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Thursday, March 5, 2009

In The News

Making Accelerators More Compact and Economical

In the current issue of Physics Today, the Accelerator and Fusion Research Division's Wim Leemans and Eric Esarey write that as the newest big particle colliders and light sources become operational, they will equip scientists with powerful new capabilities for answering key questions, but they'll also point to what is needed next: higher energy, luminosity, and brightness. At some point, society will decide that bigger accelerators built with today’s technology are simply unaffordable. To survive, say Leemans and Esarey, new technologies must be developed to make accelerators more compact and economical, like Berkeley Lab's proposed BELLA Project. More>

People: Lab Researcher Featured on 'Year of Science' Website

leemansWim Leemans, a senior scientist in the Lab's Accelerator and Fusion Research Division (AFRD), is one of five physicists profiled on the Year of Science (YOS) website. On the site, Leemans, whose specialty is developing novel concepts for accelerating particles and creating ultrafast beams of light and x-rays, explains his career choice. "Like most scientists I know, I love discovering something no one has ever seen before," he says. "Even more, I love building something that's never been made before. And I love working together with a team of colleagues who have the same goals." In his role as a featured YOS scientist, Leemans will answer questions via email from YOS website visitors. More>

leeGovernment Relations: Lab Presentation at Rep. Lee's Oakland Event on Stimulus Package

Last week, Don Medley, manager of Berkeley Lab’s Government and Community Relations Department, made a presentation at an Oakland event hosted by Congresswoman Barbara Lee. The gathering was organized to inform residents about the impact of the federal stimulus package on Lee’s 9th Congressional District. Medley’s presentation focused on energy efficiency and renewable energy block grants and awards, as well as weatherization funding for low-income households and dollars for green-jobs training. Over three hundred community members attended the event. Lee will be holding additional workshops and informational meetings on stimulus funding over the next few months, including one on green jobs and the green economy.

In The News:  Cool Roofs Could Save Money and Planet

akbari[ABC 7-KGO] Scientists have known for some time that cities absorb more heat from the sun than rural areas. They also wonder what to do to reduce that. California is taking the lead in the drive to discover ways to cool cities. Scientists use infrared images to show just how hot cities can be, looking at areas where the least and most heat is being absorbed. The hot spots on the images are generally the darkest colored parts of a city, mainly the pavement that makes up streets and the roofs of buildings. "The question was if we had made all these surfaces dark, is there a way to make them lighter color? And, if we make them lighter color, whether it would influence the energy and air quality of an area," explained Hashem Akbari.

IT Update : Be Aware of New Adobe Acrobat and Reader Vulnerabilities

A new vulnerability in Adobe Acrobat and Reader is being actively exploited. If a malicious PDF file is opened, an attacker could control your computer and access data. The Lab is temporarily inserting a warning message in e-mails with PDF attachments that originate from off site. Go here for more on protection from this threat.

HR Update: Those Needing U.S. Visas Subject to Background Checks

Recently, there has been an increase in the number of security background checks requested by U.S. Embassies and Consulates for visa applicants. Although citizens of "sensitive countries" seem to be targeted, it could apply to any visa applicant. Foreign scholars traveling abroad who need to apply for visas before returning to the U.S. should be prepared to undergo a security background check. Returning to the U.S. is not allowed until the process is finalized, with a wait time of up to three months. Any foreign scholar traveling abroad may contact Ben Ortega for consultation.

HR Update: Interactive Sexual Harassment Prevention Training for Supervisors and Managers

The Lab will host an onsite interactive UC Sexual Harassment Prevention Training course on Monday from 10 a.m. to noon in the Building 66 Auditorium. Supervisors and managers who attend will receive full credit for the mandatory training and do not need to complete the online version. Registration by tomorrow (Friday) is required. Supervisory employees are required to take two hours of sexual harassment prevention training, mandated by California Law AB 1825 (Gov. Code Section 12950.1). Call x7443 for more information.

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