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Monday, Jan. 4, 2010


Accelerators and Light Sources of Tomorrow: From Linacs to Lasers


From their humble beginnings as offshoots of the ordinary electric light bulb, particle accelerators have evolved in surprising directions. Among the most productive and promising developments have been light sources, first in the form of electron storage rings — of which the Advanced Light Source is the world’s premier source of soft x-rays — and increasingly as versatile and sophisticated free electron lasers, the next generation of light sources now being studied at Berkeley Lab. Part two of this story, which focuses on “Accelerating With Light” will run on Wednesday. More>

DOE Update: Energy Hubs Get $366 Million in Funding

DOEThe Department of Energy plans to invest up to $366 million to establish and operate three new Energy Innovation Hubs focused on accelerating research and development in three key energy areas: production of fuels directly from sunlight, improving energy-efficient building systems and computer modeling and simulation for the development of advanced nuclear reactors. Universities, national laboratories, nonprofits, and private firms are eligible to compete for an award to establish and operate a Hub and are encouraged to form partnerships. Awards, based on evaluation by scientific peer review, will be announced next summer. The Hubs are expected to begin work in 2010 and will be fully operational by 2011. More>

People: Munson Featured in SPIE 'Women in Optics' Planner

Dawn MunsonDawn Munson, a mechanical engineer in the Engineering Division, is featured in the SPIE “Women in Optics” Planner for 2010 alongside 20 other luminaries including SLAC director Persis Drell. Until a 2007 name change, SPIE was the International Society for Optical Engineering, whose members use their skills, imagination, and intuition to “make sure that light can make a difference.” Says Munson of her colleagues at Berkeley Lab, “We are all part of the creativity, knowledge, and imagination that goes into the science that can affect our lives for years to come.” Go here for Munson’s entry and here to learn more about the 2010 calendar, including free copies while supplies last.

In The News: Recycle, Reuse, Re-Accelerate

Lab[Symmetry] It’s always the new stuff that makes the news. Consider the Large Hadron Collider, the enormous ring beneath the Swiss-French border that has swamped magazine covers, newspaper stands, and even movie screens in the lead-up to its first particle collision. Amidst the buzz about innovation, you might think scientists can’t discover new physics without a brand-new machine. But a corps of durable, versatile, and carefully maintained accelerators from the 1970s, 60s, 50s, and even 40s — including those at Berkeley Lab — proves that time-tested accelerators can still spawn cutting-edge science. More>

docHR Benefits: Health and Welfare 'To-Do' List for 2010

Start out the New Year on a healthy note by making sure your health and welfare benefits are in order. Staff should check pay stubs for plan enrollments and deductions, review health plan ID cards for accuracy, submit outstanding 2009 flexible spending account claims, get a health assessment, submit life event changes, update records, consider enrolling in a tax-deferred retirement savings and a commuter savings plan, check out the monthly HR Benefits events calendar, and take charge of their health and well being. More>

Cafeteria: Reopening Delayed One Week

Due to unexpected additional work that must be completed to accommodate the installation of new flooring in the cafeteria, the reopening will be delayed until Thursday, Jan. 21. The coffee and food vendors that have been filling in will continue their services.

People: ‘Bewick’s Wren’ Poem Wins Prize for Lab Retiree Judith Goldhaber

Judith Goldhaber, retired longtime science writer in the Lab’s Communications Group and wife of physicist Gerson Goldhaber, has won first prize in one of the world’s largest contests for traditional poetry, the Margaret Reid Poetry Contest for Traditional Verse. Goldhaber’s $2,000 winning entry, “The Bewick’s Wren,” tells of a pair of birds that build their nest in a doll’s house “formerly possessed/ by Princess Barbie and her consort Ken:/ the perfect palace for a Bewick's wren.” The Goldhabers have jointly published two illustrated books for young people, Sonnets From Aesop and Sarah Laughed: Sonnets from Genesis. More>

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