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Super-Earth atmospheres probed at Sandia’s Z machine

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — The huge forces generated by the Z machine at Sandia National Laboratories are being used to replicate the gravitational pressures on so-called “super-Earths” to determine which might maintain atmospheres that could support life. Astronomers believe that super-Earths — collections of rocks up to eight times larger than Earth — exist in the […]

Record neutron numbers at Sandia Labs’ Z machine fusion experiments

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.— A relatively new method to control nuclear fusion that combines a massive jolt of electricity with strong magnetic fields and a powerful laser beam has achieved its own record output of neutrons — a key standard by which fusion efforts are judged — at Sandia National Laboratories’ Z pulsed power facility, the most […]

New device in Z machine measures power for nuclear fusion

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — If you’re chasing the elusive goal of nuclear fusion and think you need a bigger reactor to do the job, you first might want to know precisely how much input energy emerging from the wall plug is making it to the heart of your machine. If somewhere during that journey you could […]

Black hole models contradicted by hands-on tests at Sandia’s Z machine

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — A long-standing but unproven assumption about the X-ray spectra of black holes in space has been contradicted by hands-on experiments performed at Sandia National Laboratories’ Z machine. Z, the most energetic laboratory X-ray source on Earth, can duplicate the X-rays surrounding black holes that otherwise can be watched only from a great distance and then theorized […]

Sandia’s Z machine receives funding aimed at fusion energy

Laser beam ‘smoothing’ with University of Rochester to play key role ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — A two-year, $3.8 million award has been received by Sandia National Laboratories and the University of Rochester’s Laboratory for Laser Energetics (LLE) to hasten the day of low-cost, high-yield fusion reactions for energy purposes. High-yield means much more energy emerging from […]

Sandia’s Z machine helps solve Saturn’s 2-billion-year age gap

Research supports 80-year-old prediction ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Planets tend to cool as they get older, but Saturn is hotter than astrophysicists say it should be without some additional energy source. The unexplained heat has caused a two-billion-year discrepancy for computer models estimating Saturn’s age. “Models that correctly predict Jupiter to be 4.5 billion years old […]

Iron rain fell on early Earth, new Z machine data supports

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Researchers at Sandia National Laboratories’ Z machine have helped untangle a long-standing mystery of astrophysics: why iron is found spattered throughout Earth’s mantle, the roughly 2,000-mile thick region between Earth’s core and its crust. At first blush, it seemed more reasonable that iron arriving from collisions between Earth and  planetesimals — ranging […]

Japanese city councilor journeys to end furor over Sandia Z tests

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Yasuyuki Kaneko left his wife and two small children at the end of April to fly from the northern Japanese city of Sapporo to Albuquerque. He stayed overnight at a small hotel a few blocks from the airport. The next morning, Kaneko — a Sapporo city councilor — took the final step of […]

Second Z plutonium “shot” safely tests materials for NNSA

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — The National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) today announced that researchers from Sandia and Los Alamos national laboratories have completed their second experiment in the past six months at Sandia’s Z machine to explore the properties of plutonium materials under extreme pressures and temperatures. The information is used to keep the U.S. nuclear […]

Equipped for crises

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Shovels symbolically speared the ground today at the site of Sandia National Laboratories new $42.5 million Emergency Operations Center. The 25,000-square-foot complex located on Kirtland Air Force Base is expected to be operational by spring 2023. The center will house National Nuclear Security Administration and Sandia emergency management staff offices, the 24/7 […]

High-speed alloy creation might revolutionize hydrogen’s future

LIVERMORE, Calif. — A Sandia National Laboratories team of materials scientists and computer scientists, with some international collaborators, have spent more than a year creating 12 new alloys — and modeling hundreds more — that demonstrate how machine learning can help accelerate the future of hydrogen energy by making it easier to create hydrogen infrastructure […]

Sandia 3D-imaging workflow has benefits for medicine, electric cars and nuclear deterrence

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Sandia National Laboratories researchers have created a method of processing 3D images for computer simulations that could have beneficial implications for several industries, including health care, manufacturing and electric vehicles. At Sandia, the method could prove vital in certifying the credibility of high-performance computer simulations used in determining the effectiveness of various […]

Major upgrade to HOT Shot rocket program culminates in successful launch

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Sandia National Laboratories announced that a major upgrade to the National Nuclear Security Administration’s HOT Shot sounding rocket program culminated in a successful launch on Saturday at the NASA Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia. HOT Shot, short for High Operational Tempo Shot, collects scientific data that benefits aerospace research and informs future […]

Redesigning radiation monitors at U.S. ports

LIVERMORE, Calif. — Every day at ports of entry, hundreds of thousands of vehicles and containers cross into the country. Since 9/11, all incoming vehicles and containers at land crossings, rail crossings, mail facilities and shipping terminals are scanned by Customs and Border Protection officers to detect potential threats, including radiation. It is now time to […]

What if the secret to your brain’s elusive computing power is its randomness?

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — If you’ve ever asked a car mechanic how long a part will last until it breaks, odds are they shrugged their shoulders. They know how long parts last on average, and they can see when one is close to breaking. But knowing how many miles are left is extremely difficult, even using […]