Today at Berkeley Lab

Archives for April 2011

CSO Writer is Author of Award-Winning Mystery Series

What can you do with a UC Berkeley degree in Physics and English Literature? The Creative Services Office’s Ann Parker has solved that one. At Berkeley Lab, she writes about the future, explaining next-generation particle accelerators. At night, she’s living in 19th century Leadville, Colorado, thinking about murder. Parker is the acclaimed author of the Silver Rush mystery series, including “Silver Lies,” picked as a “best mystery of the year” by Publishers Weekly. The three-book series – with a fourth on the way — is set in the early 1880’s, in the Rocky Mountain boomtown where Parker’s real life great grandfather was a blacksmith. More>

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Green Corridor Members Visit Berkeley Lab

The steering committee for the East Bay Green Corridor — a collaboration between local communities to create a region of green technology and economic development — met at the Lab on Wednesday. The committee includes representatives from Richmond, Berkeley, Oakland, Alameda, San Leandro, Albany, UC Berkeley, and the Lab. Currently the group is developing a regional solar-permitting policy to streamline the process and cost of installing residential solar panels. During their visit, members toured the Advanced Light Source and the Window Facility. More>

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Hordes Show Up for Berkeley Rep Talk on Dark Energy

A turn-away crowd of more than 600 dark energy enthusiasts filled Berkeley Repertory Theatre’s Roda Stage Monday night (April 25) to hear three Berkeley Lab scientists explain the latest about our expanding universe — and theorize about what it all could mean. The Science at the Theater panel was moderated by astronomy “explainer” Andrew Fraknoi. A YouTube video of the event will be available shortly. Science at the Theater returns to the Berkeley Rep on Monday, June 6 with a conversation about the power of nanoscience. The program starts at 7 p.m. and admission is free.

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Fidelity Quarterly Market Update on May 6

Stay informed on current market conditions and what it means to you as an investor at Fidelity’s Quarterly Market Update on Friday, May 6, at noon in the Building 50 Auditorium. The update will provide a comprehensive perspective on the market conditions and an in-depth review of where and why the market has moved in a particular direction. Go here to register.

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Lab’s Staff Assembly Launches New Website

Berkeley Lab is a member of the Council of UC Staff Assemblies, which meet with UC Regents to provide a staff perspective on university issues. To help better connect with the Lab community, CUCSA delegates Victor Chan (Life Sciences) and Elizabeth Bautista (NERSC) helped create a new website. It includes a feature called “Staff Opinions Matter” that allows employees to share ideas, suggestions, or viewpoints, as well as the ability to sign-up for regular news updates on issues that affect staff. Go here to view the new website, which is also listed in the A-Z index.

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OriginLab Software Survey

IT Division is considering making OriginLab software available for download on the IT Software site. OriginLab creates data analysis and graphing software designed for scientists and engineers. Those who have purchased an Origin license in the past or are thinking about purchasing one in the future are invited to take a brief, one-minute, four-question survey. The survey will be open through May 6.

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Study Finds a Surprise in China’s Energy Future

As China’s economy continues to soar, its energy use and greenhouse gas emissions will keep on soaring as well — or so goes the conventional wisdom. A new analysis by the Lab’s China Energy Group is challenging that notion, one widely held in both the United States and China. Well before mid-century, according to the new study, that nation’s energy use will level off, even as its population edges past 1.4 billion. “I think this is very good news,’’ says Mark Levine, co-author of the report and director of the group. More>

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Antimatter Experiment Heads for the Space Station

The last mission of the Space Shuttle Endeavor is scheduled to blast off tomorrow at 12:47 p.m. Pacific Time to carry the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer (AMS) to the International Space Station. The AMS will comb through cosmic rays looking for dark matter particles, which have not yet been found, as well as for antimatter, which is real but rare. The heaviest antiparticle ever created is the nucleus of antihelium, whose discovery was announced just this past Sunday by the STAR Collaboration. “AMS finding just one antihelium nucleus would suggest that some of the galaxies we see are antimatter galaxies,” explains Hans Georg Ritter of the Nuclear Science Division. For more about the launch, including links to the live webcast, go here.

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Alivisatos, DePaolo, Gadgil Kick Off CC 2.0 ‘Big Questions’ Series Today

On May 3 at 3 p.m. in Building 50 Auditorium, the Carbon Cycle 2.0 initiative will host the first in a series of panel discussions centered on different Big Questions in climate and energy. Lab Director Paul Alivisatos (left) will be joined by Don DePaolo (center), Associate Lab Director for Energy & Environment, and Ashok Gadgil, Division Director for Environmental Energy Technologies. With moderator Drew Isaacs of UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business, they’ll tackle the first question: What is your vision for Earth’s future carbon cycle? Bring your own questions, or watch the live stream on the CC2.0 website.

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Keasling Featured in NOVA’s ‘Power Surge’ Program

Watch the full episode. See more NOVA.

Can emerging technology defeat global warming? The United States has invested tens of billions of dollars in clean energy projects as our leaders try to save our crumbling economy and our poisoned planet in one bold, green stroke. Are we finally on the brink of a green-energy “power surge,” or is it all a case of too little, too late? NOVA focuses on the latest and greatest innovations, including the biofuels work of Jay Keasling and the Joint Bioenergy Institute (JBEI), featured in chapter five of the program.

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