2021 Events Archive


Krepon Michael

Michael Krepon co-founded the Stimson Center in 1989. He served as Stimson’s President and CEO until 2000. He was appointed the University of Virginia’s Diplomat Scholar, where he taught from 2001-2010 while working at Stimson. Krepon will discuss his newly released publication, Winning and Losing the Nuclear Peace: The Rise, Demise, and Revival of Arms Control. Krepon is the author and editor of 22 books, most recently, Off Ramps from Confrontation in Southern Asia and The Lure and Pitfalls of MIRVs: From the First to the Second Nuclear Age.  He worked previously in the executive branch and on Capitol Hill. He received the Carnegie Endowment’s Award for lifetime achievement in non-governmental work to reduce nuclear dangers in 2015. 

Institutional Host: Thomas E. Mason, DIR, A100 
Technical Host: John M. Scott, NSIS
Colloquium Coordinator: Jeanette Gallegos, SRO, M714


2021 Schulthess Thomas

Thomas Schulthess

Data-driven discovery and modeling are as old as classical physics. While the principles of science have not changed, the technologies that emerged along with the rapid development in digitalization are transforming our work at all levels.

For decades, the use of ever more powerful computers in concert with observations and experiments has accelerated our ability to understand and predict complex physical phenomena. The internet has enabled the rapid exchange of information and global collaborations between scientists. But it is not until recently, with the development of native cloud technologies and machine learning, that high-performance computing and large-scale data analysis have become available to everyone. In this colloquium, we will focus on these recent developments and their potential impact on science.

ETH Zurich’s Thomas C. Schulthess covered these recent developments and their potential influence on science, opportunities for research infrastructures in general, and impacts on weather and climate modeling, where some of the most challenging extreme data and computing problems converge. 

Institutional Host: Thomas E. Mason, DIR
Technical Host: Irene Qualters, ALDSC
Colloquium Coordinator: Jeanette Gallegos, SRO

2020 Events Archive


Malow Brian

Mr. Brian Malow 
Science Comedian

If you drew a Venn Diagram featuring the two sets “science” and “comedy,” you might not expect to find much at their intersection. But Brian Malow draws on two decades as a stand-up comedian to help scientists communicate better with general audiences. In a presentation that promises to amuse and educate, Brian offers advice on various topics, including stage presence, connecting with audiences, using analogies, and abusing PowerPoint.

Host: Thom as E. Mason, DIR, A100 
Technical Host: David Moore, M -9: Shock and Detonation Physics, P952 
Colloquium Coordinator: Jeanet te Gallegos, SRO -CP

2019 Events Archive


Sauthoff Ned

Dr. Ned Sauthoff, Director 
US ITER Project

The study of self-heated (“burning”) plasmas is a major next step for magnetic fusion research. New features in burning plasmas include energetic alpha particles and fusion heating dominating the plasma behavior. ITER is an international partnership of China, Europe, India, Japan, Korea, Russia and the United States aimed at creating, understanding, and controlling such plasmas. ITER emerged from a 1985 summit, and an international agreement was approved in 2006/2007. Fabrication of ITER hardware is now well underway, and the buildings at the ITER site in France are nearly ready for the start of tokamak assembly and installation. First plasma is scheduled in 2025, and the start of nuclear operations in 2035. The talk will trace the evolution of the project, highlighting the approaches that have been taken to address both the technical challenges and the transformation of the international partnership into an effective integrated team.

Institutional Host: Thomas E. Mason, DIR, A100 
Technical Host: Don Rej, DDSTE, H809 
Colloquium Coordinator: Jeanette Gallegos, SRO-CP


Fromme Petra

Petra Fromme 
Biodesign Center for Applied Structural Discovery 
Biodesign Institute, Arizona State University

X-ray Free Electron Lasers (XFELs) have opened a new avenue for structural discovery of the function and dynamics of biomolecules. Processes in biology are highly dynamic, and the study of their dynamics is one of the grand challenges of structural biology, as most structures determined so far only provide a static picture of the molecule. Serial Femtosecond Crystallography (SFX) provides a novel concept for structure determination, where X-ray diffraction “snapshots” are collected from a fully hydrated stream of nanocrystals using femtosecond pulses from high-energy X-ray free-electron lasers (XFELs). The XFEL pulses are so strong that they destroy any solid material, but a femtosecond is so short (1 fs =10 -15 s) that X-ray damage is diminished, and diffraction from the crystals is observed before destruction takes effect.

Structural biology with XFELs allows data collection at near-physiological conditions at room temperature, thereby opening new avenues for the study of medically important proteins that could enhance structure-based drug design with SFX studies of medically important proteins. XFELs also open new avenues to determine molecular snapshots of biomolecules “in action.” In this talk, results are presented from recent experiments to study the dynamic processes in light-driven systems that includes photoreceptors as well as the key proteins in oxygenic photosynthesis Photosystem I and II.

The talk will also include a discussion on new avenues to study the dynamics of enzymes and receptors, which may play an important role in the development of new antibiotics. The talk will close with a prospective of the development of compact femto- and attosecond X-ray Sources at ASU (CXLS and CXFEL) and at DESY (AXSIS), which are highly synergistic to large XFELs and will in the future provide new opportunities to study the ultrafast dynamics of reactions with a combination of X-ray diffraction, X-ray spectroscopy and ultrafast optical spectroscopy.

Institutional Host: Thomas E. Mason, DIR, A100 
Technical Host: Julian C. Chen, B-11, H80 
Colloquium Coordinator: Jeanette Gallegos, SRO-CP


Simmard Sq

Caroline Simard 
Managing Director 
VMWare Women's Leadership Innovation Lab - Stanford University

Unlocking the potential of diversity for innovation in the workplace. This talk will provide a broad research overview of the relationship between team diversity and innovation. The presentation will discuss how bias and power dynamics act as a barrier to our ability to generate new ideas and will discuss research-based solutions to create more inclusive workplaces.

Institutional Host: Thomas E. Mason, DIR, A100 
Technical Host: John Sarrao, DDSTE, A127 
Colloquium Coordinator: Jeanette Gallegos, SRO-CP


Fink Mathias

Mathias Fink 
George Charpak Professor 
Langevin Institute 

Can we make a wave relive its past life? The development of "time reversal mirrors" for different types of waves: sound, ultrasonic, electromagnetic, light and even water waves has made it possible to experimentally test time reversibility in varied propagation environments and regimes. These instruments not only shed new light on the problem of the irreversibility of time, but they also provide original solutions to wave control in complex environments and imaging of these environments. The objective of this talk is to show how this concept can be turned into a huge source of innovations and successful start-up companies with applications in medicine, telecommunications, human-machine interface and defense.

Institutional Host: Thomas E. Mason, DIR, A100 
Technical Host: Paul Johnson, EES-17:Geophysics, D446 
Colloquium Coordinator: Jeanette Gallegos, SRO-CP


Aaronson Scott

Scott Aaronson 
American Theoretical Computer Scientist
David J. Bruton Jr. Centennial Professor of Computer Science-University of Texas at Austin

One of the most basic questions at the intersection of computer science and physics is: can NP-complete problems-- a famous class of hard problems that includes the Traveling Salesman Problem-- be efficiently solved using the resources of the physical world?  I'll survey the status of this question in 2019, touching on the P vs. NP problem; analog computing using soap bubbles, protein folding, and more; the theoretical capabilities and the realizability of quantum computers; and proposals for going even beyond quantum computers, based on quantum field theories, quantum gravity, closed time like curves, and various hypothetical modifications to quantum mechanics.

Institutional Host: Thomas E. Mason, DIR, A100 
Technical Host: Rolando Somma, T-4: Phys of Condensed Matter & Complex Systems 
Colloquium Coordinator: Jeanette Gallegos, SRO-CP


Lunine Jonathan

Jonathan Lunine 
David C. Duncan Professor - Physical Sciences at Cornell University 
Director - Cornell Center for Astrophysics and Planetary Science

The solar system’s ocean worlds host stable, globe-girdling bodies of liquid water— “oceans”—on or beneath their surfaces. The Galileo orbiter at Jupiter and Cassini at Saturn discovered subsurface water oceans on Europa, Enceladus and Titan, and surface methane seas on the last of these. For Enceladus, remarkably, we know the basic composition of the ocean, infer the presence of hydrothermal processes at the ocean’s base, and have evidence for an organic-rich layer at the ice-ocean interface. Looking for life in these fascinating worlds will entail a different strategy for each of them, but the techniques for doing so exist now and are, in many cases, already qualified for flight.

Institutional Host: Thomas E. Mason, DIR, A100 
Technical Host: Christopher Lee, T-2, B283
Colloquium Coordinator: Jeanette Gallegos, SRO, M714


Zank Gary

Gary P. Zank
Director - University of Alabama, Center for Space Plasma and Aeronomic Research

Both Voyager 1 and Voyager 2 have now entered the very local interstellar medium (VLISM), a moment of great historical import. We describe the Voyager 1 and 2 magnetic field, plasma, energetic particle, and plasma wave and radio emission observations, the initial uncertainty surrounding a possible crossing of the heliopause Voyager 1, and the eventual clarification by the Voyager 1 Plasma Waves Analyzer. Some of the basic physics of the nature of the interaction between the Sun’s supersonic expanding atmosphere and the partially ionized interstellar medium will be described. We will describe our very first in situ observations of the interstellar medium and some of the puzzles that are emerging. Finally, some irreverent thoughts about how science is done will conclude the presentation. 

Institutional Host: Thomas E. Mason, DIR, A100
Technical Host: Fan Guo, T-2, B227
Colloquium Coordinator: Jeanette Gallegos, SRO, M714

2018 Events Archive


Boebinger Greg Sq

Greg Boebinger
Director - National High Magnetic Field Laboratory

All materials are fundamentally quantum mechanical, yet the designation “Quantum Matter” has come to encompass the wide range of materials in which the peculiarities of quantum mechanics gives rise to unusual – and still not understood – materials properties. Because the interaction of matter with magnetic fields is inherently quantum mechanical, high-magnetic-field research is uniquely positioned to probe the mysteries of the heart of Quantum Matter. We define this research frontier as the regime where the fundamental properties of the electron, its intrinsic electric charge and spin (its own magnetic field) conspire in strange and wonderful ways. Examples include the creation of 1/3 fractional electric charges, to creation of a “spin liquid,” in which electron charges are immobile, but electron spins are free to move, to the creation of a new type of superconductivity, in which the very existence of electrons as particles seems to no longer apply. We will highlight research using the world-unique capabilities of LANL’s Pulsed Magnetic Field Facility – one of the brightest gems of the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory. 

Institutional Host: Thomas E. Mason, DIR
Technical Host: Marcelo Jaime, MPA-MAG
Colloquium Coordinator: Jeanette Gallegos


Kosterlitz Michael Sq

Michael Kosterlitz
Harrison E. Farnsworth Professor of Physics-Brown University
Nobel Laureate 

This talk reviews some of the applications of topology and topological defects in phase transitions in two-J. Michael Kosterlitz dimensional systems. In general, topology refers to certain properties of a system or a material remaining unchanged during continuous deformation.  Topological defects are ubiquitous in nature and include vortices, specific type of domain walls, etc.  They often result from a phase transition and can affect the electronic, magnetic and other properties of a system or material in unusual ways. The theoretical predictions and experimental verification in two dimensional superfluids, superconductors and crystals will be reviewed because they not only provide very convincing quantitative agreement with topological defect theories but also facilitate novel insights into the underlying physics. 

Institutional Host: Terry C. Wallace Jr., Director
Technical Host: Avadh Behari Saxena, T-4: Physics of Condensed Matter & Systems 
Colloquium Coordinator: Jeanette Gallegos, SRO-CP


Mcdonald Art Sq

Art B. McDonald
Queen’s University, Kingston, Canada

By going 2 kilometers underground and creating an ultra-clean laboratory it is possible to address some very fundamental questions about our Universe: How does the Sun burn? What are the dark matter particles making up 27% of our Universe? What are the properties of neutrinos, elusive particles that are one of the fundamental building blocks of nature? Using the Sudbury Neutrino Observatory (SNO), with substantial participation of LANL scientists, we were able to observe new properties of neutrinos that go beyond the Standard Model of elementary particles and also confirm that the models of how the Sun burns are very accurate. A description of the science associated with SNO and its relation to other neutrino measurements will be given, along with a discussion of the new set of experiments that are at various stages of development or operation at SNOLAB. These experiments will measure neutrino properties and seek direct detection of Weakly-Interacting Massive Particles (WIMPS) as Dark Matter candidates.

Institutional Host: Terry C. Wallace Jr., Director
Technical Host: Keith Rielage, P-23: Neutron Science & Technology<br/Colloquium Coordinator: Jeanette Gallegos, SRO-CP


Orr Lynn Sq

Lynn Orr
Stanford University 
Former Under Secretary for Science and Energy, US Dept of Energy

Nations that create diversified, secure, efficient, abundant, cost-effective and clean energy supplies will lead to international economic competition in this century. The challenge is to provide energy technologies that protect the climate, air, and water quality, are deployable at large scale, and are fully cost-competitive. The US can lead the required transition given deep scientific capability and engineering expertise distributed across research institutions, including universities, industry, and the DOE national labs, where their ability to assemble expert interdisciplinary teams to attack hard problems is of great value. This talk reviews the rich opportunity space for innovation that will allow our well-stocked portfolio of R&D players to enable the needed transition

Institutional Host: Terry C. Wallace Jr., Director
Technical Host: Gowri Srinivasan, XCP-8
Colloquium Coordinator: Jeanette Gallegos, SRO-CP


Murtagh William Sq

William Murtagh
National Oceanic and Administration-Space Weather Prediction Center

Space weather is a naturally occurring phenomenon that can disrupt the technology that forms the backbone of this country’s economic vitality and national security, including the electric power grid, satellite and airline operations, communications networks, and navigation systems. In response, the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, working with other agencies in the Executive Office of the President and across the Federal government, is coordinating activities to enhance national space-weather preparedness by coordinating, integrating, and expanding on existing policy efforts. Key to these efforts is improving the understanding of space weather in an effort to increase the accuracy, reliability, and timeliness of space-weather forecasts. In this presentation, I will address how our improved understanding of severe space weather storms motivated action at the highest levels of government and will address the scientific challenges we face in our efforts to advance our prediction capability and preparedness efforts to enhance the Nation’s resilience against severe space-weather.

Institutional Host: Terry C. Wallace Jr., Director
Technical Host: Heidi A. Hahn, ADE: Engineering Sciences
Colloquium Coordinator: Jeanette Gallegos, SRO-CP


Altwegg Kathrin Sq

Dr. Kathrin Altwegg
Professor Emeritus
Principal Investigator for the Rosina INstrument on the Rosetta Mission (ESA)

After more than 12 years, the Rosetta spacecraft crash-landed on comet Churyumov-Gerasimenko on September 30, 2016. It has traveled billions of kilometers just to study a small (4 km diameter), black boulder named 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. The results of this mission now seem to fully justify the time and money spent in the last decades on this endeavor. In the talk, I will look back on the craziest mission ever flown by the European Space Agency and point out its technical challenges and scientific highlights. I will show how the results of this mission change our understanding of the formation of the solar system, the Earth and finally, life itself.

Institutional Host: Reinhard Hans Walter Friedel, NSEC 
Technical Host: Nina Louise Lanza, ISR-2 
Colloquium Coordinator: Jeanette Gallegos, SRO-CP


Dunne Mike Sq

Mike Dunne 
Director LCLS SLAC National Acceleratory Laboratory-Stanford University

The Linac Coherent Light Source (LCLS) is the world’s first hard x-ray-free electron laser facility. The x-rays produced by LCLS are a billion times brighter than can be produced by conventional sources, such as a synchrotron, and are delivered in ultrafast bursts – typically a few tens of femtoseconds (10 -15 seconds). This opens up revolutionary opportunities for the study of novel states of matter, quantum materials, ultrafast chemistry, structural biology, and plasma physics. Since its initial operation in 2009, LCLS has enabled a remarkable series of studies, via its ability to provide atomic resolution information, with freeze-frame ‘movies’ of how atomic, chemical and biological systems evolve on ultrafast timescales. Based on this success, a major upgrade project is now underway that will increase the repetition rate by four orders of magnitude and open up entirely new scientific opportunities. Access to LCLS is open to everyone, based purely on the scientific merit of the proposed experiments. This talk will provide an introduction to technology and science aimed to inspire new ideas for how researchers can take advantage of this remarkable science facility!

Institutional Host: Terry C. Wallace Jr., Director 
Technical Host: Cris Barnes, MARIE 
Colloquium Coordinator: Jeanette Gallegos, SRO-CP

2017 Events Archive


Sambridge Malcolm

Malcolm Sambridge

The concept of sparsity, emptiness, zero or nothing has a long history in the development of civilizations and our understanding of the world about us. By grappling with what is not can have surprising benefits for understanding what is. Some modern results from mathematics have shown that exploiting the concept of sparsity leads to powerful new ways to make physical measurements and also solve previously intractable problems in building models from indirect data. The solution to such inverse problems is of considerable interest in the Earth Sciences because many Earth properties and processes are not directly observable, and so to constrain them, one must rely on indirect measurements. An example is estimating properties of the Earth at depth from surface geophysical observables or constraining past Earth processes from geochemical signatures seen today. 

The new results suggest that under the right circumstances exploiting sparsity may be a generally powerful approach to solving previously intractable ill-posed problems. This talk will briefly chart the history of nothing and show the power of nothing through a series of novel examples. It will conclude by outlining a possible way forward for utilizing sparsity in geophysical inversion.

Institutional Host: Charles F. McMillan, Director
Technical Host: Carene Larmat, EES-17
Colloquium Coordinator: Jeanette Gallegos, SRO-CP


Romanowicz Barbara Sq

Prof. Barbara Romanowicz
Chair of Physics of the Earth's Interior-U.C. Berkeley and College de France, Paris

Earthquakes, tsunamis, and volcanic eruptions – all are dramatic consequences of plate tectonics with important societal impacts. They remind us of the powerful internal forces that drive the motions of plates at the surface of the earth. In order to understand flow patterns in the earth's mantle, seismic imaging, which uses seismic waves generated by natural earthquakes to illuminate the earth's internal structure, is an ever-improving tool for mapping regions of upwelling and downwelling flow (i.e., "plumes" and "slabs"). Seismic imaging has been greatly facilitated in recent years by access to high-performance computing. I will illustrate how ever-sharper global scale images inform our thinking about mantle dynamics.

Institutional Host: Charles F. McMillan, Director
Technical Host: Paul Johnson, EES-17 
Colloquium Coordinator: Jeanette Gallegos, SRO-CP

2016 Events Archive


Rodriquez Gabriela Sq

Dr. Gabriela Gonzalez
Spokesperson, lIGO Scientific Collaboration

On September 14, 2015, the two LIGO gravitational wave detectors in Hanford, Washington and Livingston, Louisiana, registered a nearly simultaneous signal with time-frequency properties consistent with gravitational-wave emission by the merger of two massive compact objects. Further analysis of the signals by the LIGO Scientific Collaboration and the Virgo Collaboration revealed that the gravitational waves detected by LIGO came from the merger of a binary black hole (BBH) system. This observation marked the beginning of gravitational-wave astronomy. 

I will describe the details of the observation, the status of LIGO and Virgo ground-based interferometric detectors, and prospects for future observations.

Institutional Host: Charles F. McMillan, Director
Technical Host: Diego Dalvit, T-4
Colloquium Coordinator: Jeanette Gallegos, SRO-CP


Lockyer Nigel Sq

Nigel Lockyer
Laboratory Director-FermiLab

Particle physics is one of the most basic of curiosity-driven sciences. Collecting the global community together worldwide to begin the process of having a truly worldwide plan for large particle physics facilities is underway. The field of particle physics has always been international, as evidenced by the Tevatron collider at Fermilab, the Large Hadron Collider at CERN and the bottom quark “factory” in Japan, where thousands of scientists from nearly 100 countries have worked together in unison. However, the next generation of projects will take the field a step further. The complexity of the technologies and not to mention substantial cost are driving the field further in this direction. Interestingly, these complex international relationships dramatically cross national boundaries. The common goal of scientific discovery overrides differences. The complex sociology and intricate organizations where all scientists from across the planet seamlessly work together amazes politicians. Sometimes the countries working together are not normally “best of friends.” Working together is the only way for particle physics to advance.

Institutional Host: Charles F. McMillan, Director
Technical Host: John Sarrao, ADTSC/Rajan Gupta, T-2
Colloquium Coordinator: Jeanette Gallegos, SRO-CP


Pellegrino Claudio Sq

Claudio Pellegrini
Department of Physics and Astronomy-UCLA and SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory

A revolution in accelerator-based X-ray facilities is increasing the available X-ray brilliance and coherence by approximately ten orders of magnitude compared to previous synchrotron sources. The revolution is being enabled by a new generation of sources known as X-ray free-electron lasers (X-FELs). XFELs generate high-intensity coherent photon pulses at wavelengths from nanometers to less than 1 Å and duration of a few to 100 femtosecond. They allow for the first time the study of X-ray non-linear science and the exploration of the structure and dynamics of atomic, molecular, and solid-state systems at the angstrom-femtosecond space and time scale. 

I will review the physical principle, present status and future developments of X-FELs like the world’s first hard X-ray FEL the Linac Coherent Light Source (LCLS), at SLAC in California. I will discuss some of the breakthrough experiments in physics (achieving hard X-ray lasing in XFEL pumped atoms), chemistry (obtaining ultrafast molecular dynamics ‘movies’), material sciences (imaging strain dynamically in materials on the nanoscale) and structural biology (dynamic crystallography of biological function) that have been done at LCLS during the first five years of operation. The success of the LCLS has spurred a rush worldwide to build XFELs, including SACLA at Spring-8 in Japan, the European XFEL, the Swiss FEL, PAL in Korea, and many others planned or under construction, including the planned MaRIE facility at Los Alamos.

Institutional Host: Charles F. McMillan, Director
Technical Host: Richard Sandberg, MPA-CINT/Richard Sheffield, MARIE-POColloquium Coordinator: Jeanette Gallegos, SRO-CP


Shramm Carl Sq

Carl Schramm
American Economist
Former President and CEO of Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation

The role of the entrepreneur in society is all-important yet poorly understood. Economists failed to measure the number of newly created firms until the Kauffman index appeared in 2006! Not until research published as late as 2010 was the link between new firms and job creation established. We now know that eight in ten new jobs arise in firms less than five years old. Lost between micro- and macro-economic inquiry is the “creative destruction” brought on by entrepreneurs who deliver a disproportionate share of innovation in the economy, perhaps, when leveraged in successive innovation applications, as much as twenty-five percent! Yet, relative to historic benchmarks, the number of new firms started each year is falling and rapidly. The lecture will explain the causes, including the deemphasis of classical training in math and sciences, and examine the economic and social implications. Building on the insight that chronic low-growth is a recursive phenomenon, the lecture will propose a “planned disequilibrium” model intended to stimulate innovation and firm formation, one that modifies the theory of the firm. The particular potential of national laboratories, institutions operating apart from the pressures and constraints that shape corporate and university research, will be discussed.

Institutional Host: Charles F. McMillan, Director
Technical Host: Carol Burns, PADSTE/David Pesiri, FCI-DO
Colloquium Coordinator: Jeanette Gallegos, SRO-CP


Cordova France Sq

France Córdova
Director-National Science Foundation
President Emerita-Purdue University

For more than six decades, the National Science Foundation has been empowering discoveries across a broad spectrum of scientific inquiry. It is the only federal agency dedicated to the support of basic research and education in all fields of science and engineering. NSF funds trailblazers, keeping the U.S. at the leading edge of discovery from astronomy to geology to zoology, at scales from quarks to the cosmos. Among NSF’s most exciting discoveries was its recent announcement that scientists have observed gravitational waves on the Earth for the first time, confirming a major prediction of Albert Einstein's 1915 general theory of relativity. Since the early ‘70s, NSF has been funding the science and technology that made this discovery possible. The Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) was the largest investment NSF had ever made – and among its biggest risks. NSF is the agency that takes these kinds of risks, investing when the path to discovery is anything but clear. NSF Director, Dr. France Córdova, will talk about the importance of investing in basic research; policy, priority and budget challenges in the federal ecosystem; the societal impact of NSF’s investments; and opportunities for further discoveries in science through partnerships of NSF with DOE labs.

Institutional Host: Charles F. McMillan, Director
Technical Host: Mary Hockaday, ADEPS
Colloquium Coordinator: Jeanette Gallegos, SRO-CP


Baker David Sq

David Baker
Professor of Biochemistry-University of Washington 
Investigator-Howard Hughes Medical Institute

Proteins mediate the critical processes of life and beautifully solve the challenges faced during the evolution of modern organisms. Our goal is to design a new generation of proteins that address current-day problems not faced during evolution. In contrast to traditional protein engineering efforts, which have focused on modifying naturally occurring proteins, we design new proteins from scratch based on Anfinsen’s principle that proteins fold to their global free energy minimum. We compute amino acid sequences predicted to fold into proteins with new structures and functions, produce synthetic genes encoding these sequences, and characterize them experimentally. I will describe the design of ultra-stable idealized proteins, flu neutralizing proteins, high-affinity ligand binding proteins, and self-assembling protein nanomaterials. I will also describe the contributions of the general public to these efforts through the distributed computing project Rosetta@Home and the online protein folding and design game Foldit.

Institutional Host: Charles F. McMillan, Director
Technical Host: Charlie Strauss, B-10
Colloquium Coordinator: Jeanette Gallegos, SRO-CP


Yakov Ben Haim Sq

Yakov Ben-Haim
Faculty of Mechanical Engineering-Technion-Israel Institute of Technology

History is full of surprises: the Fukushima tsunami and nuclear disaster (March 2011), the Arab Spring and fall of Ben Ali in Tunisia and Mubarak in Egypt (January to April 2011), Russian annexation of Crimea (March 2014), diagnostic contact lenses and 3D printed cars are just a few recent examples. Uncertainty, ignorance, and the potential for surprise are all unbounded, and the unknown future is a major challenge in strategic planning and policy prioritization. There is a moral imperative to do one's best when making high-consequence decisions. However, our understanding is often wrong, and we are frequently surprised by innovations and events. Using our faulty models in trying to optimize policy outcomes is infeasible, even irresponsible. The practical implication of severe uncertainty is that we must ask: What outcomes are required? What performance is essential? How can we be robust against surprise? We consider two examples: the paradox of optimal learning and the US decision to invade Iraq in 2003.

Institutional Host: Charles F. McMillan, Director
Technical Host: Monty Vesslinov, EES-16
Colloquium Coordinator: Jeanette Gallegos, SRO-CP


Laman Tim Sq

Tim Laman
Field Biologist and Wildlife Photojournalist

New Guinea is the largest tropical island in the world and also the most mountainous, with a central mountain range exceeding 4800 meters. It is also the land of the incredible family of birds known as the Birds-of-Paradise, renowned for their extraordinary plumes and courtship behaviors that have evolved through the process of sexual selection. The family includes 39 highly varied species that range from lowland forests to the upper alpine zone near tree-line at over 3000 meters, but they are most diverse in montane forests of middle elevations. In a series of 18 expeditions “for National Geographic” carried out over an eight-year period, Tim Laman and collaborator Edwin Scholes visited 51 different field sites to document all the species of Birds-of-Paradise for the first time with photography and video recordings. In this presentation, Tim will relate some of the highlights of their discoveries and adventures and also discuss the effects of climate change on tropical montane forests in New Guinea and how as temperatures rise, forest zones appear to be shifting uphill. As high montane birds get pushed uphill, they may literally get pushed off the tops of mountains as all their habitat disappears.

Institutional Host: Charles F. McMillan, Director
Technical Host: Carl Gable, EES-16
Colloquium Coordinator: Jeanette Gallegos, SRO-CP

2015 Events Archive


Glauber Roy Sq

Roy Glauber
Nobel Laureate

Recruited for the Manhattan Project from Harvard University at the age of eighteen, Roy Glauber arrived in Los Alamos in 1943. He has described his ride from Santa Fe up to “the Hill” with fellow passenger, John von Neumann, as “an incredible mixture of visual thrills and intellectual enigmas.” One of the youngest scientists brought to the Secret City to work on the development of the first nuclear weapons, Glauber did calculations of the critical mass for the atom bomb in the Theoretical Division directed by Hans Bethe. He went on to complete his bachelor’s degree and Ph.D. at Harvard University and is currently the Harvard Mallinckrodt Professor of Physics. Glauber was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics in 2005 for his contribution to the quantum theory of optical coherence. In his Director’s Colloquium, Professor Glauber will speak on his memories of life and work at Los Alamos during the Manhattan Project, including his insightful and often humorous personal recollections of J. Robert Oppenheimer, Richard Feynman, and the other luminaries with whom he worked and developed friendships.


Roy Jay Glauber graduated from the Bronx High School of Science in New York in 1941. As early as 1939, he had built a spectroscope that was exhibited by the American Institute at the New York World’s Fair of 1939/40. He started his undergraduate studies at Harvard University in 1941, the pace of which quickly accelerated after the United States entered the war in December 1941. In 1943 he filled out a questionnaire sent out by the National Roster of Scientific Personnel, and in October of that year, “a stranger in a dark suit” tracked him down in the Harvard Physics Department to ask him if he would be interested in joining a new project “out west.” After his work on calculating the critical mass for the Manhattan Project, he returned to Harvard to complete his bachelor’s degree in 1946 and later became a graduate student under the mentorship of Julian Schwinger. After receiving his Ph.D. in 1949, he was invited by J. Robert Oppenheimer to work at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, and during the early 1950’s, he also worked with Wolfgang Pauli and taught quantum mechanics at the California Institute of Technology. From his Nobel Prize biographical, “Oppy found me a teaching position. It was only a temporary one, replacing Feynman at Caltech. Feynman was to spend the year in Brazil, where by his own account, he worked hard on the bongo drums, and Caltech needed someone to teach quantum mechanics.” Since 1952 he has been on the faculty at Harvard, where he is currently the Mallinckrodt Professor of Physics. Professor Glauber has made pioneering contributions to several areas of research, including quantum optics and electrodynamics, high-energy collision theory, hadron physics, and statistical correlations of particles produced in high-energy reactions. Among his many awards are the Albert A. Michelson Medal from the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia in 1985; the Max Born Award from the Optical Society of America also in 1985; the Dannie Heineman Prize for Mathematical Physics from the American Physical Society in 1996; and the Gold Medal from Spain’s National Research Council in 2008. In 2005 he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics “for his contribution to the quantum theory of optical coherence.” This caused him that year to miss the Ig Nobel Prize ceremony, where each year, as “Keeper of the Broom,” he swept away the paper airplanes thrown at the event!

Institutional Host: Charles F. McMillan, Director
Technical Host: Diego Dalvit and Peter Malonni, T-4
Colloquium Coordinator: Jeanette Gallegos, SRO-CP


Preskill John Sq

John Preskill

The quantum laws governing atoms and other tiny objects seem to defy common sense, and information encoded in quantum systems has weird properties that baffle our feeble human minds. John Preskill will explain why he loves quantum entanglement, the elusive feature making quantum information fundamentally different from the information in the macroscopic world. By exploiting quantum entanglement, quantum computers should be able to solve otherwise intractable problems, with far-reaching applications to cryptology, materials, and fundamental physical science. Preskill is less weird than a quantum computer and easier to understand.

Institutional Host: Charles F. McMillan, Director
Technical Host: Rajan Gupta, T-2
Colloquium Coordinator: Jeanette Gallegos, SRO-CP


Roukes Michael Sq

Michael Roukes
Robert M. Abbey Professor of Physics, Applied Physics, and Bioengineering-California Institute of Technology

In 2011, six U.S. scientists from different disciplines banded together to outline a vision [1], and managed to convince the Obama administration of the unprecedented opportunity that now exists to launch a coordinated, large-scale effort to map brain activity. This culminated in the U.S. BRAIN Initiative (Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies), which was launched in 2013. Our vision was predicated on the current level of maturity of diverse fields of nanotechnology that, for the first time, can now be coalesced to realize powerful new tools for neuroscience. I will outline the assertions we made and focus on our own collaborative efforts toward these goals – at Caltech and beyond – to realize this exciting potential.

Institutional Host: Charles F. McMillan, Director
Technical Host: Robert Ecke, T-CNLS
Colloquium Coordinator: Jeanette Gallegos, SRO-CP

2014 Events Archive


Foster Ian

Ian Foster

We have made much progress over the past decade toward harnessing the collective power of IT resources distributed across the globe. In high-energy physics, astronomy, and climate, thousands work daily within virtual computing systems with global scope. But we now face a far greater challenge: Exploding data volumes and powerful simulation tools mean that many more--ultimately most?--researchers will soon require capabilities not so different from those used by such big-science teams. How are we to meet these needs? Must every lab be filled with computers, and every researcher become an IT specialist? Perhaps the solution is rather to move research IT out of the lab entirely: to leverage the “cloud” (whether private or public) to achieve economies of scale and reduce cognitive load. In this talk, I explore the past, current, and potential future of large-scale outsourcing and automation for science.

Institutional Host: Charles F. McMillan, Director
Colloquium Coordinator: Jeanette Gallegos, SRO-CP


Bock James

James Bock

No abstract is available.

Institutional Host: Charles F. McMillan, Director
Colloquium Coordinator: Jeanette Gallegos, SRO-CP


Beutler Butler

Bruce Beutler
UT Southwestern Medical Center

The laboratory mouse has 22,804 protein-encoding genes, but the function of most of them remains unknown. How do geneticists identify the function of genes? Classically, by damaging them at random with X-rays, chemical mutagens, or viruses, and looking for resulting abnormalities: defects of development, behavior, metabolism, immunity, or any other process of interest. In tracking down a mutation that causes a specific abnormality, one learns the function of a single gene. But this process has historically been slow and arduous, often lasting years. We have devised a new method for instantaneous identification of mutations that cause phenotype. This method has greatly accelerated resolution of gene function. About 1,400 mutations can be tested each week in screens probing most aspects of mammalian immunity.

Institutional Host: Charles F. McMillan, Director
Technical Host: Andrew Bradbury, B-10
Colloquium Coordinator: Jeanette Gallegos, SRO-CP


Anderson James Sq

James G. Anderson
Harvard University

The key irrefutable evidence for irreversible change in the Earth’s climate structure lies in the high Arctic. This observed loss of ice volume from the Arctic Ocean, displayed in Figure 1, is of critical importance from at least two perspectives. First, it represents a profound, irreversible change that cannot be denied, and because of the potent feedback accelerating further loss of ice, there is no known mechanism for reversing the flow of heat into the ice system on timescales relevant for societal response. Second, the loss of the cold, icebound Arctic represents the trigger for a cascade of feedback that couple the loss of Arctic ice to a sequence of important changes to the global climate structure, as displayed in Figure 2. Casting these feedbacks in the context of irreversible climate change will be addressed in the presentation, as will new experimental strategies for investigating the mechanisms that determine the time scales for irreversible change.

Institutional Host: Charles F. McMillan, Director
Technical Host: Manvendra Dubey, EES-14
Colloquium Coordinator: Jeanette Gallegos, SRO-CP


Toyoshima M

Dr. M. Toyoshima

Next-generation high-performance space-borne sensors have greatly increased the amount of data communications needed from satellites, but most satellites still communicate the same way the earliest satellites did: using radio frequency (RF) communications. For Earth-observing research, exploration of the Moon and Mars, or disaster recovery, data rates of several tens of gigabits per second are needed to and from Earth to spacecraft. This cannot be achieved using RF communications. These high rates, however, are possible using optical communications. The major advantages of an optical system over a conventional RF system include:

  1. A small antenna (telescope)
  2. Less mass, power, and volume
  3. The intrinsic narrow-beam and high-gain nature of lasers
  4. No regulatory restrictions for frequency use and bandwidth

In addition, the system’s narrow beams are basically immune to jamming and interception or detection by adverse parties. In this talk, I will discuss the work of Japan’s National Institute of Information and Communications Technology (NICT) to make space laser communications a reality, including an exciting upcoming test of space-to-ground laser communication and a basic measurement for quantum key distribution that will entail a “micro-satellite.” We enter the era when space-based laser communications can be used in an operational environment – even on a micro-satellite!


Lanzerotti Louis Sq

Louis J. Lanzerotti
Distinguished Research Professor of Physics, New Jersey Institute of Technology
Alcatel-Lucent Bell Laboratories (Retired Distinguished Member of Technical Staff)

Revolutionary advances have occurred in electrical technologies over the last century and a half – from communications to navigation, prospecting, and the electrical grids spanning continents. Since the development of the electrical telegraph in the 1840s, space weather processes have affected the design, implementation and operation of many of these engineered systems, at first on Earth and now in space. As the complexity of such systems increases, and as humans have ventured beyond Earth’s surface, both human-built systems and humans themselves become more vulnerable to the effects of Earth’s space environment – an environment driven by processes originating in the Sun.

Institutional Host: Charles F. McMillan, Director
Technical Host: Vania Jordanova, ISR-1
Colloquium Coordinator: Jeanette Gallegos, SRO-CP

2013 Events Archive


Atwater Harry Sq

Harry Atwater
Howard Hughes Professor and Professor of Applied Physics and Materials Science
California Institute of Technology.

Ever since serious scientific thinking went into improving the efficiency of photovoltaic energy conversion more than 50 years ago, thermodynamics has been used to assess the limits to performance, guiding advances in materials science and photovoltaic technology. Photovoltaics have advanced considerably, resulting in single-junction solar cells with a record efficiency of 28.8% and multi-junction cells with an efficiency of 44%. As impressive as these advances are, these record efficiencies and also today’s manufactured cell efficiencies in the 10–18% range fall far short of the thermodynamic limits. Why such a large gap? There is no fundamental reason, and in this lecture, I will discuss methods for systematically addressing the efficiency losses in current photovoltaics through micro-and nanoscale light management that can enable a next phase of photovoltaic science and engineering – ultrahigh efficiency photovoltaics. This development takes advantage of recent advances in the control of light trapping and emission at the nanometer and micron length scales, coupled with emerging spectrum splitting optical design and materials fabrication approaches that will allow the development of photovoltaics with efficiencies in the 50–70% range.


Pierrebumbert Ray Sq

Ray Pierrehumbert
Louis Block Professor in Geophysical Sciences at the University of Chicago
Professor-Geophysical Sciences-University of Chicago

Although carbon dioxide emissions are by far the most important mediator of anthropogenic climate disruption, a number of shorter-lived substances with atmospheric lifetimes of under a few decades also contribute significantly to the radiative forcing which drives climate change. In recent years, the argument that early and aggressive mitigation of the emission of these substances or their precursors forms an essential part of any climate protection strategy has gained a considerable following. The prime targets for mitigation, known collectively as "short-lived climate pollution" (SLCP), are methane, hydrofluorocarbons (HFC), black carbon and ozone. A re-examination of the issues shows that the benefits of early SLCP mitigation have been greatly exaggerated. There is little to be gained by implementing SLCP mitigation before stringent carbon dioxide controls are in place and have caused annual emissions to approach zero. Any earlier implementation of SLCP mitigation that substitutes to any significant extent for carbon dioxide mitigation will lead to a climate irreversibly warmer than a strategy with delayed SLCP mitigation.


Graetzel Michael Sq

Michael Graetzel
Professor - Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne

Learning from the concepts used in green plants photosynthesis, we have developed nanostructured systems affording efficient solar light harvesting and conversion into electricity and fuels. Solar cells using dyes or semiconducting pigment particles as light harvesters supported by mesoscopic oxide scaffolds have emerged as credible contenders to conventional p-n junction photovoltaics. Dye-sensitized mesoscopic solar cells (DSSCs) were the first to employ a three-dimensional nanocrystalline junction and achieved currently a solar to electric power conversion efficiency (PCE) of 12.3 %. Recently, the use of perovskite pigments as light harvesters in solid-state mesoscopic devices has allowed increasing the PCE to 15 %. This performance, along with excellent long-term stability, has fostered the first commercial applications, with the production capacity attaining several MW/year currently. The direct generation of fuels, such as hydrogen from water and sunlight, has furthermore been achieved by the judicious design of photosystems composed of nanostructured Fe2O3 or Cu2O films.


Whitman Marina Sq

Marina Whitman
Professor-University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business/Gerald R.Ford School of Public Policy

One of the five Hungarian scientific geniuses dubbed “the Martians” by their colleagues, John von Neumann, was often hailed as the greatest mathematician of the 20th century and even as the greatest scientist after Einstein. He was a key figure in the Manhattan project, the inventor of game theory, the pioneer developer of the modern stored-program electronic computer, and, right up until his death, an adviser to the top echelons of the American military establishment. In The Martian’s Daughter, Marina von Neumann Whitman reveals intimate details about the famed scientist and explores how the cosmopolitan environment in which she was immersed, the demanding expectations of her parents, and her own struggles to emerge from the shadow of a larger-than-life parent shaped her life and work.

Whitman quotes from personal letters from her father and describes her interactions with such public figures as Roger Smith of GM and President Nixon. She also details the difficulties she encountered as an early entrant into a world dominated by men and how she overcame the obstacles to, in her words, “have it all.”

Marina von Neumann Whitman is Professor of Business Administration and Public Policy at the University of Michigan.


Sutherland Ivan Sq

Ivan Sutherland

No abstract is available.


Pepper John Sq

John Pepper

No abstract is available.


Foster John Sq

Dr. John Foster Jr.
Former Director - Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory

Dr. Foster will discuss the current international outlook, which becomes more complicated and dynamic on a daily basis and how it threatens the US and its allies. Because the Laboratory is required to maintain a safe and reliable nuclear stockpile without conducting nuclear tests, we are running risks and are dependent on full cooperation and competition between the laboratories to detect and remove any serious defects in our stockpile. Dr. Foster will discuss funding of the nuclear weapons’ Life Extension Program and its potential impacts on long-term science and engineering activities. He will offer suggestions for future opportunities for LANL. Dr. Foster served as director of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) from 1961–1965, and he served as associate director of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. He received his doctorate in physics from the University of California, Berkeley. When Dr. Foster joined LLNL, his assignment was to develop small fission bombs with guidance and support, which led to a stockpile with different designs for fission and thermonuclear weapons. 

The abstract has been reviewed unclassified – LA-UR 13-23864

Technical Host: Bret Knapp, PADWP


Haynes Bart Sq

Bart Haynes

No abstract is available.


Shimomura Osamu Sq

Osamu Shimomura 
Professor Emeritus

The masterpieces of historical architecture are as wonderful as complex. During my study of bioluminescence for 50 years, I unintentionally discovered the green fluorescent protein GFP from the jellyfish Aequorea. After studying GFP for 18 years, I re-discovered the GFP as a very special protein that contains a fluorophore in its peptide linkage. Now GFP and related fluorescent proteins are widely used as protein markers indispensable in biomedical research, and I will mention a few examples of how GFP facilitates biomedical research. Considering retrospectively, I owe my discovery of GFP to various matters that happened in my life, such as the modest education I received, the guidance of my three mentors, a few lucky incidents, and even the aftermath of the Nagasaki atomic bomb.

Institutional Host: Charles F. McMillan
Technical Hosts: Rajan Gupta, T-2, Elementary & Particle Physics Group


Art McDonald

No abstract available.


Leach Jan Sq

Jan Leach
Plant Pathology & Plant Sciences - Colorado State University

Meeting the energy demands of the future using ‘new energy’ crops as sources of biomass will require significant improvement in agronomic and biomass productivity traits in these unimproved crops. To identify the genes controlling a broad spectrum of biomass-related traits in plants, our collaborative group is applying a systems approach that integrates genetic, genomic and phenomic data from the model system and energy crop rice (Oryza sativa) and from the new energy crop switchgrass (Panicum virgatum). In this presentation, I will discuss how we are exploiting natural genetic diversity and/or targeted transgenic manipulation to expedite the improvement of energy crops.

Institutional Host: Charles F. McMillan
Technical Hosts: Bette Korber of the Theoretical Biology and Biophysics group


Blasi Carlo Sq

Carlo Blasi
Dipartimentodi Ingegneria Civile, dell'Ambiente, del Territorio e Architettura Universita`degli Studi di Parma, Italy

The masterpieces of historical architecture are as wonderful as complex. Understanding how these daring structures were built and survived until today is a fascinating task, and it is the basis for allowing their conservation. High-performance computing is a powerful instrument to reproduce their structural behavior, despite some difficulties in the translation of their material and historical complexity into quantitative parameters. Monitoring of some physical quantities on the real structure can validate and possibly update the model itself. The Santa Maria del Fiore Dome in Florence presents a great challenge for the application of numerical models to interpret monitoring and statistical analyses of the dome and thus improve our understanding of both its static and dynamic behavior. This integration of "slow" experimental and theoretical investigation can be considered a new procedure, potentially making it possible to avoid the loss of irreplaceable symbols of our most precious historical heritage. This talk will recount the building of the cupola, discuss what modeling has taught us already, and finish by discussing what collaboration with Los Alamos scientists might do to further our understanding of this world's architectural treasure.

Institutional Host: Charles F. McMillan
Technical Hosts: Rajan Gupta, T-2, Elementary & Particle Physics Group

2012 Events Archive


Hinds Edward

Edward A. Hinds 
Center for Cold Matter Chair in Physics
Imperial College, London

According to the standard model, the electric dipole moment of the electron is d_e≈〖10〗^(-38) e.cm – some eleven orders of magnitude below the current experimental limit. However, most extensions to the standard model predict much larger values, potentially accessible to measurement. Hence, the search for the electron EDM is a search for physics beyond the standard model. We have made a measurement of d_e using a newly developed molecular beam technique. By measuring atto-eV energy shifts in the YbF molecule, this experiment probes new physics at the tera-eV energy scale. I will describe our experimental method, our current results and their implications for particle physics. I will also note the prospects for further major improvement in sensitivity.


Fitzpatrick Mark

Mark Fitzpatrick
Director - Non-Proliferation and Disarmament Programme

Stemming the spread of nuclear weapons has been a successful effort for the most part. Only one nuclear wannabe has succeeded since 1998 and with one other exception, every new proliferation threat has been quelled. But each of the remaining problems – in Iran, North Korea and Pakistan -- poses nearly insurmountable challenges. Averting worst-case outcomes will require the use of every tool and an appreciation of what other countries see as the gravest nuclear concerns.

Institutional Host: Charles F. McMillan, Director
Technical Hosts: Nancy Jo Nicholas, GS-NNS


Peskin Michael

Michael Peskin
Professor, Theory Group
MS 81 SLAC, Stanford University

In this colloquium, I will discuss the Higgs Boson, a particle sought for a long time by high-energy physicists and finally, apparently, discovered at the CERN Large Hadron Collider. The Higgs Boson is often described as the particle necessary to generate mass for all other elementary particles. But why should such a particle be necessary? Why is the Higgs so important? Why was it so hard to find? What is the evidence that it actually was found? In this lecture, I will answer these questions and address the present and future of the Higgs Boson's story.

Institutional Host: Charles F. McMillan, Director
Technical Hosts: Rajan Gupta , T-2


Cavalerri Andrea

Andrea Cavalleri
Director Condensed Matter Division
Max Planck Research Department for Structural Dynamics

In our work, we seek to control the macroscopic properties of solids with light. Steering magnetism, transforming insulators into metals and vice-versa and making superconductors with light, are among the most exciting opportunities. This field of research is especially appealing both from the fundamental physics standpoint as well as for new possible devices applications for high-speed data manipulation and storage. Especially important in is the ability to excite solids at frequencies at which spontaneous rearrangements take place, which are typical at THz frequencies. Driving selected lattice distortions with strong field transients at the resonance frequency is one way to affect the macroscopic state of these solids. In this talk I will cover recent highlights in this area, including our recent discovery of the light induced superconductivity effect. The most striking recent result includes the generation of a non-equilibrium superconducting state at room temperature. Due to the short lengthscales and the fast timescales involved, we also make use of a new generation of accelerator-based devices, X-ray Free Electron Lasers, which enable us to perform crystallography measurements on the femtosecond timescale. The nascent field of ultrafast x-ray science and some of our experimental results at the Stanford Linac Coherent Light Sources (LCLS).

Institutional Host: Charles F. McMillan
Technical Hosts: Toni Taylor, MPA-DO and John Sarrao, SPO-SC


Ferran Bran

Bran Ferran
Co-Founder and Chief Creative Officer for Applied Minds

Today, change is all around us. Mostly involuntary change, driven by the need to continue to perform with excellence for our country in a highly dynamic environment, and yet simultaneously reduce spending dramatically. With this relentless pressure to become more efficient, many organizations now believe that they must learn to be much more Innovative to in-fact survive, let alone prosper. Mr. Ferren will discuss some of the challenges to getting this done in large organizations, what has been effective in the past, and some new ways of thinking about Innovation within the Defense community.

Institutional Host: Charles F. McMillan, DIR


Ingber Donald

Dr. Donald Ingber
Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering 
Harvard University

Biology and medicine have been dominated by the gene-centric view of biological control. This presentation will review the central role that physical forces and mechanical structures, such as insoluble extracellular matrices and the intracellular cytoskeleton, play in the control of cell and tissue development. I also will describe how these studies that were focused on uncovering fundamental molecular biophysical control mechanisms have led to significant unexpected technology fallout, including human 'organs-on-chips' and mechanically sensitive programmable nanotherapeutics as well as an entirely new approach to induce cancers to revert into normal tissues.

Abstract Reviewed as Unclassified LA-UR-12-01487.

Institutional Host: Charles F. McMillan
Technical Host: Nancy Sauer, ADCLES


Lay Thorne

Thorne Lay
Distinguished Professor of Earth & Planetary Sciences- UC Santa Cruz

During the past seven years, thirteen great (Mw ≥ 8.0) earthquake ruptures have struck near subduction zones around the Pacific rim, compared to ten great shallow events over the preceding 24 years. This surge of great ruptures has resulted in huge loss of life and massive damage, and many aspects of the earthquake activity have surprised seismologists and geophysicists around the world. Discoveries about the extraordinary processes for these recent events will be discussed, including new insights into variations of tsunami generation and seismic wave radiation from earthquakes on major plate boundaries.

Abstract Reviewed as Unclassified LA-UR-12-01489.

Technical Hosts: Terry Wallace, PADGS and Monica Maceira, EES-17


Bentley Steven

Dr. Steven Bentley
Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute

This presentation will discuss the recent emergence of high-throughput whole-genome sequencing as an approach to precisely differentiate isolates, thus providing an ultra-high-resolution view of pathogen epidemiology. This approach has been applied to clones of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and Streptococcus pneumoniae to reveal intercontinental transmission through nearly four decades, the potential for detection of per­son-to-person transmission within a hospital environment, mechanisms of vaccine evasion and acquisition of antibiotic resistance.

Abstract Reviewed as Unclassified LA-UR-12-01486.

Technical Host: Goutam Gupta, B-7


Schrock Richard

Richard Schrock
Chemistry Department
Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Olefin metathesis is a reaction in which C=C bonds are cleaved and rearranged to new C=C bonds. Olefin metathesis was recognized by the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 2005. The leading metathesis catalysts are based on Ru, Mo, or W catalysts. Olefin metathesis has had a major impact on the synthesis of organic molecules, polymers (from strained olefins), and chemicals from renewable feed stocks. The most significant problem in creating olefins from other olefins is the ability to prepare selectively cis (Z) olefins; a cis olefin is usually the least stable isomer, the minor component (~20%) if the reaction is under thermodynamic control and the most desirable isomer. I will discuss the development of recent Mo or W catalysts that are excellent catalysts for a variety of Z-selective reactions, including ring-opening/cross-metatheses, and ethenolysis of internal olefins such as oleates, coupling of terminal olefins, cross-coupling of terminal olefins, and formation of macrocycles. Syntheses of new Mo and W catalysts will be discussed as time permits.

Abstract Reviewed as Unclassified LA-UR-12-01485.
Technical Host: John C. Gordon, C-IIAC

2011 Events Archive


Rabitz Herschel

Professor Herschel Rabitz
Dept. of Chemistry-Princeton University

The control of physical, chemical, and biological phenomena is pervasive in the sciences. The dynamics involved span vast length and time scales with the associated controls ranging from shaped laser pulses out to the application of special chemical reagents and processing conditions. Despite all of these differences, there is clear common behavior found upon seeking optimal control in these various domains. Evidence of this common behavior will be presented from the control of quantum, chemical, and biological processes. The most evident finding is that control efforts can easily beat the so-called "curse of dimensionality" upon satisfaction of assumptions that are expected to widely hold. The potential consequences of the observations will be discussed.

Abstract Reviewed as Unclassified LA-UR-11-07051.
Technical Hosts: David Moore, WX-9, and Jennifer Holligsworth, MPA-CINT


Kessler Don

Donald Kessler 
NASA (retired)

Access to space requires a large expenditure of energy, which is converted to the kinetic energy necessary to remain in orbit. A lesser amount of energy must be stored on-board a spacecraft to operate in space. The release of this energy in the form of unintended explosions in orbit has been responsible for most the debris generated in the past. However, because of a combination of operational requirements and lack of sufficient mitigation practices, future debris will result from the much greater energy involved in random collisions between objects in orbit at an increasing rate, even if no new objects were launched into orbit. The solution to preventing this growth in the debris population involves identifying the most energy-efficient techniques to remove debris from orbit.

Abstract Reviewed as Unclassified LA-UR-11-05699.
Technical Host: Josef Koller, ISR-1


Putterman Seth

Seth Putterman
Department of Physics - University of California, Los Angeles

Sonoluminescence is a paradigm of transdisciplinary physics. Low amplitude sound energy entering a fluid spontaneously focuses by 12 orders of magnitude to create a flash of light and a new phase of matter. The degree to which the energy density of a continuous system can concentrate in off-equilibrium motion has not been determined by theory. Additional examples include: tribo-electrification where the power applied to peel tape is efficiently transduced into a flux of x-ray photons that can expose an image in a few seconds, and ferroelectricity where heating a crystal by 40C generates nuclear fusion in a deuterated environment. The talk concludes with pot-shots at the reductionist approach to physics.

Abstract Reviewed as Unclassified LA-UR-11-05525.
Technical Host: Greg Swift, MPA-CMMS


Tester Jefferson

Jefferson Tester 
Croll Professor of Sustainable Energy Systems - Cornell University

Geothermal energy from both conventional hydrothermal resources and enhanced or engineered geothermal systems (EGS) can reduce our dependency on the hydrocarbon-based energy system. A recent national review suggested that EGS has the potential to provide 100,000 MWe of base-load electric generating capacity in the US by 2050. EGS was started by a creative group of Los Alamos scientists in the 1970s under the Hot Dry Rock program. The presentation will focus on five important areas of resource evaluation, reservoir technology (i.e., drilling, reservoir design and stimulation), utilization, environmental impacts and tradeoffs, and economics that are key to geothermal deployment on a national scale. Reviews on field-testing of EGS, improvements in rock drilling and reservoir characterization, and Cornell's plans for incorporating low-temperature geothermal energy to achieve a carbon-neutral future will be highlighted.

Technical Host: Giday WoldeGabriel, EES-16


Wallace Terry

Terry Wallace 
PADSTE - Rao, D.V.; D-DO

On March 11, a major earthquake occurred around 3 pm local time, east of the island of Honshu, Japan. The earthquake is a subduction thrusting event in the Japan Trench which is the convergent plate boundary between the Pacific and North American plates. The earthquake had a moment magnitude of slightly larger than 9.0, making it the fourth or fifth largest earthquake in recorded history. The earthquake epicenter was approximately 120 km east of the Japanese city Sendai. Although shaking was experienced widely across Honshu, the damage associated with the shaking was modest considering the size of the event; however, the earthquake triggered a major tsunami. The tsunami caused extensive damage along 350 km of the eastern coast of Honshu. The shaking associated with the earthquake triggered an automatic shut down of 11 reactors in Northern Japan. Early reports (which have not been updated) indicate that there was no significant damage associated with the shaking, and diesel generators designed to operate cooling systems started as expected. 

However, approximately one hour after the earthquake, the tsunami arrived on shore and caused some flooding (the extent is still being debated) at two of the reactor sites (Fukushima-Daiichi and Fukushima Daini), and diesel-powered systems were interrupted. The tsunami height at both Daiichi and Daini was approximately 10 m, but the diesel pedestals were approximately 5 m above sea level. The pressure inside the containment vessel at Unit 1 of the Daiichi reactor complex increased rapidly with no auxiliary cooling, and ultimately there was a gas (hydrogen deflagration) explosion outside the containment vessel the morning of March 12. 

The source of the hydrogen is the fuel cladding, which is zirconium-based, oxidizes with steam and produces hydrogen. Ultimately, Tokyo Electric Power Company made the decision to flood the reactor cores with borated seawater in an attempt to prevent partial melting of the fuel rods. Issues continue at Daiichi, and another hydrogen explosion occurred on March 14 in unit 3.


Rothenberg Ellen

Ellen Rothenberg 
Division of Biology  - California Institute of Technology

Multipotent precursor cells in the bone marrow give rise to diverse types of blood cells continuously throughout life. A challenge for the field has been to explain the ordered cell fate choices that these precursors make in clear mechanistic terms. One of the best understood differentiation pathways at a cell biological level is the T lymphocyte development series, where the precise timing of decisions to exclude particular fate alternatives is known. We have now carried out a global analysis of the genome-wide regulatory changes in transcription and histone modification that occur at each stage of this lineage choice process to define the transcription factors, target genes, and likely cis-regulatory elements that comprise the T-cell gene regulatory network. The component subcircuits and the roles of particular transcription factors in the differentiation process will be described.

Technical Host: Goutam Gupta, B-7


Heinonen Olli

Olli Heinonen
Senior Fellow - Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs

Projecting the timeline of Iran's nuclear program involves many variables. Whatever the assessments made, the common factors faced would be to weigh the variables of 'knowns' and the 'unknowns' in determining Iran's technical progress. This presentation will cover key activities undertaken by Iran in enrichment, its heavy water reactor project, military aspects of its nuclear program, as well as likely projections and trends of Iran's nuclear program a year from now. Uncertainties associated with these assessments will also be discussed.

Technical Host: Nancy Jo Nicholas, GS-NN

2010 Events Archive


Davis Seamus

J.C. Seamus Davis  
Director of the Center for Emergent Superconductivity - Cornell University

Direct visualization of complex electronic matter at the atomic scale is a new frontier in physics. In this talk, I will describe the invention of the spectroscopic imaging scanning tunneling microscope (SI-STM) - an instrument designed for this purpose. Its capabilities are becoming increasingly more important because electronic materials, which are far more complex than those forming the basis of our present electronic, computing, communications and information technologies, are being discovered at an accelerating rate. And more often than not, the electronic matter in these new materials does not have the simple metallic properties of a Fermi liquid or its related states, such as BCS superconductivity or itinerant ferromagnetism. Instead, exotic forms of electronic matter such as high-temperature superconductivity, colossal magneto-resistance, and even electronic liquid crystallinity are being discovered more and more frequently. A common characteristic of such complex electronic matter is that the conventional single-particle momentum-space paradigm of 20th-century solid-state physics is insufficient to explain their properties. Instead, information on real-space electronic structure at the atomic scale is usually required. As a concrete example, I will discuss the visually striking and highly complex electronic structure of the cuprate high-temperature superconductors.

Abstract Reviewed as Unclassified LA-UR-11-03971.

Technical Host: Joe Thompson, MPA-CMMS


Murnane Margaret

Margaret Murnane 
University Distinguished Professor JILA and Departments of Physics and ECE - University of Colorado at Boulder

Ever since the invention of the laser 50 years ago and its application in nonlinear optics, scientists have been striving to extend coherent laser beams into the x-ray region of the spectrum. Very recently, however, the prospects for coherent tabletop sources at very short wavelengths, even in the hard x-ray region of the spectrum at wavelengths < 1nm, have brightened considerably. This advance is possible by taking nonlinear optics techniques to an extreme - physics that is the direct result of a new ability to manipulate electrons on the fastest, attosecond, time-scales of our natural world. Applications of attosecond science and technology in capturing the motions of electrons in molecules and materials will also be discussed.

Abstract Reviewed as Unclassified LA-UR-11-03974.
Technical Host: Toni Taylor, MPA-DO


Oddone Piermaria

Piermaria Oddone 
Laboratory Director - Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory

The energy frontier transfers from the Tevatron to the LHC, opening a huge new territory for exploration. The mechanism for generating mass, the existence of extra dimensions of space, new forces and symmetries, and the nature of dark matter may all become accessible at the LHC. Or they may not — which would be the biggest surprise of all. At the intensity frontier, where we use the highest particle fluxes instead of the highest energies, the masses and mixing of neutrinos provide hints of yet more surprises to come. At the cosmic frontier dark matter and dark energy are the most dramatic examples of our ignorance, but now we are building the probes to detect dark matter directly and to understand the nature of dark energy. In the remainder of this decade, many of these long-standing questions will be resolved as we move closer to a unified picture of nature. I will discuss the US program and its evolution as we confront the coming revolution in particle physics.

Technical Hosts: Terry Wallace, PADSTE, Susan Seestrom, ADEPS, and Rajan Gupta, T-DO


Lee Carol

Carol K.O. Lee 
Special Agent in Charge Federal Bureau of Investigation - Albuquerque, NM

Ms. Carol K. O. Lee is the first Asian-American female Special Agent in Charge of a field division in the history of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). As a veteran agent of 23 years, she will be describing the mission of the FBI and include some personal perspectives of her experience within the Bureau.

Institutional Host: Michael R. Anastasio, Director


Gupta Yogendra

Yogendra Gupta 
Director of the Institute for Shock Physics - Washington State University

Following the Manhattan Project, the pioneering developments at Los Alamos launched the field of dynamic compression science. Subsequent developments over the past 60-plus years have demonstrated that shock wave experiments are uniquely suited to examine matter at extreme compressions and energies. Understanding matter at these extreme conditions and short time scales requires the linking of continuum and quantum physics and has been a major driver for advances in experiments, theory, and computations. Using specific examples, scientific efforts to examine microscopic processes governing shock-induced physical and chemical phenomena will be summarized. Credibly linking and understanding the dynamic response of materials across different length scales constitutes a major scientific challenge. Time-resolved, multiscale measurements required to address this challenge will be indicated.

Technical Host: John Sarrao, SPO-SC


Banerjee Srikumar

Dr. Srikumar Banerjee 
Department of Atomic Energy Government of India

After an enthusiastic beginning in the sixties and a big leap in the seventies, following the oil shock, the growth of nuclear power in the developed world, barring a few exceptions, has practically remained dormant since the late eighties. The number of countries that have either started construction or have operated a nuclear power plant at any time in the past has remained static at thirty-three since China started construction of its first nuclear power plant in the year 1985. With the growing concerns on climate change and a remarkable improvement in the economic and safety performance of nuclear power plants, the revival of nuclear power seems imminent. In the rapidly growing economies of India and China, fast growth is already taking place. 

Projections for the growth of nuclear energy have been made by different international agencies, yielding numbers ranging from 2000 to 11000 GWe installed capacity in the year 2100. Even for a moderate scenario (2500 GWe by 2100) envisaged by the IAEA it is easy to show that the currently reported identified, undiscovered, and speculative resources of uranium cannot sustain such growth beyond the next few decades, and it is essential to adopt a closed fuel cycle, by recycling of the spent fuel. Thorium offers unique physical and neutronic properties that can be profitably utilized to address proliferation and long-lived waste concerns. 

Consistent with the above vision, the Indian nuclear program incorporates the utilization of closed nuclear fuel cycle and thorium as a main-stay for its sustained growth. The future Indian road map also includes high-temperature reactors for process heat applications, Accelerator Driven Subcritical Systems, Molten Salt Reactors and fusion-based systems.

Technical Hosts: Terry Wallace, PADSTE, David L. Clark, INST-OFF, Rajan Gupta, T-DO


Nocera Daniel

Daniel G. Nocera 
The Henry Dreyfus Professor of Energy and Professor of Chemistry - Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Capturing and storing solar energy at the individual level-personalized solar energy-drive inextricably to the heart of the energy challenge by addressing the triumvirate of secure, carbon-neutral, and plentiful energy. Because energy use scales with wealth, point-of-use solar energy will put individuals from both the legacy and nonlegacy worlds on a more level playing field. Moreover, personalized energy (PE) is secure because it is highly distributed, and individuals control the energy on which they live. Finally, global energy needs will double by mid-century and triple by 2100 because 6 billion people will be added to the world population over the next half-century. The possibility of generating terawatts of carbon-free energy, thus providing society with its most direct path to a low-GHG future, may be realized by making solar PE available to the 6 billion new energy users by high-throughput manufacturing. Notwithstanding, current options to harness and store solar energy at the individual level are too expensive to be implemented, especially in the nonlegacy world. Science must develop new materials, reactions, and processes that enable personalized solar energy to be sufficiently inexpensive to penetrate energy markets, especially in the nonlegacy world.

PE at low cost presents new basic research targets. Because PE will be possible only if solar energy is available 24/7, the key enabler for personalized energy is inexpensive storage. Studies in the Nocera group have led to the creation of a new catalyst that captures many of the functional elements of photosynthesis and, in doing so, provides a highly manufacturable and inexpensive method to effect a carbon-neutral and sustainable method for solar storage: solar fuels from water-splitting. By developing an inexpensive 24/7 solar energy system for the individual, a carbon-neutral energy supply for 1 x 6 billion becomes available. 

Abstract Reviewed as Unclassified LA-UR-11-03964.
Technical Hosts: Carol Burns, C-NR and Kevin Ott, MPA-MC


Evans Lyn

Lyn Evans 
European Organization for Nuclear Research, CERN

After 15 years of construction, the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), designed to probe new interactions and elementary particles at the TeV scale, has started its physics program. It is, without doubt, the most complex scientific instrument ever built, bringing together the international community of scientists and engineers on a grand scale. The workhorses of the accelerator are 6000 superconducting magnets weighing nearly 50000 tons in total that are cooled with 100 tons of superfluid helium. This seminar will describe the unique design features of the LHC and highlight some of the trials and tribulations of bringing it all together, including lessons learned from the disaster of September 2008.

Technical Host: Rajan Gupta, T-DO


Curtiss Roy

Roy Curtiss, III 
Director, Center for Infectious Diseases and Vaccinology, The Biodesign Institute, ASU

We have genetically engineered strains of Salmonella serovars Typhimurium, Paratyphi A and Typhi to serve as live vaccine vectors to deliver protective antigens specified by cloned genes from bacterial, viral and parasite pathogens to induce protective immunity to prevent infection of humans and/or agriculturally important animals against infections by these pathogens. These vaccines are designed for oral delivery with the full potential of wild-type infectious strains to withstand host defense strategies in the gastrointestinal tract and colonize internal lymphoid tissues where they undergo programmed changes to become attenuated so as not to induce any symptoms of disease and commence to serve as factories to produce and release the protective antigens to stimulate robust immune responses. 

Ultimately the vaccine strains undergo a programmed cell lysis to release during their death a bolus of antigen. This biological containment property precludes vaccine persistence in vivo or survival if excreted. Strains are totally safe at high doses to newborn, pregnant, protein malnourished and immunocompromised mice. We are using these technologies to develop vaccines to prevent infections of newborns with Streptococcus pneumoniae, Mycobacterium tuberculosis and a diversity of enteric bacterial pathogens causing diarrheal disease and fever. Vaccines are also being developed against pathogens of agriculturally important animals.

Abstract Reviewed as Unclassified LA-UR-11-04205.

Technical Host: Rajan Gupta, T-DO

2009 Events Archive


Manchanda Vijay

Vijay Kumar Manchanda
Head Radiochemistry Division - Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC)
Mumbai, India

In countries with limited natural U resources, the sustenance of nuclear power programs depends on the availability of man-made fissile isotopes like 239Pu and 233U. The recovery and purification of Pu from irradiated U and of 233U from irradiated Th is presently accomplished by the well-known PUREX and THOREX processes, respectively. In nuclear fuel reprocessing, aliphatic amide ligands offer several advantages over organo phosphorous extractants used in PUREX/THOREX processes. This is due to the (i) innocuous nature of the degradation products, (ii) the possibility to co-process U/Pu without a reducing agent and (iii) the ability to incinerate the used solvent. 

This lecture will discuss recent work from the author's laboratory on a large number of dialkyl amides evaluated for their extraction behavior towards simulated spent fuel solutions of irradiated U and Th. For a closed fuel cycle option, a major challenge facing nuclear energy programs is the management of radioactive waste in a manner which allays apprehensions about its adverse impact on the environment. Separation of long-lived radionuclides such as actinides and fission products from high-level radioactive waste is a challenging task for radiochemists. Several exotic extractants have been evaluated for the partitioning of minor actinides from the simulated high-level nuclear waste solution from PHWR spent fuel, and this work will be discussed. Liquid membrane-based separation methods are becoming increasingly popular due to ligand economy and higher efficiency. Recent work from the author's laboratory on liquid membrane-based actinides separations will be presented, with a particular focus on the use of hollow fiber supported liquid membranes.

Institutional Host: Michael R. Anastasio, Director
Technical Hosts: David L. Clark and Gordon D. Jarvinen, ADSMS


White Tim

Tim D. White
Paleoanthropologist and Professor of Integrative Biology - University of California, Berkeley

Darwin and Huxley could only speculate about how quintessentially human features such as bipedal locomotion, enlarged brains, reduced canine teeth, and complex technology had been assembled via the pathway of natural selection. Today, the record of stone tools and animal butchery now extends to 2.5-2.6 million years ago (Ma), demonstrating how deeply technology is embedded in our natural history, and perhaps responsible for the first hominid expansion beyond our African birth continent. The discovery of Australopithecus in Africa early in the 20th Century revealed an earlier adaptive grade—a hominid evolutionary plateau. Discovering what connected the small-brained, small-canined, bipedal Australopithecuswith the last common ancestor we share with chimpanzees has been a focus of the Middle Awash paleoanthropological project. Our team has found that the anatomy and ecological context Ardipithecus now indicates that the adaptive plateau occupied by the earliest hominids was unlike either living chimpanzees or later Australopithecus. Hominids and extant African apes have each evolved via very different evolutionary pathways, a finding that Darwin and Huxley would certainly have celebrated.

Technical Host: Giday WoldeGabriel, EES-16
Open to Badge Holders


Dekker Sidney

Sidney W. A. Dekker, Ph.D.
Professor of Human Factors and Systems Safety and Director of Research at the Leonardo da Vinci Center for Complexity and Systems Thinking-Lund University

Systems thinking in many sciences suggest that we see performance as an emergent property-the result of complex interactions and relationships. This, however, clashes with how we think about accountability, which still follows a profoundly Newtonian script. We assume a symmetry between cause and effect and ethically pursue the modernist ideal of getting things exactly right. Thus, when systems fail, we hunt down the "eureka part", we blame components (e.g. human error). And when systems succeed spectacularly, we think of individual heroism (e.g. the A320 Hudson River landing). In this talk, I will trace some of the possible sources of hysteresis in our ideas about accountability, and explore how to make it perhaps more compatible with complexity- and systems thinking.

Abstract Reviewed as Unclassified LA-UR-11-04204.
Technical Host: Herb Funsten, ISR-DO and Todd Conklin, ESH-OFF


Tyson Anthony

Anthony Tyson
Department of Physics - University of California

Images from the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope will be analyzed for a wide range of phenomena. With 20 trillion photometric and temporal measurements covering 20 billion detected objects, this will produce the world's largest non-proprietary database. A sample of several billion galaxies will enable maps of dark matter and several independent cross-checking probes of the nature of dark energy. The 30 terabytes of pipeline processed data obtained each night will open the time-domain window on the deep optical universe for variability and motion. We will require novel, increasingly automated and effective knowledge discovery systems.

Institutional Host: Michael R. Anastasio, Director
Technical Host: Salman Habib, T-2


Lovins Amory

Amory Lovins
Chairman and Chief Scientist - Rocky Mountain Institute

Systematic use of available technologies can solve some of the world's biggest problems not at a cost but at a profit. Half the oil and gas used in the U.S. can be saved by end-use efficiency costing an average of $12/bbl and $1/GJ, respectively (2000 $). The other half of the oil can then be displaced for $18/bbl by a combination of saved natural gas and cellulosic biofuels. Three-fourths of U.S. electricity can be saved by end-use efficiency at an average cost of ~$0.01/kWh, and the rest is reliably provided by distributed resources that are already winning in the global marketplace. These negawatt and micropower alternatives easily outcompete nuclear power in both economic and climate-protection terms. A key to such surprising results is integrative design, which often makes very large energy savings cost less than small or no savings, yielding expanding, not diminishing returns to investments in energy efficiency. Applying and integrating these technologies is an exciting opportunity for the National Laboratories.

Institutional Host: Michael R. Anastasio, Director
Technical Host: Rajan Gupta, T-DO


Reed Thomas

Thomas Reed

A political history of nuclear weapons: where they came from, the surprising ways in which the technology spread, who is likely to acquire them next and why.

Institutional Host: Michael R. Anastasio, Director
Technical Host: Michael Burns, ADTR

2008 Events Archive


Halas Naomi

Naomi Halas
Rice University

Perhaps the most important and potentially far-reaching outcome of the many nanotechnology initiatives worldwide is the birth of the new field of Nanophotonics. Our growing abilities to generate and manipulate light at nanoscale dimensions based on the properties of metals springs from the confluence of scientific disciplines, from condensed matter physics to electromagnetism, including chemistry and modern materials science. The impact of this emerging field is already evident in applications spanning the spectrum from chemical sensing for homeland defense, solar light harvesting for alternative energy, and new device concepts for state-of-the-art computer chips to new and revolutionary biomedical applications. In my talk, I will discuss how metallic nanostructures, known since antiquity for their remarkably vivid and colorful optical properties, are now being designed and engineered as new nanoscale optical components that successfully serve a role in all these applications.

Institutional Host: Michael R. Anastasio, Director
Technical Host: Toni Taylor, MPA-DO


Evans William

William Evans
Department of Chemistry - University of California, Irvine

As scientists, we know that we should constantly question the assumptions upon which our research is based. We also know that we do not do this often enough. This lecture will serve to remind us not to take the traditional boundaries of any area of science for granted. The modern textbooks of inorganic chemistry describe the lanthanide elements as having only a single oxidation or valence state, and nearly identical chemical behavior across the lanthanide series. Recent results in lanthanide and actinide chemistry will be presented which show how the "rules" in these areas, thought to be true for decades, have been recently overturned. Examples will be presented that challenge previous ideas on topics as fundamental as reduction/oxidation (redox) chemistry and the length of chemical bonds. New ways of adding electrons to effect important chemical transformations with lanthanide and actinide elements will be discussed as well as the synthesis of "long bond organometallics" that have unconventional bond distances and chemical reactivity.

Abstract Reviewed as Unclassified LA-UR-11-04203.

Institutional Host: Michael R. Anastasio, Director
Technical Hosts: David L Clark, ADSMS and John Gordon, C-IIAC


Graetzel Michael Sq

Institutional Host: Michael R. Anastasio, Director
Technical Host: Mary Anne With, STBPO-EPDS


Demkowicz Michael

Michael Demkowicz
Structure/Property Relations Group (MST-8)

Metallic multilayered nanocomposites with layer thicknesses on the order of nanometers have been shown to possess remarkable tolerance to irradiation. This behavior is due to the high volume fraction of interfaces contained in these materials. We couple experiments and atomistic modeling to understand the structure of the interfaces and the role they play as sinks for radiation-induced point defects. The insights gained from our synergistic approach allow us to construct a general model of the effect of interfaces on radiation damage reduction and to propose strategies for the informed design of radiation-tolerant nanocomposite materials.

We acknowledge the support of the LANL Directed Research and Development program, a LANL Director's fellowship, and the DOE Office of Basic Energy Sciences.


Kim Kiyong1

Kiyong Kim 
Center for Nanotechnology 

Intense, broadband terahertz (THz) pulse generation is of great current interest owing to its potential applications in nonlinear THz optics and spectroscopy. Although such intense THz generation exceeding tens of microjoules can be obtained from large-scale electron accelerator facilities such as free electron lasers and synchrotrons, there is a present and growing need for high-energy, compact THz sources at a tabletop-scale. In this talk, I will present a new, quantum coherent control enabled, high-energy (>5 microjoule), super-broadband tabletop source generating ultrafast THz pulses (>75 THz) in gases via two-color photoionization. We also observe strongly anti-correlated third harmonic radiation. This key new observation allows us to make a unifying model fully explaining the generation mechanism.


Sengupta Pinaki

Pinaki Sengupta
Condensed Matter and Statistical Physics Group, T-11

Quantum magnets are intriguing systems that exhibit exotic quantum many-body phenomena at very low temperatures, not observed under normal circumstances. The interplay between strong interactions, geometric frustration and strong magnetic fields results in a rich variety of novel ground states and associated (often counter-intuitive) quantum mechanical processes. In this talk, I shall discuss the unique observation of magnetization plateaus in Sr_2Cu(BO_3)_2, commonly known as the Shastry-Sutherland compound. I'll present a theoretical framework that explains the origin of this unusual phenomenon and predicts that the plateaus, the magnetic structure consists of "striped phases". These magnetic stripes have been directly observed in TmB_4, another quantum magnet with the same lattice structure that was discovered recently.


Colwell Rita

Rita Colwell
Distinguished Professor - University of Maryland

Global infectious diseases are increasingly found to be linked to environmental factors, demonstrating seasonality, response to climatic conditions, and influence from environmental conditions. Cholera provides a paradigm, demonstrating how an interdisciplinary analysis can provide a predictive capability.

Abstract Reviewed as Unclassified LA-UR-11-03961.

Institutional Host: Michael R. Anastasio, Director
Technical Host: I. Gary Resnick, B-DO


Doherty Peter

Peter Doherty
St. Jude

The discussion will summarize the current situation very briefly with respect to potentially pandemic virus infections and the means we have at our disposal to combat those threats. The theme will then switch to the quantitative and qualitative analysis of influenza virus-specific CD8+ "killer" T cell response in mouse model systems. While our colleagues Miles Davenport and Vanessa Venturi have used some of this information for modeling purposes, the central focus will be on primary data addressing the response profiles to different native and engineered viral epitopes. The inherent complexity of these experimental systems will also be considered.

Technical Host: Goutam Gupta, B-7


Aeppli Gabriel

Gabriel Aeppli
Director of the London Centre for Nanotechnology

Ferromagnetism was known to ancient Greeks and has been studied scientifically and exploited technologically in the intervening millennia. Antiferromagnetism, which can be viewed as a version of ferromagnetism which is twisted on the atomic scale, is actually more common but was only discovered in the last century because it is hidden from macroscopic inspection. It is also more interesting from the standpoint of quantum mechanics. The talk will describe how, over the last decade or so, new experimental tools, materials, and concepts have provided unprecedented opportunities to visualize, understand and exploit antiferromagnetism.

Technical Host: Toni Taylor, MPA-CINT and Joe Thompson, MST-10


Reis Vic

Vic Reis
Senior Advisor - Department of Energy

On November 4, 2008, the next President will be elected. On January 20, 2009, the next President of the United States will take office, and the administration will face a series of issues related to the domestic and international nuclear enterprise. During the past year, a small group at the Department of Energy has been analyzing these issues with a view toward providing the Presidential and Department of Energy transition team an objective perspective on how the U.S. nuclear enterprise - nuclear weapons, nuclear power, nuclear materials, taken together, can play a pivotal role in current and future U.S. national security, economic well being, and the environment (including climate change).

This talk will review the results of this effort so far and will elicit comments and suggestions from the attendees.

Institutional Host: Charles F. McMillan
Technical Host: Susan Seestrom, ADEPS


Sandford Scott

Scott A. Sandford
Astrophysics Branch, Space Sciences Division - NASA-Ames Research Center

On January 2, 2004, the Stardust spacecraft flew within a few hundred kilometers of the nucleus of Comet Wild 2 and collected samples of dust from the comet's coma. These were returned to Earth on January 15, 2006, and represent the first solid samples ever collected outside the Earth-Moon system and returned to Earth. A preliminary examination of the samples has demonstrated that the dust consists of a very heterogeneous mix of mineral and organic components that show the comet had a complex formation history. In my talk, I will provide a brief overview of the entire Stardust mission and will discuss what we have learned about the nature of comets and the origin of the Solar System based on the mission's results. I will particularly concentrate on the organics found in the samples since cometary organics may have played a role in the origin of life on Earth.

Abstract Reviewed as Unclassified LA-UR-11-03965.
Technical Host: Herb Funsten, ISR-DO


Lauer Tod

Tod Lauer
National Optical Astronomy Observatory

I will review the evidence for the accelerating expansion of the Universe, which may be due to an unknown and unanticipated form of "Dark Energy." Understanding the properties and origin of Dark Energy is a major cosmological problem and is indicative of fundamental physics yet to be discovered. The astronomical community is presently embarking on several observational investigations designed to elucidate the properties of Dark Energy. Space-based telescopes offer many advantages for obtaining high-precision Dark Energy diagnostics. I will discuss a concept for the DOE/NASA Joint Dark Energy Mission, Destiny, that is being proposed for such an investigation.

Technical Host: Thomas Vestrand, ISR-1

2007 Events Archive


Sachdev Subir

Professor Subir Sachdev
Professor of Physics - Harvard University

Thermal fluctuations induced by increasing temperature can change the state of matter, for example, when water boils to steam. It also is possible to change the state of matter at absolute zero temperature by quantum fluctuations demanded by Heisenberg's uncertainty principle. In this case, the quantum phase transition from one state to another is provided by adjusting a tuning parameter other than temperature. Though ostensibly an exotic type of transition, it is being found experimentally in an increasingly large number of examples. I will describe some illustrative cases in metallic compounds and trapped ultracold atoms. Right at the zero-temperature transition between two states, we obtain a novel 'quantum critical' state of matter. Its description has intriguing connections to the quantum theory of black holes and the quark-gluon plasma, a state of matter that existed in the very early universe and is being explored in relativistic heavy-ion collisions.

Technical Hosts: John Sarrao, MPA-DO and Joe Thompson, MPA-10
Also shown on LABNET and Real Stream Media


Goldston Robert

Robert Goldston
Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory - Princeton University

Steady progress in developing fusion energy continues to be made, and a number of new facilities are becoming realities. China, Europe, India, Japan, Russia, South Korea and the U.S. have agreed to construct the ITER experiment. The site, Director General and Construction Manager have been selected, and the team is being assembled. ITER is planned to produce 500 Megawatts of fusion power for 400 seconds, with a fusion gain of at least 10. Steady-state operation at gain greater than 5 is another goal.

New long-pulse fusion experiments are being planned or are underway in China, South Korea, Europe, India and Japan (as an EU-JA collaboration). Each of these experiments addresses the key scientific issues of thermal confinement, long-pulse sustainment, and high plasma pressure operation, but none of them address the fourth key scientific issue of how to manage a fusion-relevant high-power plasma-boundary interface. Even ITER falls short of a demonstration power plant by a factor of four. The thesis of this talk is that the U.S. can take a leadership position in international fusion research by addressing the integration of all four of these key scientific issues.

Abstract Reviewed as Unclassified LA-UR-11-05157.
Technical Host: Don Rej, SPO-OS and Xianzhu Tang, T-15
Also shown on LABNET and Real Stream Media


Bucksbaum Phil

Professor Phil Bucksbaum
Professor of Photon Sciences, Physics, and Applied Physics - Stanford University

The internal parts of a molecule can move very quickly. The primary chemical changes involved in vision or photosynthesis can take less than a trillionth of a second. Lasers can more than keep up with this: the shortest laser pulses these days are less than one-thousandth of a trillionth of a second. This means that ultrafast laser pulses are very good strobe lights to freeze motion in molecules, and much physics and chemistry research is devoted to these kinds of ultrafast observations. We are using ultrafast techniques to image the internal workings of molecules. We are also attempting to take this notion one step further, to not only observe but also control basic quantum processes in atoms and molecules.

Technical Host: Toni Taylor, MPA-CINT
Also shown on LABNET and Real Stream Media


Somma Rolando

Rolando Somma
Applied Modern Physics and Complex Systems (P-21/T-13)

Postdoctoral Distinguished Performance Award Winner

Phase transitions are everywhere in our daily life, such as the liquid-gas transition seen as water vaporizes from a hot pot. Those classical phase transitions with which we are familiar are governed by random thermal motion of the constituent atoms and show a universal behavior independent of system-specific properties. Recently, a new type of phase transition has been proposed to occur at absolute zero temperature. In contrast to classical, thermally-driven transitions, a quantum-phase transition at zero temperature is driven by fluctuations or zero-point motion associated with Heisenberg's uncertainty principle. Experiments have shown that new quantum fluids, qualitatively different from conventional Landau-Fermi liquids, appear in the vicinity of quantum-phase transitions and could become a source of exotic quantum states. One candidate for the emerging states is unconventional superconductivity, which is often observed, as an antiferromagnetic phase boundary approaches zero temperature. A well-known example is superconductivity in the high-Tc cuprates. Invariably though, a dome of superconductivity intervenes to hide magnetism and prevents proof that a magnetic quantum-critical point exists. Applying extreme conditions to the heavy-fermion superconductor CeRhIn5, we explicitly identify the so-far presumed quantum-critical point inside the superconducting dome. This discovery suggests a common relationship among hidden magnetism, quantum criticality, and unconventional superconductivity in classes of strongly correlated electron materials.

Technical Host: Michael Anastasio, Director and
Mary Anne With, Postdoctoral Program Coordinator


Park Tuson

Tuson Park
Condensed Matter and Thermal Physics (MPA-10)
Postdoctoral Distinguished Performance Award Winner

Phase transitions are everywhere in our daily life, such as the liquid-gas transition seen as water vaporizes from a hot pot. Those classical phase transitions with which we are familiar are governed by random thermal motion of the constituent atoms and show a universal behavior independent of system-specific properties. Recently, a new type of phase transition has been proposed to occur at absolute zero temperature. In contrast to classical, thermally-driven transitions, a quantum-phase transition at zero temperature is driven by fluctuations or zero-point motion associated with Heisenberg's uncertainty principle. Experiments have shown that new quantum fluids, qualitatively different from conventional Landau-Fermi liquids, appear in the vicinity of quantum-phase transitions and could become a source of exotic quantum states. One candidate for the emerging states is unconventional superconductivity, which is often observed, as an antiferromagnetic phase boundary approaches zero temperature. A well-known example is superconductivity in the high-Tc cuprates. Invariably though, a dome of superconductivity intervenes to hide magnetism and prevents proof that a magnetic quantum-critical point exists. Applying extreme conditions to the heavy-fermion superconductor CeRhIn5, we explicitly identify the so-far presumed quantum-critical point inside the superconducting dome. This discovery suggests a common relationship among hidden magnetism, quantum criticality, and unconventional superconductivity in classes of strongly correlated electron materials.

Technical Host: Michael Anastasio, Director and
Mary Anne With, Postdoctoral Program Coordinator


Smarr Larry

Larry Smarr
Director - California Institute for Telecom. and Information Technology (Calit2)

Calit2, in partnership with J. Craig Venter Institute in Rockville, MD, and UCSD's SDSC and Scripps Institution of Oceanography, is creating a Community Cyberinfrastructure for Advanced Marine Microbial Ecology Research and Analysis (CAMERA), funded by the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation. CAMERA collaborates closely with DoE's Joint Genome Institute. The CAMERA computational and storage cluster containing the metagenomic data can be accessed via the web over novel dedicated 10 Gb/s light pipes (termed "lambdas") through the National LambdaRail, providing a direct connection to the scalable Linux clusters in individual user laboratories. These clusters are reconfigured as "OptIPortals," providing the end-user with local scalable visualization, computing, and storage. Scientists will use CAMERA for metagenomics research -- analyzing microbial genomic sequence data in the context of other microbial species, as well as in relation to the chemical and physical conditions in which microbes are sampled. The CAMERA project contains the results of the Venter Institute's Sorcerer II Expedition, which carried out the first large-scale genomic survey of microbial life in the world's oceans to produce the largest gene catalogue ever assembled, doubling the number of protein sequences currently available in GenBank. In addition to Sorcerer II's ecological genomic data, the CAMERA database will be augmented by the full genomes of more than 150 critical marine microbes enabling new comparative genomics studies. Currently, over 1000 users are registered from over 40 countries.

Technical Host: Willam Feiereisen, PADSTE and Mary Neu, ADCLES


Mezzacappa Anthony

Anthony Mezzacappa
Physics Division - Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Massive stars of more than eight Solar masses evolve for millions of years and then die in a matter of hours in spectacular stellar explosions known as core-collapse supernovae. Such supernovae are an important link in our chain of origin from the Big Bang to the present day. They are the dominant source of elements between oxygen and iron, and there is growing evidence they are indeed responsible for producing half the elements heavier than iron. Core collapse supernovae are three-dimensional multi-physics phenomena. Ascertaining the explosion mechanism will require a steadfast, systematic approach, wherein the dimensionality of the models and the physics included are increased in stages, illuminating the role of each physical component but often yielding fundamental surprises. I will present the results from one-, two-, and three-dimensional simulations performed to date and the overall picture they paint, which will now guide simulation efforts over the next five to ten years.

We live in extraordinary times. The flood of new data across the electromagnetic spectrum from ground- and space-based observatories, the promise of new observatories within the next decade and of a new window on the Universe through gravitational-wave astronomy, and the promise of a rapid rise in supercomputer capabilities, which will reach the "exascale" within ten years, define this as truly a Golden Age for astronomy and astrophysics.

Abstract Reviewed as Unclassified LA-UR-11-06049.
Technical Host: Chris Fryer, CCS-4


Raj Baldev

Dr. Baldev Raj
Distinguished Scientist and Director - Indira Ghandi Centre for Atomic Research, India

India is a country on a rapid growth path. With the projection of 8-10 percent economic growth in India, it is imperative to step up the production of energy to meet the increasing needs of industrialization, electrification of all its villages and all other sectors. Exploiting a judicial mix of all energy resources is important for sustained development.

With decreasing fossil fuel resources, India looks upon nuclear energy as an important element of growth, with the economy, safety, and sustainability as the guiding principles in its development. With the PHWR technology and its associated fuel cycle having reached a stage of maturity in the country, India's current nuclear energy program has a large emphasis on developing fast reactor technology towards fully exploiting its uranium resources. To enable the rapid growth of nuclear energy, metallic fuelled fast reactors with high breeding characteristics would be introduced by 2020. In addition, to harness the potential of the large thorium resources in the country, induction of the U-Th cycle is also being pursued. India has firm programs to harness all the three known fissile isotopes for energy production.

Finally, accelerator-driven sub-critical systems are also under development with the objectives of power production, fuel breeding as well as minor actinide burning. Through participation in the ITER program, India would also contribute to the development of fusion technology.

This presentation provides a comprehensive perspective on India's nuclear program, its present status, and the roadmap for the future.

Abstract Reviewed as Unclassified LA-UR-11-06041.
Technical Hosts: Terry Hawkins, ADTR and Rajan Gupta, T-DO


Bard Allen

Allen J. Bard
The University of Texas at Austin

An important aspect of nanochemistry is the quantitative study of the chemistry occurring in small solution volumes at interfaces. Scanning electrochemical microscopy (SECM) enables electrochemistry with nanoscale resolution. One can interrogate a surface using species generated electrochemically at the probe tip or use the probe to analyze very small quantities of materials that originate at the interface. SECM is an excellent technique for characterizing surface structures in liquid environments with micrometer and nanometer resolution. It has found many applications with different systems (e.g., electrode surfaces, liquid/liquid interfaces, biological samples) and is also useful for imaging and studying the uptake or release of chemical species from a surface (chemical imaging). The basic principles of electrochemistry at an ultramicroelectrode (UME) with a diameter in the nm to µm range and SECM will be reviewed. The application of UME tips in SECM and the use of this technique in chemically characterizing surfaces structures for several applications of SECM (e.g., catalyst screening, transport processes in single living cells) will be presented.

Abstract Reviewed as Unclassified LA-UR-11-05153.

Technical Hosts: Kenneth R. Stroh, MPA-11 and John Sarrao, MPA-DO


Gross David

David Gross
Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics - University of California, Santa Barbara

I review the present state of knowledge in elementary particle physics and the questions we are currently addressing. I discuss the experimental revolutions that might occur at the Large Hadron Collider, soon to be finished at CERN. I shall also review the state of string theory. The necessity to go beyond the standard model of particle physics and to understand quantum gravity has led to this ambitious attempt to unify all the forces of nature and all forms of matter as different vibrations of a string-like object. But string theory is still in a pre-revolutionary stage. Although remarkable progress has been achieved in the last decade in understanding the perturbative and non-perturbative structure of string theory, we still lack a fundamental understanding of the theory. Many string theorists suspect that a profound conceptual change in our concept of space and time will be required for the final formulation of string theory.

Abstract Reviewed as Unclassified LA-UR-11-05163.
Technical Host: Rajan Gupta, T-DO
Also shown on LABNET and Real Stream Media


Rhodes Richard

Richard Rhodes
Author and Pulitzer Prize Winner

Efforts to control and limit nuclear weapons began even before the end of the Second World War. The Baruch Plan offered a practical program, and treaties limited vertical and horizontal proliferation, but not until Mikhail Gorbachev and Ronald Reagan took office did superpower leaders seriously debate eliminating their nuclear arsenals. They came close to an agreement at Reykjavik, stalled in disagreement over the Strategic Defense Initiative, but left a legacy of expectation that is now gathering support among Reagan-era Republican as well as Democratic leaders.

Abstract Reviewed as Unclassified LA-UR-11-0432.

Technical Host: Paul C. White, NSO-DO


Bindschadler Robert

Robert Bindschadler
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center

The climatic transition to smaller ice sheets appears to be accelerating with direct and harmful consequences to humans caused by increasing global sea levels. A number of processes responsible for these changes in ice sheet dynamics have been inferred, but these processes are not well represented in current models of any scale. These processes can be mutually reinforcing, driving continued ice loss in the future at even greater rates. Quantitative predictions are urgently needed but presently impossible. Historical analogues of past glacier retreat suggest more trouble lies ahead.

Abstract Reviewed as Unclassified LA-UR-11-05156.
Technical Hosts: William H. Lipscomb and Philip W. Jones, T-3

2006 Events Archive


Shinn David

Former Ambassador David H. Shinn

Ten riparian countries in northeast Africa make up the Nile Basin, an area the size of India. There is growing competition for the finite water resources of the Nile, the world's longest river. Two of the riparian countries—Egypt and Sudan--signed a treaty giving them exclusive rights to the water, but 86 percent of the water originates in Ethiopia. The presentation will set the scene, discuss the relevant political, economic, and social issues of the riparian states, and suggest ways that countries like the U.S. can help to avoid a water war.

Abstract Reviewed as Unclassified LA-UR-11-05159.
Technical Hosts: Giday WoldeGabriel, EES-6, Gerald Geernaert, IGPP, Steven Fernandez, D-4


Miller Judith

Judith Miller 
Author and Pulitzer Prize-Winning Correspondent

Though the term is no longer in vogue, "rogue'' states - particularly those that shun or cheat on treaties and agreements aimed at stopping the spread of nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons - continue to confound policymakers. 

In December 2002, the Bush Administration unveiled its "National Strategy to Combat Weapons of Mass Destruction." The policy's three pillars - counterproliferation, nonproliferation, and consequence management - were intended to discourage proliferation through national and international means. Since then, the United States, in keeping with this approach, has adopted some innovative tactics. The Proliferation Security Initiative, or P.S.I., for example, which now includes over 70 nations, supports efforts to interdict shipments of suspect nuclear and other technology, disrupt known proliferation networks, and hold accountable front companies that support such efforts. 

Despite such steps, however, the International Atomic Energy Agency and critics of the Administration's policy claim that the number of countries that can make nuclear and other WMD should they choose to do so rises each year. In a world in which the technology to make such terrifying weapons is spreading dramatically, the intention is key. 

This talk will survey the Bush Administration's efforts to dissuade several "axis of evil" and other countries from building or acquiring such lethal arms. It will also draw some initial conclusions about how and why Washington succeeded in persuading Libya, for instance, to disavow WMD, while it has been unable to contain similar efforts by Iran, North Korea, and others.

Technical Host: Jonathan Ventura, PADWP


Schaller Richard

Richard D. Schaller 
Physical Chemistry and Applied Spectroscopy (C-PCS)

We have observed that absorption of a single photon by a semiconductor nanocrystal can produce multiple excitons with up to 100% efficiency, depending upon the energy of the photon [Phys. Rev. Lett. 2004, 92, 186601]. Generation of multiexcitons from a single photon also begins to occur once the process is energetically possible. Bulk materials, on the other hand, undergo this process with low efficiency and only for significantly higher photon energies compared with the semiconductor band gap. 

We directly monitor multiexciton generation as a function of absorbed photon energy and observe that multiexcitons are produced on an ultrafast timescale following the photon absorption event. This effect is particularly attractive as a means of increasing solar-cell power conversion efficiency via an increase in photocurrent for photon absorption at the blue end of the solar spectrum and has been cited as a possible operation mechanism for low-cost, high-efficiency Generation III solar cells.

Institutional Hosts: Thomas Bowles, CSO and Mary Anne With, Postdoctoral Program Coordinator


Terwilliger Thomas

Thomas Terwilliger 
Cell Biology, Structural Biology, and Flow Cytometry, B-2

Structural genomics is the large-scale determination of protein structures. Along with DNA sequencing and functional genomics, structural genomics promises in the long term to provide a foundation for developing a fuller understanding of biology. In the short term, structural genomics is an effective means of obtaining structural information on proteins of high medical, biological or biophysical interest, including proteins from pathogens or those involved in human disease. 

The Los Alamos Structural Genomics team helped create the field of structural genomics and helped found the International Structural Genomics Organization. The LANL team focuses on the development of technologies that allow rapid protein structure determination and on the production of purified proteins and the determination of their 3-dimensional structures. 

The LANL team also founded the Tuberculosis Structural Genomics Consortium and led the Integrated Center for Structure and Function Innovation, both as part of the NIH Protein Structure Initiative. They are determining structures of proteins from M. tuberculosis to aid in drug development against this important pathogen. The NIH Protein Structure Initiative aims to determine the structures of a set of proteins that can be used to model the structures of most others. The LANL team is developing technologies for producing proteins in a soluble, folded form suitable for structure determination and for automatic structure solution by X-ray crystallography.

Technical Host: Goutam Gupta, B-1


Reis Vic

Victor H. Reis 
Senior Advisor, Department of Energy Global Nuclear Energy Partnership

The end of the Cold War and the changing geopolitical environment has led to significant change in the U.S nuclear weapons complex through the Stockpile Stewardship Program (SSP). More recently, the awakening need for a global sustainable, emission-free source of electricity has brought a significant interest in changing the U.S. approach to nuclear power and has led to the proposed Global Nuclear Energy Partnership (GNEP). The Department of Energy Laboratories will play a significant role in each of these initiatives. GNEP will be described, and potential strategies for implementing GNEP will be compared with the current SSP strategy. The talk will initiate a dialog and eagerly seek thoughtful recommendations.

 Technical Host: Susan Seestrom, ADEPS


Cabrera Blas

Professor Blas Cabrera 
Department of Physics - Stanford University

Observations of galaxies, superclusters, distant supernovae and the cosmic microwave background radiation tell us that about 85% of the matter in the universe is not made of ordinary atoms. Deciphering the nature of this dark matter is of central importance for cosmology, astrophysics, and high-energy particle physics. A leading hypothesis is that this dark matter is comprised of Weakly Interacting Massive Particles, or WIMPs, that were produced moments after the Big Bang. If WIMPs are the dark matter, then their presence in our Milky Way may be detectable via scattering from atomic nuclei in a terrestrial detector. The lightest supersymmetric particle (LSP) is an excellent WIMP candidate and is within reach for many models of supersymmetry for both the LHC and direct detection experiments over the next five years, providing a deep complementarity. 

The Cryogenic Dark Matter Search (CDMS) Collaboration has pioneered the use of low-temperature phonon-mediated detectors to detect the rare scattering of WIMPs on nuclei and distinguish them from backgrounds. We will describe this powerful technology, which is operating deep underground in the Soudan mine in Minnesota. CDMS II is the most sensitive WIMP search in the world, and our reach is projected to grow by a factor of eight by the end of 2007. We also describe the new SuperCDMS 25 kg Experiment, which is underway and which will provide an additional factor of 15 in sensitivity by the end of 2012.

Technical Host: Andrew Hime, P-23


Jordan Thomas

Thomas Jordan 
Director of the Southern California Earthquake Center

Earthquake prediction is one of the most difficult problems in physical science and, owing to its societal implications, one of the most controversial. This presentation will be organized around three related questions: (1) How should scientific earthquake predictions be conducted and evaluated? (2) What is the intrinsic predictability of the earthquake rupture process? (3) Can knowledge of large-earthquake predictability be deployed as useful predictions; i.e., reliable advance warning of potentially destructive events? In response to public expectations, scientists have long sought a heroic answer to question (3): the discovery of a precursory phenomenon or pattern that can reliably signal when a fault is approaching a large earthquake. While it is premature to say such deterministic predictions are impossible, this "silver bullet approach" has not been successful so far. An alternative is a "brick-by-brick approach" to question (2): building an understanding of earthquake predictability through interdisciplinary, physics-based investigations of active fault systems across a wide range of spatial and temporal scales. However, the study of earthquake predictability has been impeded by the lack of an adequate experimental infrastructure-the capability to conduct scientific prediction experiments under rigorous, controlled conditions and evaluate them using accepted criteria specified in advance. To remedy this deficiency, SCEC is developing a virtual, distributed laboratory with a cyberinfrastructure adequate to support a global program of research on earthquake predictability. This Collaboratory for the Study of Earthquake Predictability (CSEP) will have rigorous procedures for registering prediction experiments, community-endorsed standards for assessing probabilistic predictions, access to authorized data sets and monitoring products, and software support to allow researchers to participate in prediction experiments and update their procedures as results become available.

Technical Hosts: Michael Fehler, EES-DO and Christopher Bradley, EES-11


Phillips John

John L. Phillips 
NASA Johnson Space Center

From April through October of 2005, I had the privilege of living and working aboard the International Space Station. Training for this mission was long and challenging and was conducted primarily in the U.S. and Russia. Missions and schedules changed markedly in the aftermath of the Columbia accident, with the onboard crew reduced to two persons and transport of crews shifted to Russian vehicles. After a launch from Kazakhstan, my Russian crewmate and I arrived at the ISS for a six-month stay in low Earth orbit. Daily operations involved maintenance and repair, logistics work, scientific experiments, and an aggressive fitness regimen. High points of the mission included the visit of the space shuttle Discovery and a spacewalk. The living environment was comfortable but had its unique challenges. Daily observations of the Earth and its space environment provided a unique perspective of the Earth as a coupled system, made especially striking by the record-breaking tropical storm season. Although there are many scientific experiments aboard the ISS, I prefer to describe the station as a single experiment. This experiment encompasses traditional scientific investigations, space hardware design, operational concepts, and even the political and financial structure of the international partnership.

 Technical Host: Herb Funsten, ISR-CSSE


Onstott Tullis.jpg

Tullis Onstott 
Department of Geosciences - Princeton University

The Au mines of South Africa extend to depths of 4+ km and provide unprecedented opportunities to gather pristine microbial samples from fracture water that, in some cases, has been isolated from the surface for >20 myr. Several years of analyses on ~200 sampling events have yielded unexpected results that appear to contradict prior conclusions that had been based upon studies of much shallower environments. An underground lab at 3.8 km depth is currently under construction that will enable in situ observations of microbial activity. Future opportunities for such research may arise with the funding of a U.S. DUSEL where long-term microbial experiments and the search for new forms of life can be pursued.

Technical Host: Andrew Hime, P-23


Lewis Nathan

Nathan Lewis 
George L. Argyros Professor of Chemistry - California Institute of Technology

This presentation will address challenges to implementing renewable energy technologies. First, we estimate fossil fuel resources and their remaining years of supply, and compare the cost of these sources to those of renewable energy to evaluate how economic forces may stimulate a transition. Secondly, we evaluate the limitations imposed by greenhouse gas buildup on fossil-fuel consumption. Thirdly, we evaluate the level of R&D investment that is needed for the required carbon-free power by 2050. Fourth, we evaluate which renewable energy resources are adequately available for the projected carbon-free energy demand. Fifth, we evaluate the challenges to the chemical sciences to enable production of carbon-free power on the needed scale by 2050. Finally, we discuss the effects of a change in power technology on energy supply infrastructure and the impacts of such a change.


Chavez David

David Chavez 
Materials Dynamics (DX-2)

Abstract N/A

Institutional Hosts: Thomas Bowles, CSO and Mary Anne With, Postdoctoral Program Coordinator


Shao Lin

Lin Shao 
Materials Science and Technology - Center for Integrated Nanotechnologies (MST-CINT)

Ion beam processing, whereby solids are bombarded with energetic ions, is a powerful technique for characterization and modification of materials. Although the techniques have been highly developed during the past 50 years, they face new challenges as material processing approaches the nanometer scales. This talk, which will present recent achievements in overcoming technology barriers of ion implantation in microelectronic processing, will focus on the novel techniques of defect engineering and strain engineering for ultrashallow junction formation (‹10 nm) and ultrathin layer transfer (‹20 nm) for the fabrication of next-generation silicon-based microelectronic devices. This talk will give an overview of the status and perspective of several cutting-edge techniques in ion beam processing.

Institutional Hosts: Thomas Bowles, CSO and Mary Anne With, Postdoctoral Program Coordinator


Smil Vaclav

Vaclav Smil  
University of Manitoba

The second half of the 20th century saw repeated warnings of food deficits, devastating famines, environmental destruction and energy shortages. Yet between 1950 and 2000, as the world's population increased from 2.5 to 6.1 billion people and the cultivated land expanded by about 40%, the average harvests nearly tripled, and per capita availability of food rose by more than a third, providing hope of adequate nutrition for everybody. 

Unfortunately, food shortages, malnutrition and even famines persist in many countries because of unequal access to food, criminal economic mismanagement and endless civil wars. There is no doubt that the world's agro-ecosystems are under considerable stress caused by inappropriate agronomic practices. Some environmental consequences of this mismanagement (above all, the supply of water and the use of nutrients) have reached worrisome levels. The unfolding global dietary transition (rising demand for meat and year-round fruit) is changing the entire food system, and the dependence on energy-intensive inputs (above all, nitrogenous fertilizers) cannot be easily reduced. 

Fortunately, all of these challenges have realistic, effective solutions. If we fail, it will be because of the perpetuation of self-inflicted irrationalities and not because of following an unavoidable trajectory of civilizational collapse.

Abstract Reviewed as Unclassified LA-UR-11-05155.
Technical Host: Rajan Gupta


Socolow Robert

Robert Socolow  
Co-Director, The Carbon Mitigation Initiative - Princeton University

Steve Pacala and I introduced stabilization wedges to denote the reduction of carbon dioxide emissions by one billion tons of carbon per year in 2055, achieved by any strategy that results from deliberate attention to global carbon. Each strategy uses already commercialized technology, generally at a much larger scale than today. Implementing seven wedges should enable the world to achieve the interim goal of emitting no more carbon dioxide globally in 2055 than today. This interim goal would stabilize carbon dioxide at less than double (550 ppm) the pre-industrial concentration. Three reasons for such optimism are: 1) The current energy system is permeated with inefficiency; 2) Carbon dioxide emissions have just begun to be priced; and 3) most of the 2055 stock of buildings, vehicles, factories, and power plants – everywhere in the world – has not yet been built. 

This talk will provide quantitative estimates of various wedges for energy efficiency, decarbonized electricity, and decarbonized fuels to facilitate comparisons across mitigation strategies. The wedges framework may contribute new elements to global carbon policy that accelerate the commercialization of low-carbon technology. Building on the already accepted concept of differentiated responsibilities across countries, industrialized and developing countries may agree to a coordinated set of assignments, more ambitious and more promising than those now in view.

Abstract Reviewed as Unclassified LA-UR-11-05154.
Technical Hosts: George Guthrie, EES-DO and Rajan Gupta, T-DO


Almog Joseph

Joseph Almog 
Hebrew University of Jerusalem

It is harder to fight terrorism now than ever before for several reasons:

  1. Nations supporting terrorism
  2. Suicidal bombing
  3. Access to mass destruction weapons
  4. The Internet - easy access to "hard" information

Intelligence is the major tool in countering terrorism. In many cases, it is only through intelligence that terrorists' plans are thwarted. 
Forensic science, which in its broadest definition is the application of science to law, can solve many terror-related incidents. There are also two strategic contributions that forensic science can make to counter-terrorism intelligence operations: detection of new trends and linking various incidents. This statement will be demonstrated by examples from Israel's fight against terror. Meticulously created databases, biometrics and others are essential tools in this war. 

The use of novel field diagnostic techniques for preliminary detection of explosive traces, firearms impressions on hands and latent fingerprints on documents will be presented. Several terror incidents that were either thwarted or analyzed by forensic tools will be discussed.

Abstract Reviewed as Unclassified LA-UR-11-06043.

Technical Host: Terry Hawkins


Meserve Richard

Richard A. Meserve 
President - Carnegie Institution of Washington

Concerns about increasing concentrations of greenhouse gases, other environmental issues associated with fossil fuels, and price increases and volatility for fossil fuels are causing increased interest among generating companies in undertaking construction of new nuclear power plants. But there are barriers to new construction: uncertainty as to the licensing regime, questions as to the cost-competitiveness of nuclear power with alternatives, issues as to the disposition of spent fuel, and non-proliferation concerns. Dr. Meserve, a former Chairman of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, will examine the barriers to new construction and how they may be overcome.

Technical Host: Michael Cappiello, AFC-PO


Walker Bruce

Bruce D. Walker 
Director, Partner's AIDS Research Center, Howard Hughes Medical Center - Massachusetts General Hospital

Most current HIV vaccine strategies are predicated on an ability to induce immune responses that will contain infection rather than prevent infection. However, the infidelity of the HIV reverse transcriptase readily leads to mutations conferring immune escape and represents an enormous hurdle for vaccine development. Data to be presented from population studies as well as studies in genetically identical adult twins infected at the same time with the same virus indicate that there is significant predictability in the adaptive immune responses to HIV, as well as constraints on mutations that arise within targeted regions of the virus. Moreover, the antiviral efficacy of immune responses can vary with the part of the virus being recognized, as well as with human genetic differences that impact immune responses, demonstrating that not all immune responses are created equally. These data indicate that it is possible to define the not only the viruses being transmitted, but also define the most potent antiviral T cell responses and to predict the earliest mutations that the virus will acquire under effective immune selection pressure, offering new strategies to deal with viral sequence diversity in vaccine development.

Abstract Reviewed as Unclassified LA-UR-11-06040.
Technical Host: Bette Korber, T-10


Blundell Tom

Sir Tom L. Blundell 
Department of Biochemistry - University of Cambridge

Knowledge of the three-dimensional structures of protein targets now emerging from genomic data has the potential to accelerate drug discovery greatly, but technical challenges and time constraints have traditionally limited their use primarily to the optimization of drug candidates. Their application is now being extended beyond structure determination into new approaches for discovery (for reviews, see Blundell et al., 2002; Congreve et al., 2005). High-through-put docking - known as virtual screening - coupled with high throughput X-ray crystallography is focused on identifying one or more weakly binding small-molecule fragments from compound libraries consisting of hundreds of small-molecule fragments. The high-resolution definition of this binding interaction provides an information-rich starting point for medicinal chemistry. The use of high throughput X-ray crystallography does not end there, as it becomes a rapid technique to guide the elaboration of the fragments into larger molecular weight lead compounds.

One major challenge for drug discovery arises from the very large surfaces that are characteristic of many of the protein complexes, for example, those involved in receptor recognition and signal transduction (see, for example, Pellegrini et al., 2000). This is especially true of complexes that are assembled from preformed globular domains. Not only is it difficult to bind a small molecule to the large, relatively flat surfaces of such proteins involved in protein interactions, but it is also difficult to disrupt the interaction entirely, even if one did. It remains to be seen whether the emerging lead discovery approaches discussed in this lecture will prove suitable for these systems. However, recent analyses of multiprotein systems involved in cell regulation and signaling have identified a large number in which one component involves a flexible or unstructured region of the polypeptide chain. An example involves the complex of the human recombinase, Rad51, and the product of the breast cancer associated gene, BRCA2 (Pellegrini et al., 2003), which is not only scientifically revealing but offers an encouraging and perhaps more druggable site of interaction that could be used to target agents that would be helpful during chemo- or radio-therapy. I suggest that proteins forming interactions with a ligand that comprises a continuous region of flexible peptide may be more druggable targets than where complexes are formed from preformed globular protein structures. 

  1. Blundell, T.L., Jhoti, H. and Abell, C. (2002). High-Throughput crystallography for lead discovery in drug design. Nature Reviews Drug Discovery. 1, 45-54;
  2. Pellegrini L., Burke D.F., von Delft F., Mulloy B., Blundell TL (2000) Crystal Structure of fibroblast growth factor receptor ectodomain bound to ligand and heparin. Nature 407, 1029-1034
  3. Pellegrini L, Yu DS, Lo T, Anand S, Lee M, Blundell TL, Venkitaraman AR (2002) Insights into DNA recombination from the structure of a RAD51-BRCA2 complex. Nature 420, 287-293
  4. Congreve M, Murray CW and Blundell TL (2005) Structural Biology and Drug Discovery. Drug Discovery Today 10, 895-907

Technical Hosts: Thomas C. Terwilliger, B-2 and Goutam Gupta, B-1

2005 Events Archive


Htoon Han

Han Htoon 
Physical Chemistry and Applied Spectroscopy (C-PCS) 
Recipient of the Postdoctoral Distinguished Performance Award

Novel low-dimensional materials such as semiconductor quantum dots and carbon nanotubes possess unique electronic and optical properties that have a large number of potential applications ranging from single-electron transistors and solid-state lighting to bio and chemo sensing. Electronic structures in low-dimensional materials are strongly affected by the interplay between quantum confinement and many-body interactions. Understanding this interplay is an important step toward the realization of all the technologies that utilize the unique physics of the nanoscale regime. Optical spectroscopy is one of the most versatile tools for probing electronic structure of materials. However, conventional optical spectroscopy probes an average response of an ensemble containing a myriad of nano-objects, each of which can exhibit variations in composition, size, shape, and local environment. In this talk, I will describe several novel spectroscopic and imaging techniques that allow us to probe individual nano-objects one by one. This capability helps us to reveal a number of fascinating quantum mechanical phenomena that are not pronounced in ensemble responses. For example, we observe new types of electronic states arising from many-body interactions in carbon nanotubes and detect unusual spectroscopic features associated with strong coupling between electrons and lattice vibrations in semiconductor quantum dots.

Institutional Host: Robert Kuckuck


Randy Michelsen and Robert Kroutil 
Center for Homeland Security

On August 27, 2005, the Department of Homeland Security's NISAC (National Infrastructure Simulation and Analysis Center) commenced an analysis of the potential impacts on infrastructure as Hurricane Katrina moved toward the U.S. Gulf Coast. The initial hurricane predictions were based on the best data available as of 9 a.m. MDT on August 27, 2005. The NISAC team provided a number of subsequent updates to this report. The team is currently providing analytical support to DHS as Hurricane Rita progresses across the Gulf. 
In addition, the LANL-supported U.S. EPA ASPECT (Airborne Spectral Photometric Collection Technology) aircraft was deployed to Louisiana and Mississippi on August 30, 2005, to collect information on potential releases of chemical vapors due to storm damage. The aircraft provided support to first responders to address the detection of vapors near five fires, detection of damaged chemical storage containers, and assessment of critical infrastructure. The plane has since been deployed to San Antonio, Texas, for support to the Rita-damaged area. The LANL teams will report on activities associated with the two major hurricanes of the fall of 2005.

Technical Host: John Immele, DDNS

Flying Higher and Faster: Scientific Challenges for the United States Air Force

Lewis Mark

Mark J. Lewis 
Chief Scientist, U.S. Air Force

Since the end of the Second World War, the United States Air Force has seen a transition that has substituted accuracy, speed, and persistence for the simple mass of force. The role of the various Air Force science and technology organizations in accomplishing this transformation will be described. As the Air Force continues to respond and adapt to new challenges and global threats, technologies that can enable highly accurate rapid global strikes, coupled with exquisite capabilities in intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance, will be primary interests in research and development efforts. A review of some of these current critical technology areas, as well as promising future research directions, will be offered. Some specific enabling technologies will be highlighted, including rapid space access, high-speed flight, and high-altitude long-endurance flight.

Institutional Host: Robert W. Kuckuck, Director


Feshbach Murray

Murray Feshbach 
Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars

Beginning in the late 1980s and continuing until 2000, the number of births in Russia declined by 50 percent, while deaths continued to increase--in some years, to almost twice the number of births. The long-term implications are upon them (and us). A major discussion and debate are now being played out on migration policy. It has been a distinct failure since Putin first called for the number of (legal) migrants to number some 750,000 to 1 million per year to compensate for the natural decrease (excess mortality relative to fertility). There have been at most 100,000 net in-migrants in the subsequent period. Compounding this deficit is the marked decline in child health among newborns and continuing through their school years. The Child Health Census of 2002 among 31 million children under 18 years of age only confirmed their fears. The minister of labor anticipates a shortfall of some 1 million persons per year beginning in 2008. 

The health crises ensuing from the astonishing number of deaths now and in the near future due to HIV/AIDS, TB, and hepatitis C, will only exacerbate the potential implosion. Russia's population is anticipated to decrease by one-third by mid-century (from 143 to 80-100 million), while the U.S. will increase by one-third (from 296 to 400 million). The military is not only aware of the consequences for themselves, but they also have become much more forward and revealing than previously, even calling for a joint flag-rank meeting in September of last year between the U.S. and Russia held in Moscow on the HIV/AIDS situation in both militaries. So far, however, the political leadership is not devoting enough resources from domestic funds to deal with the problem; as a consequence, it will only get worse as the accumulated conjunction of population and health issues accelerates.

Technical Host: Rajan Gupta, T-DO


Kirshner Robert

Robert P. Kirshner 
Associate Director of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics

Abstract N/A

Technical Hosts: Richard Epstein, ISR-1 and Andrew Hime, P-23


Robertson Hamish

Professor R. G. Hamish Robertson 
Department of Physics - University of Washington

Physicists have grown up thinking of the ¡§electron neutrino¡¨ as a neutral elementary particle that accompanies beta decay, streams from the sun as it produces its energy, and fills the universe as a primordial relic. It has thus been somewhat of a shock to find experimentally that it is not a particle at all, but a quantum-mechanical superposition of three different massive particles that each have a mixture of flavors. The masses, tiny though they are, have exposed this master of disguise for what it is, and in the process, have revealed the first flaw in the trusty Standard Model. We will summarize where we stand, report new results on solar neutrinos from the Sudbury Neutrino Observatory, and speculate on where all this might be headed.

Technical Hosts: Thomas Bowles, CSO and Rajan Gupta, T-DO


Boss Alan

Alan Boss 
Department of Terrestrial Magnetism - Carnegie Institution of Washington

The search for planets outside our Solar System has a long and dismal history. However, all that changed in 1995, when we entered the era of the discovery of extrasolar planetary systems. To date, well over 100 planets have been found outside our Solar System, ranging from the fairly familiar to the weirdly unexpected. Nearly all of the new planets discovered to date appear to be gas giant planets, similar to our Jupiter and Saturn. Recently, a few planets with much lower minimum masses have been found, but it is not clear if they are ice giant planets similar to Uranus and Neptune, or rock giant planets, i.e., super-Earths. The long-term goal is to discover and characterize nearby Earth-like, habitable planets. NASA has planned an array of ground- and space-based telescopes that will carry out this incredible search in the next two decades.

Technical Host: Mario Perez, ISR-1


Killeen Timothy

Timothy Killeen 
Director of the National Center for Atmospheric Research

Dr. Killeen will present an overview of climate and weather modeling activities, results, and plans at NCAR. He will describe several community-modeling activities, including the Weather Research and Forecasting Model (WRF) and the Community Climate System Model (CCSM), in which LANL plays an important role. He will talk about hurricane simulations using WRF climate change simulations using CCSM (NCAR and its CCSM partners have produced these simulations for the assessment process of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change [IPCC]), and NCAR efforts to improve software engineering for weather and climate models through the Earth Science Modeling Framework (ESMF) project. Dr. Killeen will also discuss the future of NCAR modeling activities, including efforts to improve resolution, extend models up to the thermosphere, and add additional chemical and biological processes, and he will describe the implications of these scientific plans for computational needs in the next 5—10 years.

Technical Host: Herbert Funsten, ISR-CSSE


Conway John

John Conway

Department of Physics - University of California, Davis

High energy physics has achieved astounding precision in accounting for a wide range of physical measurements using the Standard Model. All the particles predicted in this model have been observed except for the Higgs boson. The search for the Higgs, begun in earnest 15 years ago with LEP (Large Electron-Positron collider) at CERN, has now moved to the Tevatron and soon to the LHC (Large Hadron Collider). But is the Standard Model Higgs even likely? And if not, what fills its role in nature? In this talk, we will explore the origins of the Higgs idea, the searches past, present, and future, as well as speculations about what lies ahead.

Technical Host: Rajan Gupta, T-DO


Mcnamara Tracey

Tracey McNamara 
D.V.M., Diplomate A.C.V.P.

In 1999, crow deaths provided early warning of the arrival of the West Nile virus, but this sentinel event was missed. In 2003, pet prairie dogs transmitted monkeypox to owners, but this too was not detected until it had spilled over into the human population in multiple states. In both cases, taxpayers, not susceptible animal populations, served as sentinels. 

These outbreaks highlight a major weakness in infectious disease surveillance for zoonotic pathogens. Animals that have served as sentinels in the past and others that might do so in the future continue to fall through the cracks of federal agency mandates and jurisdictions. Everyone knows about the "canaries in the coal mine" story, but few realize that no agency is responsible for disease tracking or diagnostic testing of them or other non-agricultural species. Those species most likely to serve as urban and rural sentinels continue to be excluded from national biosurveillance efforts. No one could have predicted that crows and pet prairie dogs would serve as sentinels for recent zoonotic threats. Who can say which species might do so next? 

In recognition of this, the CDC and the non-traditional animal communities created a novel surveillance system in 2001. The National West Nile Virus Surveillance Program in Zoological Institutions has proven to be a useful adjunct to public health surveillance and can serve as a nucleus for a larger surveillance effort for zoonotic infectious diseases. It offers a unique opportunity for expansion to a nationwide testing network on captive and free-ranging wildlife, wildlife confiscated at borders, and companion animals. Expansion of this program will offer establishment of baseline activities of infectious agents in animal populations and enhanced capabilities for early detection of novel or emergent zoonotic pathogens.

Technical Host: Michael Altherr, B-5