Today at Berkeley Lab

Veteran Physicists Pursue Their Passion Into Retirement

The Lab’s Physics Division recently held a celebration of its most senior scientists, whose combined years of research total more than 1,000 years. Writer Keri Troutman sat down with three of them — (l-r) Herbert Steiner, Geoffrey Chew, and John Kadyk — to talk about their lives and times at Berkeley Lab and in the world of physics. More>

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Berkeley Can Bask in the Glow as More Elements Hit Periodic Table

The recent inclusion of four new elements to the periodic table was cause for the clinking of champagne glasses. But in a broader sense, UC Berkeley and Berkeley Lab have been the point of the spear for the synthesis of transuranic elements (those with atomic numbers greater than 92) since such research began. More>

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Jan. 8 Event Celebrates ‘1000 Years of Particle Physics Research’

The event, which covers research from the antiproton to the Higgs boson, is a tribute to senior scientists in the Physics Division and their research over the last 50 years. Lab staff are invited to attend the 2 p.m. gathering in the Building 50 Auditorium, followed by a reception in the cafeteria from 4 to 6 pm. Go here for more information and to register.

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Was Plutonium’s ‘Pu’ on Periodic Table a Prank by Seaborg?

Los Alamos chemists say Glenn Seaborg, the discoverer of Plutonium, facetiously suggested the abbreviation for the Periodic Table be Pu, like a child would exclaim “pee-yoo” when smelling something bad. Seaborg’s son Dave corroborated the story. More>

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Homegrown Particle Accelerators Paved the Way for the LHC

A recent episode of KQED’s Quest program looked at the Bay Area’s role in the development of particle accelerators and how they paved the way for the Large Hadron Collider (LHC). The broadcast included interviews with Michael Barnett of the Physics Division and Larry Phair of the Nuclear Science Division. More>

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Making the Portable Gamma Camera

The end of the Cold War and the cancellation of the Superconducting Super Collider led to the creation of this life-saving medical device. Berkeley Lab’s Steve Holland and William Moses were an integral part of that development. More>

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Recycling Nuclear Fuel With Californium

Californium, a radioactive element discovered at Berkeley Lab in 1950, has most often been used in metal detectors, but a researcher at Florida State University has discovered new properties of the heavy metal that could someday help the U.S. store and recycle its spent nuclear fuel. More>

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Throwback Thursday…Life Scientist Mina Bissell Circa 1972

Famed breast cancer researcher Mina Bissell at the new Tissue Culture Facility in 1972.

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75 Years Ago: Lawrence Receives His Nobel Prize at Campus Ceremony

On Feb. 29, 1940, hundreds gathered in UC Berkeley’s Wheeler Auditorium to see Ernest Lawrence receive his Nobel Prize medal in person by the Swedish Counsel General. The rare ceremony outside Sweden took place because of wartime travel disruptions.

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A Pinch of History: Identifying Seaborg’s Plutonium

A tiny pinch of plutonium appears to be the first weighted sample of Pu-239 ever created by the element’s discoverer, Berkeley Lab great Glenn Seaborg, in August of 1942. More>

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