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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 […]

How Sandia Labs is revealing the inner workings of quantum computers

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — A precision diagnostic developed at the Department of Energy’s Sandia National Laboratories is emerging as a gold standard for detecting and describing problems inside quantum computing hardware. Two papers published today in the scientific journal Nature describe how separate research teams — one including Sandia researchers — used a Sandia technique called […]

Four Sandians recognized by Society of Women Engineers

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — This fall, four Sandia National Laboratories employees were recognized by the Society of Women Engineers. Laura Biedermann, Annie Dallman, Erica Douglas and Chris LaFleur were recognized for their professional excellence, leadership and support of women in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, or STEM. The society, also known as SWE, has empowered women […]

Economic impact: Sandia spends $3.9B, exceeds small-business goals

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Supporting a growing workforce and a wide range of businesses, Sandia National Laboratories contributed an all-time high of $3.9 billion into the economy during fiscal year 2021. This is about $139 million over the previous fiscal year. The spending includes labor, subcontracts, purchases and other expenditures. “We are proud of the story […]

Measuring a quantum computer’s power just got faster and more accurate

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — What does a quantum computer have in common with a top draft pick in sports? Both have attracted lots of attention from talent scouts. Quantum computers, experimental machines that can perform some tasks faster than supercomputers, are constantly evaluated, much like young athletes, for their potential to someday become game-changing technology. Now, […]

Common ‘Core’: Using molecular fragments to detect deadly opioids

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Researchers at Sandia National Laboratories have developed a method to detect trace amounts of synthetic opioids. They plan to combine their approach with miniaturized sensors to create a hand-portable instrument easily used by law enforcement agents for efficient detection in the field. Fentanyl is a fast-acting, opioid-based pain reliever that is 80 […]

Neutralizing antibodies for emerging viruses

LIVERMORE, Calif. — Researchers at Sandia National Laboratories have created a platform for discovering, designing and engineering novel antibody countermeasures for emerging viruses. This new process of screening for nanobodies that “neutralize” or disable the virus represents a faster, more effective approach to developing nanobody therapies that prevent or treat viral infection. Traditionally used to […]