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Friday, March 26, 2010


Long Sought, Found at Last: When White Dwarfs Merge

Members of the Nearby Supernova Factory based at Berkeley Lab discovered and analyzed a rare Type Ia supernova whose progenitor star had a mass some two and a half times that of our sun – much more mass than a Type Ia progenitor should be able to accumulate before it explodes. The data they gathered is the most complete ever for such an unusual beast; only one model really fits, the merger of two white dwarf stars. More>

Research: Controlling How Matter Interacts With X-Rays

x-rayA team of scientists working at the Advanced Light Source’s femtosecond beamline 6.0.2 have taken the first step toward controlling how matter interacts with x-rays, shaping x-ray pulses with other x-ray pulses, and eventually directing the paths chemical reactions can take. More>

Transportation: New Free Off-Hours Taxi Service for Staff

taxiStarting Monday, staff can utilize a free taxi service to reach designated off-site locations after hours, including the downtown Berkeley BART station, Oakland Scientific Facility, Joint BioEnergy Institute, and Potter Street. The Lab has contracted with Friendly Cab (536-3000) to provide rides from 7:30 p.m. to 6:30 a.m. Monday through Friday, and 24 hours on weekends and holidays. The taxi will also make drops at regular bus stops along the Blue and Orange bus routes. The service is for official use only and employees will need to provide their ID number and signature to the driver. The Lab’s security officers will no longer provide ride service. For more information, contact Kory Porter (x5112).

food truckFacilities: Food Truck Onsite Tomorrow to Assess Demand

Employees who will be at the Lab tomorrow will be able to purchase food items from the Seoul on Wheels catering truck, which will be parked in the cafeteria parking lot from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Go here to view a menu. If enough business is generated, the food vendor will consider returning on subsequent Saturdays. Send comments and suggestions to Bill Llewellyn.

ombudsHuman Resources: New Ombuds Service for Lab Starts April 1

A new Ombuds service will be available for Berkeley Lab staff, beginning on Thursday, April 1. The service will be led by Sara Thacker, who is the Ombudsperson for UC Berkeley. The Ombuds service is available for staff who need help with work-related conflicts. The service is confidential, informal, neutral, and independent. Go here to learn more about how the Ombuds service works, view a welcome video from Thacker, and get contact information.

Purchasing: Industrial Gases Available on eBuy

Starting today, employees will be able to purchase industrial and specialty cylinder gases from Alliance Gas Products/Praxair through eBuy at highly competitive prices. Dewars of liquid nitrogen, argon, and oxygen will also be available. Users are urged to shift their Airgas B2B purchases to eBuy as soon as possible, as the Airgas B2B will cease after April 15. Delivery schedule, product cross-reference, user’s guide, and other information can be found on the eBuy site under Merchant Information and by accessing the Alliance Gas Products/Praxair’s eBuy site. Contact Theresa Hatch (x4513) for more information.

HR Benefits: Investment Workshop on Tuesday

Staff are invited to attend a Fidelity workshop on “Determining Your Investment Strategy” on Tuesday from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. in Perseverance Hall (Building 54-130). A Fidelity help desk will be set up in the cafeteria lobby from noon to 1:30 p.m. the same day for drop-in consultation.

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