Today at Berkeley Lab

Berkeley Can Bask in the Glow as More Elements Hit Periodic Table

The recent inclusion of four new elements to the periodic table was cause for the clinking of champagne glasses. But in a broader sense, UC Berkeley and Berkeley Lab have been the point of the spear for the synthesis of transuranic elements (those with atomic numbers greater than 92) since such research began. More>

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CERN & U.S. Increase Cooperation

At a recent ceremony, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Pamela Hamamoto and CERN Director-General Rolf Heuer signed five formal agreements that will serve as the framework for future US-CERN collaboration. More>

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With Release of New Movie, a Look at the Science Behind Star Wars

Light sabers would create so much power and heat that no human would be able to hold them. There would be no explosions or fire in space because there is no oxygen. Light sabers, being made from electromagnetic plasma (they are not lasers), would get stuck together during battles, UC Irvine professor Michael Dennin said. More>

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WIMPs, Axions, SIMPs, Neutralinos…What Could Dark Matter Be?

Although nearly a century has passed since an astronomer first used the term “dark matter,” the elusive substance still defies explanation. In order to solve it, physicists have come up with myriad possibilities, plus a unique way to find each one. More>

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How Do Holiday Lights Work? DOE Provides Some Answers

Parallel versus series lights, shunts and fuses, common problems…learn the science behind the lights that brighten the holiday season with this primer prepared by the Department of Energy.

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University of California Joins Climate Change Coalition

A new coalition led by Bill Gates and including the University of California was announced over the weekend at the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris. Called the Breakthrough Energy Coalition, it is a group of 28 investors in 10 countries who will be funding projects aimed at halting climate change. More>

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‘Flame Challenge’ Asks Scientists to Define Sound

The aim of the contest — sponsored by the Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science — is to communicate complex material, simply, clearly, and engagingly. Entries will be judged by 11-year-olds from around the world. There is a $1,000 cash prize each for one written entry and one video or graphic entry. More>

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Local Play Looks at Race Between Watson & Crick and Rosalind Franklin

“The Secret of Life” follows the ill-funded James Watson and Frances Crick in a scientific race of nerves, ingenuity and integrity against the more monied research of Rosalind Franklin at Kings College. The reward is nothing short of a Nobel Prize for defining the basic building blocks of life. See the play at the Berkeley City Club during December. More>

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Local School Sets Record for Albert Einstein Look-Alikes

Teachers, students, and parents of Black Pine School set a new Guinness World Record for the largest gathering of people dressed as Albert Einstein. The group of 304 gathered on March 5, but Guinness World Records only recently confirmed the milestone. This information was forwarded by physicist Carl Haber, whose child attends the school.

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Study Finds Male Faculty More Skeptical of Studies on STEM Bias

A recent study found that men, especially faculty in STEM fields, were more reluctant to accept evidence of gender biases in STEM. This finding is problematic because broadening the participation of underrepresented people in STEM requires a widespread willingness to acknowledge that bias exists before transformation is possible.

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