Laser tech is set to measure earthquake damage to buildings

A diagram illustrating how the Discrete Diode Position Sensor works

How safe would you feel, going back into a multi-story building that had just been through an earthquake? A new sensor system could allay your fears, as it optically measures how much a building has swayed, and thus how damaged it may be.

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Breakthrough forensic ID method can be applied to any strand of hair on the body

The LLNL team found that a single hair from anywhere on the human body can be ...

A team of scientists from Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory's (LLNL) Forensic Science Center (FSC) and Michigan State University are developing a method to identify a person from a single hair taken from anywhere on the human body. Based on the measurement of hair proteins, the test is designed to provide law enforcement with a new tool in sexual assault cases.

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Researchers want to store excess renewable energy as methane

One of the major drawbacks to renewable energy sources like wind and solar is that we don't have an effective way to store excess energy. When the wind blows, we might have more than enough energy to feed the grid, but we can't store the surplus. The...

How dying stars could reignite with help from enigmatic class of black hole

Simulations suggest that white dwarf stars could be reignited by a close encounter with an intermediate-mass ...

A white dwarf is one of the last stages of life for stars of a certain size, and it's all downhill from there – with no new source of energy, the object will gradually fade away into obscurity. But supercomputer simulations run by astronomers at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) suggest that these dying stars could be reignited by a close encounter with an enigmatic class of black hole.

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Safer explosives? It’s in the pores

Supercomputer simulations of shock-induced explosive reactions suggest that the structure of microscopic pores can significantly impact ...

In a move that will make demolition teams breathe a bit easier, scientists at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) are studying the structure of high explosives to find out how to make them safer. Based on microscopic examination and computer modeling, they have found that by engineering the porous microstructure of explosives, their sensitivity to detonation can be controlled.

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Remotely monitoring suspect nuclear reactors using antineutrinos

Detail of a possible configuration of the photomultiplier tube mounting structure for the WATCHMAN antineutrino detector

A consortium of American and British science institutions, led by the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL), is working on a way to use antineutrinos to remotely monitor nuclear reactors. Sponsored by the US Department of Energy's National Nuclear Security Administration, the Advanced Instrumentation Testbed (AIT) program is installing the 3,500-ton WATer CHerenkov Monitor of ANtineutrinos (WATCHMAN) detector in a 1,100-meter-deep (3,600 ft) mine located on the northeast coast of England as part of international nuclear weapon non-proliferation efforts.

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Category: Energy

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NASA’s plan to bat away Earth-bound asteroids

Scientists are putting some serious thought into how we might protect the Earth from potential asteroid ...

The odds of the Earth being hit by a large asteroid are extremely slim, but the potential damage is extremely large, so a partnership of scientists have been studying a conceptual spacecraft designed to deflect dangerous asteroids before they reach us. Called the Hypervelocity Asteroid Mitigation Mission for Emergency Response (HAMMER) vehicle, the 9-m (30-ft) tall, 8.8-ton spacecraft is a modular construct that can either ram an asteroid directly or act as a bomb carrier to deliver a nuclear warhead.

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Declassified nuclear detonation films released to the public for the first time

The newly released videos have never before been seen by the general public

Sixty-two newly declassified videos have just been released by the US government showing footage of atmospheric nuclear tests from the first half of the 20th century. The videos, never before seen by the general public, have been uploaded to YouTube, offering scientists and historians a fascinating new look at a time of extreme nuclear experimentation.

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Category: Physics

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