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Friday, Jan. 30, 2009

Research Update

A Supercharged Metal-Ion Generator

Berkeley Lab scientists have developed a powerful new kind of sputter process for the electronics industry — and other, more exotic applications, including outer space — which deposits high-quality metal films in complex, three-dimensional nanoscale patterns at a rate that by one important measure is orders of magnitude greater than most existing systems. More>

javeyPeople: Materials Scientist Wins National Academy of Sciences Award

The National Academy of Sciences (NAS) will honor 18 individuals in 2009 with awards recognizing extraordinary scientific achievements in the areas of biology, chemistry, geology, astronomy, social sciences, psychology, and application of science for the public good. Ali Javey, with Berkeley Lab’s Materials Sciences Division, is the recipient of the NAS Award for Initiatives in Research. Javey is being recognized for seminal advances in carbon nanoelectronics, utilizing and synthesizing concepts from chemistry, physics, and engineering. More>

jgiJGI: Registration Opens for March 25-27 User Meeting

The Joint Genome Institute invites its users and collaborators, as well as prospective new users, to attend its fourth annual user meeting March 25-27. This international gathering of researchers with an interest in sequence-based science will offer three days of user presentations, tours, workshops, and poster sessions. Keynote speakers include sequencing technology pioneer George Church of Harvard University and Chris Somerville, Energy Biosciences Institute Director and Berkeley Lab physical bioscientist. More>

In The News: Mammoth-Killing Comet Questioned

mammoth[BBC] A study of wildfires after the last ice age has cast doubt on the theory that a giant comet impact wiped out woolly mammoths and prehistoric humans. The cometary impact hypothesis — first mooted by Berkeley Lab nuclear scientist Richard Firestone — holds that an enormous comet slammed into or exploded over North America some 12,900 years ago. Commenting on the study, Firestone does not believe it presents a serious challenge to the impact theory and argues that they are in agreement. More>

hernandezIn Memoriam: H. Paul Hernandez, 1918-2009

An article in the Jan. 22 issue of the San Francisco Chronicle announced the death of H. Paul Hernandez. The story provided no date of birth or death. Hernandez served as the head of mechanical engineering at Berkeley Lab in the 1950s and 60s and worked closely with Luis Alvarez on the development of hydrogen bubble chambers. These so-called "dirty chambers" were essentially steel bathtubs filled with superheated liquid hydrogen. Charged subatomic particles cleaving through this liquid left curving trails of bubbles that could be used to identify and characterize them. The 72-inch hydrogen bubble chamber was used to discover the Y particle, a proton-like particle containing a strange quark. Hernandez is far left in the photo, taken at the Lab in 1959, next to Edwin McMillan, Alvarez and Don Gow.

dancersDance Club: New Location for Practices; Kick-Off Party Monday at Noon

With its former home in the Bevatron now in the throes of demolition, the Lab’s Dance Club will now cut the rug in Building 76-235. To celebrate its new location, the club will host a noontime party Monday. The dancing will continue on Wednesday, Feb. 4, with a Foxtrot demonstration, then regular sessions will pick up each Monday, with Salsa lessons running from Feb. 9 through April 1. No dance experience or partner is required to participate.

movingRelocation: Travel Office Moves Up to Hill Monday and Tuesday

The Lab’s Travel Office will be moving up to the Hill on Monday and Tuesday to the 90J trailer, adjacent to Building 90. Because the office's accessibility and operations will be limited during those two days, all questions should be e-mailed to their help desk system. Staff are asked to be patient during this transition. The new mailing address for travel reimbursement after today is Travel Office MS 90J.

Construction Update: Traffic Interruption For Crane Work Near Guest House Today

To accommodate a crane that will be hoisting overhang support braces to the third level of the Guest House now under construction, the portion of Lawrence Road in front of the site will be reduced to one lane today. At times, flaggers will stop traffic flow in both directions for intervals lasting no more than five minutes. Drivers are urged to use caution when traversing this area, and pedestrians should use marked crosswalks and directional signs. The project should be complete by 3 p.m.