Alan “Al” Smith was a pioneer in the “low-background counting” performance of particle detectors – their ability to see ever-fainter signatures of particle interactions. He developed the gold standard for measuring trace levels of radioactivity in materials and components.
New data from the STAR experiment at the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider (RHIC) add detail – and complexity – to an intriguing puzzle that scientists have been seeking to solve: how the building blocks that make up a proton contribute to its spin.
For several decades, the nuclear science community has been calling for a new type of particle collider to pursue – in the words of one report – “a new experimental quest to study the glue that binds us all.” This glue is responsible for most of the visible universe’s matter and mass. To learn about this glue, scientists are proposing a unique, high-energy collider that smashes accelerated electrons, which carry a negative charge, into charged atomic nuclei or protons, which carry a positive charge.
A team led by Berkeley Lab scientists has gleaned new and surprising clues about the nuclear structure of an exotic form of magnesium – Mg-40.
New simulations led by researchers working at the Berkeley Lab and UC Berkeley combine decades-old theories to provide new insight about the driving mechanisms in plasma jets that allow them to steal energy from black holes’ powerful gravitational fields and propel it far from their gaping mouths.
A team led by nuclear physicists at the Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) has reported the first direct measurements of the mass numbers for the nuclei of two superheavy elements: moscovium, which is element 115, and nihonium, element 113. They obtained the results using FIONA, a new tool at Berkeley Lab that is designed to resolve the nuclear and atomic properties of the heaviest elements.
A new high-resolution gamma-ray detector system – designed to reveal new details about the structure and inner workings of atomic nuclei, and to elevate our understanding of matter and the stellar creation of elements – has passed an important project milestone.
André Walker-Loud, a staff scientist at the Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab), is co-leader of a team that is among the six finalists for the Association of Computing Machinery’s Gordon Bell Prize that will be awarded this month.
With funding from an Early Career Laboratory Directed Research and Development (LDRD) award announced last year, NSD’s Heather Crawford and her team of researchers are developing a prototype for an ultrahigh-rate high-purity germanium (HPGe) detector that can count 2 to 5 million gamma rays per second while maintaining high resolution, allowing them to accurately measure the energy spectrum under extreme conditions.
In this Q&A, Berkeley Lab physicist Spencer Klein, who has been a part of the IceCube collaboration since 2004, discusses Berkeley Lab’s historic contributions to IceCube, and IceCube’s contributions to science.