LLNL garners two top physics stories of 2012
In May 2012, the two most recently discovered elements were given names after the physics labs that discovered them. Number 114 is flerovium (Fl) after the Flerov Laboratory of Nuclear Reactions in Dubna, Russia, and number 116 is livermorium (Lv) after the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. In September, researchers at the RIKEN laboratory in Japan claimed to have successfully generated atoms of element 113. If confirmed, it would be the first new element to be discovered in East Asia, though researchers at Livermore and Russia also have claimed to have synthesized the element in the past.
The title of the "World's Fastest Computer" returned to the United States in June 2012 when Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory's Sequoia machine topped out at 16.2 petaflops. Then in November, Oak Ridge National Laboratory one-upped them with its Titan supercomputer, which hit 17.59 petaflops. U.S. computers now hold the top two slots for the first time since 2009, beating out Japan's K computer. Sequoia is used by the military to simulate nuclear detonations while Titan is an open machine leasable by the public.
For a list of all the top 2012 physics stories, go to APS News.