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OSTIblog Posts by Dr. William Watson

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Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity – ChemCam

Science Communications

Published on Sep 12, 2012

Mars Science Lab Rover

How do you run chemical tests at a geologic site millions of miles away from you to see what the rocks and soil are made of? Curiosity’s new instrument ChemCam, developed at Los Alamos National Laboratory, is designed to determine how much light is emitted at each frequency by a geologic sample when it’s heated by a laser beam. Since different materials have different light-emission patterns, measuring the patterns shows what materials emitted them.

Slide presentations giving a general view of Los Alamos contributions to ChemCam:

Reports and analysis of data:


Value of a Semantic Science Accelerator and Means of Constructing It


Published on Jul 28, 2010

OSTI's current services accelerate science through what is largely a kind of card file.  We point people to particular pieces of literature or data that meet certain search criteria.  From there, people can build on what those pieces of information tell them and achieve new discoveries and inventions. 


Why might the critical-point behavior of coauthorship networks be universal? The symmetry group of the associated concept space

Products and Content

Published on Feb 01, 2010

In December 2008, Luis Bettencourt and David Kaiser reported their findings[1] from studies of research collaboration networks, which included their discovery that, as coauthorship networks in a particular field reach the point of forming a single giant component of interconnected authors that dwarfs all other coauthor groups in that field, the growth near that point depends in a universal way on the average number of coauthors per author.  In particular, the fraction of coauthor links that belong to the giant component appears to be proportional to ( - kc)0.35, where kc, which marks the critical point, depends on the research field.[2]  The remarkable fact is that the exponent, 0.35, fits the data for networks in several quite distinct fields.  This value apparently isn’t common to networks in general, though.  I had wondered what features of a network do determine the exponent’s value.