The Michigan Engineer News Center

Professor Herek Clack contributes to a National Academy Report on the Destruction of Stockpiled Chemical Weapons

By the end of the Cold War, the United States had accumulated significant amounts of chemical weapons. In 1993, we became a signatory to the international Chemical Weapons Convention that called for the destruction of chemical weapons.| Short Read

While the bulk of our chemical weapons have been destroyed through conventional thermal destruction (incineration) processes, communities in Kentucky and Colorado successfully lobbied their congressional representatives to prohibit the Army from using incineration to destroy the stockpiles of nerve agents and skin-blistering agents stored at two installations in those states.  Instead, those sites were mandated to identify, design, and construct all-new facilities in which alternative, first-of-a-kind technologies would be used to destroy the remaining stockpiles. Committees convened by the National Research Council have, throughout the process, held periodic and independent technical reviews and provided technical expertise to address issues that arose during design and construction.

Professor Herek Clack is a member of a committee that evaluated the proposed process and recommended modifications. The group is the National Academies Committee on the Effects of the Deletion of Chemical Agent Washout on Operations at the Blue Grass Chemical Agent Destruction Pilot Plant; the report is titled Effects of the Deletion of Chemical Agent Washout on Operations at the Blue Grass Chemical Agent Destruction Pilot Plant.

To learn more about the report, please visit the National Academy Press website.

The electrons absorb laser light and set up “momentum combs” (the hills) spanning the energy valleys within the material (the red line). When the electrons have an energy allowed by the quantum mechanical structure of the material—and also touch the edge of the valley—they emit light. This is why some teeth of the combs are bright and some are dark. By measuring the emitted light and precisely locating its source, the research mapped out the energy valleys in a 2D crystal of tungsten diselenide. Credit: Markus Borsch, Quantum Science Theory Lab, University of Michigan.

Mapping quantum structures with light to unlock their capabilities

Rather than installing new “2D” semiconductors in devices to see what they can do, this new method puts them through their paces with lasers and light detectors. | Medium Read