Citizen Engagement

Los Alamos Lab gets its own app

Historic Manhattan Project

The home of the Manhattan Project, which developed the atomic bomb during World War II. (Los Alamos National Laboratory photo)

One of the U.S. government's historically most secretive installations now markets an application on Apple's iStore.

On June 6, Los Alamos National Laboratory launched its first app for iPhones and iPads as part of its yearlong 70th birthday celebration.

LANL was founded in 1943 to house the Manhattan Project, headed up by Robert Oppenheimer. Back then the facility was so secretive, it was known only by a Post Office box in Santa Fe, N.M., even though it was home to hundreds of workers and scientists who eventually produced two versions of the first atomic bomb.

These days the LANL is a multidisciplinary research institution, specializing in "strategic science on behalf of national security," according to its self-description. Los Alamos National Security, a team that includes Bechtel National, the University of California, The Babcock & Wilcox Company and URS Corp., run the lab on behalf of the Energy Department's National Nuclear Security Administration.

LANL made the free app available on June 6 at the online Apple Store -- search "Los Alamos National Lab." An Android version is expected soon.

The app is intended provide users with information and insight about the lab, including its national security mission, research projects, history, and the scientists and other professionals who make up its roster.

The app also provides easy access to news and other information,

The new app, said LANL, is just one of numerous activities planned in 2013 to mark its 70th anniversary, including public lecture series at the Laboratory's Bradbury Science Museum, a 70th anniversary webpage, which includes a "Faces of Science" section, information on cutting-edge research, videos and historic photos and a pulldown menu of scheduled events open to employees and the public.

About the Author

Mark Rockwell is a senior staff writer at FCW, whose beat focuses on acquisition, the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Energy.

Before joining FCW, Rockwell was Washington correspondent for Government Security News, where he covered all aspects of homeland security from IT to detection dogs and border security. Over the last 25 years in Washington as a reporter, editor and correspondent, he has covered an increasingly wide array of high-tech issues for publications like Communications Week, Internet Week, Fiber Optics News, tele.com magazine and Wireless Week.

Rockwell received a Jesse H. Neal Award for his work covering telecommunications issues, and is a graduate of James Madison University.

Click here for previous articles by Rockwell. Contact him at mrockwell@fcw.com or follow him on Twitter at @MRockwell4.


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