Glen's Self-Portrait von
Thanks for being the th visitor since Oct. 10, 1999

Profession: Plasma Physics

The Cerro Grande Fire in May 2000 was bad, to say the least. Our town was evacuated for 5 days, and more than 400 families lost their homes. My house (in White Rock) was fine, although we have been clearing a lot of brush. Here are two pictures, showing the development of the fire on May 10..... the day the town burned. Early Morning, and Mid Afternoon, from Pajarito Acres looking west to Los Alamos.

Comet Hale-Bopp was beautiful from the dark skies of Los Alamos in 1997.

Glen Wurden participated in the "Able" atomic bomb test at Bikini Atoll, July 1, 1946

On July 1, 1946, PFC. Glen James Wurden (my uncle) watched a 21-kiloton atomic bomb, air-dropped from a B-29 (Dave's Dream #44-27354), explode over 100 ships anchored in Bikini Lagoon. Glen, a B-29 mechanic, was on a photo-recon B-29 #44-61577 flying out of Kwajalein, taking pictures at 30,000 feet, 12 miles away from the blast. Click here to see a postcard carried on the "A-Day plane", and here for the letter (page 1) and page 2 which he wrote back to my Grandmother Wurden, on July 7, 1946. The tests were very controversial at the time. The second test, called "Baker", was an underwater shot, which resulted in extensive radioactive contamination of ships and people. Later, he became a B-29 flight engineer, and earned his pilot's wings, but Lt. Glen James Wurden was killed in the crash of an Air Force C-47A transport plane that he was a passenger in, on Feb. 28, 1949.

Space Shuttle re-enters the atmosphere over northern New Mexico

The Space Shuttle Endeavor blazed across New Mexico Sky, 04:49 AM (MDT) May 29, 1996. The Space Shuttle was absolutely spectacular early this morning during its return to Earth, heading towards a landing (2Meg MPEG movie) at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. An orange-white fireball, with a long plasma tail was visible early this morning (1-second exposure, 300 mm lens, ASA 1000 film,....excuse the shutter release jiggles). It was brighter than any star, and the plume persisted for more than two minutes. The shuttle itself was visible from the west-northwest over Pajarito Mountain, to the east-notheast over Santa Fe Baldy, from White Rock, New Mexico for about 90 seconds. For a really close-up view, Click Here.

Dome Forest Fire, April 25-May 3, 1996 (this was nothing compared to the recent Cerro Grande fire, which nearly turned the town and lab into Lost Almost!)

Comet Hyakutake as photographed (1996) from Los Alamos, New Mexico

Click on the photo for all 15 frames (188k)
Fast  (1000 frames/second) imaging of a single lightning bolt

Glen likes to play with fast diagnostics. Click Here for a forward & backward MPEG movie of the lightning bolt sequence shown above, taken with a 1000 frames/second Kodak Ektapro camera using 100 microsec exposure on each frame. However, I usually study plasmas in a can..... it is safer.

Another lightning bolt, over Santa Fe (August 1999) 

Daytime lightning bolt at Nikon D70, f22, 0.5 second exposure, tripod. (July 2006)

8pm, Nikon D70, 70 mm lens, f16, 0.25 second exposure, handheld while walking the dog (August 2006)


 In 1996 I helped my son Alex do a sonoluminescence science fair project, in our garage. Here is a picture of the light from one bubble, repeated compressed while held at the pressure anti-node by sound waves. In 1997 Alex worked on the orbit of Comet Hale-Bopp.  My friend Igor Gladstone took this 10 minute exposure below:



I graduated from the University of Washington in 1977 with BS degrees in Physics, Chemistry, and Mathematics. Then he attended graduate school at Princeton University , earning an MS in 1979, and a Ph.D. in Astrophysical Sciences in 1982. I live and work in Los Alamos , New Mexico. I have researched the family roots in Germany , Denmark , Norway , and Switzerland . I speak German well, and some Japanese.

Glen's publication list

A few Favorite Links:

JT-60U Tokamak in Japan
C-Mod Tokamak at MIT
Fusion Education at Princeton

Genealogy data for Glen A. Wurden

I have done genealogy research as a hobby on all sides of the von Würden family, and found ancestors back to the 1550's in Germany. Somewhere in Switzerland is an ancient family castle, but I have not been able to locate it yet. The coat of arms above, is from Siebmacher's Wappen book, in the 1700's, and is an old (before 1300) Swiss coat of arms. I have genealogy database with more than 1000 individuals, dating back to ~1550 AD. The von Würden family had a family reunion in Bremerton, Washington, (near Seattle) on July 17-19, 1998. Fifty people attended it.
Last updated 04/07/14.

Top Level for magnetic fusion experiments at LANL.