Today at Berkeley Lab

Quantum Vortices Inside Superfluid Helium Nanodroplets Mapped

Scientists have, for the first time, characterized so-called quantum vortices that swirl within tiny droplets of liquid helium. The research confirms that helium nanodroplets are in fact the smallest possible superfluidic objects and opens new avenues for studying quantum rotation. More>

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Of Metal Heads and Imaging

Lab researchers are developing molecular imaging probes and techniques to study metals in the brain that have been linked to disorders such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases. More>

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A New Chemical Recipe Raises Prospect of Inexpensive Fuel

Chemical Sciences’ Jeffrey Long helps turn ethane into liquid ethanol. More>

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Lab’s Javey and Chang on Short List for Prestigeous Blavatnik Awards

Finalists were selected from a field of 300 nominees, all faculty-rank researchers aged 42 or younger from leading U.S. academic and research institutions. More>

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Durbin Lecture on ‘EGFR Targeting of Radiosensitizing Nanoparticles for Cancer Therapy’

The fifth annual Pat Durbin Memorial Lecture will be held today at 4 p.m. in the Building 50 Auditorium. The lecture honors the late Patricia Durbin (pictured), best known for her seminal work in medical aspects of radiation protection. The Glenn T. Seaborg Center of the Chemical Sciences Division will host refreshments at 3:30 p.m., followed by a lecture on “EGFR Targeting of Radiosensitizing nanoparticles for Cancer Therapy” presented by Gayle Woloschak of the Radiation Oncology Department at Northwestern University.

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Four Lab Scientists Receive DOE Early Career Awards

Four Berkeley Lab scientists are among the 35 researchers selected by the Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Office of Science to receive significant funding for research as part of DOE’s Early Career Research Program. Lab awardees include (clockwise) the Chemical Sciences Division’s Rebecca Abergel, the Accelerator and Fusion Research Division’s Daniele Filippetto, the Material Sciences Division’s Alexander Weber‐Bargioni, and the Life Sciences Division’s Trent Northen. The effort, now in its fifth year, is designed to bolster the nation’s scientific workforce by providing support to exceptional researchers during the crucial early career years, when many scientists do their most formative work. More>

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Chemical Scientist Robert Bergman Wins Welch Award

Berkeley Lab chemical scientist and UC Berkeley Professor Robert Bergman is the 2014 recipient of the Welch Award in Chemical Research for “pioneering work in alkane activation and mechanisms of organometallic reactions.” The Welch Foundation is one of the nation’s oldest and largest sources of private funding for basic research in chemistry. The foundation also cited Bergman’s vital contributions to the understanding of organometallic chemistry and particularly carbon-hydrogen bond activation and its application to drug development and cleaner energy. More>

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Chemical Scientist Rebecca Abergel Named Top 10 Innovator Under 35

Rebecca Abergel of the Chemical Sciences Division was named one of the top 10 innovators under 35 by MIT Technology Review, French edition. Abergel, who heads the Bioactinide Group, is leading development of a pill to decontaminate people in the event of radiation exposure, such as after a “dirty bomb” attack or an accident at a nuclear power plant. The nominations were open to both French citizens and foreigners residing in France. The winners of the regional competitions automatically become candidates for the global list of top 35 innovators under 35. Go here for more (article is in French).

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Tracking Catalysis in Microreactors

Elad Gross (right), of the Chemical Sciences Division, working at the Advanced Light Source with Dean Toste (left) and Kavli Energy NanoSciences Institute member Gabor Somorjai, demonstrated the first technique that allows the catalytic reactivity inside a microreactor to be mapped in high resolution from start-to-finish. Through a combination of in situ infrared micro-spectroscopy and in situ x-ray absorption microspectroscopy, the technique provides a better understanding of the chemistry behind the catalytic reactions and may reveal opportunities for optimizing catalytic performances. This holds promise for more effective and efficient synthesis of pharmaceutical drugs and other flow reactor products. Also working on this study were Xing-Zhong Shu, Selim Alayoglu, Hans Bechtel and Michael Martin. More>

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‘Radar Gun’ Measures Speeds in Tiny World of Atomic Physics

Like the radar guns police use to determine car speed, UC Berkeley professor and Berkeley Lab guest Holger Müller also exploits the physical properties of waves, albeit different ones, in order to measure speeds in the tiny world of atomic physics. His research group is interested in testing and refining modern theories of gravity and quantum mechanics, and in pioneering new experimental techniques to do so. Like our law enforcers, these researchers cannot glance at the speedometers of, say, cesium atoms. Instead, they expand the limits of precision measurement using a family of techniques known as atom interferometry. More>

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