists has shown how electrons moving in certain solids can behave as though they are a thousand times more massive than free electrons, yet at the same time act as speedy superconductors.
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory researchers have for the first time identified a precise measurement of the amount of radiation damage that will occur in any given material. With a full understanding of the early stages of the radiation damage process, researchers are provided with better knowledge and tools to manipulate materials to our advantage.
One of the few people to know the various components of the first atomic bombs, George Cowan would become one of the leading nuclear researchers in the country and a fixture at Los Alamos National Laboratory for nearly 40 years. Still working with nonprofit science institute he helped found, he died Friday as the result of a fall at his home.
Recently, Los Alamos National Laboratory hosted an information security exercise dubbed "Eventide" that put more than 100 participants from around the country into a maelstrom of sensitive data leaks and cracked network security. It’s hoped such trials by fire prepare the Department of Energy’s facilities to cope with eventual compromises of cyber integrity.
During a six-experiment pulse this week, the previous world record for laboratory-produced magnetic fields was broken by Los Alamos National Laboratory researchers. The hundred-tesla field, about 2 million times Earth’s magnetic field was produced with the help of a 1,200-MJ motor generator.
Los Alamos National Laboratory scientists and an international research team have announced discovery of molecular oxygen ions in the upper-most atmosphere of Dione, one of the 62 known moons orbiting the ringed planet. The research was made possible by instruments aboard NASA's Cassini spacecraft, which was launched in 1997.
A multinational team of scientists has developed a process for creating glass-based, inorganic light-emitting diodes (LEDs) that produce light in the ultraviolet range. If successfully integrated into biomedical devices, these would be the first robust, cheap to produce, and chemically stable LEDs to operate in the medically-useful UV spectrum.
A mysterious phenomenon detected by space probes has finally been explained, thanks to a massive computer simulation that was able to precisely align with details of spacecraft observations. The finding could not only solve an astrophysical puzzle, but might also lead to a better ability to predict high-energy electron streams in space that could damage satellites.
University of Texas at Dallas researchers are making strides in understanding the workings of quantum dots. These nanosized particles could be used in a variety of ways ranging from illuminating the human body in high-tech medical imaging to increasing the efficiency of energy sources.
Many physical and chemical processes necessary for biology and chemistry occur at the interface of water and solid surfaces. Researchers at Los Alamos National Laboratory have now shown that semiconducting carbon nanotubes have the potential to detect and track single molecules in water.
By focusing proton beams using high-intensity lasers, a team of scientists have discovered a new way to heat material and create new states of matter in the laboratory.
A strangely powerful, long-lasting gamma-ray burst on Christmas Day, 2010 has finally been analyzed to the satisfaction of a multinational research team. Called the Christmas Burst, GRB 101225A was freakishly lengthy and it produced radiation at unusually varying wavelengths.
With the successful launch of the Mars Science Laboratory on Saturday, Los Alamos National Laboratory researchers and scientists from the French space institute IRAP are poised to begin focusing the energy of a million light bulbs on the surface of the Red Planet to help determine whether Mars was or is habitable.
The idea that one can create a field of science out of thin air—just because of societal and policy need—is a bold concept. But for the emerging field of sustainability science, sorting among theoretical and applied scientific disciplines, making sense of potentially divergent theory, practice, and policy, the gamble has paid off.
In terms of emissions, just one pound of sulfur hexafluoride, a nontoxic gas used in electric insulation, is equivalent to about 11 tons of carbon dioxide. Energy Department experts are hunting down this and other fugitive carbon emissions and have already prevented the release of 600,000 metric tons of carbon equivalent.