Today at Berkeley Lab

Pitch a Big Idea to NSF for Chance to Win Money and Shape Future Funding Focus

The National Science Foundation is looking for some Big Ideas for research. There’s $26,000 in it for winning pitches, but that’s not the real prize. Winning ideas will help shape how the agency awards its research funds in the coming decade (about $340 million for FY19 alone). The deadline for submissions to the “NSF 2026 Idea Machine” competition is Oct. 26.

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Lab Research, Facilities Captured Through Lens of Visiting Photographers

To mark the International Day of Light on May 16, 27 photographers visited the Lab to creatively capture scenes of science at the Advanced Light Source, the Molecular Foundry, NERSC, and battery labs. The event was part of a Global Physics Photowalk, with similar shoots taking place at research organizations around the world. Strategic Communications coordinated the Berkeley Lab Photowalk. Watch a video on the event here.

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Second March for Science on April 14; Oakland Event Planned

The worldwide March for Science on April 14 will include a San Francisco Bay Area event in Oakland at the Lake Merritt Amphitheater and Henry Kaiser Auditorium from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. The Bay Area event will feature a rally, speakers, science outreach fair, and an optional “scenic march” around Lake Merritt. More>

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DOE Highlights Research by National Labs in ’75 Breakthroughs’ Publication

Discovery and innovations at U.S. national labs have had a profound and positive impact on the lives of millions. The Department of Energy honors that work with its newly launched “75 Breakthroughs” compendium. It chronicles some of the national labs’ top scientific achievements. Follow @BerkeleyLab on Twitter to track the Lab’s contributions. More>

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Chabot Space & Science Center Seeks Volunteers; Orientation on Feb. 17

A volunteer orientation takes place Saturday, Feb. 17, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Volunteers make earth and space science come alive for visitors through interactive and hands-on experiences. A one-year commitment of eight hours per month is required. More>

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Steve Chu Selected as AAAS President-Elect

Nobel laureate, former Energy Secretary, and former Lab Director Steve Chu has been chosen as president-elect of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Chu will start his three-year term in February. AAAS is an international non-profit organization dedicated to advancing science for the benefit of all people. More>

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David Shoemaker to Speak on Gravitational Waves at Livermore Event

MIT physicist David Shoemaker will provide updates on the second observation period of gravitational waves, which were first directly measured in 2015 after the merger of two black holes. The event is on Jan. 18 at 7:30 p.m. in Livermore. The talk is part of a lecture series sponsored in part by Lawrence Livermore and Sandia National Labs. 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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DOE Explores Real Science Behind Hit Show ‘Stranger Things’

Actually, there is real, hard science behind the idea of extra dimensions that are explored in the hit Netflix TV show, and the Department of Energy’s Office of Science is involved in studying this very thing, in both theory and experiment. More>

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Scientists Create ‘Diamond Rain’ That Forms Interior of Icy Giant Planets

A research team that included the ALS’s Roger Falcone observed so-called “diamond rain” in an X-ray laser experiment that simulated extreme conditions that exist in icy giant planets. Those conditions, say scientists, could likely produce giant diamonds weighing hundreds of pounds apiece. Falcone had served as an advisor for the study’s lead author, Dominik Kraus. More>

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