Los Alamos Women in Science

Northern Chapter of the New Mexico Network for
Women in Science and Engineering


Wednesday, July 8, 1998

LAWIS lunchtime Talk and get-together
11:30 am - 1:30 pm, Otowi cafeteria side room A, LANL

Talk at 12:00:
Betty Harris, NMT-1 CMR, LANL
Sensitivity of Once Shocked, Weathered,
High Explosives


Since 1943, high explosives work at Los Alamos has resulted in extensive contamination of the soil, sanitary drain systems, storage tanks, buildings, etc, in the areas where this work was done. Betty Harris will report here on her studies on how these high explosives are modified by weathering, and if she has time may also touch on the resultant stability/safety and environmental implications of these high explosives contaminants in the soil and storm runoff. The abstract from the paper she is writing on this topic follows but don't let it daunt you: this is a general talk and technical terms will be explained. Questions are encouraged!

Sensitivity of Once Shocked, Weathered, High Explosives; K.L. Williams and B.W. Harris --
Effects caused by stimulating once-shocked, weathered high explosives (OSW-HE) are investigated. The sensitivity of OSW-HE to mechanical stimuli was determined using standard industrial tests. Some initial results are given. Pieces of OSW-HE were collected from active and inactive firing sites and from an area surrounding a drop tower at Los Alamos where skid and spigot tests were done. Samples evaluated were cast explosives or plastic bonded explosive (PBX) formulations containing cyclotrimethylene trinitramine (RDX), cyclotetramethylene tetranitramine (HMX), 2,4,6-trinitrotoluene (TNT), mock or inert HE [tris(beta-chloroethyl) phosphate (CEF)], barium nitrate, cyanuric acid, talc, and Kel-F. Once shocked, weathered LX-10 (Livermore explosive [HMX/Viton A, (95/5 wt %)], PBX 9011 [HMX/Estane, (90/10 wt %)], PBX 9404 [HMX/nitrocellulose, tris(beta-chloroethyl) phosphate, (94/3/3 wt %)], Composition B or cyclotol (TNT/RDX explosives), and PBX 9007 (90% RDX, 9.1% styrene, 0.5% dioctyl phthalate, and 0.45 resin) were subjected to the hammer test, the drop-weight impact sensitivity test, differential thermal analysis (DTA), the spark test, the Henkin's critical temperature test, and the flame test. Samples were subjected to remote, wet cutting and drilling; remote, liquid-nitrogen-cooled grinding and crushing; and scanning electron microscope (SEM) surface analyses for morphological changes.

Sideroom A is reserved from 11:30 to 1:30 for people who like to eat earlier or later, and informal discussion. You are welcome to come for just the talk at noon.


--> Nonmembers Welcome! <-- 


  • Friday, July 10, 11:30-1:30, Ashley Pond:
    LAWIS Summer Picnic
    Sandwiches (meat and vegetarian) and sodas provided by LAWIS.
    We will also supply paper plates, utensils, napkins, etc.
    Bring something to share to compliment the sandwiches and sodas
    (eg: chips, any type of salad, other sidedishes, dessert, juice).
    Children, spouses, and non-members with an interest in LAWIS are welcome.
    Ashley Pond is the pond downtown across from the Los Alamos Inn.
    Please RSVP to dede Collins (dede@nets.com) so we can be sure to have enough food
    (if you don't have email contact Tinka Gammel at 667-9149).
    We hope to see you there!

  • Monday, July 27 and Tuesday, July 28
    2:30-3:45, Rm 612 Bldg 6 UNM-LA:

    Panel Discussion on Occupations in the Sciences

    Rebecca LaFave in the Career Resource Center at UNM-LA is hosting two (independent) panel discussions on occupations in the sciences, mathematics, engineering, computer science, and other related technology fields for the benefit of students in the Summer Bridge Program at UNM-LA. Several LAWIS members have volunteered to be on the panel - in fact, the response was so great that the originally planned single panel was expanded to two separate panels! (However, Rebecca is still looking for 1 or 2 mathematicians to round out the panels: contact her directly to volunteer.)

    Rebecca says that if anyone is interested in hearing either of the panel discussions they are welcome to come and listen, though, since space in the lecture hall is limited, she requests that they contact her by email (rlafave@la.unm.edu, preferred) or by phone (662-5919, ext. 202, leave msg) to verify space availability beforehand.

    Rebecca has also volunteered to lead at some future date a similar discussion on careers by a panel of women who have "made it" in their chosen professions for the benefit of younger LAWIS members. Please contact me (Tinka Gammel, jtg@lanl.gov, 667-9149) if you have suggestions which would help make such a panel discussion more useful/interesting to you.


  • Tuesday, August 4: Lunch-Time Talk
    11:30-1:30 (talk at 12:00), Otowi cafeteria sideroom C, LANL
    Joyce Guzik, X-TA, LANL
    "Massive Exploding Stars"

  • Wednesday, September 16: Lunch-Time Talk
    11:30-1:30 (talk at 12:00), Otowi cafeteria sideroom A, LANL
    Wendee Brunish, EES-DO, LANL
    "Dogs and Scent Detection" (with live demo!)

  • October 23-25: NMNWSE Annual Meeting
    See the Call for Papers for the Technical Symposium

  • Date TBA: Lunch-Time Talk
    Panel Discussion on Careers led by Rebecca LaFave, UNM-LA


    If you would like to receive electronic LAWIS announcements, Please send email to
    lawis-request@listman.lanl.gov (content ignored)
    for automated information on subscribing to the LAWIS listserver (you do not need to be a member).

    LAWIS Lunch-Time Talk Organizer: Tinka Gammel, jtg@lanl.gov

    LAWIS home page: /home/lawis/LAWIShome.html

    NMNWSE home page: http://ladmac.lanl.gov/NMNWSE/NMNWSE.html