Had it not been for an inspiring female chemistry professor in college 70 years ago, Darleane Hoffman may never have gone on to become a widely acclaimed nuclear chemist. Hoffman spoke last week at the American Chemical Society National Meeting in San Francisco about the dramatic changes she has seen in the status of women in science. More>
Over 800 people attended the July 12 event. At the Sanford Underground Research Facility’, Lab staff discussed the LUX and LZ dark-matter experiments, and Majorana neutrinoless double beta decay experiment. Go here to hear NSD’s Alan Poon interviewed for South Dakota Public Broadcasting. More>
Senior scientist passed away unexpectedly on Monday evening. His research focused on the synthesis and chemistry of superheavy elements. Nitsche served as a professor in UC Berkeley’s Chemistry Department and was the leader of the Nuclear Science Division’s Heavy Element Group. More>
Nearly 180 boy and girl scouts, along with 50 leaders, visited the Lab last month for this annual event, co-sponsored by the Advanced Light Source and the Workforce Development & Education Office. The scouts listened to lectures, constructed atomic models, built an electroscope, and toured the ALS, among other activities.
Nuclear Sciences’ Kai Vetter leads project to provide online access to info on environmental radiation to help demystify a misunderstood subject. More>
Contributor to Alvarez dinosaur extinction theory died on June 10. More>
Scientists working together on Kelp Watch 2014 — including Berkeley Lab’s Kai Vetter — announced that the West Coast shoreline shows no signs of ocean-borne radiation from Japan’s Fukushima nuclear power plant disaster, following their analysis of the first collection of kelp samples along the western U.S. coastline. Kelp Watch 2014 is a project that uses coastal kelp beds as detectors of radioactive seawater arriving from Fukushima via the North Pacific Current. More>
Lab Director Paul Alivisatos and the Nuclear Science Division’s Kai Vetter recently returned from Koriyama City in the Fukushima Prefecture in Japan where they attended the opening of the Fukushima Renewable Energy Institute. This new laboratory will be part of a network of national laboratories operated by the Institute for Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST). The decision to place the new institute in Koriyama reflects the desire to stimulate economic growth in the Fukushima area, which is still suffering from the effects of the 2011 earthquake. Alivisatos, Vetter and their Japanese counterparts discussed issues ranging from renewable energy to radiological resilience. They met with leadership of AIST as well as with scientists from other parts of Asia, Australia, and Europe. Following these discussions, a new and expanded MOU with AIST is being formulated focusing on geothermal and highly integrated renewable energy generation.
After nearly 30 years, the Nuclear Science Division has moved its Low Background Counting Facility from Lake Oroville to the Sanford Underground Research Facility (SURF) in South Dakota. The facility, which was housed 300 feet below ground in the Oroville dam power house, consisted of an array of eight Germanium detectors shielded by copper and lead bricks. It was designed to search for neutrinoless double-beta decay, a rare decay mode whose observation would provide evidence that the neutrino is its own antiparticle. It was also used to search for dark matter. At SURF, the facility will be located more than a mile underground. A delegation from the Lab went to Oroville on April 21 for an appreciation ceremony.
The Lab’s Nuclear Science Division, Advanced Light Source, and Workforce Development & Education are hosting a Nuclear Science Day for Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts on June 7. This annual event is regularly oversubscribed by hundreds each year, and has attracted youths from as far as southern California. Those available to volunteer at the event can go here to sign up. More information on the event is available here. Contact Alan Poon (x2467) for more information.