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Los Alamos National Laboratory

Los Alamos National Laboratory

Delivering science and technology to protect our nation and promote world stability

Science Columns

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    Confessions of a dark matter detective

    Fourteen thousand feet above sea level near a volcanic peak in Mexico sits a unique astronomical observatory.

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    Protecting grid from cataclysmic solar storm

    Los Alamos has been studying space weather for more than 50 years as part of its national security mission to monitor nuclear testing around the globe, and includes studying how the radiation-saturated environment of near space can affect technology and people.

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    How flounders (yes, the fish) can help national security

    At Los Alamos National Laboratory, we study camouflage in nature to learn how we can identify things trying to disguise themselves.

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    What cosmology tells us about quantum mechanics

    Early universe research at Los Alamos exploits cosmological physics to gain insight into the physics of nuclei here on Earth.

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    Bringing the power of genetic research to an office near you

    The ability to quickly analyze genetic data stands to revolutionize research into everything from the mutations causing various cancers to the “Second You,” your microbiome, or the bacteria living inside you.

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    Forget jetpacks. Where are our hydrogen-powered cars?

    For decades commercially viable fuel cells, particularly for cars, have remained just over the horizon. So why aren’t we there yet?

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    Using Wikipedia to forecast the flu

    At Los Alamos National Laboratory, we use mathematics, computer science, statistics and information about how disease develops and spreads to forecast the flu season and even next week’s sickness trends.

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    Fires set to clear African land are stoking climate change

    Laboratory scientists are studying the smoke from biomass burning in Africa to answer critical questions about aerosols in the atmosphere

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    Outsmarting the art of camouflage

    At Los Alamos National Laboratory, we study camouflage in nature to learn how we can identify things trying to disguise themselves. We do that by looking at marine organisms that are exceptionally good at the art of blending in: flounders, skates, cuttlefish, and octopi.

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    Keeping nuclear materials secure in an uncertain world

    The Iran nuclear deal has successfully rolled back Iran’s nuclear program. Los Alamos National Laboratory was integral to verification and training.

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    On track for a clean, hydrogen-powered future

    Los Alamos, within the ElectroCat consortium, is investigating less expensive, more abundant materials based on carbon compounds to reduce the cost of ownership of a fuel-cell powered car so this clean energy can compete in the marketplace.

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    Feeling the burn: understanding how biomass burning changes climate

    Each year, a large swath of the African countryside goes up in flames. During two distinct seasons, fires are set to clear land, remove dead and unwanted vegetation and drive grazing animals to less-preferred growing areas. From this “biomass burning,” Africa is responsible for an estimated 30 to 50 percent of the total amount burned globally each year.

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    A revolution in supercomputing is coming

    Trinity is a 42-petaflop supercomputer at Los Alamos National Laboratory and can perform complex 3D simulations of everything from ocean currents to asteroid impacts.

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    Trinity ushers in a new age of supercomputing

    As the Lab begins testing the second half of its new supercomputer, Trinity, the occasion highlights how intertwined scientific breakthroughs and computer innovations have become — and what a seminal and central role Los Alamos has played in that synergy.

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    Making solar power more affordable

    Although the goal of cheap, plentiful energy from the sun turns out to be a work in progress, not a settled achievement, recent research breakthroughs are helping to deliver on the promise of truly “cheap solar,” with several surprising side benefits.

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    Something new under the sun

    Recent research breakthroughs at Los Alamos National Laboratory are helping to deliver on the promise of truly “cheap solar,” with several surprising side benefits.

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    Confessions of a Martian rock

    Staff scientist Nina Lanza looks at Martian rocks for a living. She expected to find lots of basalt, the building block of all planets. What she didn’t expect were large amounts of manganese.

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    Bracing for fire

    Understanding what drives big fires and predicting their behavior helps the fire community prepare for the next blaze through appropriate land management, emergency plans and firefighting strategies.

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    Burning questions in study of wildfire

    Understanding what drives big fires and predicting their behavior helps the fire community prepare for the next blaze through appropriate land management, emergency plans and firefighting strategies.

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    Could we someday predict earthquakes?

    New ways of looking at seismic information and innovative laboratory experiments are offering tantalizing clues to what triggers earthquakes—and when.

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    Fragile life underfoot has big impact on desert

    Anyone who spends time in the high-desert landscape of Northern New Mexico has come across biological soil crusts, or biocrusts. This fragile crust fills a pivotal ecosystem niche. However, its survival is being challenged by threats from climate change and man-made disturbance.


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