Today at Berkeley Lab

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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Former Lab Physicist Alper Garren Passes Away

Garren contributed to the design and orbit theory of the Bevatron, the 88-Inch Cyclotron, the Advanced Light Source, Fermilab’s Proton Synchrotron, and CERN’s Large Proton-Proton Storage Rings, among many other accelerators. He collaborated with scientists around the world, sharing his ideas with colleagues and mentoring his students. He passed away on June 25. He was 92. More>

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DOE Podcast on How the Atomic Age Began

The three-part broadcast — part of the Department of Energy’s “Direct Current” podcast series — looks at what happened in three top-secret town, and how the DOE and National Park Service teamed up to preserve the legacy of this pivotal moment in history. Part one looks at the Manhattan Project. More>

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Mars Research by Pimentel Recognized With National Historic Landmark

The American Chemical Society honored George Pimentel’s development of the Mars Infrared Spectrometer with a plaque in the lobby of UC Berkeley’s Pimentel Hall. The spectrometers were used on the NASA spacecrafts Mariner 6 and 7. In addition to being an associate director at the Lab, Pimentel was a longtime Cal professor, teaching freshman chemistry until just before he died in 1989. More>

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Former Rad Lab Researcher Harold Weaver Dies at Age 99

Weaver, a pioneer of radio astronomy who discovered the first microwave laser, passed away on April 26. A UC Berkeley professor emeritus, Weaver worked on isotope separation at the “Rad Lab,” Berkeley Lab’s predecessor on campus, as part of the Manhattan Project. More>

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In Memoriam: Mendelevium Co-Discoverer Bernard Harvey

Harvey (far right) died on Nov. 29 at age 97. He co-discovered element 101, mendelevium, with Glenn Seaborg in 1955. He wrote the first scientific paper on plutonium chemistry during World War II, which caught the eye of Seaborg. At Seaborg’s urging, Harvey joined the Lab in 1953 and served as director of the 88-inch cyclotron and the Nuclear Science Division before retiring.

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Ed Lofgren, Pioneering ‘Rad Lab’ Physicist, Dies at 102

Lofgren, who died on Sept. 6, played key roles in many projects throughout the Lab’s history. He was a close associate of E.O. Lawrence, and chief physicist for the development, construction, and operation of the Bevatron. He also served as associate laboratory director, and was the first director of the Accelerator Division. He retired in 1979. More>

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