Researchers study impact of turbines on golden eagles

A New Mexico State University professor in the College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences is conducting research on golden eagles being killed by wind turbines and other human-related factors.

Gary Roemer, professor for the Department of Fish, Wildlife and Conservation Ecology, is conducting a research project to identify whether certain factors impact golden eagle populations. Some of the factors that impact the eagles are electrocutions, vehicle strikes and illegal shootings, but another more recent factor is wind turbine strikes. Read more.

In ‘shocking’ discovery, lightning triggers nuclear reactions

For the first time ever, scientists proved that lightning strikes are powerful enough to knock out neutrons and form radioactive isotopes.

If stars are nature’s fusion reactors, then lightning is its particle accelerator. The powerful electrical and magnetic fields generated by a lightning strike emit a flash of gamma rays that burst out in all directions, colliding with atmospheric gases like a celestial game of billiards.

For years, scientists have wondered if these collisions were powerful enough to knock neutrons out of stable nuclei, creating radioactive isotopes of gases like nitrogen and oxygen. Thanks to a powerful winter thunderstorm and some well-placed radiation detectors, a team of Japanese researchers captured the first definitive proof that lightning can trigger a type of nuclear reaction. Read more.

Marguerite Perey: When the lab assistant gets the credit

Most people obtain a bachelor’s degree before getting their masters, and even that is a prerequisite for a doctorate. Most people, however, don’t discover a new chemical element.

Marguerite Perey graduated with a chemistry diploma from Paris’ Technical School of Women’s Education in 1929, and applied for work at the Curie Institute, at the time one of the leading chemistry and physics labs in the world. She was hired, and put to work cataloging and preparing samples of the element actinium. This element had been discovered thirty years before by a chemist who had also been working in the Curie laboratory, but this was the height of the chemical revolution and the studies and research must continue. Read more.

Discovery for modifying diamonds could change computing – WSU research

A group of WSU researchers has discovered a way to modify diamonds that opens up important applications in the field of quantum computing and in radiation detection.

Kelvin Lynn, professor of physics and of mechanical and materials engineering, and his team were using very thin strips of diamond inside a particle accelerator when they made an intriguing scientific discovery — by accident. Read more.