To view this page ensure that Adobe Flash Player version 11.1.0 or greater is installed.
The Academies Come to Los Alamos for a Summer of Science Trent Jones, a junior at West Point, came to Los Alamos National Laboratory to explore the practical applications of his major, physics. “I wanted to see how, exactly, physics is used in the world today,” Jones said. He spent four weeks working with a Laboratory mentor in the Materials Science and Technology Division, where most of his time was spent doing what he, as a physicist, says he loves to do: “work on a small scale.” Alongside Laboratory technical staff members, he helped characterize materials, determining their internal structure and properties. With plenty of hands-on work to be done, Los Alamos was the perfect place for Jones and 25 other students from U.S. military academies to spend part of their summer. 30 The materials Jones worked with were destined for use in experiments at the Laboratory’s Dual-Axis Radiographic Hydrodynamic Test (DARHT) facility. DARHT’s “dual axis” consists of two linear accelerators, set at right angles to each other, that focus electron beams on a single thin metal target. At the target the beams’ energy is converted into x-rays that are used to image the mock-up (no pluotonium) of a nuclear weapon primary as it implodes during experiments (see p. 41 in “Then & Now”). Jones, along with some of his team members, was also given some housekeeping work. He helped remove impurities from tantalum foils before they were used as DARHT targets. The foils were placed in an acid bath that was then exposed to ultrasonic waves. “My high school chemistry teacher would be jealous. I got to work with nitric and hydrofluoric acid in really high concentrations,” Jones said. With plenty of hands-on work to be done, Los Alamos National Laboratory was the perfect place for Jones and 25 other students from U.S. military academies to spend part of their 2013 summer. Los Alamos hosted the 26 cadets Los Alamos National Laboratory