Today at Berkeley Lab

Archives for March 2012

When Dark Energy Turned On and the Universe Sped Up

Berkeley Lab physicists are among the leading members of BOSS, the Baryon Oscillation Spectroscopic Survey, the largest component of the third Sloan Digital Sky Survey. They include principal investigator David Schlegel, instrument scientist Natalie Roe, and science survey team chair Martin White, with major contributions from BOSS members Beth Reid, Shirley Ho, Hee-Jeong Seo, Nicholas Ross, Stephen Bailey, and others. The first spectroscopic results from BOSS have just been announced, giving the most precise measurements yet of the time, halfway back to the big bang, when dark energy took over and the expansion of the universe began to accelerate. More>

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Blackberry Gate Closed Tomorrow and Sunday

Work on the Computational Research and Theory building (CRT) this Saturday and Sunday will require the closure of Blackberry Gate from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. to vehicular traffic (pedestrians and bikes are OK). Motorists must use Strawberry Gate. Building 88 can be accessed via Blackberry Gate only.

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World Backup Day Is Tomorrow…Don’t Be An April Fool

The Lab is helping to celebrate World Backup Day on Saturday. With the motto “Don’t be an April Fool, Backup Your Data, Check Your Restores,” the day is an awareness-raising event about the importance of backing up data and ensuring those backups are working as expected. IT offers “Carbonite,” an inexpensive, simple backup service for laptops and desktops for just $4 a month. IT can also help with more complex backups for servers and shared storage or help find a repository for large archival datasets. Regardless of the approach, make sure your data is safe and test your backups regularly to make sure they’re still working. More>

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NGLS Talk Today on ‘Correlated Electron Physics at Ultrafast Timescales’

Robert Kaindl of the Materials Sciences Division presents an NGLS@noon talk today on “Correlated Electron Physics at Ultrafast Timescales: Challenges & Opportunities.” The event takes place in Building 15-253, and will also be webcast. Ultrafast spectroscopy provides flexible tools to investigate fundamental excitations and dynamics of solids. In this talk, Kaindl will review the application of femtosecond pulses to studies of intrinsic processes and non-equilibrium phases in complex materials such as correlated insulators or cuprate superconductors.

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Transparencies No Longer Recyclable at the Lab

For many years, the Lab has recycled used transparencies, typically used for viewgraphs. However, recyclers no longer consider this material as an asset and won’t accept it anymore. As such, the Lab will end its recycling program for transparencies. Offices with cardboard collection containers can re-purpose them or deposit in a cardboard or blue recycling bin. Put transparencies in regular trash or “Landfill Trash” bins.

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Nano*High Talk Tomorrow on Metamaterials

The next Nano-High session will be tomorrow at 10 a.m. in a new location, 2050 Valley Life Sciences Building on the Berkeley Campus. Berkeley Lab materials scientist Xiang Zhang, one of the world’s leaders in the study of “Metamaterials” will walk us through the discovery, design, synthesis and properties of these extraordinary new materials. Special emphasis will be placed on their use as “invisibility cloaks” and in “superlenses,” which allow the resolution of objects far smaller than what can normally be observed. Lab staff are encouraged to invite their high school-age children and attend themselves. More>

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Next Meeting of Lab Integrated Bioimaging Initiative on April 4

If you’re involved in biological imaging at Berkeley Lab, then put the next meeting of the LBNL Integrated Bioimaging Initiative on your calendar. It takes place Wednesday, April 4, at 4 p.m., room 141 Potter Street. The event features the Molecular Foundry’s Bruce Cohen discussing next-generation nanocrystals for imaging, and the Life Sciences Division’s Manfred Auer presenting his research on multimodal imaging of bacterial communities. The initiative is designed to integrate the wide breadth of imaging expertise and technology at Berkeley Lab, and to take better advantage of these capabilities. Go here for more information, or send questions and comments here.

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What’s It Like to Own an Electric Car? Lab Staff Answer in BERC Blog Post

A story by Marie Mayer of Materials Sciences was recently posted on the Berkeley Energy & Resource Collaborative (BERC) website, which focuses on two Lab employees and their electric cars. Jeff Beeman (pictured), also with Materials Sciences, owns a Nissan Leaf, and Rob Duarte of Engineering has a Chevy Volt. They discuss why they decided to go electric, how the vehicles are performing, and how to maximize their driving experience. Among the interesting tidbits in the story…Duarte hasn’t been to a gas station since he purchased his Volt in January. More>

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Class on Archiving Files and Records on April 10

Are you running out of space in your office, moving to a new office, or tasked with processing the records of retiring (or already retired) scientists? Learn more about files that need to be kept, which can be archived, which can be disposed of, and DOE and Lab compliance at a workshop (BLI0926) sponsored by the Archives and Records Office and the Berkeley Lab Institute on Tuesday, April 10, from 10 to 11:30 a.m. in Perseverance Hall. Registration is required. More>

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Campus Hosts Forum on ‘Patentable Subject Matter in the Health Sciences’

The Berkeley Center for Law & Technology will host a panel discussion on the patentabilty of diagnostic methods and DNA on Thursday, April 5, from 4 to 6:30 p.m., followed by a reception. The discussion will focus on two current cases: Prometheus v Mayo and AMP v Myriad. In the recent Prometheus case, the Supreme Court held that a claim that covers specific correlations between blood test results and the effectiveness of a drug dosage is not eligible for patent protection. The Myriad case has been remanded to the Federal Circuit for reconsideration in light of Prometheus and the District Court’s ruling that various claims to DNA lack patent-eligibility. The event is free but registration is required. More>

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