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X-Rays Reveal ‘Handedness’ in Swirling Electric Vortices

January 15th, 2018

Scientists used spiraling X-rays at Berkeley Lab to observe, for the first time, a property that gives left- or right-handedness to swirling electric patterns – dubbed polar vortices – in a layered material called a superlattice.

News Release

Ingredients for Life Revealed in Meteorites That Fell to Earth

January 10th, 2018

A detailed study of blue salt crystals found in two meteorites that crashed to Earth – which included X-ray experiments at Berkeley Lab – found that they contain both liquid water and a mix of complex organic compounds including hydrocarbons and amino acids.

News Release

Real World Native Biocrusts: Microbial Metabolism

January 4th, 2018

Specific compounds are transformed by and strongly associated with specific bacteria in native biological soil crust (biocrust) using a suite of tools called “exometabolomics.” Understanding how microbial communities in biocrusts adapt to harsh environments could shed light on the roles of soil microbes in the global carbon cycle.

News Release

Star Mergers: A New Test of Gravity, Dark Energy Theories

December 18th, 2017

Observations and measurements of a neutron star merger have largely ruled out some theories relating to gravity and dark energy, and challenged a large class of theories.

Feature Story

Creating a World of Make-Believe to Better Understand the Real Universe

December 14th, 2017

Scientists are creating simulated universes – complete with dark matter mock-ups, computer-generated galaxies, quasi quasars, and pseudo supernovae – to better understand real-world observations.

News Release

X-Rays Provide Key Insights on Path to Lithium-Rich Battery Electrode

December 12th, 2017

A research team including scientists from Berkeley Lab created a comprehensive picture of how the same chemical processes that give lithium-rich battery cathodes their high capacity are also linked to changes in atomic structure that sap their performance.

Feature Story

Studying Gas Mask Filters So People Can Breathe Easier

December 7th, 2017

Berkeley Lab scientists have been putting the X-ray spotlight on composite materials in respirators used by the military, police, and first responders, work that could eventually lead to better gas masks.