On Nov. 15, the Institute for Nuclear and Particle Astrophysics, a joint institute with participation from the Lab’s Nuclear Science and Physics Divisions, celebrated its 20th Anniversary. In the past two decades, members of the institute have received numerous awards and recognitions, including two Nobel Prizes in Physics (George Smoot and Saul Perlmutter). A mini-symposium was held, followed by an afternoon tea. Speakers included Distinguished Staff Dave Nygren, Senior Staff Spencer Klein, Chamberlain Fellow Carlos Faham, Primikoff Prize winner Dan Dwyer, and Nobelist Saul Perlmutter. Go here to view videos of their talks.
Posts Tagged ‘Nuclear Science Division’
In our universe there are particle accelerators 40 million times more powerful than the Large Hadron Collider. Scientists don’t know what these cosmic accelerators are or where they are located, but new results being reported from “IceCube,” the neutrino observatory buried at the South Pole, may show the way. Berkeley Lab is a member of the IceCube collaboration and researchers such as Spencer Klein and Bob Stokstad of the Nuclear Science Division, and Lisa Gerhardt of NERSC, among many others, have made valuable contributions. More>
[Nature] Tests on the exhumed body of the late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat have found traces of the radioactive isotope polonium-210, prompting renewed claims that he was deliberately poisoned. Others are less certain. Polonium-210 has a half-life of 138 days, so any radioactivity measured by the team would have been a million times lower than in 2004. “After so many half-lives you can’t reliably say how much polonium was there eight years ago, there’s too much background interference,” says Kai Vetter, head of applied nuclear physics at Berkeley Lab. More>
A reel of black & white film shot nearly 60 years ago has surfaced at Berkeley Lab, depicting the discovery of Mendelevium — or Element 101 — as reenacted by some of the legendary scientists who did the actual work at that time, such as Al Ghiorso. Since the 1940s, Berkeley Lab scientists were locked in a race to synthesize new elements, and more often than not, they came out winners. Sixteen elements, most of them in the actinide series at the bottom of the periodic table, were discovered and synthesized by its researchers. More>
Darleane Hoffman of the Nuclear Science Division was the keynote speaker at a special symposium honoring her life and career held on the opening day, Oct. 3, of the American Chemical Society Western Regional Meeting in Santa Clara. Hoffman presented a retrospective view of her 65 years as a leading nuclear chemist. Her pioneering research and numerous achievements, including her contributions to the advancement of women in science, were presented by colleagues and former students including Dawn Shaughnessy, Kim Thomas, David Hobart, Mary Neu, Howard Hall, Steve Kreek, Roger Henderson, Rolf Sudow, Charles Folden III, and Annie Kersting. More>
Fred Goulding, a Berkeley Lab Emeritus Distinguished Staff Senior Scientist, passed away on July 2. He was 88 years old. He was a staff member from 1960 until his retirement in 1991. Goulding was a pioneer in the application of modern electronics to nuclear physics research He was internationally recognized for the development and application of semiconductor radiation detectors, and was among the earliest to implement computer control and data acquisition methods for science. He served as group leader in the Nuclear Chemistry Division (now Nuclear Science), and a department head in the Engineering Division. More>
[Washington Post] A new study has proposed that all the gold on earth might have originated in extremely rare and violent collisions of neutron stars. A June event witnessed by astronomers in a galaxy 3.9 billion light-years away, lasting only two-tenths of a second, created an estimated 20 Earth-masses — or 100 trillion oil tankers — of gold, according to a “back-of-the-envelope calculation” by Berkeley Lab astrophysicist Daniel Kasen. “You need a lot of neutrons to throw at some seed nucleus to build it up to something heavy like gold or lead or platinum,” he says. “I’m partial to the name ‘blingnova’ to describe this kind of event, since what we are seeing is basically an ostentatious glimmering of riches.” More>
On Friday, Spencer Klein of the Nuclear Sciences Division will present a talk on “Evidence for Ultra-High Energy (above 100 TeV) Astrophysical Neutrinos.” Klein will present the evidence that IceCube — a telescope buried one mile underground at the South Poleh — has amassed for the existence of ultra-high energy (above 100 TeV) neutrinos produced outside the solar system. The event sample includes three neutrinos with energies above 1 PeV — by far the highest energy neutrinos ever seen. The talk — sponsored by the Lab’s Institute for Nuclear and Particle Astrophysics Journal Club — takes place at noon in the Building 50 Auditorium.
Joseph Cerny is retiring after more than half a century of research and leadership at Berkeley Lab and UC Berkeley. Cerny is the former head of the Nuclear Science Division and Associate Laboratory Director at Berkeley Lab, and Professor of Chemistry, former Chemistry Department chair, Graduate Division Dean, and Provost and Vice Chancellor for Research at UC Berkeley. His investigation of the limits of stability in light elements and discoveries of proton emission as a mode of radioactive decay and beta-delayed two-proton emission have brought many distinguished honors, as has his service, including the prestigious Berkeley Citation. More>
Dmitry Budker of the Nuclear Science Division has joined with colleagues at Harvard University and UC Berkeley in a successful experiment to extend the coherence time of electron states of nitrogen vacancy (NV) centers in diamond. No bigger than a pair of atoms, these defects occur naturally in diamonds but can also be implanted at will and are one of the most potent possible sensors of magnetic fields on the nanoscale. By maintaining electron coherence for more than half a second, the researchers have advanced diamond NV centers to the forefront of candidates for quantum computing and sensing applications. More>