sandia-national-laboratories

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Pulsed power

Pulsed power is the science and technology of accumulating energy over a relatively long period of time and releasing it very quickly, thus increasing the instantaneous power.

Steady accumulation of energy followed by its rapid release can result in the delivery of a larger amount of instantaneous power over a shorter period of time (although the total energy is the same). Energy is typically stored within electrostatic fields (capacitors), magnetic fields (inductor), as mechanical energy (using large flywheels connected to special purpose high current alternators), or as chemical energy (high-current lead-acid batteries, or explosives). By releasing the stored energy over a very short interval (a process that is called energy compression), a huge amount of peak power can be delivered to a load. For example, if one joule of energy is stored within a capacitor and then evenly released to a load over one second, the peak power delivered to the load would only be 1 watt. However, if all of the stored energy were released within one microsecond, the peak power would be one megawatt, a million times greater. Examples where pulsed power technology is commonly used include radar, particle accelerators, ultrastrong magnetic fields, fusion research, electromagnetic pulses, and high power pulsed lasers.

Pulsed Power was first developed during World War II for use in Radar. Radar requires short high power pulses. After the war development continued in other applications leading to the super pulsed power machines at Sandia National Laboratories (above).

Post-Showcase Interviews

We have a special interviewing session that happens in the few days following Career Showcase (www.crc.ufl.edu/Showcase). These opportunities are NOT listed in Gator CareerLink (www.crc.ufl.edu).

To possibly gain an interview, attend Career Showcase. The representatives will be scheduling interviews to be held on September 28 (Wednesday), 29 (Thursday) and 30 (Friday).

Be sure to check out the following organizations at Career Showcase on September 28 & 28 for interviewing opportunities:

American Express
Anheuser-Busch, Inc
BDO USA, LLP
Bechtel Corporation
Beckman Coulter
Belk
Belmark, Inc
Bloomberg
BP America
Buckeye International, Inc.
Cameron
Campbell Soup
Central Intelligence Agency
CHEP
Chevron Corporation
Citi
Citrix Systems Inc
Consolidated Graphics
Costa Farms
Cummins
Dow Chemical
Dynetics
Eaton Corporation
EchoStar Communications
Fifth Third Bank
First Command Financial Planning
Fortegra Financial
Gartner
General Electric
Georgia-Pacific
Harris Corporation
Hess Corporation
Honeywell
IBM
Ingersoll Rand/Trane
Intel Corporation
International Paper
KBR
LarsonAllen LLP
Lockheed Martin
Ludeca, Inc
Maxim Healthcare Services
Merion Realty Management, LLC
Microsoft
National Insturments
National Security Agency
OmniPoint
PetSmart
Procter & Gamble
Raytheon
Rockwell Collins
Sandia National Laboratories
Siemens Corporation
SpaceX
T H Hill Associates
Tata Consultancy Agency
Tensar International Corporation
Texas Instruments
The Hershey Company
The Mosaic Company
Tires Plus Total Care Care
Trane Company
Ultimate Software
Walmart Stores, Inc.

We also have regularly interviews that occur during the weeks following Career Showcase. Find out more and apply for these interviews in Gator CareerLink. Watch out for the Resume Submission deadlines (they are coming up quick).

Be sure to take advantage of both opportunities. Questions? CALL 352-392-1601, VISIT first floor, Reitz Union or CLICK to www.crc.ufl.edu. Good luck!

The Z Machine

At the Sandia National Laboratory in Albuquerque, New Mexico, is the Earth’s most powerful and efficient laboratory radiation source. Dubbed the Z Machine, it is used to concentrate electrical energy into short pulses of immense power, which then generate X-rays and gamma rays. It’s designed to test materials in conditions of extreme temperature and pressure—and also to study the process of fusion, which has enormous potential as an energy source. The Z machine fires approximately 200 shots per year by focusing 26 million amps of electricity, and for a few nanoseconds, the current’s power and density is more than six times the amount of energy released by all the power plants in the world. By vaporising wires that give the machine its name, it creates a gas-like substance called hydrogen plasma in excess of 2 billion degrees Kelvin—but simultaneously creates a powerful magnetic field that “pinches” the plasma and causes it to implode (and also causes the “flashover” pictured in the rare image above). This “Z pinch” generates an enormous burst of X-radiation, and for a split second, the Z machine creates conditions found nowhere else on Earth. It basically recreates the conditions of stars, and so it’s used not only to study fusion, but also the properties of dense stars like white dwarfs. 

Iron’s Role in The Transmission of Energy Within the Sun

Scientists sometimes say that the inside of a star is one of the most mysterious places in the universe, but perhaps the nearest star isn’t as mysterious as it was just last week. Learn more: http://bit.ly/17JLXqA

(Pictured: Sandia’s Z Machine, Image by Randy Montoya)

Strange Behavior of the Sun's Iron Heart Surprises Scientists

A machine on Earth capable of recreating the conditions inside the sun’s heart is helping scientists study how iron behaves at mind-boggling temperatures. Recreating conditions inside the sun, with temperatures topping 3.9 billion degrees Fahrenheit (2.2 billion degrees Celsius), is no easy task, but it’s something scientists have been doing for a decade at the Z Machine at Sandia National Laboratory. “In high-energy-density physics, creating a temperature of 2 million degrees is not that uncommon,” John Bailey, a researcher at Sandia National Laboratory and a co-author on the new research, told Space.com. In the scientists’ most recent work, Bailey and his colleagues used the X-ray pulses to deliver a powerful jolt of energy to a small sample of iron, which then turns into an incredibly hot plasma, just like iron inside the sun. http://dlvr.it/85xHr6

Landmines have been called the worst form of pollution on earth. Some 60 people are maimed or killed by buried mines every day. The Red Cross estimates that 80-120 million landmines currently are deployed in 70 countries worldwide, with an average 40,000 new landmines deployed each week.

In many developing countries, thousands of acres of land lie unused because farmers are afraid to work their fields. Streams and other sources of water are littered with mines. In some countries professional mine prodders are paid a few dollars a day to carefully poke the soil every few inches with a metal probe checking for buried mines…..

Bromenshenk and his colleagues have shown that as bees forage for nectar and pollen, they attract particles of dust, soil, and pollen to their fuzzy, statically charged bodies and bring samples back to the hive. In doing so they provide a chemical survey of an area extending a mile or more from the hive in all directions.

"Bees are like flying dust mops," says Bromenshenk. "Wherever they go, they pick up dust, airborne chemicals, and other samples. If it’s out there, they’ll find it and bring it back."

All landmines leak small amounts of explosives into nearby soil or water. Sandia’s mine-detection research has focused on predicting what happens to mine-leaked vapors and residues and their chemical byproducts in the environment as they are adsorbed on soil particles, permeated or leached through soil, dissolved in water, and consumed by animals and plants. By modeling the “fate and transport” of explosives and understanding where they concentrate in the environment, the researchers are better able to detect their presence at lower levels and determine optimum conditions for detection…..


Bromenshenk has demonstrated that by providing a new bee colony with feeders tainted with a marker chemical, then gradually moving the feeders farther from the hive and eventually removing them, bees can be trained to forage wherever they smell the chemical. If bees can be trained to seek TNT, the Montana team may attach small diodes onto the backs of several hundred TNT-trained bees. Then, using a handheld radar tracking device, they will chart where those bees go to determine whether they tend to forage near the locations of known landmines.

Countering the worst form of pollution on earth
The ultimate goal of the project, says Bender, is to determine whether buried mines are present in large areas by establishing beehives near the suspected mines, monitoring bees’ flight activity, and analyzing hive samples.


Strange Behavior of the Sun's Iron Heart Surprises Scientists

A machine on Earth capable of recreating the conditions inside the sun’s heart is helping scientists study how iron behaves at mind-boggling temperatures. Recreating conditions inside the sun, with temperatures topping 3.9 billion degrees Fahrenheit (2.2 billion degrees Celsius), is no easy task, but it’s something scientists have been doing for a decade at the Z Machine at Sandia National Laboratory. “In high-energy-density physics, creating a temperature of 2 million degrees is not that uncommon,” John Bailey, a researcher at Sandia National Laboratory and a co-author on the new research, told Space.com. In the scientists’ most recent work, Bailey and his colleagues used the X-ray pulses to deliver a powerful jolt of energy to a small sample of iron, which then turns into an incredibly hot plasma, just like iron inside the sun. http://dlvr.it/83LXMG

Watch on brassbuck.tumblr.com

Thought yall might find this video interesting, a new scope system from Sandia National Labs that uses the same method of focus as the human eye, allows for low power actuation as well as near instantaneous zoom power change.

Nukulahr AEROPLaneess! Weeeh. Ok, got that out of my system. Ahem… I would love to see one of these built as a technology test bed, but not deployed to the front lines quite yet.

First off, we’re not 100% certain that they use a nuclear power plant on board the plane to accomplish these month long loiter times, but I’d say that is highly likely, considering the article points out that the leader of the project is a nuclear physicist. Assuming they do use a nuclear reactor on board….

Among the objections to this I’ve been reading in the comment threads, I can probably write off of few of them pretty quickly, and some of them I suppose would have to be answered by Sandia.

Objections:

1) The terrorists will hack into the drone, steal it, and use the reactor to build nuclear weapons.

I think this one can be safely answered… If they don’t use weapons grade material in the reactor, there is no issue. Also certain types of reactors can’t be used to build weapons. If they have a choice, I’m sure they are going with the non-weaponizable reactor.

2) In the event it crashes, it will create a nuclear explosion.

Ok, there could be local radiation at the crash site, but that’s about it. There wouldn’t be a nuclear explosion along the lines of Hiroshima. Additionally there are types of small reactors being discussed that in theory would have little to no radiation, like Thorium reactors. Maybe that is what they put in the design? In any case, the worst case is local radiation.

3) Terrorists could steal the crashed/stolen drone and explode it in New York as a dirty bomb.

Possibly, but there would be a ton of hurdles involved with this. Assuming they could smuggle the intact reactor away from the crash site without dying, they’d have to transport it across an ocean where anyone who comes within a certain distance of it would be exposed to radiation. If it the type of reactor that produces large amounts of radiation then there is nothing to move and explode in New York.

The other objections had to do with “how we do trust America?”, or “Obama is a war monger (seriously?)!!!”, and I’m just not going to bother with those.

Overall, nuclear propulsion could be a very exciting prospect assuming they get some of the problems they’ve had (since the 50s) resolved, and that is why I hope they build at least one of these so they can start checking how well their theories fit with reality.

JUST IN: Scientists Step Up Observation of Mantle Plumes

JUST IN: Scientists Step Up Observation of Mantle Plumes

http://earthchangesmedia.com/just-in-scientists-step-up-observation-of-mantle-plumes

Los Alamos and Sandia National Laboratories (SNL) have partnered to develop a 3-D model of the Earth’s mantle and crust called SALSA3D (Sandia-Los Alamos 3D). The purpose of this model is to assist in predicting earthquakes related to mantle and mantle plume activity.

In the past 100…

Los Alamos and Sandia…

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Sandia magnetized fusion technique produces significant results

Inertial confinement fusion creates nanosecond bursts of neutrons, ideal
for creating data to plug into supercomputer codes that test the U.S.
nuclear stockpile. Down the road, it could be useful as a source of
energy. Researchers at Sandia National Laboratories’ Z machine have
produced a significant output of fusion neutrons, using a method fully
functioning for only little more than a year. 

Read More - http://www.rdmag.com/news/2014/09/sandia-magnetized-fusion-technique-produces-significant-results

Something Better Than Money

Anyone who has ever faced the threat of being attacked with homemade explosives might owe Kevin Fleming a thank-you note.

He retired from Sandia National Laboratories not long ago, but before leaving he came up with what might be called a “disruptive technology” in US government jargon.

Mr. Fleming found a way to alter ammonium nitrate at the molecular level, and prevent it from being used as an oxidizer in explosives.

If his invention is adopted around the world, it’ll make the bad guys’ work much harder. And the rest of us much safer.

He could’ve patented his work and profited from it. But he felt that there is “something better than money.”

Today, on The New York Times At War: “One Man’s Attempt to Create a Fertilizer Compound That Won’t Explode.”

My thanks to:

  • Kevin Fleming, formerly of Sandia
  • Nancy Salem, Sandia Media Relations
  • David W. Small, JIEDDO
  • Dr. Eric J. Werner, Department of Chemistry, Biochemistry and Physics, the University of Tampa

Photo: Sandia scientists Vicki Chavez (l) and Kevin Fleming (r). Courtesy of Randy Montoya.