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Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Web Feature

Lab’s Video Glossary Passes 400,000 Downloads

Thornton Glover

Do you nod your head knowingly when someone says “synchrotron radiation” but actually have only a foggy notion of what that means? Have you wondered what is the difference between climate and weather? Does “galactic emissions” mean what you think it means? Berkeley Lab’s video glossary has answers to all of these questions and more. With 66 videos of Lab scientists defining scientific terms in lay language, the site has passed the milestone of 400,000 views since its inception last April.

“Extremophile” defined by Dylan Chivian remains the most popular video, with more than 25,000 views. Rounding out the top 5, and following close behind, are “genomics” by Susan Celniker, “plasma” by Andre Anders, “supernova” by Greg Aldering, and “photon” by Ben Feinberg. Thornton Glover defining “quantum entanglement” (pictured above) is one of the newest videos.

The goal is to improve science literacy and introduce Berkeley Lab scientists to a larger web audience. New entries are added regularly, many of which have been suggested by readers (send suggestions here).

World of Science: How Different are Neutrinos and Antineutrinos?

MINOSWhat’s the difference between neutrinos and antineutrinos? The only difference known so far is their opposite spin, and it’s an open question whether they are actually the same particle. But at Monday’s Neutrino 2010 conference in Athens, Greece, representatives of the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory’s MINOS experiment announced good evidence for an unexplained 40-percent difference in the parameter that measures the difference in mass of neutrino flavors versus the difference in mass among antineutrino flavors. If the result holds up, new physics will be needed to explain it. More>

Special Event: Talk on the Next Generation Light Source

Robert SchoenleinRobert Schoenlein of the Materials Sciences Division will speak on “Science Drivers for the Next Generation Light Source at Berkeley Lab” on Thursday from 2:30 to 3:30 p.m. in the Bldg. 66 Auditorium. The science drivers for the NGLS (an ultrafast soft x-ray free electron laser array) are directed toward understanding and controlling matter and energy flow at fundamental time scales (from attoseconds to femtoseconds), spatial scales (down to nanometers), and energy scales (down to milli-electron volts).

Communications: Berkeley Lab Scientists Blog About Batteries and Antarctica

Venkat SrinivasanBerkeley Lab’s News Center hosts two blogs by staff scientists. In “This Week in Batteries,” Venkat Srinivasan of the Environmental Energy Technologies Division blogs about the research team’s work on batteries for widespread use in electric, hybrid-electric, and plug-in hybrid-electric vehicles, but Srinivasan also muses on other battery news, attempting to separate fact from fiction. “Neutrino Hunting in Antarctica” is a blog by Spencer Klein of the Nuclear Science Division, who studies high-energy neutrinos for astronomical purposes. Late last year he went to the Ross Ice Shelf in Antarctica to test prototype hardware for ARIANNA, a proposed ultra-high energy neutrino detector.

IT: Gmail Storage Increased to 25GB and Email Delegation Added

The storage size for Gmail has been increased to 25GB from 7.5GB. Additionally, a new email delegation feature has been added, with usage documented here. Both of these changes are results of the Lab upgrading to Google Apps Premier Edition. Did you know that more than 60 percent of the Lab is now using Gmail? The Google Team has posted a summary of the migration survey results here.

Road Closure: Glaser Road Closed Thursday; Buses Rerouted

Glaser Road by Bldg. 77 will be closed Thursday starting at 9:30 a.m. and continuing until approximately 3:30 p.m. due to a concrete pour. The closure location will be at the intersection of Glaser and "S" roads and continue past the substation to the entry of Bldg. 79. The remainder of Glaser Road will be open to parking and vehicle and pedestrian traffic. During this closure all bus traffic will be rerouted to an alternate route. For more information contact Don Beaton at x7109.

Employee Activities: Join Next Session of Weight Watchers

Weight WatchersThe next Weight Watchers session starts on June 23. The price for the 17-week session is $186, which is not reimbursable. The meetings will be held on Wednesdays in Bldg. 26 from 12:00 noon to 1:00 p.m. A new Weight Watchers session at JGI will start the week of July 5, at the same price. For more information, call Cathy Wentworth at x6266.

HR Benefits: July Calendar of Events Available

From a postdoc benefits orientation to a "Taking Charge of Your Personal Finances" workshop, the HR Benefits department hosts a number of events to help staff manage their work and life. To assist in tracking upcoming events, the department produces a monthly calendar, and the July edition is now available.

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