Today at Berkeley Lab

$40M to Establish New Observatory Probing Early Universe

A new astronomy facility, the Simons Observatory, is planned in Chile’s Atacama Desert to boost ongoing studies of the evolution of the universe, from its earliest moments to today. The observatory will probe the subtle properties of the universe’s first light, known as cosmic microwave background radiation. More>

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New Particle-Hunting Season at CERN’s LHC Begins

Lab researchers are among the thousands of LHC collaborators worldwide who will be sifting through loads of new data expected from this latest experimental run, which could reveal unexpected twists in the makeup of matter and shed more light on the known pantheon of particles including the Higgs boson, discovered in 2012. More>

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Talk on Radiation Effects in CMOS Technologies for LHC Detector Upgrades

The next Instrumentation Colloquium will be presented by Federico Faccio of CERN on April 27 from noon to 1 p.m. in the Building 50 Auditorium. More>

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Special Instrumentation Colloquium on April 22

Maksym Titov of CEA Saclay will discuss “Micro-Pattern Gas Detector Technologies for Physics Projects at the Energy, Intensity and Cosmic Frontiers, and Overview of the RD51 Collaboration Activities” at noon in the Building 50 Auditorium. More>

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A Debate Over the Shape of the Invisible Universe

The notion that dark matter might be complex has gained traction in recent years. The field started opening up around 2008, when an experiment called PAMELA detected an excess of positrons over electrons coming from space, which fueled interest in “asymmetric dark matter,” a now-popular model proposed by Berkeley Lab’s Kathryn Zurek and collaborators. More>

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A Visionary Project Aims for Alpha Centauri, a Star 4.37 Light-Years Away

Russian philanthropist Yuri Milner is leading a group of scientists and Silicon Valley innovators on a quest to send a fleet of robots to Alpha Centauri, the nearest star system. “Breakthrough Starshot” would be directed by former NASA Ames Research Center director Pete Worden, and Nobel Prize-winning astronomer Saul Perlmutter is one of the team’s prominent advisors. More>

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Lab Physicists Help Build Ultra-Powerful Accelerator Magnet

The U.S. and CERN have created a prototype superconducting accelerator magnet that is much more powerful than those currently inside the Large Hadron Collider. This 1.5-meter-long model, which is a fully functioning accelerator magnet, was developed by scientists and engineers at Fermilab, Brookhaven Berkeley Lab, and CERN. More>

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A New Pair of Lenses for Mayall Telescope

The Dark Energy Spectroscopic Instrument (DESI) has arranged for refurbishments to the Mayall Telescope, which will assist in the creation of a 3D map of the sky to measure dark energy. “We’re looking back in time about 11 billion years, and we can do this with the help of a new corrector and high-precision lenses,” says Michael Levi of the Lab’s Physics Division. More>

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180 Attend Physics Division’s CMB-S4 Collaboration Workshop

Last week’s workshop sought to develop science goals, and the measurements to achieve them, for the next generation ground-based Cosmic Microwave Background program, CMB-S4. The output of the workshop will be a working draft of the CMB-S4 “Science Book.” It was the second in a series of potentially biannual workshops focused on developing the CMB-S4 project. More>

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Lab Researchers Receive Sloan Fellowships

Surjeet Rajendran of the Physics Division, and Ke Xu and Wenjun Zhang of the Biosciences Area, have been named Alfred P. Sloan Foundation fellows. Fellowships are awarded in eight scientific and technical fields: chemistry, computer science, economics, mathematics, computational and evolutionary molecular biology, neuroscience, ocean sciences and physics More>

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