Archive by date | October 2013

National laboratories prepare to shut down

Los Alamos National Laboratory will stop most work on 18 October due to the US government shutdown.

With no end in sight for the US government shutdown that began on 1 October, the Department of Energy (DOE) is now preparing to shut down the sprawling complex of national laboratories that maintains nuclear weapons and performs a range of basic and applied research.  Read more

US astronomy organization plans closure of Arizona scopes

Telescopes atop Kitt Peak, in Arizona, include the NOAO's 4-metre Mayall telescope (foreground).

The National Optical Astronomy Observatory (NOAO), the Tucson, Arizona-based organization that runs a number of major ground-based telescopes, is preparing to furlough its employees in Arizona if the US government shutdown continues past 18 October — but it will keep workers on in Chile.  Read more

Europe on collision course over e-cigarette legislation

Europe’s Parliament today voted to toughen up the European Union’s regulations on tobacco products, but pulled back from plans to regulate electronic cigarettes as medical products, setting themselves on a collision course with the European Council.  Read more

Nobels 2013: Physics goes to Higgs and Englert

Nobels 2013: Physics goes to Higgs and Englert

“This year’s prize is about something very small that makes all the difference,” said Staffan Normark, permanent secretary of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, in making the announcement today that Peter Higgs and Francois Englert had won the physics Nobel. Normark also name-checked the ATLAS and CMS detectors at CERN in his announcement.  Read more

Student projects interrupted by US shutdown

It was to have been an exciting three-month research visit. Siddharth Hegde, a PhD student at the Max Planck Institute for Astronomy in Heidelberg, Germany, had lined up a trip to NASA’s Ames Research Center near San Francisco. Hegde is an astronomer who models atmospheres on extrasolar planets, and he was planning to study the optical properties of extremophiles — organisms that thrive in extreme environments — during his California sojourn.  Read more