Today at Berkeley Lab

Wim Leemans to Leave Lab and Lead Accelerator Division at DESY

Accelerator Technology and Applied Physics (ATAP) Division Director Wim Leemans is leaving Berkeley Lab to become the next director of the Accelerator Division at Germany’s DESY laboratory. He begins his new role on Feb. 1, 2019. Thomas Schenkel will lead ATAP on an interim basis. More>

Berkeley Lab Joins Other Labs and Universities in LaserNetUS, a New Nationwide High-Intensity Laser Network

To help foster the broad applicability of high-intensity lasers, Berkeley Lab is a partner in a new research network called LaserNetUS. The network will provide U.S. scientists increased access to the unique high-intensity laser facilities at the Lab’s BELLA Center and at eight other institutions. More>

A Visit to One of the Most Powerful Lasers on Earth

Gizmodo writer Ryan Mandelbaum recently visited the Lab to learn more about BELLA (Berkeley Lab Laser Accelerator), which uses chirped pulse amplification to create intense laser pulses. These devices could one day power tabletop particle accelerators for medical use, act as microscopes to image atoms, and push the frontiers of physics even further, writes Mandelbaum. More>

Symons: How Two Nobel Laureates Made Possible Lab’s Laser Accelerator Center

In an email to ATAP Division staff, Associate Lab Director James Symons offered congratulations to this year’s Nobel Prize in Physics winners. Two of the laureates — Gérard Mourou and Donna Strickland — developed “chirped pulse amplification,” a method of generating high-intensity, ultra-short pulses, that (among other benefits) made Berkeley Lab’s Laser Accelerator Center possible, he wrote. More>

Lab Connections to 2018 Nobel Prize Winners

The scientific background report accompanying the 2018 Nobel Prize in physics — won by Arthur Ashkin, Gérard Mourou, and Donna Strickland — discussed R&D led by Wim Leemans at the Lab’s BELLA Center on laser-driven plasma accelerators. Also, Frances Arnold of Caltech, one of the winners of this year’s Nobel Prize in chemistry, has connections to the Molecular Foundry, Advanced Light Source, JBEI, and the Biosciences Area. More>

Lab Research Shines Bright in Large Hadron Collider Upgrade

A groundbreaking ceremony took place in Geneva, Switzerland today to celebrate the start of civil engineering work for the High-Luminosity Large Hadron Collider (HL-LHC) at CERN. When complete, the HL-LHC will produce five to seven times more proton-proton collisions than the currently operating LHC. Researchers from the Lab’s Accelerator Technology and Applied Physics, Engineering, and Physics divisions are contributing to the work. More>

Diagnostic Tool Devised for Cutting-Edge and Next-Gen Particle Accelerators

The world’s cutting-edge particle accelerators — like the Lab’s BELLA program — are pushing the extremes in high-brightness beams and ultrashort pulses to explore matter in new ways. To optimize their performance, scientists have devised a new tool that can measure how bright these beams are, even for pulses that last only quadrillionths or even quintillionths of a second. More>

BELLA Experiment Produces First Electron Beams

A new facility designed to apply the BELLA Center’s laser-plasma accelerator techniques produced its first electron beams on April 11 as part of the Hundred Terawatt Thomson-scattering experiment, or HTT, to enable a compact, nearly monoenergetic source of mega-electron-volt photons. More>

Study Recommends Strong Role for National Labs in ‘Second Laser Revolution’

A new study calls for the U.S. to step up its laser R&D efforts to better compete with major overseas efforts to build large, high power laser systems, and notes progress and milestones at the BELLA Center at Berkeley Lab and other sites. More>

Lab Turkeys Put on a Spring Time Show

These turkeys appear to be heeding the nearby “Do Not Enter” signage near Building 71, while displaying their impressive plumage. The photo was taken by Asmita Patel of the Accelerator Technologies and Applied Physics Division. “I was trying to get to Building 50 for a meeting and had to wait for these two to clear the way,” she explains. “They were majestic, walking very proudly, and in no hurry to move.” View image here.