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Tuesday, May 11, 2010


Seeing Quantum Entanglement in Photosynthesis

Quantum Entanglement image

Berkeley Lab’s Graham Fleming and Birgitta Whaley along with Mohan Sarovar and Akihito Ishizaki have carried out the first study in which the quantum phenomenon known as “entanglement” has been observed and characterized in a real biological system. Quantum entanglement is thought to be a critical factor behind the ability of green plants and certain bacteria, through photosynthesis, to transfer energy from sunlight and initiate its conversion into chemical energy with near 100-percent efficiency. More>

In The News: Breakthrough Yields Cheaper, Greener Hydrogen

Greener Hydrogen image[KGO TV] A recent report names California the world leader in developing fuel cell vehicles and hydrogen fueling stations. Of course, the technology has a champion in Governor Schwarzenegger, but fuel cell cars have a dirty little secret: The hydrogen they use is made from fossil fuel because it's too expensive to make any other way. A breakthrough by Berkeley Lab researchers — including Hema Karunadasa, Jeff Long, and Christopher Chang — promises to change that. More>

National Lab Day imageSpecial Event: Celebrate National Lab Day

Tomorrow is National Lab Day, a nationwide movement to support science, engineering and math education in our schools. Berkeley Lab is celebrating by encouraging scientists, staff, parents and volunteers to become ambassadors for science education in their communities. National Lab Day is more than just a day. It’s an ongoing effort to inspire the next generation of innovators. More>

Operations:  Groups Partner to Implement Continuous Improvement Program

Continuous Improvement Program imagePlant Maintenance Technicians (PMTs) in the Facilities Division used to walk nearly 19.4 miles a year to fix the various motors and pumps used for machinery around the Lab. That has been pared down to only 2.6 miles, thanks to the implementation of the Kaizen “continuous improvement” program that seeks to make processes more efficient and cost effective. In the case of the PMTs, it meant clearing out cluttered spaces and moving the tools and parts they need for repairs right in front of them. More>

Special Event:  Garamendi Effusive with Praise in Address to Lab Staff

John GaramendiCalifornia Congressman John Garamendi, who addressed Berkeley Lab staff last Friday in the Building 50 Auditorium, was effusive in his praise of the science being done here. “I don’t want to talk today, I want to listen to what you have to say,” the Congressman said. “You have so much very important knowledge to share and I am so happy to be here.” Before taking questions, Garamendi discussed the renewed support for science in Washington. “While the scientific community won’t get everything it wants,” he said, “the Obama administration is making a strong push for more research.” Garamendi serves on the House of Representatives Committee on Science and Technology, which recently passed legislation re-authorizing the America COMPETES act and the ARPA-E program.

Photography Club imageSpecial Event: Photography Club Hosts Spring Showcase in May

The Lab’s Photography Club, part of the Employee Activities Association, will host an exhibit of member’s work on Friday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. in Perseverance Hall. A wine-and-cheese reception will be held at 4:30 p.m. All guests who stop by the showcase will be entered into a raffle, with the winner announced at the reception (winner need not be present). The exhibit will also include a competition table, and guests will be asked to vote for their favorite. Photo above was taken by Steve Kessler of the IT Division.

Payroll: New Field for UCRP Employer Contributions on Paychecks

As a result of the Restart of UCRP Contributions, UCRP members will see a new field, UCRP, in the Employer Paid Benefits section of your paycheck. This field represents the new employer contribution into UCRP, beginning with your April 2010 earnings. More>

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