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Wednesday, March 31, 2010


New Path To Solar Energy Via Solid-State Photovoltaics


A newly discovered path for the conversion of sunlight to electricity could brighten the future for photovoltaic technology. Jan Seidel, a physicist in the Materials Sciences Division, is one of the lead authors of a paper describing a new mechanism for the photovoltaic effect in semiconductor thin films. This new route to energy production overcomes the bandgap voltage limitation that continues to plague conventional solid-state solar cells. More>

People: Foundry Interns Win Poster Competition

Samuel PenwellSamuel Penwell and Clara Druzgalski, DOE Science Undergraduate Laboratory Interns at Berkeley Lab working with the Molecular Foundry’s Yuegang Zhang, have won the 2010 AAAS Student Poster Competition in Physical Sciences. Their poster, titled “Thin Film Graphene for Transparent Electrodes,” will be recognized in a spring issue of Science magazine. In addition, Penwell will receive a cash prize, a framed award certificate, and a one-year subscription to Science.

Special Event: ALS Science Café at Noon today

cappucinoToday's ALS Science Cafe will take place at noon in Perseverance Hall. The topics and speakers are: New green cements to reduce global warming
Paulo Monteiro
Small angle x-ray scattering on very small patterns with very BIG impact
Alexander Hexemer
The SASTBX: Shapes and curves
Peter Zwart
Roger Falcone will moderate. Light refreshments will be served. All employees are welcome.

In the News: Dreams of a Lifetime Closer to Coming True at LHC

LHC-ATLAS[New York Times] After a long morning of electrical groaning and sweating there was joy in the meadows and tunnels of the Swiss-French countryside Tuesday, when the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) finally began to collide protons at seven trillion electron volts. Michael Barnett of Berkeley Lab’s Physics Division, who worked on the Superconducting Supercollider for 10 years until the project was canceled by Congress and has since spent 16 years on the ATLAS experiment at the LHC, said, “We are on this planet and in this universe a short time. The dreams of a lifetime are waiting, and hopefully not much longer.” More>

In the News: South Dakota’s Ernest Lawrence Inspires Students

sdpb“Dakota Life,” a South Dakota Public Broadcasting (SDPB) television show, recently aired a segment on the new Davis-Bahcall scholarship program in neutrino physics. A biography of South Dakotan Ernest Lawrence begins the show, revealing that Lawrence built his own low-power radio station while at the University of South Dakota in 1919, which evolved into today’s SDPB anchor stations. Peggy Norris, formerly of Berkeley Lab’s Nuclear Science Division and now with the Sanford Underground Laboratory, explains the scholarship program and the history of neutrino science at South Dakota’s Homestake Mine. More>

Space Planning: Brown Bag on April 1; Feedback Sought on Parking Crunch

brown bagThe Lab’s Space Planning Advisory Committee will hold its next brown-bag meeting on Thursday at noon in the Building 50 Auditorium. In addition to learning more about the committee’s efforts to accommodate Lab staff and research, attendees are also invited to offer comments and suggestion on the parking crunch, such as encouraging those who live near each other to carpool or vanpool. Go here to view a dot map that marks where Lab staff reside, within a 50-mile radius. Parking feedback can also be e-mailed here.

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