by Kathy Chambers on Wed, April 17, 2013
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. The coherence of galaxies and dark energy and dark matter has been explained and the exciting research that is changing what we know about the world around us. William has given us an in-depth overview of the unique capabilities of metamaterials and how DOE research is eliminating the technical obstacles to their production and use in new devices. We have learned about the development of quantum computing and its capability to solve practical problems not possible with present-day computers. We know how free-electron lasers work and how they are useful for measurement and defense. And, we understand how the Monte Carlo Method was developed and how it has influenced DOE research through the decades.
This month, William’s paper explains what we have learned about how atoms split and the complex details of nuclear fission. We are able to see the persistence of DOE researchers as they reckon with fission’s inherent complexity and how they are improving fission theory and design.
I invite you to visit the Science Showcase each month and learn more about the science that is carving our future. Learn more science from William’s papers. If you need to do some research, do like William does, investigate OSTI’s extensive research collections. Thanks Dr. Watson.