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Wednesday, Sept. 17, 2008

Retirement Update:  Employee Contributions to Pension to Restart in 2009

The University of California has been engaged in a multi-year process to ensure the UC Retirement Plan (UCRP) remains able to pay benefits to employees in the future. At their July meeting, the UC Regents discussed a proposed funding policy for the UCRP to accomplish these objectives. This proposal establishes the date of July 1, 2009, subject to collective bargaining where applicable, for the resumption of employer and employee contributions to the UCRP. It is expected that there will be no impact on net take-home pay in the first year of contributions. More>

telescopeResearch News: Measuring Dark Energy with Galaxies and Quasars

One of the most crucial components of the new program of the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) and its 2.5-meter, wide-field telescope in New Mexico is a unique kind of dark-energy probe called BOSS, the Baryon Oscillation Spectroscopic Survey, led by Berkeley Lab physicists, including David Schlegel, Natalie Roe, Martin White and Nikhil Padmanabhan. More>

grapheneResearch News: Closest Look Ever at Graphene

Hailed as the world’s most powerful transmission electron microscope, TEAM 0.5 is living up to expectations. Berkeley Lab researchers have produced stunning images of individual carbon atoms in graphene, the two-dimensional crystalline form of carbon that is highly prized by the electronics industry. More>

turbulenceIn The News: Visualizing the Unseen Forces of Turbulence

Supercomputers and software are providing a clearer picture of the eddies and vortexes that make up turbulence, which can alter the flight of everything from golf balls to hypersonic jets. Understanding the chaos governing the flow of gases and liquids relies to a large degree on how well researchers can visualize the unseen forces contributing to turbulence. “Visualizing typically works very well because we are innately visual creatures,” said Wes Bethel, with Berkeley Lab’s Computational Research Division. “We can spot trends or features that would be hard to detect mathematically.” More>

Special Event: Chu Speaks at ‘Fueling America’s Future’ Conference

Berkeley Lab Director Steve Chu will join MIT President Susan Hockfield, DuPont CEO Charles Holliday, and George Scalise, president of the Semiconductor Industry Association, at a national press conference on the vital role of basic research in solving America’s energy crisis. Sponsored by the Science Coalition and The Task Force on the Future of American Innovation, the conference takes place today. More>

Benefits: Workshop on Fidelity’s ‘Net Benefits’ Online Tool

Staff are invited to attend a retirement workshop on Tuesday, Sept. 23 from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in the Building 50 Auditorium. The workshop will cover the use of “Net Benefits,” Fidelity’s online account management tool. More>

Election 2008: Initiative Seeks Presidential Candidates' Thoughts on U.S. Science

imageScience Debate 2008 — a non-partisan, non-profit organization that seeks to engage presidential candidates on a discussion about science in America — have posed questions for both Democratic nominee Barack Obama and Republican John McCain. McCain recently supplied answers to questions about genetics, climate change, education, energy, and ensuring the country’s leadership in innovation. Go here to view Obama's answers. Steve Chu is a member of Science Debate 2008.