Researchers revisit ‘first experiments’

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Advancing ideas for signature facility known as MaRIE

By Roger Snodgrass

Investigators at Los Alamos National Laboratory are combing through the history of modern science, looking for what might have been done differently.

In an exercise called “First Experiments,” 15 teams of researchers are working on answering a highly theoretical set of questions.

For example, in building the first atomic weapon, what experiments could be designed now that could be performed tomorrow, using the anticipated tools of LANL’s future materials research facility.

“That gap is what MaRIE needs to close,” said John Sarrao, program manager for a budding concept known as Matter-Radiation Interactions in Extremes.

He said a book of “First Experiments,” would be published in the spring, based on the researchers’ results.

MaRIE is a potentially far-reaching project designed to anchor LANL research into the coming decades.

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