Sandia Labs News Releases

Author Archives: Troy Rummler

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 […]

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, […]

This device could usher in GPS-free navigation

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Don’t let the titanium metal walls or the sapphire windows fool you. It’s what’s on the inside of this small, curious device that could someday kick off a new era of navigation. For over a year, the avocado-sized vacuum chamber has contained a cloud of atoms at the right conditions for precise […]

1 day. 3 rockets. 23 experiments.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — One year to design, build and test three rockets. Six weeks to unpack, assemble and test them at the flight range. One day to launch them. Sandia National Laboratories launched three sounding rockets in succession for the Department of Defense on Wednesday. The triple launch was conducted at NASA’s launch range at […]

Kauai Test Facility launches its largest missile

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — The largest missile ever to launch from Sandia National Laboratories’ Kauai Test Facility in Hawaii has shown the storied test range is still growing to meet the testing needs of advanced weapons systems. Sandia used the four years leading up the launch to ensure the test facility could safely accommodate the new […]

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 […]

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 […]

Imaging tool under development exposes concealed detonators — and their charge

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Behold the neutron, the middle child of subatomic particles. At times overshadowed by its electrically charged siblings the proton and the electron, neutrons quietly play important roles in national security. They start nuclear reactions for weapons and power plants. They bombard materials for nuclear safety tests. And now they have a new […]

The hidden culprit killing lithium-metal batteries from the inside

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — For decades, scientists have tried to make reliable lithium-metal batteries. These high-performance storage cells hold 50% more energy than their prolific, lithium-ion cousins, but higher failure rates and safety problems like fires and explosions have crippled commercialization efforts. Researchers have hypothesized why the devices fail, but direct evidence has been sparse. Now, […]

World’s smallest, best acoustic amplifier emerges from 50-year-old hypothesis

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Scientists at Sandia National Laboratories have built the world’s smallest and best acoustic amplifier. And they did it using a concept that was all but abandoned for almost 50 years. According to a paper published May 13 in Nature Communications, the device is more than 10 times more effective than the earlier […]

Prehistoric humans first traversed Australia by ‘superhighways’

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Sometime between 50,000 and 70,000 years ago, prehistoric humans took their first steps into Sahul, an ancient landmass made up of modern Australia, New Guinea and Tasmania. But nobody knows which way they went after that. “One of the really big unanswered questions of prehistory is how Australia was populated in the […]

Reusable respirator could ease COVID-19 medical mask shortages

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Many medical professionals and other essential, front-line workers have struggled for the past year with persistent shortages of N95 masks. Soon, they might get relief from a Sandia National Laboratories invention — a comfortable, reusable, sterilizable respirator that could ease demand during current or future health crises. Sandia has filed for patent […]

Rare open-access quantum computer now operational

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — A new Department of Energy open-access quantum computing testbed is ready for the public. Scientists from Indiana University recently became the first team to begin using Sandia National Laboratories’ Quantum Scientific Computing Open User Testbed, or QSCOUT. Quantum computers are poised to become major technological drivers over the coming decades. But to […]

Advanced materials in a snap

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — If everything moved 40,000 times faster, you could eat a fresh tomato three minutes after planting a seed. You could fly from New York to L.A. in half a second. And you’d have waited in line at airport security for that flight for 30 milliseconds. Thanks to machine learning, designing materials for […]

Students of nuclear security have a problem. Here’s how to help them.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Radioactive materials are attractive targets to thieves and other bad actors. These are rare finds, valuable on the black market and relatively easy to weaponize. New security professionals rarely learn practical skills for protecting these targets until they are on the job at nuclear power plants, research reactors, processing plants and other […]