Today at Berkeley Lab

Nuclear Science, Physics, Help Celebrate Neutrino Day in South Dakota

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>

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In Memoriam: NSD Chemist Heino Nitsche (1949 -2014)

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>

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Nuclear Science Hosts Another Successful Scout Day

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.

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RadWatch Brings Near Real-Time Radiation Data to the Public

Nuclear Sciences’ Kai Vetter leads project to provide online access to info on environmental radiation to help demystify a misunderstood subject. More>

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In Memoriam: Nuclear Chemist Frank Asaro

Contributor to Alvarez dinosaur extinction theory died on June 10. More>

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No Fukushima Radiation Detected on West Coast Shoreline, Says Study

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>

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Fukushima Renewable Energy Institute Opens: Alivisatos, Vetter Represent Berkeley Lab

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.

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Low Background Counting Facility Moves to Sanford Underground Research Facility

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.

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Volunteers Sought for Nuclear Science Division’s Scout Day

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.

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10 Questions for Nuclear Science’s Azriel Goldschmidt

Azriel Goldschmidt conducts research on particle physics detectors in the Nuclear Science Division and has worked at the Lab for 15 years.

Q: What is your proudest moment on the job?
A: Achieving in a successful group effort the best energy resolution in xenon detectors at high pressure

Q: What do you enjoy most about working the Lab?
A: Team effort, good vibe, and constructive interactions between group members. Plus the very intellectually stimulating atmosphere.

Q: Why do you like science?
A: it is one of my ways of appreciating the world’s beauty and feeling part of it.

Q: Who is your science hero?
A: Anyone who makes real breakthroughs while being a nice, approachable, whole, giving person. One example: Saul Perlmultter.

Q: Where were you born and/or raised?
A: Raised in Argentina.

Q: What is your cultural heritage?
A: Latin-American/Jewish

Q: What are your favorite activities outside of work?
A: Parenting and singing and dancing to Flamenco music.

Q: How are you involved with your community?
A: Volunteering in school and other activities. Giving outreach science talks when there is an opportunity.

Q: What famous person would you most like to meet?
A: Gandhi.

Q: What saying best reflects your outlook on life?
A: Who is wise? The one who learns from every person. Who is rich? The one who appreciates what he has. Both are from Pirkei Avot.

Go here to provide your own answers to 10 questions.

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