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Berkeley Lab Currents

June 18, 1999


Discovery of New Elements Makes Front Page News

By Lynn Yarris

Editor's note: On July 27, 2001, the results reported here were retracted through a correspondence with Physical Review Letters.

They existed for less than an instant but were the subjects of front page stories in the San Francisco Chronicle and Examiner and the San Jose Mercury News and featured on a local evening news television broadcast. Media from well beyond the Bay Area, including the Times of New York, London, and Los Angeles, respectively, climbed aboard the bandwagon to announce the discovery of two new "superheavy" elements at Berkeley Lab.

Element 118 and its immediate decay product, element 116, were discovered at the 88-Inch Cyclotron by bombarding targets of lead with an intense beam of high-energy krypton ions. Although both new elements almost instantly decayed into other elements, the sequence of decay events was consistent with theories that have long predicted an "island of stability" for nuclei with approximately 114 protons and 184 neutrons. Superheavy elements within this island are predicted to have half-lives that would be measured in terms of years or even hundreds of years.

"We jumped over a sea of instability onto an island of stability that theories have been predicting since the 1970s," said nuclear physicist Victor Ninov, the first author of a paper that has been submitted to Physical Review Letters.

Said Ken Gregorich, a nuclear chemist who led the discovery team, "We were able to produce these superheavies using a reaction that, until a few months ago, we had not considered using. However, theoretician Robert Smolanczuk, a visiting Fulbright scholar from the Soltan Institute for Nuclear Studies in Poland, calculated that this reaction should have particularly favorable production rates.

"Our unexpected success in producing these superheavy elements opens up a whole world of possibilities using similar reactions: new elements and isotopes, tests of nuclear stability and mass models, and a new understanding of nuclear reactions for the production of heavy elements."

Gregorich and Ninov are members of Berkeley Lab's Nuclear Science Division (NSD). Other NSD participants included Albert Ghiorso and Darleane Hoffman, long-time leaders in the search for superheavy elements, plus Diana Lee, Heino Nitsche, Wladyslaw Swiatecki, Uwe Kirbach, and Carola Laue. Walter Loveland, on sabbatical from Oregon State University, also made major contributions to this work. Contributions were also made by UC Berkeley graduate students Jeb Adams, Joshua Patin, Dawn Shaughnessy, Dan Strellis, and Philip Wilk.

The isotope of element 118 with mass number 293 identified at Berkeley Lab contains 118 protons and 175 neutrons in its nucleus. By comparison, the heaviest element found in nature in sizeable quantities is uranium, which in its most common form contains 92 protons and 146 neutrons.

Transuranic elements in the periodic table can only be synthesized in nuclear reactors or particle accelerators. Though often short-lived, these artificial elements provide scientists with valuable insights into the structure of atomic nuclei and offer opportunities to study the chemical properties of the heaviest elements beyond uranium.

Within less than a millisecond after its creation, the element 118 nucleus decays by emitting an alpha particle (a helium nucleus consisting of two protons and two neutrons), leaving behind an isotope of element 116 with mass number 289, containing 116 protons and 173 neutrons. This daughter element 116 is also radioactive, alpha-decaying to an isotope of element 114. The chain of successive alpha decays continues down the even numbered elements until at least element 106.

"In these experiments, observation of a chain of six high-energy alpha decays within about one second unambiguously signaled the production and decay of element 118," says Gregorich. "During 11 days of experiments, three such alpha-decay chains were observed, indicating production of three atoms of element 118. The decay energies and lifetimes measured for these new isotopes of elements 118, 116, 114, 112, 110, 108, and 106 provide strong support for the existence of the predicted island of stability."

Referring to these results, discovery team member Hoffman said, "After a 30-year search, this discovery is extremely gratifying. I only wish Glenn Seaborg had been alive to see these results." Seaborg, the recently deceased Nobel laureate chemist and co-discoverer of plutonium and nine other transuranic elements, was one of the earliest and most outspoken advocates of experiments to reach the predicted island of stability.

Elements 118 and 116 were discovered by accelerating a beam of krypton-86 ions to an energy of 449 million electron volts and directing the beam into targets of lead-208. This bombardment resulted in a fusion reaction that yielded heavy compound nuclei at low excitation energies.

During the last several years, low excitation energy fusion reactions failed to take scientists beyond element 112. It was assumed that production rates for heavier elements were too small to extend the periodic table further using this approach. However, Smolanczuk's recent calculations indicating increased production rates for the Kr-86 + Pb-208 fusion reaction prompted the experimental search for element 118 at Berkeley Lab.

The key to the success of this experiment was the newly constructed Berkeley Gas-filled Separator (BGS), the design of which was based on a proposal by discovery team member Ghiorso. Said Gregorich, "The innovative design of the BGS has resulted in a separator with unsurpassed efficiency and background suppression, which allows us to investigate nuclear reactions with production rates smaller than one atom per week.

"For these experiments, the strong magnetic fields in the BGS focused the element 118 ions and separated them from all of the interfering reaction products which were produced in much larger quantities."

Another important factor for the experiment's success was the unique ability of the 88-Inch Cyclotron to accelerate neutron-rich isotopes such as krypton-86 to high-energy and high-intensity beams with an average current of approximately two trillion ions per second.

"The 88-Inch Cyclotron is the only accelerator in the United States at this time that can provide krypton beams at the intensities that this experiment demanded," said Claude Lyneis, the NSD physicist who heads the accelerator facility for Berkeley Lab.

In operation since 1961, the cyclotron has been upgraded with the addition of high-performance ion sources and can now accelerate beams of ions as light as hydrogen or as heavy as uranium. Today, the 88-Inch Cyclotron is a national user facility serving researchers from around the world for basic and applied studies.

Said I-Yang Lee, scientific director at the 88-Inch Cyclotron, "From the discovery of these two new superheavy elements, it is now clear that the island of stability can be reached. Additionally, similar reactions can be used to produce other elements and isotopes, providing a rich new region for the study of nuclear and even chemical properties."

The Berkeley Lab team plans to repeat their experiment using a target of bismuth rather than lead in an effort to produce elements 117, 115, and 113. Team members have also discussed bombarding a lead target with a beam of ruthenium ions in an effort to reach element 126. At least one theoretical prediction holds that element 126 would be sufficiently stable for doing chemistry. Experiments are already underway at Germany's Society for Heavy Ion Research (GSI) in Darmstadt to confirm the element 118 results.

It is the prerogative of the discovery team to name their element and Hoffman told the New York Times she intends to propose the name "ghiorsium." Ghiorso has been the codiscoverer of at least a dozen elements including seaborgium.

Photo: Victor Ninov and Ken Gregorich of Nuclear Science at the new Berkeley Gas-Filled Separator — the key to the success of the experiment.


First SNO Neutrinos

By Lynn Yarris

The Sudbury Neutrino Observatory (SNO), a unique type of telescope that operates from a cave more than a mile underground in Ca-nada, has seen its "first light." The light was created when neutrinos, the ghostlike particles emitted from the sun and supernovae, interacted with SNO's 1000 tons of heavy water (deuterium oxide or D2O).

SNO is a collaboration involving more than 100 scientists from 11 laboratories and universities in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom. Its mission is to answer some of the most perplexing questions about neutrinos, the most common yet perhaps the most mysterious particles in the universe.

Neutrinos interact so rarely with other matter that one could pass untouched through a wall of lead stretching from the earth to the moon. It is estimated that the sun bathes each square centimeter of Earth's surface with billions of neutrinos a second, and yet scientists don't evern know how much a single neutrino weighs.

SNO has been built to help resolve some of the many questions that continue to surround neutrinos, in particular the puzzle of why previous experiments do not detect as many neutrinos from the sun as expected. The results are expected to help answer questions about the nature of matter at the smallest scales, as well as provide insight into the structure of the stars and the universe as a whole.

Berkeley Lab is one of the participating institutes in the SNO collaboration. Said Kevin Lesko, a physicist with the Nuclear Science Division (NSD) who leads the Lab's SNO effort, "It is very rewarding after all the work of the entire collaboration to see SNO begin operating and immediately permit the study of neutrinos."

Researchers with NSD and the Engineering Division designed and built the panel arrays which house SNO's 9,600 photomultiplier tubes (PMTs). These ultrasensitive light sensors are attached to a stainless steel geodesic sphere 18 meters in diameter, inside of which is an acrylic vessel filled with the heavy water. When neutrinos passing through the heavy water interact with deuterium nuclei, flashes of light called Cerenkov radiation are emitted. The PMTs detect these flashes and convert them into electronic signals that scientists can analyze.

"It is vital for the success of any neutrino experiment that as many photons as possible be detected," Lesko has said. "Therefore, we had to squeeze as many photomultiplier tubes as possible onto the geodesic sphere while maintaining an adequate layer of water shielding between the tubes and the cavity walls of the SNO site." The entire SNO detector is suspended in a pool filled with 7,000 tons of purified water.

Berkeley's PMT array is performing "flawlessly, " Lesko says. Among SNO's first images are stunning examples of the pools of light formed by the interactions of neutrinos that began life in the sun or in the atmosphere on the opposite side of the earth. SNO is the first neutrino telescope sensitive enough to measure not only ordinary electron neutrinos, but also the much more rare muon and tau neutrinos.

The SNO experiment will last at least 10 years and is expected to record as many as 20 solar neutrino events each day.

Photo: The image on the left depicts a probable solar neutrino event at SNO in which a faint cone of light is created when a solar neutrino strikes heavy water inside the detector. The second image depicts the signal of a neutrino produced by cosmic rays striking Earth's atmosphere. More energetic than neutrinos from the sun, atmospheric neutrinos yield a brighter light cone.


Shank Vows to Maintain Open Scientific Exchange

By Ron Kolb

Amid a frenzied national dialogue about security and protected secrets at the Department of Energy's weapons laboratories, Berkeley Lab Director Charles Shank has vowed to preserve the values of openness and international scientific exchange that have been this institution's hallmarks.

Speaking before the Laboratory's Postdoctoral Society at a forum on "Science and Security," Shank cautioned his audience not to panic about proposals being discussed in Washington that threaten to constrain laboratory interchanges and foreign interactions.

"A laboratory like ours can't function without values of openness and a commitment to coupling with the rest of the world," he told the postdocs in the Bldg. 66 auditorium on June 3. "We will vigorously pursue opportunities to create an environment in which the entire world is welcome here and [that] encourages the interchange of ideas."

Noting that Berkeley Lab does no classified research and thus should not be subject to the same restrictions applied to defense laboratories like Lawrence Livermore and Los Alamos, Shank predicted that "the world will reach an equilibrium. There will be changes, but reasonable people will want the science community to be productive. Let's not overreact."

Another speaker at the forum, counterintelligence expert Bill Cleveland of Livermore Laboratory, said he expects changes through legislation, some of which "we may be forced to do which aren't reasonable. It may change the environment a little bit [at Berkeley Lab], but we hope not much."

He said that among the more far-reaching measures being considered in Congress are moratoriums on foreign nationals from visiting countries, indices checks on foreign visitors, and FBI control of the counterintelligence programs at the weapons labs.

A former FBI agent himself, Cleveland said, "No matter how much security you put on a site, you cannot stop a determined individual who wants to give away information that's in his head."

His training programs at Livermore teach scientists how far they can go in talking about sensitive technology with outsiders. "We need an informed, intelligent, aware workforce," he said.

Cleveland has been asked to advise Berkeley Lab, which has about 30 individuals with high-level DOE security clearance, on counter-intelligence issues. Although no classified research is performed here, proprietary information such as that developed in research partnerships with industry needs to be protected.

Export control measures -- that is, licensing products or processes that may flow outside the country -- may have application in some areas at Berkeley Lab, in particular at the national supercomputing center.

"We have policies in place to protect our intellectual property," Shank said, noting in particular University of California's patent procedure. "We also have programs that protect pieces of our computing enterprise, such as controls on systems and software access."

Nonetheless, both Shank and Cleveland emphasized the open academic nature of Berkeley Lab's environment and the urgency that this be preserved.

"International collaborations are integral to what we do," the director said, pointing out programs like the B Factory at Stanford, the Large Hadron Collider in Europe, and the Human Genome Program as projects in which Berkeley Lab interacts with the rest of the world. "For an institution to exist at the cutting edge, it must have international participation."

Another forum participant, Landon Noll of Silicon Graphics, Inc., spoke of similar political efforts being made to attempt national control of the Internet.

"Closing it would be counterproductive to its nature," he said. "In the same way, the viability of the national labs requires that they work with the outside, with other scientists and private industry."

Berkeley Lab is the only one of the five so-called multiprogram DOE national laboratories to have no classified research on site. Most of the discussions about security violations have focused on secret defense work at the Livermore, Los Alamos and Sandia labs, some of which was shared with the People's Republic of China.

Secretary of Energy Bill Richardson has responded with a series of policies and program changes that have tightened security at the defense labs. Nevertheless, debate continues in Washington about additional measures for restricting foreign access, some of which could apply to the national laboratory system as a whole.

Almost 18 percent of Berkeley Lab's workforce is comprised of non-U.S. citizens, and 40 percent of its visitors and guests come from foreign countries.

"No matter what happens," Shank vowed to the postdocs, "everyone here will be treated fairly according to their abilities."

Photo: Director Charles Shank and counterintelligence expert Bill Cleveland of Livermore addressed the issue of scientific security during a Postdoctoral Society workshop. Photo by Roy Kaltschmidt (XBD9906-01129-22)


State of the Laboratory

Berkeley Lab Director Charles V. Shank will give his annual State of the Laboratory address at noon on Wednesday, June 30, in the Bldg. 50 auditorium.

In addition to reviewing the Laboratory's accomplishments during the past year, the director will use the opportunity to overview major achievements at Berkeley Lab over the past decade, as well as to look ahead to future challenges facing science and the Laboratory into the next millenium.

All employees are invited to attend.


News Digest


In Memoriam

Ardith Shearon Kenney
(1923 - 1999)

Ardith Shearon Kenney, one of Berkeley Lab's first programmers, died last Monday, June 7, at the age of 75.

Kenney joined the Lab in 1949 as a mathematician and retired in 1983. She was part of a close-knit group of a half dozen "computers," as the first programmers were once known, who used electromechanical calculators to literally "crank out" answers.

Memorial information and a look back at Ardith Kenney's life and career will be published in the next issue of Currents.


Washington Report

Secretary Richardson supports foreign visitors, cites Berkeley Lab team

In taking note that four members of the team that discovered elements 118 and 116 at Berkeley Lab (see story on Page 1) were German visitors, Energy Secretary Bill Richardson took the opportunity to reaffirm his own support for keeping the national laboratories open to visiting foreign scientists.

"This stunning discovery of two new superheavy elements, which opens the door to further insights into the structure of the atomic nucleus, also underscores the value of foreign visitors and what the country would lose if there were a moratorium on foreign visitors at our national labs," Richardson said. "Scientific excellence doesn't recognize national boundaries, and we will damage our ability to perform world-class science if we cut off our laboratories from the rest of the world."

Big funding increase for information technology

House Science Committee Chairman F. James Sensenbrenner, Jr. (R-Wis) has introduced legislation calling for a five-year plan to nearly double R&D spending on information technology (IT) between FY 2000 and FY 2004. The bill would spend $4.4 billion on IT activities, a 92 percent increase from current levels.

Under the National Information Technology Research and Development Act, the DOE would receive $566.2 million, the National Science Foundation would get $2.5 billion and NASA would receive $1 billion. Neal Lane, assistant to the President for science and technology policy, has already gone on record as saying that the DOE should receive more of this information technology money. "The administration is optimistic about working with Sensenbrenner to get more money for DOE," said Lane.

If the money is appropriated, most of DOE's funds will go towards the Scientific Simulation Initiative (SSI) which is part of President Clinton's Information Technology for the 21st Century Initiative.

DOE Under Secretary Ernie Moniz has touted SSI as a way for the DOE to use supercomputers to solve complex problems in areas ranging from climate change to fusion energy. Moniz says SSI will enable the DOE to make better use of facilities like the National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center (NERSC) at Berkeley Lab.

The Department of Energy has asked Congress for $70 million in FY 2000 funding for SSI and announced last March that it was broadening the use of peer review at NERSC to improve the way advanced computing can meet the department's needs. If Congress approves the IT bill, DOE and the other affected agencies would still have to match the increased funding with reductions in other programs in order to meet spending caps set by the 1997 Balanced Budget Agreement.

Clinton order expands energy savings rule

President Clinton has issued an executive order that expands a requirement for energy efficiency among DOE and other federal agencies and makes it more difficult for facilities to get exemptions from the mandate.

Calling his order "greening the government through efficient energy management," Clinton directed agencies to reduce energy use at their facilities by 30 percent by 2005 and 35 percent by 2010, compared to consumption in 1985. The new order also makes it more difficult for agencies to exempt facilities from the requirement.

The mandate is less stringent for industrial and lab facilities, requiring only that they reduce energy use by 20 percent by 2005 and 25 percent by 2010 (compared to 1990 levels).

The order also directs agencies to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions at facilities by 30 percent by 2010. One way they can achieve that requirement is by crediting to individual facilities greenhouse gas reductions achieved elsewhere.

The White House was less specific in addressing renewable energy, stipulating that agencies "strive to expand" their use of such options as solar, wind and biomass energy.

Across the government, the order calls for the installation at federal facilities of 2,000 solar energy systems by the end of year 2000 and 20,000 systems by 2010.

DOE launches national Adopt-A-School plan

Energy Secretary Bill Richardson has launched a nationwide Adopt-A-School Program, signing an agreement between DOE and 19 schools nationwide. "Today's agreements establish long-lasting partnerships that will provide students and their teachers with a lifetime of knowledge and experience."

As part of the program, Richardson pledged a commitment on behalf of DOE headquarters to the Washington, D.C. public schools and asked DOE field offices to do the same with schools in their surrounding area. Schools will receive resources and volunteer staff, and teachers will have the opportunity to work at DOE offices or national labs in order to obtain hands-on experience in science and technology that can be shared with their students. -- Lynn Yarris


Marketing Strategies for the Principal Investigator

Chris Kniel of the Lab's Technology Transfer Department addresses participants in a marketing workshop for principal investigators (PIs). Held on May 27 and June 10, the event, organized by Tech Transfer, emphasized marketing strategies to help PIs position themselves better to secure funding for their research.

Highlights included marketing issues specific to Berkeley Lab, an overview of marketing plans prepared by PIs Steve Visco and Ashok Gadgil, and database tools used in developing funding plans. Deputy Director Pier Oddone stressed the need for scientists to seize opportunities and improve follow-up.

For further information about this or future events, contact Chris Kniel at X5566 or Bruce Davies at X6461. Photo by Don Fike



Berkeley Lab Currents

Published twice a month by the Public Information Department for the employees and retirees of Ernest Orlando Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. Ron Kolb, PID department head.

EDITOR: Monica Friedlander, (510) 495-2248, [email protected]

STAFF WRITERS: Paul Preuss, 486-6249; Lynn Yarris, 486-5375

CONTRIBUTING WRITERS: Jon Bashor, X5849; Allan Chen, X4210, Jeffery Kahn, X4019

FLEA MARKET / CALENDAR: Jacqueline Noble, 486-5771
[email protected] / [email protected]

Public Information Department, Berkeley Lab, MS 65A
One Cyclotron Road, Berkeley CA 94720
Tel: 510/486-5771 Fax: 510/486-6641

Berkeley Lab is managed by the University of California for the U.S. Department of Energy.


Around the Lab


Computer Corner

Lab Safe from Latest Virus

The "ExploreZip worm," a particularly malicious computer virus that surfaced in the past week, has not caused any harm nor been detected here at the Lab, according to Jim Rothfuss, Lab computer protection program manager. The virus spreads by traveling as an attachment (Zipped_files.exe) to e-mail messages. It attacks computers running Windows 95, Windows 98 and Windows NT, but does not infect Macs or Unix-based computers.

Rothfuss noted that the Lab has taken steps to intercept and destroy computer viruses that travel as e-mail attachments. "Unless you have set up your own mail server," he said, "you receive and send mail by way of the Lab's main mail server. All mail traveling by way of the main mail server gets checked before it is delivered. This server has a virus wall that checks all e-mail attachments for viruses, Trojan horses, worms, and other malicious code. The scanning software is constantly being updated so that it recognizes newly conceived viruses, [including] the new ExplorerZip worm."

When ExploreZip infects a computer, it destroys files with the extensions doc, xls, ppt, h, c, cpp, and asm. It then looks for the Microsoft Outlook e-mail software. Once the machine becomes infected, the virus sends copies of itself to everyone in the inbox of the user's Outlook address book. Should your machine become infected, turn it off immediately and call the help desk at X4357.

Rothfuss says the virus scanning process takes only an instant and does not delay e-mail delivery. When an infected e-mail attachment is detected, both the sender and intended recipient receive a message noting that a virus has been found.

While ExploreZip cannot pass through the main Lab mail server, it could infiltrate the Laboratory through other means (e.g., employees using their own mail server). Rothfuss says this is another good reason to update or install virus protection software on all computers. The Lab has a site license for antivirus software for the major computer platforms. Instructions on downloading or receiving this software can be found at

Rothfuss advises all users to install this software. In particular, he notes, PC users must update the software on a regular basis, whereas the Mac software is automatically updated once installed. PC users that have the F-Prot Command antivirus software installed must update it by downloading the component that recognizes the latest viruses. This update, called a "signature file," can be downloaded from -- Jeffery Kahn


JGI Upgrade Triples Sequencing Capacity

Last week the Department of Energy announced the acquisition of 24 cutting-edge DNA sequencing machines for its Joint Genome Institute (JGI), tripling the project's capacity to decode human DNA. JGI is a consortium that includes Berkeley Lab, Lawrence Livermore and Los Alamos national laboratories.

Says Energy Secretary Bill Richardson, "As the founder of the Human Genome Project and owner of a new, state-of-the-art DNA sequencing facility, the Department of Energy is driving cutting-edge technology as it works with its international partners to decode the complete human genome, a resource that will revolutionize biology and health care."

The DOE acquired the MegaBACE DNA sequencers, valued at nearly $5 million, from Amersham Pharmacia Biotech. Future acquisitions of these machines are being considered.

JGI is one of the five largest publicly-funded human genome sequencing centers in the world and a key contributor to the global public effort to sequence the human genome within the next 10 months. The Institute's sequencing operation is housed in its Production Sequencing Facility in Walnut Creek, which was dedicated on April 19.

Each of the new machines will sequence (or determine the order) of up to 600,000 base units of human DNA per day, raising the facility's total sequencing capacity to more than 14 million raw bases per day. Twelve of the new machines have been installed and are producing at capacity, with the remainder to be installed over the next few weeks.

MegaBACE represents a new generation of DNA sequencers -- the first to use multiple capillaries, instead of large flat gels, to "read" the sequence of DNA. The technology was largely developed with funding from the DOE human genome program and subsequently licensed to APBiotech.

Says Elbert Branscomb, director of JGI, "The increase in productivity they can provide will be critical in allowing us to meet our very accelerated sequencing goals."

JGI sequencing currently targets three human chromosomes (5,16 and 19) which include genes already known to be involved in diseases such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, cancer and asthma. More than 200 researchers will work at the Production Sequencing Facility in three round-the-clock shifts. Their results will continue to be published daily, allowing the scientific community free and immediate access to the data.

The DOE began the Human Genome Project in 1986 to map the complete DNA sequence of the human genome. The project's ultimate goal is to discover the more than 50,000 human genes and enable biologists to study them in detail and observe changes in the DNA before they result in disease detected by traditional epidemiological research.

Amersham Pharmacia Biotech, a joint venture between Nycomed Amersham and Pharmacia UpJohn, is a major international biotechnology company with headquarters in New Jersey, the United Kingdom and Sweden.

More information on the human genome program can be found on the DOE site at Information on the Joint Genome Institute and the Gene Sequencing Facility is available at -- Monica Friedlander


Summer Lecture Series to Feature Top Lab Researchers

By Ron Kolb

Research that probes the breadth of the universe -- from distant supernovae to deep inside the Earth, from the origins of matter to the prospective blueprint of life -- will be featured in Berkeley Lab's 1999 Summer Lecture Series.

The annual scientific speakers' program begins July 7 and continues for five consecutive Wednesdays at noon in the Bldg. 50 auditorium. The one-hour talks are open to all Laboratory employees and visitors, including summer students and teachers. There is no charge, and attendees are encouraged to bring their lunches.

The series showcases some of Berkeley Lab's most exciting projects in varied fields. Speakers gear their presentations to general audiences.

Carolyn Larabell, staff scientist in the Life Sciences Division, will open the series with a presentation on "Imaging the Cellular Universe: Comets, Particles, and Transport Phenomena." An x-ray microscopist and cell biologist, Larabell specializes in the study of cell dynamics, most notably those that occur in breast cancer.

Larabell has been at Berkeley Lab since 1990, following a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of California at Davis. She earned her bachelor's degree in zoology and her Ph.D. in cell biology at Arizona State. She is currently group leader for Innovative Microscopies in the Life Sciences Division.

On July 14 another member of the Life Sciences Division, Gerry Rubin, will speak on "The Fruit Fly: the Human Genome's Rosetta Stone?" Rubin heads the Berkeley Drosophila Genome Project, a joint venture between the Laboratory and UC Berkeley, and is playing a key role in the international effort to complete a DNA sequence of the human genome.

Drosophila, the fruit fly, is considered a prime model organism whose genotype closely parallels that of the human. Rubin is a major contributor in the effort to fully map all the fly's genes by the end of 2001, a project that will make an enormous contribution towards determining the three billion paired "letters" that comprise the human genome.

Rubin joined Berkeley Lab in 1991. Since 1987 he has also been head of the Division of Genetics at UC Berkeley. A biology graduate from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), he received his Ph.D. in molecular biology from Cambridge University in England.

The recognized "father" of the new B Factory at Stanford Linear Accelerator Center (SLAC), Berkeley Lab Deputy Director Pier Oddone, will talk about his project in the July 21 talk, "The Asymmetric B Factory: Reflecting the World in the CP Mirror." The five-year, $287 million project, which is now up and running, is an accelerator whose collisions of electrons and positrons will produce elusive particles of matter and antimatter called B mesons. Their detection and study may offer clues to the "Standard Model" theory of how the universe developed. Oddone had the inspiration for this experiment in 1987 and was scientific coordinator at SLAC from 1976 to 1982.

A native of Peru, Oddone earned his bachelor's degree in physics at MIT and his Ph.D. at Princeton. He is currently responsible for all scientific programs in the various divisions at Berkeley Lab, overseeing major initiatives and strategic planning.

On July 28, the dramatic discovery that was selected by Science Magazine as its "Breakthrough of the Year" for 1998 will be discussed by one of its discoverers - Gerson Goldhaber, a key member of Berkeley Lab's Supernova Cosmology Project. He will speak on "Supernovae and the Expanding Universe."

Goldhaber, a physicist at UC Berkeley and the Lab since 1953, was a founding member of the project 10 years ago. Last year, under the direction of Saul Perlmutter, the group determined that the universe is expanding at an accelerating rate -- an observation that implies the existence of a mysterious, self-repelling property of space first proposed by Albert Einstein, who called it the "cosmological constant."

Born in Germany, Goldhaber earned his masters degree at the University of Jerusalem and his Ph.D. at the University of Wisconsin. In a teaching and research career that spans five decades, he has worked on nuclear emulsions, bubble chamber and electronic detector techniques, meson and antiproton interactions, and high energy annihilation physics.

The series will conclude on Aug. 4 with a talk by Don DePaolo of the Earth Sciences Division who will speak on "Drilling Through a Volcano to Uncover Secrets of Deep Earth."

DePaolo directs Berkeley Lab's Center for Isotope Geochemistry, which develops techniques for measuring elements in rocks, minerals and groundwater in order to deduce origin, age and flow. He is currently one of the leaders of the Hawaii Scientific Drilling Project in Hilo, where his team will drill and core through the flank of a large volcano to sample lava flows dating back 600,000 years. The ultimate objective of the project is to drill to a depth of about 6,000 meters -- slightly more than the depth of the ocean -- passing through the "bottom" of the volcano into the 80-million-year sea floor underneath.

A geology graduate of State University of New York-Binghamton, DePaolo earned his Ph.D. at Caltech. He has been a professor of geochemistry at UCLA and UC Berkeley since 1978 and a senior scientist at Berkeley Lab since 1988. His field work has taken him to Antarctica, China, Russia, Austria, Switzerland, Italy, Australia, Alaska, Canada, and Mexico.

The Summer Lecture Series is co-sponsored by the Public Information Department and the Center for Science and Engineering Education.

Carolyn Larabell
Gerry Rubin
Pier Oddone
Gerson Goldhaber
Don DePaolo


The Joy of Discovery: New Brochure Now Accompanies Lab's Award-Winning Video

A new brochure intended for distribution at screenings of the Lab's 10-minute introductory video, "The Joy of Discovery," also serves as a stand-alone source of information about Berkeley Lab. The fact-filled booklet is far more comprehensive than any other publication currently available to visitors, new employees, and others curious about what we do here.

"The Joy of Discovery" was produced last year by the Public Information Department and the Technical and Electronic Information Department. Directed and photographed by the award-winning documentary team of Bob Elfstrom and Jon Halprin, the video received one of three Finalist Awards for industrial videos at the 1998 New York Film and TV Festival.

"The Joy of Discovery" -- intended to convey the personal dedication and enthusiasm of Berkeley Lab people -- concentrates on numerous short interviews with scientists and support staff describing how they approach their work -- from theoretical astrophysics to computer visualization to experiment building and more.

Since the video employs no off-screen narrator reciting dry facts and figures, the new booklet was developed as a supplement to answer frequently asked questions. Shots and quotations from the sound track introduce short sections on Lab history, personnel and facilities, descriptions of our national user facilities and internal divisions, technology transfer, education, and other topics.

The center pages fold out to present a timeline of accomplishments from the 1930s to the present, with a panel illustrating the Lab's nine Nobel Prize winners.

Designed to fit inside the videocassette case, the "Joy of Discovery" brochure also happens to be just the right size to slip into a shirt pocket.

To preview or to order copies of the "The Joy of Discovery" video package, contact PID at X5771. For copies of the brochure alone, contact community relations coordinator Terry Powell at X4387. -- Paul Preuss


Bulletin Board


Vanpool Offers Cost-Efficient Alternative to Driving

More than two dozen employees from locations such as Vaca-ville, Antioch and Pittsburgh have joined Berkeley Lab's vanpool program since the Lab has started its partnership with Enterprise Vanpool and the commuter tax incentive program (see Currents, Feb. 12).

"It saves me a lot of wear and tear on my car, plus I don't have to worry about things such as oil changes," says Kevin Trigales of Facilities, the driver and coordinator of the Vacaville vanpool. "It's nice to just relax and stretch out in the air-conditioned van." The other current vanpool shuttles employees from the Antioch and Pittsburgh area and is coordinated by Ron Silva.

In addition to the vanpool pre-tax program, eligible participants (who commute a minimum of 20 miles each way) may also quality for vanpool subsidies. For instance, Contra Costa County will pay 50 percent of the cost for three months, plus a $1,000 bonus to the vanpool coordinator after the end of the first year of vanpooling. Solano County pays $100 per rider as a gas subsidy and offers each rider a $50 Shell gas card, to be used for either their personal car or for the vanpool. Since subsidies differ from county to county, check with the Site Access office or your county to find out more about the program in your area.

To start or join a vanpool program or for more information, contact Sue Bowen at [email protected] or look up the Site Access website at Photo by Roy Kaltschmid



Road Closures Next 2 Saturdays

The access road behind the Bldg. 50 complex - serving Bldgs. 50B, 50E, 50F, and 70A - will be closed on consecutive Saturdays, June 19 and June 26, to allow the delivery of new IBM supercomputers to the National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center. (The computing system will be installed in the NERSC machine room on the first floor of Bldg. 50B.)

The access road, which connects to Cyclotron Road, will be closed to regular traffic from midnight to 6 p.m. on each of the two days. Only emergency vehicles will be let through.


Y2K Open Meeting On June 23

Are you wondering what the Laboratory is doing to prepare for Y2K? Do you know what you should do and what tools are available to help you?

To answer these and other related questions, the Lab's Y2K team is sponsoring a brownbag meeting in the Bldg. 50 auditorium at noon on Wednesday, June 23.

Topics to be discussed will include:

If you have specific suggestions for topics you would like to see addressed, contact the Lab's Y2K team at Y2K@


New Systems Subcontract for Electronic Supplies

The Procurement Department has secured a systems contract with Newark Electronics to provide all of the Laboratory's electronic supply component requirements, such as connectors, capacitors, resistors, and semiconductors. A systems subcontract is an easy method of ordering supplies that allows Lab requesters to order directly from the vendor either online (through a web-based form) or by fax. Newark Electronics offers quick delivery for most items.

Two information sessions will be held on July 8 (at 10:30 a.m. and 1:00 p.m). in Perseverance Hall (Bldg. 54). The procurement subcontract administrator, Zelma Richardson, and representatives from Newark Electronics will be on hand to answer questions regarding ordering procedures.

Ordering information is also available on the Procurement website at For further questions contact Zelma Richardson at X4216.


Bldg. 50 Card Access Operational Next Month; Gate Access by End of Year

The new proximity card access system will go into effect in Bldg. 50 on July 12. All Lab employees who need access to the building or to the library after hours or on weekends will be required to have a current ID proximity card.

If you do have a card, access will be automatically assigned. If you need one, visit the Badge Office at your earliest convenience to obtain a card.

Site Access will also discontinue the old card key readers at the Strawberry and Grizzly Gate before the end of the calendar year.

Employees who access these gates after hours and on weekends will need to obtain a new ID proximity access card from the Badge Office before December.

For more information contact Sue Bowen at [email protected] or look up the Site Access website at


Tennis Club

Berkeley Lab's Tennis Club would like to welcome new players for its noontime tennis playing. Players of all levels are encouraged to participate. For more information or to join the club, contact Joe Harkins at X7486.


K'NEXploration at Hall of Science Create Your Own Masterpiece!

A new exhibit for both children and adults will open on June 19 at the Lawrence Hall of Science, featuring life-size dioramas filled with furniture, structures, and real working machines made entirely of K'NEX building materials. The exhibit is based on the popular building toys of the same name. K'NEXploration provides building challenges with major science themes, such as structural strength and geometry, simple and complex machines (e.g., pulleys and gears), and forces and motion.

Summer programs at LHS also include daily planetarium shows, a biology lab with live animals, and family activities each Wednesday afternoon. For more information call 642-5132 or check


Lost & Found Website

Now you can look for those lost ID badges, glasses and umbrellas without moving away from your desk.

Berkeley Lab has just launched a Lost and Found website at You may also look up the site under the Lab's index on the main website.


Calendar of Events at Berkeley Lab


The Berkeley Lab Calendar is published biweekly here on the World Wide Web and in Currents by the Public Information Department. Employees can list a meeting, class, or event in the Calendar by using this submission form. The deadline for submissions is 5 p.m. on Monday in the week that Currents is published.

In addition to the events listed below, Berkeley Lab's Washington, D.C. Projects office is hosting a Science and Technology Seminars series. 

Scientific Conferences


June 18 - July 2, 1999

General Interest


12:00 - 1:00, Bldg. 50 auditorium


12:00, Bldg. 50 auditorium


11:30 - 12:40, cafeteria parking lot

7:30 - 3:30, cafeteria parking lot

Items for the calendars may be sent via e-mail to currents_calendar@, faxed to X6641 or mailed to Bldg. 65B. The deadline for the July 2 issue is 5 p.m. Monday, June 28.

Seminars & Lectures


"Ice Surface Chemistry Probed Using Second Harmonic Generation" will be presented by Janice Hicks of Georgetown University.
1:30 p.m., Bldg. 66 aud.


"Inverse Modeling of Unsaturated Zone Flow Based on Estimates of Liquid Saturation: Examples from a Delta Aquifer in Norway" will be presented by Andre Unger of Earth Sciences.
11 a.m., Bldg. 90-2063


"Monitoring Microbial Community Dynamics in a Land Treatment Unit at Guadalupe" will be presented by Raul Cano of the Environmental Biotechnology Institute, California Polytechnic State University.
Noon, Bldg. 50A-5132


"Nanoscale Chameleons and Molecular Guide Rails: Scanning Probe Microscope Studies of Ultrathin Polydiacetylene Films" will be presented by Robert Carpick of Sandia National Laboratories.
1:30 p.m., Bldg. 62-203


"Laser Acceleration in Vacuum, Gases, and Plasmas with Open Waveguides" will be presented by Ming Xie of the Center for Beam Physics.
10:30 a.m., Bldg. 71 conference room


Berkeley Tower "Express Shuttle" Schedule

To accommodate the needs of Lab employees now located downtown in Bldg. 937 (Berkeley Tower), a new express bus has been added that shuttles people:

1. to and from the three parking lots during commute hours, and
2. to and from the Hill during the rest of the day.

Parking lots to Bldg. 937

Bldg. 937 to parking lots

Every half hour starting at 3:30 p.m. and ending at 6:00 p.m.

Uphill Express (from Bldg. 937 to any building on the Hill)

Every 30 minutes from 9:15 a.m. to 2:45 p.m.

Downhill Express (from Bldg. 65 to Berkeley Tower)

For more information, contact Tammy Brown at [email protected] or X4165.


Golf Club Scores

The June tournament of the LBNL Golf Club was held at the Stevenson Ranch Golf Course on Saturday, June 12. This month's winners (and scores) are:

The next tournament - the annual two-person match against U.C. Berkeley - will be held on Saturday, July 10, at the Tilden Park course in Berkeley.

For more information about the LBNL Golf Club contact Nick Palaio at X7177.

Flea Market

Autos / Supplies

`81 VOLVO Wagon, 4 spd, runs well, $1,500/b.o., Lori, 615-7089

`85 FORD Ranger LX longbed pickup, 4 cyl, 5 spd manual trans, radio/cass, 82K mi, Brahma shell, dual tanks, bush bar, needs some work/TLC, $950, Vic, (925) 376-4606

`86 BUICK Century Ltd, 4 dr sedan, ac, ps, pw, door locks, tilt, cruise, 121K mi, new muffler, starter, runs great, $1,100 (negotiable), Sungho, X7038

`86 VW Golf, 2 dr hatchback, 5 spd, sunroof, am/fm/cass, 150K mi, good cond, $1,995, Steve, X5396, 559-8669,

`89 FORD Tempo GL 4D Sedan, 70K mi, auto, ps, pwr brakes, ac, am/fm/cass, runs great, $2,200/ b.o., Victor, 643-3118, 665-5676

`90 FORD Mustang GT, white, V8, 114K mi, runs well, cute and quick, $6,500/b.o., Brian, X6508, 527-7237

`91 FORD Taurus Wagon, 92K mi, 3.8 liter V6, at, ps, cc, ac, 3rd seat, grey, $4,200/b.o., Anne, X4823, 524-8021

`92 HONDA Accord DX, 74K mi, 4 dr, 5 spd, am/am/cass, ac, tinted windows, new brakes and battery, good tires, exc cond, $8,000/ b.o., Fred, X7270, 532-4150

`94 FORD Aspire, 50K mi, 5 drs, auto, teal, dbl airbags, ac, am/fm stereo, ps, new tires and brakes, perfect cond, $3,800/b.o., Matteo, 332-3741

`95 MERCURY Sable GS sedan, good cond, dual airbags, abs, pwr everything, cc, auto, 86K mi, Peter, X4549, 524-5173

WHEELS, automobile alloy wheels for BMW 5 series, Michelin 390mm tires, $150 for set of 4, Sherry, X6972


`80 HONDA CX-500, 500cc, shaft drive, water-cooled, plexi fairing, backrest/luggage rack, good cond, $600, Bob, (925) 376-2211

`82 HARLEY DAVIDSON FXRS, 5 spd, rubber mount shovel head, 2,500 mi on rebuilt top end, new s&s shorty carb, o-ring chain, pipes, battery, all chromed, valve covers, lower eng covers, triple trees, fork legs, oil pump, adj flr boards, leather saddle bags, flared old-style fenders w/ tombstone tail light, more, minor dent in front fender/gas tank, repairable, $9,000/b.o., John, 235-1767


BERKELEY, 1 bdrm apt, walking distance from downtown, nr all public transportation, avail for sublet from 7/7 to 9/3, Alain, X7629

EL CERRITO HILLS, furn rm, bay view, household privileges incl use of washer/dryer, kitchen, 15 min from Lab, $600/mo, Larry, X5406, 237-3321

MONTCLAIR, rm in 3 bdrm, 2-1/2 bth house, garage, fireplace, 3 decks, backyd, washer/ dryer, storage rm, canyon view, 15 min to LBNL/UC, lots of space, hardwd floors, no pets, $550/mo plus deposit, Ken, X4527, 338-0231

ROCKRIDGE, sublet Aug 1- mid Nov, 1 bdrm in charming 2 bdrm duplex, 2 blks from Rockridge BART and LBNL shuttle, yard, fully furn living area and bdrm, $500/mo, Kate, X7051

ROCKRIDGE, 1 bdrm unfurn first floor apt in duplex, quiet neighborhood near shopping and transportation, avail approx June 20, Jeanne, 843-3171


BABY CRIB, Child Craft dbl drop side, like new, $90; high chair, $30, David, 769-8271

BEDROOM SET, dark stained, pine, queen headboard, 6 drawer dresser w/ mirror, 5 drawer chest of drawers, cheap, call for details, John, (925) 709-0866, pager (888) 741-5407

BIKE RACK, Trek Transportation Plus, carries two bikes, rarely used, exc shape, $60, Jamal, X5652, 233-4599

BLANKET, full size, cotton thermal, ivory, still in plastic, $20; hair dryer, Con-air, nearly new $3; mauve teapot & cup $3; agate incense burner, new $5; French in Action language tapes, never used, still in wrapper, 1/2 new price, $20, Melissa, 665-5572

CAMERA, compact 35mm, Fuji Discovery 290, 38-90mm motorized zoom lens, drop-in film loading system, four-mode auto flash w/ advanced red-eye reduction, macro capability, self-timer, takes great photos, exc cond, used one time, $90/b.o., Mike, X6182

COMPUTER, amazing, Zaurus, hand-held, $77, call for details, Anton, X2908

DINING SET, dark oak, rectangular table and 4 chairs on castors, beige cloth on chairs, low use/exc cond, $300, Dave, X4506

DINING ROOM SET, mahogany, must sell, 1930's Drexel, new Travis Court collection dining table (3 leafs w/ protective pads, 12 shield back chairs and buffet, good to exc cond, $800/b.o., Bill or Cheryn, 642-0653, 642-5247, (925) 934-7817 (home)

DRYER, Whirlpool Supreme, 1995, 7-cycle/4-temp, extra large capacity, electric, 220v, great cond, unused for 1 yr, $200/b.o., Amarili, X5607, 532-9328

FUTON, very good shape, hardly used, twin size, complete w/ frame, cover, and sheets, $80, Ulli, X5347, 601-6541

MOVING SALE, changing table (yellow surface) on wooden drawer (4 drawers), natural fir color, can be easily separated for later use as drawer only, exc cond and very useful, $45; baby bed w/ mattress, $15; pink tricycle, $5, Johannes and Felizitas, 540-1963

OPERA TICKETS, SF: Die Walkuere, 6/19; Siegfried, 6/22; Goetterdaemmerung, 6/24; single balc circle, front row, $95, Paul, X5508, 526-3519

RANGE HOOD, Kenmore, brand new, $75, Nanyang, X5814, 799-6617

SCUBA WETSUIT, Farmer Johns, hood and jacket, 1/4" neoprene, women's size 5, worn only twice, $75 for set, Sherry, X6972

VAN POOL from SF (Haight, Noe Valley and Castro regions) to UCB and LBNL, 8 am and 5 pm, need extra rider and preferably a part-time driver, David, X6013


BICYLE RACK for compact car, finale of Melrose Place on video, Jan, X6676

CAR, prefer Japanese, auto trans, 4D sedan, approx. 1991, under 100K km, Shijun Zhong, X7510, [email protected]

HOUSING for visiting Israeli researcher (family of 4), 2 bdrm, furn apt, 7/15 - 2/29, Guedi, [email protected]

HOUSING for single woman (LBNL employee) in home w/ family seeking assistance w/ cooking, gardening, childcare or elder care, no pets, rm needed beginning around Aug. 1, willing to pay combination of rent and work, let's negotiate, Anne Marie, [email protected]. net, (603) 878-3362

HOUSING for visiting professor, 1 or 2 bdrm furn apt or house, 8/1 to 9/30, Mike, X6453, 549-9077, m.osullivan@auckland.

HOUSING for single female w/ well trained Border Collie, one or two bdrms w/ yard, 1 yr lease preferred, extra deposit for the dog, Jenny, X6445


TAHOE KEYS at So Lake Tahoe, house, 3 bdrm, 2-1/2 bth, fenced yard, private dock, quiet area, close to many attractions, great views of water and mtns, call for details, $150/night (2 night min), Bob (925) 376-2211

Flea Market Ad Policy

Ads are accepted only from LBNL employees, retirees, and onsite DOE personnel. Submissions must include name, affiliation, extension, and home telephone.

Ads must be submitted in writing via e-mail ([email protected]), fax (X6641), or delivered/ mailed to Bldg. 65B. Ads will run one week unless resubmitted in writing. They will be repeated only as space permits.

The deadline for the July 2 issue of Currents is 5 p.m. Friday, June 25.


Currents and the Public Information Department Staff

Currents is Berkeley Lab's biweekly employee newspaper published by the Lab's Public Information Department, which is managed by Ron Kolb. Kolb can be reached at 510-486-7586 or at [email protected].

Monica Friedlander (510-495-2248) is the editor of Currents and you can use this form to write the editor.

The staff writers for Currents are Jeffery Kahn ([email protected]), Paul Preuss ([email protected]), and Lynn Yarris ([email protected]). Jon Bashor ([email protected]) is a contributing writer.

Jacki Noble (X5771) produces the "Flea Market" ([email protected]) and the "Calendar" ([email protected]). Our mailing address is: Berkeley Lab Public Information Department, One Cyclotron Road Mailstop 65, Berkeley, CA 94720. The office telephone number is 510-486-5771 and our fax is 510-486- 6641.


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