Today at Berkeley Lab

Creating a World of Make-Believe to Better Understand the Real Universe

Berkeley Lab scientists are creating simulated universes — complete with dark matter mock-ups, computer-generated galaxies, quasi quasars, and pseudo supernovae — to better understand real-world observations. More>

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Jay Marx Gives Talk on Discovery of Gravitational Waves on Dec. 18

Jay Marx, formerly with LIGO at Caltech, will discuss the discovery of gravitational waves from a merging pair of black holes 1.3 billion light-years away, confirming the most radical prediction of Einstein’s theory of gravity. The event — aimed at scientists and non-scientists alike — starts at 3 p.m. in the Building 50 Auditorium. It will be streamed live. More>

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MACHOs Are Dead, WIMPs Are a No-Show; Say Hello to SIMPs

The search for dark matter has failed to find an abundance of dark, massive stars or scads of strange new weakly interacting particles. But a new candidate — SIMPs — is slowly gaining followers. The Lab’s Hitoshi Murayama says that recent observations of a nearby galactic pile-up could be evidence for the existence of SIMPs. More>

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Physics Hosts Cosmic Visions Dark Energy Workshop

Nearly 100 scientists gathered at Berkeley Lab for a two-day workshop (Nov. 14-15) to plan future directions in dark energy research. The goal of the workshop, hosted by the Physics Division, was to identify and develop ideas for small-scale activities that could enhance the dark energy science of the DESI and LSST projects, which will begin operations in the next few years.

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Berkeley Lab Physicist, Atmospheric Chemist Named AAAS Fellows

Two Berkeley Lab scientists — Michael Barnett (left), a senior physicist and educator, and Ronald Cohen, a climate and air quality researcher — have been named as Fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), the world’s largest general scientific society, formed in 1848. More>

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Zwicky Transient Facility Opens Its Eyes to the Volatile Cosmos

The launch of Caltech’s Zwicky Transient Facility — a robotic camera able to capture hundreds of thousands of stars and galaxies in a single shot — was widely covered in the news. The Lab is among the partners in the facility. Articles appeared in Astronomy Now magazine, Science magazine, and The Guardian, among others. There was a related press release by Caltech.

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Two Lab-Affiliated Researchers in Forbes ‘30 Under 30 in Science’ List

Two Lab-affiliated researchers, Aaron Meisner of the Physics Division and Liang Wu of the Materials Sciences Division, were recognized in the annual Forbes 30 Under 30 In Science list. Meisner works on the Dark Energy Spectroscopic Instrument (DESI) project. Wu was recognized for his research on topological materials. More>

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Search for Dark Photon Narrowed Using Decade-Old Particle Collider Data

A fresh analysis of particle-collider data, co-led by Berkeley Lab physicists, limits some of the hiding places for one type of theorized particle — the dark photon, also known as the heavy photon — that was proposed to help explain the mystery of dark matter. More>

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The Mystery of the Star That Wouldn’t Die

Berkeley Lab and UC Berkeley scientists were part of a team that helped to decipher one of the most bizarre spectacles ever seen in the night sky: a supernova that refused to stop shining, remaining bright for more than 10 times the duration of an ordinary stellar explosion. Researchers are puzzled by what occurred and are looking to learn more about what caused the event. More>

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Recent Lab Workshop Explores Quantum Information Science

On Oct. 25, Berkeley Lab and UC Berkeley scientists gathered for a daylong workshop focused on enhancing connections across the Berkeley community related to quantum information science (QIS). Quantum computing could help solve some of science’s hardest problems in chemistry, materials, and other disciplines. More than two dozen talks were presented. More>

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