Using the LUX detector (pictured) sheltered in the Homestake Mine in Lead, South Dakota, once North America’s deepest gold mine, scientists are panning the cosmos for a flash of something far more elusive than gold, writes Amina Kahn in Monday’s Los Angles Times. Kahn visited the Sanford Underground Research Laboratory in February to watch scientists turn on the world’s most sensitive search for dark matter particles. Berkeley Lab administers the Sanford Lab for DOE’s Office of Science, with Kevin Lesko of the Nuclear Science Division as PI and many Lab members involved in experiments there, including LUX and the MAJORANA Demonstrator.
Posts Tagged ‘Nuclear Science Division’
In celebration of Women’s History Month, the Department of Energy is featuring “Women @ Energy,” which showcases talented and dedicated employees at the Energy Department. Women @ Energy profiles women across the country who share insights on what inspired them to work in STEM fields (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics). Several Berkeley Lab researchers are included in the feature, including Susannah Green Tringe (JGI), Rachel Segalman (Materials Sciences), Natalie Roe (Physics), Mina Bissell and Jill Fuss (Life Sciences), Kathy Yelick (Computing Sciences), Dawn Munson (Engineering), Gabriel Orebi Gann (NSD), and (pictured) Aindrila Mukhopadhyay (JBEI). More>
The Nuclear Science Division hosted its third annual Nuclear Science Day for Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts on March 2. NSD was able to accommodate nearly 200 of the 730 scouts who signed up. To honor the Division’s efforts to spark interest in STEM subjects, the Boy Scouts of America’s Mount Diablo Council recently presented them with a Community Partnership Award. This year’s Nuclear Science Day was a partnership between NSD, the Advanced Light Source, and the Center for Science and Engineering Education.
Last month at Warsaw’s Presidential Palace, Polish President Bronislaw Komorowski awarded the Nuclear Science Division’s Grazyna Odyniec, a native of Poland, the title of “Belvedere Professor,” the most prestigious rank in Polish academia. She was nominated by colleagues at the Warsaw University of Technology, with whom she has long collaborated. A pioneer in relativistic heavy ion physics and author of over 300 publications, Odyniec has played leading roles in several generations of experiments, most notably STAR at Brookhaven’s Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider. A decade ago she spearheaded US participation in the heavy ion program at CERN’s Large Hadron Collider. More (in Polish)>
Are domain walls the origin of dark energy and dark matter? A far-out idea, but worth a simple test. The same theories that predict hypothetical axions could lead to such fractures in space. Dmitry Budker of the Nuclear Science Division and his colleagues from Canada, Poland, UC Berkeley, and Cal State East Bay propose an array of atomic magnetometers — small devices that sense minute changes in magnetic fields – to signal when Earth passes through a wall. Four magnetometers detect its velocity, with a fifth to confirm the prediction. The collaborators call their trap the Global Network of Optical Magnetometers for Exotic Physics — GNOME, for short. More>
On Dec. 6, working nearly a mile underground in the cleanest space in South Dakota, Ryan Martin of Berkeley Lab’s Nuclear Science Division (NSD) assembled the first of 70 detector units for the MAJORANA DEMONSTRATOR experiment. Each unit consists of a polished slice of pure germanium crystal the size of a hockey puck, attached to an electronics board on a wafer-thin disk of fused silica. More>
Division/Department? Nuclear Science
Years at the Lab? 10.5 years
What do you do at the Lab? Research Coordinator for the 88-Inch Cyclotron.
What do you like best about your job? The people I work with in Building 88. They are truly an amazing group of talented individuals, and are more like family than co-workers.
How does your job help make the Lab successful? By ensuring that the Cyclotron is used fully and efficiently for science, so that it remains one of the great facilities in the Lab’s tool box.
What are some of your favorite activities outside of work? Camping, hiking, Jeeping, and exploring. My family and I have taken several cross-country camping trips, and I recently visited my 50th state. My favorite park is Arches National Park in Utah.
What saying best reflects your outlook on life? “Question with boldness…” – Thomas Jefferson
What is the strangest thing that has happened to you on the job? Finding radioactive pottery pieces on Al Ghiorso’s desk.
Do you possess any unique talents? I’ve played the clarinet and saxophone for 30 years. I hope to start a New Orleans jazz band one of these days.
What would you like to accomplish in the future? I serve on the General Sciences Workplace Life Committee, and last year we discovered that there was strong interest in having a fitness facility here at the Lab. I would like to see that fitness facility built.
This profile was provided by the Change Agent Project
James Symons will step aside as Director of the Nuclear Science Division to dedicate full effort to cross-divisional leadership as Associate Laboratory Director for the General Sciences. During the past 10 years “the Nuclear Science Division has flourished under James’s leadership,” said Lab Director Paul Alivisatos in announcing the change, noting major contributions to neutrino physics, relativistic heavy-ion science, superheavy elements, nuclear structure, and nuclear theory, plus leadership in detectors and facilities including GRETINA, ALICE EMCal, the Sanford Underground Laboratory, redirection of the 88-Inch Cyclotron, and important new ties with UC Berkeley. Symons will continue as acting director for NSD during a nation-wide search for a new director.
“Stuart was a truly remarkable scientist, with extraordinarily diverse interests, and still very much at the height of his powers,” says James Symons, Nuclear Science Division director, of Stuart Freedman, who passed away suddenly on Nov. 9 while attending a scientific conference. “It is somehow fitting that he spent his last few days with close friends, actively engaged in discussing new ways to make fundamental measurements requiring deep insight and ingenuity. We have lost a great physicist, but I can’t imagine that he would have wanted to leave us in any other way.” More>
LUX, the Large Underground Xenon experiment, is the most sensitive search yet for WIMPs (weakly interacting massive particles), leading candidates for constituents of dark matter. For more than three years the LUX detector has been under construction in the Sanford Underground Research Facility in South Dakota. In July it was installed in its shielding tank, and last week the tank was filled with pure water. LUX will begin taking data early next year. Berkeley Lab scientists are members of the LUX collaboration, and Sanford Lab operations, funded by DOE’s Office of Science, are headed by principal investigator Kevin Lesko of the Nuclear Science Division. More>