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Feature Stories Archive

Accelerators and Light Sources of Tomorrow

December 22, 2009

Accelerators are far from achieving the highest energies their builders aspire to, but size and cost may limit the kinds of facilities funding agencies can support. In the future, new kinds of machines will be needed to make further progress. Perhaps the most promising is the laser plasma accelerator. Berkeley Lab’s BELLA project is the most advanced laser wakefield accelerator now under development.

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Accelerators and Light Sources of Tomorrow

December 21, 2009

From their humble beginnings as offshoots of the ordinary electric light bulb, particle accelerators have evolved in surprising directions. Among the most productive and promising developments have been light sources, first in the form of electron storage rings — of which the Advanced Light Source is the world’s premier source of soft x-rays — and increasingly as versatile and sophisticated free electron lasers, the next generation of light sources now being studied at Berkeley Lab.

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Nanoparticles go platinum: NCEM instruments provide key images

December 21, 2009

At Berkeley Lab’s National Center for Electron Microscopy it was revealed that single-stranded DNA can disperse bundles of single-walled carbon nanotubes into individual tubes and serve as guideposts for synthesizing platinum nanoparticles onto these tubes

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Computer simulation strengthens link between climate change and release of subsea methane

December 17, 2009

A first-of-its-kind computer simulation that mirrors real-world observations of methane bubbling up from a seabed in the Arctic Ocean provides further evidence that warming oceans may unleash vast quantities of methane trapped in hydrate deposits buried beneath the seafloor.

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Beaming in on Warm Dense Matter

December 17, 2009

The Neutralized Drift Compression Experiment II (NDCX-II) now under construction at Berkeley Lab is an accelerator designed to create warm dense matter. The job required extensive computer modeling, including the animated simulations shown in this feature story.

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An Advance in Superconducting Magnet Technology Opens the Door for More Powerful Colliders

December 16, 2009

Berkeley Lab scientists and engineers have helped build and successfully test a powerful new superconducting magnet for focusing intense proton beams during the next design phase of the Large Hadron Collider.

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Watching Proteins Direct Crystal Growth One Step at a Time

December 15, 2009

Scientists at Berkeley Lab’s Molecular Foundry imaged the growth of protein-studded mineral surfaces with unprecedented resolution and provided a glimpse into how living systems engineer key structural materials.

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Where do California’s greenhouse gases come from, anyway?

December 15, 2009

Greenhouse gas measurements taken from aircraft and towers will help improve inventories of California’s emissions, which will help scientists verify the reductions mandated by ambitious legislation passed by California in 2006 to slash the state’s greenhouse gas emissions 25 percent by 2020.

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A speedy CAT scan for cells

December 10, 2009

In the span of a few minutes, scientists at Berkeley Lab’s National Center for X-ray Tomography can produce three-dimensional CAT scans of entire cells. The facility promises to expedite drug discovery and biofuels research.

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Berkeley Lab Researchers Participate in Homeland Security Study of Subway Airflow

December 9, 2009

As part of a Homeland Security study on the spread of airborne contaminants released in subway systems, Berkeley Lab researchers are measuring the flow of gas throughout tunnels and cars.

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