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OSTIblog Articles in the William Watson Topic

Plasmas - The Greatest Show on Earth

by Kathy Chambers 24 Jun, 2013 in Products and Content

Perhaps the most beautiful and eerie displays of light in our sky are a phenomenon known as the auroras. This natural glow of light in the sky in high latitude regions usually displays ribbons of colors from a fluorescent green to brilliant purple to a vivid crimson somewhat like an unexpected beautiful sunrise or sunset.  Observers often call it the greatest show on Earth.

Auroras are triggered by geomagnetic storms when gusts of solar plasma wind strike the Earth’s magnetic field; charged particles rain down over the north and south magnetic poles, lighting up the atmosphere and causing the air to glow.

Related Topics: ambient-gas, auroras, geomagnetic storms, microwave thrusters, nanomaterials, OSTI collections, plasma, SciTech Connect, spaceship propulsion, William Watson

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OSTI’s Amazing Dr. Watson

by Kathy Chambers 17 Apr, 2013 in Products and Content
Searching for "clues"

During the past year, Dr. William N. Watson, physicist, of DOE/OSTI’s staff has posted quite a few very interesting white papers in OSTI’s monthly Science Showcase on OSTI’s Home Page.  This quiet, unassuming man crafts prolific papers on popular science topics of interest to the Department of Energy (DOE).  He investigates and assimilates this information from OSTI’s extensive R&D Collections and takes us on a layman’s journey through the technical details and scientific research that make it all possible.

William’s papers have helped us to understand key technologies developed at DOE Laboratories for the Mars Science Laboratory’s Curiosity and how chemical analysis of rocks and soil is determined millions of miles away.  We know what is happening with new heat pump technology and how DOE researchers are working to improve designs and efficiency. 

Related Topics: Curiosity, dark energy, dark matter, DOE Science Showcase, free-electron lasers, heat pump, metamaterials, quantum computing, R&D Collections, William Watson

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