Home » Best of 2013: Favorites from Photo of the Week
Best of 2013: Favorites from Photo of the Week
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Controlling Chaos with Magnetic Fields
This artistic rendition of "spin vortices" illustrates tiny magnetic vortices that spin according to the polarization of each disk's vortex core. At Argonne National Laboratory, scientists are using alternating magnetic fields to control the behavior of these spin vortices, which are small dots made of iron and nickel. The experiments will help to create new, more efficient magnetic devices -- like the random access memory (RAM) in the device you are using to look at this very photo.
Image: Sander Munster, Dresden University of Technology.
Date taken: 2013-01-18 12:58
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Lego Rendition of SLAC National Laboratory's Linear Particle Accelerator
At two miles long, SLAC's linear particle accelerator is a monster of a machine. But now, thanks to an old collection of Legos and some creative work by SLAC graphic designer Greg Stewart, the two-mile accelerator has been drastically reduced in size. After happening upon his Legos at home one night, Stewart decided to spend his evening designing, building and photographing this Lego diorama homage to the inside of the SLAC linac, a place that's 20 feet underground and not often seen by anyone besides the accelerator engineers who work there. SLAC's safety officers will even be pleased to see the Lego workers wearing their "PPE" (personal protective equipment, in this case helmets). See an actual photo of the SLAC linac.
Image: Greg Stewart, SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory.
Date taken: 2013-02-04 12:59
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More than One Way to Hammer a Nail
Last week, Argonne National Laboratory hosted the 18th annual Rube Goldberg Machine Contest, which gathered nine high school teams in a competition to build a series of simples tasks, combining the principles of physics and engineering.
By using common objects like marbles and bicycle parts, the students were assigned to build a machine that takes at least 20 steps to hammer a nail. In this photo, members of a Hoffman Estates High School team work on assembling a Toyland-themed Rube Goldberg machine.
Image: Argonne National Laboratory
Date taken: 2013-03-18 12:00
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Laser Beats Rock
On August 5, 2012, the Curiosity rover touched down on the surface of Mars. The ChemCam instrument package, developed at Los Alamos National Laboratory, is a device mounted on the Mars Curiosity rover that uses two remote sensing instruments: the Laser-Induced Breakdown Spectrometer (LIBS) and a Remote Micro-Imager (RMI).
The LIBS fires a powerful laser that determines chemical compositions of rock and soil samples, while the RMI takes photos of the samples within the rover's vicinity. In this photo, the ChemCam is being prepared in the clean room prior to the launch of NASA's Mars Science Laboratory mission.
Image: Los Alamos National Laboratory
Date taken: 2013-04-08 12:06
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National Science Bowl Participants on the Fast Track to a Future in STEM
After months of training and preparation, regional Science Bowl champions gathered in Washington, D.C. to compete for the national title at the 2013 National Science Bowl. Some of the nation's best and brightest high school and middle school students spent the past few days showing off their science, technology and engineering skills by completing a series of tasks, including the construction of a miniature electric car, using only household items and a lithium-ion battery. In this photo, Yaniel Ramirez from Colegio Catolico Notre Dame in Caguas, Puerto Rico launches his team's electric car down the test track.
Image: Jack Dempsey, Department of Energy
Date taken: 2013-05-02 12:08
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Penguins, Plankton, and Argonne's Advanced Photon Source
For years, researchers have known that certain elements of phytoplankton can possibly trap carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and remove iron from the ocean, but little is known about how iron is cycled and removed from the ocean. Argonne National Laboratory's Advanced Photon Source is helping scientists study climate by measuring the ratio of iron and silica in phytoplankton in Antarctica's Ross Sea. In this photo, a couple of Adelie penguins are checking out some of the samples of phytoplankton collected by researchers in Antarctica.
Image: Georgia Institute of Technology
Date taken: 2013-06-14 12:11
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A Storm in Albuquerque, New Mexico
Did you know: a typical bolt of lightning is about 3 miles long and heats the air immediately surrounding the bolt to over 20,000 degrees Celsius? That's three times hotter than the surface of the sun.
For many Americans, summer isn't complete without an exciting thunderstorm to break up the heat. This electrifying photo was taken by Sandia Labs photographer Randy Montoya during a summer storm on July 21, 2013. The lightning illuminated the Redstone rocket that stands in front of the National Museum of Nuclear Science & History in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Image: Randy Montoya, Sandia National Laboratory
Date taken: 2013-07-31 12:13
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Mapping the Link between Invasive Plants and Wildfire in the Mojave Desert
Scientists at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) are using predictive tools to understand ecological changes driven by frequent fires due to invasive plant species in #California’s #Mojave #Desert. In collaboration with the U.S. Geological Survey, scientists are integrating recent advances in fire science and remote sensing tools to characterize the relationship between non-native invasive plant species and wildfire in the desert under current and changing climate conditions. The satellite image shown here is of the Mojave Desert transformed to principal components highlighting geologic formations, land use and vegetation cover.
Image: PNNL scientist Jerry Tagestad and the U.S. Global Land Cover Facility in Sioux Falls, South Dakota
Date taken: 2013-08-21 12:14
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Identifying and Protecting Alaskan Fishery Habitats
This aerial photo shows open water and floating ice on ponds, lakes and river channels in the Sagavanirktok River Delta in Alaska’s North Slope. PNNL scientists employed satellite technology to understand the impacts of oil development activities on the environment. Using satellite radar to “see” through the ice, scientists detected critical fish overwintering habitats by identifying where ice was grounded and where it was floating. Utilizing this information on critical habitats, fishery managers can suggest locations for energy development activities that increase the sustainability of fishery resources and minimize environmental impacts. Research was funded by the U.S. Department of the Interior.
Image: Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
Date taken: 2013-09-27 12:16
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Oak Ridge in 1942
James Edward Westcott was one of the only people permitted to have a camera at the Oak Ridge site during the Manhattan Project and the Cold War. He documented the lives of many of the residents and workers in the “Atomic City,” in the days before Oak Ridge National Laboratory was actually Oak Ridge National Lab.
In this February 1945 photo, a young woman is welding in the prefabrication shop building, part of the K-25 uranium separation facilities at the Oak Ridge site. Many of the men and women who worked on these projects still live in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, today.
Image: James Edward Westcott, courtesy of DOE & the National Archives
Date taken: 2013-10-23 12:17
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I, Robot Rodeo
This past summer, Sandia National Laboratories hosted the 2013 Robot Rodeo – a 10-event technical challenge that determines the best robot designs for diffusing dangerous situations. The rodeo is a free event that usually includes entries from police departments and military bases in nearby states.
By developing these technologies, robots could potentially remove the danger to humans from the first response to unknown or dangerous situations. Challenges typically include diffusing a trip wire or boring a hole through a wall to peer through with an electronic eye.
In this photo, a robot investigates a bomb threat challenge at an arcade. The operators are not allowed to turn on the lights or turn off the machines, complicating the challenge.
Image: Randy Montoya, Sandia National Laboratories
Date taken: 2013-11-07 12:19
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The First Energy-Efficient Dual-Paned Windows
Researchers at Berkeley Lab helped develop the first energy-efficient dual-paned windows, now used in buildings and homes worldwide for billions of dollars in energy savings. Current windows research in the Environmental Energy Technologies Division at Berkeley Lab is aimed at developing new glazing materials, windows simulation software and other advanced high-performance window systems. The building shown here, located at Berkeley Lab, is a windows testing facility.
Image: Roy Kaltschmidt, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory