Today at Berkeley Lab

Solving the Dark Energy Mystery: A New Assignment for an Old Telescope

The dome has closed on the previous science chapters of the 4-meter Mayall Telescope in Arizona so that it can prepare for its new role in creating the largest 3-D map of the universe. This map could help to solve the mystery of dark energy, which is driving the accelerating expansion of the universe. More>

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The Big Bang May Have Been One of Many

In recent years, a growing number of cosmologists – including the Lab’s Surjeet Rajendran – have revisited an alternative to the Big Bang theory for the origin of the universe. According to a recent article in The Atlantic, these scientists think the Big Bang might instead have been a Big Bounce, in which time continues into the past and future without end. More>

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Thermonuclear Plasmas Topic of Next Instrumentation Colloquium

Robin Benedetti of Lawrence Livermore National Lab will speak on “Observing Thermonuclear Plasmas at the National Ignition Facility” on Wednesday, Jan. 31, from noon to 1p.m. in the Building 50 Auditorium. More>

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How Dark Matter Physicists Score Deals on Liquid Xenon

About 20 percent of the $70 million budget needed to build and run a dark matter detector is used just for xenon gas. Physicists working on the LUX-ZEPLIN project discovered this in 2015, when developing their budget. “We don’t get a break because we’re poor, starving scientists,” says Murdock Gilchriese of the 250-member experiment led by Berkeley Lab. More>

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Dark Energy Survey (DES) Publicly Releases First Three Years of Data

This first major release of data from the survey includes information on about 400 million astronomical objects, including distant galaxies billions of light-years away as well as stars in our own galaxy. DES scientists are using this data to learn more about dark energy. Berkeley Lab is a DES collaborator. More>

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Massive New Telescope to Be Built in South America

UC San Diego recently signed a contract for the design and construction of a state-of-the-art millimeter wave telescope for the Simons Observatory. It will be used to study the Cosmic Microwave Background. The Lab is among 35 institutions comprising the Simons Observatory. More>

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Lab’s Murayama and Goldstein Receive Humboldt Foundation Research Awards

Theoretical physicist Hitoshi Murayama and atmospheric chemist Allen Goldstein received prestigious research grants from the Humboldt Foundation, which promotes collaborative research with German scientists. As part of the award, the two researchers will be invited to spend a period of up to one year cooperating with colleagues at a research institution in Germany. More>

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Dec. 20 Colloquium on Super Conducting Magnets

Maxim Martchevskii of the Accelerator Technology & Applied Physics Division will speak on “A Delicate Sound of Quench: Instrumentation and Diagnostics for Superconducting Magnets” on Dec. 20. The talk takes place from noon to 1 p.m. in the Building 50 Auditorium. More>

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Star Mergers: A New Test of Gravity, Dark Energy Theories

Observations and measurements of a neutron star merger have largely ruled out some theories relating to gravity and dark energy, and have challenged a large class of theories. “It could change the way we think about our universe and our place in it,” Lab physicist Miguel Zumalacárregui said. “It’s going to require new ideas.” More>

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Jan. 12 Symposium on Fundamental Physics in Memory of Sidney Drell

This symposium, which takes place at SLAC, will review the current state of issues in fundamental physics that the late Sidney Drell initiated and developed during his career and explore his broader influence on the physics community. The symposium is free but registration is requested. A reception will follow the science program. More>

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