Today at Berkeley Lab

Star Mergers: A New Test of Gravity, Dark Energy Theories

Observations and measurements of a neutron star merger have largely ruled out some theories relating to gravity and dark energy, and have challenged a large class of theories. “It could change the way we think about our universe and our place in it,” Lab physicist Miguel Zumalacárregui said. “It’s going to require new ideas.” More>

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Lab Center Delivers Key Magnet to Future Nuclear Science Facility

The Berkeley Center for Magnet Technology has designed, built, and delivered an advanced magnet for a high-performance ion source at the Facility for Rare Isotope Beams, which is being built at Michigan State University. This is one of the flagship facilities being constructed by the DOE Office of Nuclear Physics. More>

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Updated Version of Alaska Energy Data Gateway Released

Peter Larsen of the Energy Technologies Area recently announced the release of the Alaska Energy Data Gateway 2.0. The gateway, first released in 2013, provides Alaskans with data to make informed decisions prior to undertaking rural energy projects. The project is a joint effort of the Alaska Microgrid Partnership and DOE’s Grid Modernization Initiative. More>

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Health Services Closed During Lab Shutdown

Those working over the shutdown (6 p.m. on Dec. 21 to Jan. 1) should call 911 in the event of an onsite emergency. Call x6999 for non-life-threatening situations. The Security Operations Center will be staffed throughout the shutdown. For work-related injury or illness, seek the necessary medical treatment, then contact your supervisor and Health Services (x6266) on Jan. 2.

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Researchers ID Plant ‘Sunscreen’ Protein

A protein that protects plants from damage caused by too much light energy has been found. Plants with deficient levels of the lipocalin protein are less able to dissipate excess light energy. Researchers will explore how this energy dissipation process is turned on and off, and whether manipulation of light usage could lead to higher crop yields. More>

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Heed These Recommendations for Dec. 19 Evacuation Drill

To ensure a safe and speedy evacuation during the Lab’s Dec. 19 drill, Emergency Management has developed some practical recommendations each zone can follow. Tips include wearing flat, closed-toe shoes, dressing in layers, developing an alternate route home, and taking your portable communication devices with you. Go here for additional recommendations, and here for full details on the drill.

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Heavy Metal: How First Supernovae Altered Early Star Formation

An international team of researchers ran multi-scale, multi-physics 2-D and 3-D simulations at NERSC to illustrate how heavy metals expelled from the universe’s first supernovae regulated subsequent star formation and influenced the appearance of galaxies in the process. More>

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10 Things You Should Know About Niña Horne

Niña Horne of the Environment, Health, and Safety Division feels sorry for little french fries, is terrible at bagging groceries, and despite two guitar heroes in her family, has never learned to strum along. Learn more about Horne here. Are there 10 things we should know about you or someone you work with? If so, send email to communications@lbl.gov.

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Jan. 12 Symposium on Fundamental Physics in Memory of Sidney Drell

This symposium, which takes place at SLAC, will review the current state of issues in fundamental physics that the late Sidney Drell initiated and developed during his career and explore his broader influence on the physics community. The symposium is free but registration is requested. A reception will follow the science program. More>

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Creating a World of Make-Believe to Better Understand the Real Universe

Berkeley Lab scientists are creating simulated universes — complete with dark matter mock-ups, computer-generated galaxies, quasi quasars, and pseudo supernovae — to better understand real-world observations. More>

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