Today at Berkeley Lab

Lab Scientist James Harris Played Key Role in Discovering New Elements

February is Black History Month. Today we celebrate James Harris, a Berkeley Lab scientist and the first African American to play a key role in the search for new elements. He is credited with helping to discover rutherfordium and dubnium. To learn more about Harris, go here, or see recent Berkeley Lab posts on Twitter and Facebook.

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University of California Celebrates 150th Birthday

In 1868, the University of California was founded in Oakland, after the Organic Act was signed into law. Now, 150 years later, the university, which manages Berkeley Lab for the Department of Energy, conducts one-tenth of all academic research in the nation and is one of the premier educational systems in the world. A timeline has been created to chart this historical path. More>

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Doyle, Hoek Win 40th Runaround; Hartman-Baker Wins T-Shirt Contest

Over 750 employees participated in the Runaround on Nov. 17. The female winner was Jennifer Doyle (Engineering), the male winner was Harmen Hoek (Chemical Sciences), and the T-shirt design winner was Rebecca Hartman-Baker (NERSC). Organizers include Anytra Henderson, Steve Derenzo, Chris Debernardi, and Bob Smith, with help from volunteers. View an Exposure feature on the race.

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Cosmic-Ray Particles Reveal Secret Chamber in Egypt’s Great Pyramid

Physicists have used muon detectors to reveal a large, previously unidentified chamber inside the Great Pyramid in Giza, Egypt. The group would next like to scan the country’s second largest pyramid, known as Khafre’s pyramid. In the 1960s, Lab researcher Luis Alvarez used muon imaging to scan this pyramid. He found nothing, but the technology has improved since then. More>

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The Physicist’s Guide to the Universe

An article in the CERN Courier recognizes the Particle Data Group’s contributions to particle physics over the past 60 years. The story chronicles how PDG grew out of a 1957 article co-authored by the Lab’s Art Rosenfeld to become an international collaboration, led by the Lab, whose comprehensive Review of Particle Physics is popularly known as the “bible of particle physics.”

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DOE 40th Anniversary Milestone: Berkeley Lab’s FastBit

The DOE is celebrating its 40th anniversary by highlighting 40 science accomplishments over 40 days. A recent highlight featured Berkeley Lab’s FastBit. Developed in the Computational Research Division, the technology, which speeds up searches through giant datasets, won an R&D100 Award in 2008. More>

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DOE 40th Anniversary Milestone: Expansion of Universe is Speeding Up

Scientists assumed the universe’s expansion was slowing down as gravity pulled debris from the Big Bang back together. But in 1999 Saul Perlmutter and others discovered the universe’s expansion is speeding up, driven by an unknown cause referred to as “dark energy.” They used measurements from Type 1a supernovae, which all reach maximum brightness when they explode. More>

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‘Physics Today’ Profiles Ernest Lawrence in Honor of His 116th Birthday

Born on August 8, 1901, in South Dakota, Lawrence’s rise in academia was meteoric. In 1928, he accepted a position as associate professor of physics at UC Berkeley. In 1930, he became the youngest professor at Berkeley. In 1936, he became director of the Radiation Laboratory. By 1939, he had won the Nobel prize in physics for the invention of the cyclotron. He died in 1958. More>

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Throwback Thursday…Through the Looking Glass in 1973

This photo shows John Kadyk of the Physics Division looking through the Electron Shower Detector for Stanford Positron Electron Accelerator Ring (SPEAR), taken in Building 51 on Jan. 22, 1973. An electromagnetic shower begins when a high-energy electron, positron or photon enters a material. More>

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Earth & Environmental Sciences Area Celebrates 40th Anniversary

Earth & Environmental Sciences Area, previously known as the Earth Sciences Division, was established 40 years ago today. Its rich portfolio and strategic plan focus on a range of subsurface energy, climate and environment, and resiliency challenges. EESA is commemorating the anniversary today through a number of activities. More>

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